No company can afford to ignore digital marketing these days. This is doubly true for small businesses. It doesn’t matter if your business is online or not, if you’re already known locally, or if you already have an effective offline marketing strategy – you need a digital marketing strategy.
When customers can’t find you online, they assume you’ve stopped doing business. When they don’t like what they do find about you, they look for alternatives.
Online digital marketing provides many exciting opportunities for small businesses, even those on a smaller budget. Whatever your budget or experience levels, there are things you can and should be doing online to maximize your website's exposure and effectiveness.
Shockingly, 35% of small businesses still feel that they are too small to warrant a website or engage in digital marketing. We’ll get into the many reasons why that’s so harmful in a minute. But for now, you must know that you should be as present and active as your budget and resources allow.
As your business grows, you can always scale your strategy. The important thing is that you set a digital marketing strategy and start it now.
People expect it
When buyers search for products or services these days, they start online. In fact, 87% of buyers will research something online before making a purchase or call. If they can’t find you, they will find your competition.
You might be thinking, but I’m a local shop in an area that gets a lot of foot traffic. The stats say that the first thing people do after passing by a new business is search for it online. Customers are unlikely to visit in person if a company doesn’t appear in searches, have an up-to-date website, or make it easy for customers to get the information they need.
It helps to build trust
Customers will often not visit a business they cannot find online because people trust a business more if it has a solid web presence. One-third of customers say they will not trust or do business with a company at all if that company doesn’t have a website or web presence.
Simply establishing an online presence through digital marketing makes your business appear more trustworthy. Then, the more active you are online to connect directly with your customers and answer their questions, the more trust they’ll have for you and your business.
You can target focused groups
The early days of digital marketing were similar to traditional offline marketing campaigns. You placed banners on sites that received the most traffic and hoped customers would come to your site. These days virtually every platform and site has hyper-specific demographic breakdowns of their customers that allow you to drill your digital marketing campaigns into super niche groups. Also, on many platforms, you get direct feedback from your customers, allowing you to tailor messaging based on real-world customer needs.
This targeted approach increases the chances of customers noticing your digital marketing efforts, helping you cut through the noise to find your ideal customers.
You save money
Traditional offline marketing was more spray and pray. You put up a massive billboard or paid for and ran an expensive television commercial, hoping that customers would see your advertisement.
Some of the best digital marketing channels are completely free (they do cost in time) or have a very low cost of entry. Because you can target your efforts to specific groups and build grassroots or guerilla marketing campaigns, you can enjoy maximum returns from minimal spending. It’s essential to not fall into the trap of thinking that you’re too small for outside help here, however. When you have a limited budget, you must use it correctly to maximize what you can get. So, you should really consider partnering with an expert to help you get the most return from your digital marketing investment.
Gives you equal footing
Online, size rarely matters. Quality content is king, and small business owners know their products inside and out. This insight gives them a valuable leg up over the more prominent companies as small business owners have something they are passionate about and knowledgeable about to share with their audience.
Creativity and innovation tend to win out online versus digital marketing strategies that rely solely on large budgets. Plus, in social media marketing, in particular, authentic voices cut through the noise. People love connecting with business owners and getting a peek into how things run behind the curtain. Many channels almost always work better FOR small businesses than larger ones.
Higher return on investment
Digital marketing has the highest return on investment of any type of marketing. Budgets that are a fraction of a traditional marketing budget can reach more people more consistently. And the campaigns are super easy to scale as your business grows.
Plus, unlike traditional advertising campaigns, you can track everything. With digital marketing, you can follow the customer’s journey, observing what works and what doesn’t, making minor adjustments as you go along. No more throwing money blindly at problems and hoping customers notice.
So what are you waiting for? Start your digital marketing journey today
93% of online experiences begin with a search. If the customer can’t find what they are looking for, they move on…quickly. More than half of customers will end up with a competitor, even when they started by searching for a specific brand.
If you’re not online, with a strategy, you will fall behind the competition.
There are several excellent ways you can get started today like:
Optimizing your website for search engine performance
Social media marketing
We even have an article on multiple things you can start today that are entirely free!
We should note that while many digital marketing methods are free, they do cost you valuable time. As a smaller agency ourselves, we understand that there is only so much time in the day to do the things we want. When starting your small business, you have to prioritize every minute of your day.
But lack of time doesn’t give you an excuse to put off your digital marketing plan. Every day you wait gives your competition a chance to establish a firmer foothold in your market.
Let us help you with any part of your online digital marketing needs you don’t have the time, energy, or knowledge to do yourself. We can help with search engine optimization, WordPress site support, WordPress website development, building a digital marketing strategy, and more.
Please connect with us today, and we’ll be glad to help you get started today.