Leveraging Digital Marketing for Small Businesses
When small businesses get started, their primary focus is often on how to get their first set of customers through the door! They mostly depend on traditional forms of advertising, such as print ads and coupon mailers or even big signboards on the sides of the road. They often believe that since they know they offer a good product or even a service, it’s only a matter of time until customers find their way to them.
While this strategy may bring about a flow of business, there is a better and easier way. Small businesses can start by considering the humongous marketplace of prospects online. No small business, no matter how new, should overlook this vast marketplace!
Benefits of Online Marketing
The plethora of potential customers that are found online is way larger than what you are likely to be able to attract offline. Through digital marketing, you can reach out to a vast audience in a way that is both cost-effective and measurable.
Other benefits of online marketing include:
- The ability to swiftly interact swiftly with your prospects and learn exactly what they are looking for
- To be able to reach out to a global marketplace
- More cost effective than traditional marketing methods
- Know your audience well and allow them to know you personally which helps increase brand loyalty
- You can track responses to your marketing efforts
Your Customers Are Already Online
If you have been avoiding digital marketing, is it because you think you’re not ready? Do you need time to get more established before you explore digital marketing?
The problem with this approach is that your potential customers are already online. There’s a good chance that they might already be looking for a business just like yours, but if they can’t find you easily, they’ll choose someone else!
They expect to find you there with a website and a social media presence. If a potential customer can’t find you online, they may conclude that your business doesn’t appear to be legitimate at all. They may decide not to take your business seriously and they will quickly head somewhere else then.
Your Competitors Are Online
For your business to succeed, you need to pay attention to what your competitors are doing and learn from them. Think of your competitors not as someone that you want to beat, but as people who can teach you as well.
Whatever type of business you are in; your competitors have established a web presence for sure. If your prospects begin to search for a business similar to yours and are able to find your competitors’ website but not yours, your business is not even in the picture. Your prospects can’t possibly choose you if they don’t know about you. In this scenario, your competitors have just raced ahead of you regardless of whether they have a good website or just a clear message.
Be Accessible to Your Customers
It’s clear that in today’s digital world, the first place the average consumer looks for what they want is the internet. Whatever product or service they are looking consistently for, they will most likely start their search with Google. If you have no online presence at all, you won’t be found, and you cannot compete.
If you have an online presence but your competitors are easier to find and are found before you, you might not be found at all. Besides creating a website, learning search engine optimization is a strategy that can help you move ahead of your competitors just by being the first name that a prospect finds in a Google search engine with keywords that can lead them to your business.
Simple questions that your prospects may want quick answers to should be easily discoverable online, such as where you are located, what your working hours are, and what you specialize in! By looking at your website and your competitors’ websites side by side, your prospects should be able to compare hours, prices, special offers, and much more.
Let Customers Come to You
Think of digital marketing as a way to make yourself accessible to the people you are trying to reach in order to offer your products and services. The scope of your very business can reach well beyond your walls. You are able to attract a much larger audience than you possibly can by just catering to local prospects.
By creating a web presence, your business stays open even when it’s closed. You can create an atmosphere in which your customers can come to you anytime, day or night.
At their convenience, customers and prospects can send you emails with questions; make purchases, and browse your very inventory. Potential customers who have no way to physically come to you can still do business with you, whether they are limited by disability, transportation, or are simply living too far away.
Digital Marketing is important – Top 8 reasons you need it now
1. Helps in conversions
Conversions can be tracked by understanding the percentage of traffic that turns into subscribers, leads, and deals. Good news: Conversions with digital marketing are way higher as compared to conversions through other forms of marketing. Therefore, small businesses should make efforts to draw strong digital strategies that aim for higher conversions.
2. Increases revenue
A successful digital marketing strategy gives more conversions. The revenue also increases as a result of higher conversion rates. Companies that use social media generate 78% more business compared to companies that do not use social media marketing at all. The response from email marketing is also quite high. A combination of content marketing with other marketing strategies together brings a high response and thereby impacts the revenue.
3. Targets the right audience
One of the reasons why digital marketing is winning over traditional marketing is that it helps target a specific segment. The interactions are very result-oriented. They help achieve predetermined goals. With e-mail marketing, one can directly target a specific person. Therefore, digital marketing is considered the most personalized form of marketing.
4. Helps in mobile marketing
Digital marketing also includes mobile marketing. There is no doubt that people are increasingly using mobile phones these days. Companies, therefore, are making their websites quite responsive on mobile.
5. Increases brand reputation
Every business initiates with the aim of attracting more customers. The same thing applies to digital marketing too. You can start by aiming to gain maximum clicks to your websites and various other marketing platforms. Gradually, more people start recognizing your brand, and when you do offer them what they are looking for, your brand reputation increases. This also helps you win the trust of your customers.
6. Influence marketing
Social media tools like YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram hold the power to influence the general public. The inclusion of social media tools has given birth to several influencers. This particular breed of influencers has an incredible power to influence the decision of the general public. Hence, companies no longer have to necessarily endorse celebrities to boost sales of the product or service. The beauty of influential marketing is that even ordinary people, holding no extra credentials can become influencers and generate interest for millions of people!
7. Influences buyers
Digital marketing lays down a mix of digital techniques that impacts the decision of potential customers. Call-to-Actions or CTA’s guide the users on what to do next. If you give clear instructions and proper CTA’s, you can accomplish even more conversions!
8. Gives measurable results
With the help of specific tools, you can easily measure results for each and every digital marketing platform. This will help you evaluate performance and make better decisions.
Looking at the list of reasons above, small businesses should definitely opt for digital marketing. With digital marketing, small businesses can attract a large number of audiences! Digital marketing is a cost-effective way to transform your business. Hence, it is wise for small businesses to utilize the potential of digital marketing and get ahead in their own business the sooner they can.
About the Author
Trishna Patnaik, a BSc (in Life Sciences) and MBA (in Marketing) by qualification but an artist by choice. A self-taught artist based in Mumbai, Trishna has been practising art for over 14 years. After she had a professional stint in various reputed corporates, she realised that she wanted to do something more meaningful. She found her true calling in her passion that is painting. Trishna is now a full-time professional painter pursuing her passion to create and explore to the fullest.