Reaching customers online

Doing business using the internet is running an online business. This can include buying and selling online, and/or providing an online service. If you have a unique product or idea, finding a way to sell or trade it online makes good business sense.

The term ‘online presence’ means that your business can be found on the internet.

According to Google, 97% of consumers search for local businesses online. Having your business online will help to increase customers’ awareness about your products and services.

Marketing plan

A marketing plan assists you to manage and ensure timely delivery of your marketing activities as well as a clear understanding of how the budget is being used. The marketing goals and objectives will provide the basis for measuring outcomes from your marketing investment. Your marketing plan should be updated as your circumstances change.

Brand, logo and intellectual property

A brand is more than just a logo or business name. It must be well designed, easily identifiable with your products and services, and used consistently across all marketing activities. Your brand should reflect how you wish your business to be seen by customers. Good branding and positioning will help you stand out from your competitors.

Intellectual property (IP) represents the property or creations of your mind or intellect. If you develop a new product, service, process or idea it belongs to you and is considered your IP. You must formally register your IP to ensure legal ownership.

Online presence

Business Website

Developing a website for your business is a great way of building and communicating with your customer base. This plays a key role in generating awareness, establishing credibility and providing customers with a great first impression.

Social Media

You may use social media to communicate with customers and other businesses. Social media can be a powerful way to build awareness and influence customers as your following grows. Your social media should focus on generating enquiries through the use of interesting content. Ensure your social media page is used professionally and put in place polices and timeframes for responding to customers.

FaceBook for Business
LinkedIn Help Centre 
Instagram Help
Twitter Help Centre

Online advertising and digital marketing

Web Banners

A web banner or banner adverts are a form of advertising on the Internet and attract traffic to a website by linking to the website of the advertiser.

Pay-per-click Advertising

Pay-per-click advertising is a way of using search engine advertising to generate clicks to your website. Every time your ad is clicked, sending a visitor to your website, you pay the search engine a small fee.

Search Advertising

Search adverts are advertisements that appear next to a web search. Businesses advertise on search engines to gain brand exposure and attract visitors to their websites.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search engine optimisation is used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking for your business in search results. The higher a website ranks, the greater the chance that that site will be visited by a user. Fresh and quality website content will also assist your business in search rankings.

Email marketing

Email marketing is an efficient and effective way of sending personalised emails to your customers. Successful email marketing works when:

  • you target people interested in your information
  • you provide high value content and offers that are useful for your customers
  • your customers are sent to a specific web page linked in the email

You can start to build an email database by collecting the details of your customers, provided that you observe Australia’s privacy laws. If you send emails to people who have not agreed to receive them, you run the risk of creating spam. This may have legal consequences and could damage the reputation of your business. The Spam Act 2003 regulates commercial e-mail.

Applications for mobile devices (Apps)

Mobile applications (Apps) are a type of software designed to run on a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. Apps are especially useful for customers by making it easier to engage with business, book, buy or browse your goods or services with their mobile devices. Whether you have one designed for your business or use an existing App, will depend on the product or service you are offering.

For example: A local council might develop on App to give users access to important local information. Business owners, the community, and visitors to that councils region, can find out what’s on and where to go from their mobile device.

Content marketing (blogs and newsletters)

Creating and sharing valuable free content with your customers is a great way of keeping them engaged with your business. This could be done in the form of a blog, newsletter, new initiatives, products, services and any other important information. Keep your content fresh and it will always be kept high in the search engine rankings.

Download the Reaching customers online guide.

The NSW Government has a state-wide subsidised business advisory service, Business Connect. You can browse the network of Business Connect advisors by region, topic, location or industry and select one you think appropriate for your needs. Please register online to book an appointment with your chosen advisor who will be in contact with you within the next two business days. The first four hours of one-to-one business advice are free.