For SMEs in India and abroad looking to make their mark online and connect to millions of potential customers, the Internet represents a golden opportunity. Developing a web presence is a natural extension for any business. However, Saurav Patnaik, Co-Founder and VP Marketing, Kenscio Digital Marketing Private Limited, an internet marketing company tells ITBizFocus.com that building a website is not enough and that small companies need good

(SEO) strategy in place to ensure that their websites generate a high quality traffic that can be converted into paying customers.

Why is email marketing important? How does it help a business generate revenue?

Emails help the businesses to reach the audience directly. It is measurable, economical and can be done faster compared to other traditional ways of doing marketing. Now, going back to the basics, to earn revenue, these businesses need to understand who are the people which are interested in buying proposition, what time can they be contacted, whether or not they qualify to buy your product and how are they willing to make a purchase. All this information can be captured analyzed and acted upon using emails… Once you know all this, businesses will be able to send individualized, relevant communications to generate revenue.

How important is branding to SMEs and startups? Is small business branding efforts wasted in direct marketing and sales?

It is very important for an SME or, a startup as it becomes all the more important for them to be in the minds of their customers and take communication to a much higher level (super personalized and individualized). So that their customers know that these companies really care and understand the needs.

What are your thoughts on small businesses relying on SEO?  How important it is for them to outsource their email marketing and social media marketing to specialists?

Search Marketing does help to get traffic on your website, however in the long run we need to engage them in the meaningful conversions. Thus, relying on SEO only will actually result in footfalls but to get these conversations you need emails and social media.

What are some emerging marketing opportunities in social media advertising? Could you kindly elaborate?

To be able to start the conversations over social media, businesses will need to provide clear call for actions….It need not necessarily be a Like or a follow on Facebook and Twitter respectively, it can also be an invitation to join the CEO for breakfast. I see an opportunity for Advertisements on Fan pages, cross promotional tweets, Email campaigns and lot more. The market in the US has already started doing such Social Advertising campaigns; you can see players like Daily Candy doing it over Facebook.

What advice would you give entrepreneurs looking to use email marketing and also to small business owners who are just starting on the Internet?

My only advice is that focus on your audience, be relevant (talk about your customers, not what you sell) and be aware of where your target audience is over internet to know which tool to use.

Original article posted at itbizfocus.com

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