You might be thinking to yourself, “I’m just a small business. Do I really need a full digital marketing strategy?”
When you’re a small business owner, you have to juggle many plates. There are so many little details to manage every single day, from client interactions, producing work, ensuring regulatory compliance, and on and on.
Most small business owners spend their days frantically running from fire to fire, putting out what they can as they go along. They think to themselves, “One day, I’ll have the time necessary to sit down and plan things out.” Unfortunately, many stay in this reactive state of responding to urgent needs for far too long. Since new problems pop up every day, planning and setting strategies are placed on the backburner.
Days turn to weeks, and weeks turn to months. You blink, and a year or two have passed.
Many put off strategizing and planning for a perfect time in the future when they know more about their business, their customers, or any number of other excuses. But with a small business, the perfect time never exists. So it’s better to start something new, even if it’s imperfect.
One of the most vital things a small business owner can do is formalize a digital marketing strategy. Today, the internet has changed every facet of doing business. Even local “mom & pop” shops need an online presence so that customers can find social proofs, hours of operation, etc. 88% of customers do a local search before visiting a shop that same day. 97% of customers will learn most about a company through online research than any other form.
However, just being online isn’t enough these days. You need a strategy for how you’ll cut through the noise and find your customers. A digital marketing strategy helps define how you’ll execute your plan and what you’ll prioritize, saving you time and money down the road.
There are a range of benefits to formalizing a digital marketing strategy for your small business:
Let’s you compete with the big names
One significant disruption the internet caused that the world is still exploring today is the democratization of how content gets delivered. Small businesses have the same access to customers as mega-corporations. Sometimes, online platforms even favor smaller companies over the big guys. With a digital marketing strategy, you have multiple entry points for reaching a worldwide audience–and many of the platforms are free!
You can target your audience
A well-designed digital marketing strategy helps you target your unique audience. Instead of littering entire neighborhoods with flyers for services only a few could enjoy or cold-calling random strangers, you can direct your messaging specifically to the people that are right for your business. Not only does this help you improve your conversions, but it also helps you save money!
Get to know your audience
With traditional marketing, you put an advertisement out into the world and are left guessing if the audience saw it or how they felt about it. With digital marketing, you get a chance to build a community. Many platforms allow you to receive direct feedback from your customers and engage in an open dialogue. Companies who embrace this opportunity get a wealth of valuable, real-world data and have even used this direct feedback to guide their product development.
It’s more cost-effective
In addition to being able to target your marketing to specific buyers, digital marketing is also much less expensive than traditional marketing. Digital ad buys cost a fraction of what a TV advertisement or magazine ad would cost. Plus, a well-placed digital ad can lead to higher conversions since you’re placing the action directly in front of the customer, unlike old-school marketing methods.
Enjoy measurable results
We mentioned this briefly previously, but it’s worth repeating. Unlike traditional, old-school marketing techniques that rely on belief and hopes, digital marketing is completely transparent and measurable. You’ll know for better or worse if something worked or not. In some ways, this can be scary. No one enjoys seeing low page visit numbers or that an expensive ad buy didn’t pay off as you hoped. But it’s healthier to base your future work on objective facts and figures and not fantasies.
Intentional Not Accidental
You might already be taking care of some aspects of your digital marketing. But if you haven’t set a specific plan or digital marketing strategy in place, you’re missing out on many of the benefits a strategy provides. Without a plan in place, you won’t have an established baseline to measure results against. Then, if you felt something needed changing, you’d be stuck guessing blindly about a solution.
Setting a digital marketing strategy is one of the most important things you can do for your small business. But it is often something that gets overlooked or slapped together as you go along.
Please, don’t neglect to take the time to sit down and draft up an official strategy.
If you need some guidance or simply don’t have the time, we’re here to help you. We specialize in helping small businesses develop their digital marketing strategies and provide management and support services.
Connect with us and we’ll be happy to talk with you more about how we can help you set a digital marketing strategy to help supercharge your small business!