Does digital marketing matter for small businesses?
(This article was originally published by HubSpot.com and has been edited for content and style.)
Many small businesses don’t think they have to ‘do marketing’ or ‘do marketing’. In fact, about 37% of small businesses in a survey of 500 small businesses do not have a website to market their products and services. The basis for this argument for many of them is that they are too busy getting customers through the door to worry about fancy marketing.
However, marketing is a more effortless and surefire way to land the business you want. They believe that customers will inevitably find their way to them because they have a great product or service. But unfortunately, while this strategy may bring some customers (who doesn’t love great products and service?), the results pale in comparison to what they will get if they use digital marketing.
The global pandemic and measures to curb its effects have changed the business and retail landscape. Many people have integrated online reviews and online search into their decision to purchase a product or service. This shows how much digital marketing helps small businesses and why it is to their advantage to take advantage of this new situation.
The market out there is just too big and important to be ignored. According to the Global Overview Report, more than 4.6 billion people worldwide use the internet and 46.3% of them use the internet to research products and brands.
Why digital marketing is important for small businesses
Relying solely on traditional marketing methods will not yield the desired results, so small businesses should use digital marketing.
With so many people connected to the internet, online searches have increased in volume and frequency over the past year. Seventy-nine percent of consumers currently use the Internet to find information about local businesses, and a digital marketing strategy makes it easy for searchers to find.
Another reason digital marketing is great for small businesses is that it can turn customers into brand ambassadors. The use of digital testimonials can complement the “word of mouth” approach to marketing and since 89% of consumers read reviews before purchasing products, it is a good idea to integrate such testimonials.
Digital marketing also expands your reach. By using a multi-channel approach, you can increase conversions and reach potential customers where they are. Social media is a gem, with 4.2 billion people using it. So by tailoring your message to the different channels, you increase your reach over time.
Here are some examples of how digital marketing can help you build your business:
- It extends your reach
- Given that people are spending more time than ever in front of their screens these days. Digital marketing offers small businesses a great opportunity to reach new audiences.
- Small businesses can use organic or paid digital efforts to reach these new audiences.
- You can target your audience at the right time
- Most digital marketing channels have personalization and segmentation features that help you reach your audience with the right message at the right time. For example, you can send limited-time offers to subscribers on your email list, or run Twitter ads during specific holidays.
- It improves communication at all stages of the buying process
- People rarely go straight from ignorance of your brand to customer. There is usually a buying process that they go through and digital marketing channels help you guide your audience through this process. For example, you can create valuable content that answers questions your audience may have with your blog.
- You can use social media to encourage conversation and engagement with your audience.
- It is cost effective
- Compared to traditional marketing, digital marketing offers an inexpensive method of reaching your audience. Sometimes, with channels like social media and email marketing, you may not even have to pay to sell your products and services to potential customers.
- It’s easy to follow and control
- Most digital channels come with analytics that help you quickly identify which elements are working within your marketing strategy.
- Once you identify an underperforming part of your strategy, you can quickly change things up and check how well the new elements are working.
- You get to know your customers better with marketing
- Before starting your business, you may not know who your ideal customer is. However, marketing helps you get to know this ideal customer better.
- How they interact with your campaigns and marketing messages helps you identify what’s important to them and how you can better connect with them.
- It makes the customer come to you
- By consistently creating valuable content for your audience, you can build authority and content expertise (SMB) in your industry. If people have problems with the topics you talk about, they can easily turn to you.
- Increase your turnover
- Assuming your conversion rates are constant, it goes without saying that if you reach more people, you’ll make more money – which is exactly where digital marketing helps you.
- By leveraging social media, a website, email marketing, and more, you have more opportunities to reach more people at a marginal cost difference than using traditional or in-person marketing methods.
Use digital marketing for small businesses
Digital marketing can have a huge positive effect on your business. Developing a marketing strategy can take time, but it is well worth it. No business, big or small, new or old, should miss the opportunity to generate leads and improve conversions that digital marketing offers.