Why Digital Marketing is Important for Small Business
When small businesses get started, their focus is often on how to get the first customers through the door. They may rely on traditional forms of advertising, such as print ads, coupon mailers or even outdoor advertising. Businesses may believe that since they offer a good product or service, it’s just a matter of time before customers find their way to them.
While this strategy may bring in a trickle of business, there is a better and easier way. Small businesses should consider the global marketplace of prospects online and benefit from converging their traditional and digital marketing. No small business, no matter how new, should overlook digital channels to generate leads and convert interest into customers.
Let’s look at the benefits of digital marketing and the ways online platforms can be used to help grow your business.
Benefits of Digital Marketing
The potential customers you can find online are a much larger group than you’ll ever be able to attract only locally. Using digital marketing techniques, you can reach a global audience in a way that’s cost-effective, scalable and measurable.
Some of the key benefits of digital marketing include:
- The ability to interact with your prospects and learn exactly what they are looking for.
- The ability to reach out to anyone and anywhere as there are no geographical boundaries with digital
- Target the right audience at the right time – personalization is simpler with digital marketing
- Communicate with your prospects at every stage of the buying process
- Save money and reach more customers for less
- Get to know your audience and drive engagement to create brand loyalty. Get some inspiration from the power of customer loyalty schemes.
- Track and monitor responses to your marketing efforts easily and instantly
Getting started on digital marketing for small businesses
With endless opportunities, digital marketing can seem intimidating if you’ve never used it for a business before. There are a variety of platforms and digital marketing terms that may make it seem like a bigger project than it is.
Small businesses can believe they don’t have the time or money to compete online. As a result, many prefer to take things slowly and stick with one or two forms of traditional advertising, assuming that their business will evolve as time passes.
The fact is the marketplace is competitive and while word of mouth and customer recommendations can help drive traffic, customers will struggle to find your business unless you show up in the places they spend time. After all, 4.6 billion people use the internet for many reasons. That’s 60% global internet penetration according to Digital 2021: Global Overview Report. So delaying building a presence online is not an effective approach.
The best way to ensure success is to promote your business on a global scale and use targeting to attract customers that are interested in your service or product.
Find Out What Your Competitors Are Doing Online
For your business to be successful, you need to pay attention to what your competitors are doing and learn from it. Don’t think of your competitors as someone to beat, but as people who have something to teach you.
When you look at what your competitors are doing online, you will get some idea of what is and isn’t working. Most likely, whatever type of business you are in, your competitors have established a web presence. What kind of content do they use, is there a blog, or do they promote visual content such as videos?
How do they communicate their brand and what makes them unique? How well do they engage with the audience? Can you do better?
A great way to find out what your competitors are doing is to conduct research. Find out what platforms they use, do they focus on keywords, are there influencers they use to drive traffic. Luckily there are some great online tools that can help you do this:
- Semrush – great for keyword ranking and keyword traffic
- Ahrefs – useful for discovering competitors’ most linked content
- Moz – another platform for keyword ranking
- BuzzSumo – track popular content types and influencers
- Google Alerts – a tool for tracking mentions of any competitor your choose to track
Let Customers Come to You
Think of digital marketing as a way to make yourself accessible to the people you’re trying to target. The reach of your business can reach well beyond your locality and scalability becomes a reality.
Through a web presence, your business is open for business even when you’re not! You can create an environment where your customers can contact you day or night.
This means that customers and prospects can send you emails with questions, make purchases and browse your inventory in a few simple clicks. In addition, potential customers who have no way of physically coming to you can still do business with you through an e-commerce function or simply by using social media.