All businesses can benefit from digital marketing. But in particular, small businesses have a lot to gain from digital marketing.
Big businesses cannot afford to not invest in digital marketing. But what about smaller businesses that don’t have the big budgets? That’s where it’s more critical than ever to be investing in digital marketing and the future growth of your business. How can you expect to grow your business while your competition invests in digital marketing and cuts into your potential customer-base?
So why is digital marketing so important for small business? How can digital marketing be integral to the growth of a small business even if the marketing budgets aren’t all that big?
Reach potential customers
Nowadays, how do you expect to find relevant services or products? And how do your customers find you. Word of mouth? Online ads? Print ads? Or would you expect what you want to find at the end of a Google search?
If your business cannot be found by searching relevant key terms on Google, then you should be looking at SEO or Google Ads to find new customers. If you are on there but your competitor is above you, why not invest funds in order to overtake them and take some of their business?
Content helps to build trust and credibility
Big brands already have credibility and the trust of thousands of customers. So how can you do the same as a small business?
If you create content that provides value to your audience, they will begin to associate your brand with whatever it is they are looking for. This can lead to direct sales, leads, or simply brand awareness. The type of content and the topic is what determines this outcome.
Essentially, everything people search for on Google or passively consume on platforms such as Facebook in content in some regard. If it’s a YouTube video, a blog post, an article, a quiz, a guide – whatever it is. Create the content your audience will want to engage with.
Measure and optimise website performance
Do you know how well your website performs? Are you getting the level of sales or leads you want from your website? Do you know how to improve it?
If not, then you should be actively monitoring and optimising your website. Tools such as Google Analytics can help you identify weaknesses in your website. By studying this, you can improve how your website performs, and thus help your business grow.
Of course, there are tools for every area of SEO. Whether it’s a keyword tool for PPC and SEO, content suggestion tools, social media management tools, social listening tools, email marketing tools, marketing automation, or otherwise – these can all help your business perform to its best.
Your customers are active online
Unless your target audience is particularly old or in areas of the world without an internet connection, it’s likely your customers are online for the majority of the day.
They will be online at work, on the train, at home. Wherever they are, there is potential for them to find what they need from your brand. So if you aren’t investing in digital marketing, they will go to the competition.
They will be searching on Google, checking for reviews, looking at your content, flicking through your social media feeds and much, much more. Or they will be looking at the same feeds of your competitors. Or browsing their stock. Or filling out a form.
Your competition is investing in digital marketing
So if you’re not to be found anywhere, where are your audience headed? Straight into the warm arms of your competitors. Wouldn’t you pay good money for this not to be the case? Well, digital marketing is your option.
If you want to be successful, you need to keep up with the competition. Otherwise, they will run ahead of you and leave you in the dust.
It’s ok if there are competitors that it is simply impossible for you to compete with, whether it’s down to budget or differences in the service/product you provide. As long as your USP is solid and you know what differentiates your brand from the competition, you can highlight this in your digital marketing.
And if the competition is indeed investing in digital marketing, see what there is to be learnt from their efforts. What are their marketing messages? What channels do they use? What kind of content are they making use of? How are they selling their brand, or positioning their products? How can you ensure someone chooses you over them?
You cannot afford to not be found online
Simply put, the digital realm is the new battlefield. The retail space is waning as the high street declines. Online is where the money is at.
If customers aren’t finding your brand, your services, or your products, and your business isn’t heavily offline-focused, then you simply cannot afford to continue ignoring digital marketing.
Think about which channels your audience is likely to use. Ask your existing customers. What channels do they use on a daily basis? Where do they hang out online? What do they use to find new stuff to buy, or services they need? Do they rely on certain communities, do they go straight to Google Search, do they ask friends on Facebook? Do they head to Google Shopping? Do they start a search on Amazon? eBay? Or the Google Search feed and see what sorts of businesses pop up? Maybe they have a look on Pinterest for inspiration and then use another platform to find what they really want.
Search engines have become an extension of our brains. As soon as a question or want pops into our heads, we search for it. This might be voice search, directly on Amazon, directly on YouTube – but more often than not, it’ll be on Google. Google then serves up the relevant results.
If customers aren’t finding you here for the relevant questions or queries, then you need to be found.
And if you aren’t ensuring your business remains in the forefront of their mind via social media, social ads, PPC ads, remarketing ads, email marketing, automated emails and so on – there’s so much more you can be doing in order to ensure you generate business.