Running a small business can bring with it a lot of freedom and choice. Not only do you control your own hours and have the flexibility of working wherever you want, but you can also take time off and make executive decisions without endless meetings and discussions. However, small businesses often face challenges that larger organizations do not – and one of the biggest is effective marketing.
Simply put, small businesses don’t have the same marketing budgets as multinational corporations, and so every penny needs to work harder in order to deliver the very best results. Below, we’ve put together the biggest reasons why digital marketing is important for the success of any small business.
It’s More Cost-Effective Than Traditional Techniques
It’s only within the last five years that digital marketing has truly exploded, but some small business owners still conduct the majority of their advertising offline. Of course, leaflet dropping, advertising in local publications and sponsoring events can all be great ways of promoting local businesses, but these methods are often expensive and outdated.
Digital marketing, on the other hand, allows you to get the most out of your budget. Pay-per-click advertising on Google AdWords, for example, allows you to target your advertising to exact towns, neighborhoods and streets, increasing the effectiveness of your campaign and ensuring that every penny is going towards promoting your brand in the best possible manner. Indeed, the majority of digital marketing techniques are uniquely traceable and can be analyzed and tweaked to the finest degree. A half-page advert in the neighborhood magazine, on the other hand, offers no analytics and has no guarantee of success.
Your Competitors Are Doing It
When it comes to marketing, you have to take note of what the competition is doing. Now, we’re not saying that you copy their advertising techniques to the letter, but if your biggest rival is promoting their brand on social media and attracting customers by doing so, you should be doing the same. That’s why search engine optimization (SEO) is such a lucrative market. It’s expected that the SEO industry will be worth an impressive $79 billion by 2020, because small and large businesses alike want to climb to the very top of search engine results pages (SERPs) in order to outrank their competitors and be the first port of call for consumers looking to buy their specific products or services. So, the sooner you jump on the digital marketing train, the sooner you’ll be able to rank and compete against your rivals.
It Can Deliver Great Results
Imagine attracting thousands of visitors to your local store every week. Of course, not all of those customers are going to buy something, but they’ll all be exposed to your brand and there’s a chance that they’ll purchase or at least come back for another look. That’s exactly what hosting your own website can do. By implementing a content marketing strategy (that is, blogging on your website and producing high-quality content that visitors want to read), you’ll be able to encourage people to keep coming back to your website, and use lead generation tactics to drive them to your product or services pages and increase their chances of buying from you – or, at least, enquiring about your services.
Perhaps one of the best things about digital marketing for small businesses is that the industry is ever-changing. Every day, new techniques come to the forefront and marketers are working harder than ever to create valuable software and strategies that increase the effectiveness of marketing and the time it takes to do so. Indeed, you can already find software to automate your social media marketing (Hootsuite), to help you find trending content to discuss on your blog (BuzzSUMO) and monitor your rankings on search engines like Google (SEMrush). These tools not only increase the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, but they make small business marketing more manageable for those who work on their own business marketing as well as running their businesses during the day.
Summary: Digital Marketing Is Essential
We’ve only just scratched the surface in this blog post – digital marketing can transform small businesses and help them compete against the likes of Google, Amazon and eBay. Whether you’re new to marketing or looking to up your efforts, it’s time to start today!