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Why is Digital Marketing Important for Small Businesses?

Updated: Aug 24, 2021

Digital marketing is important for small businesses for the same reason it’s important for any sized business. People search and shop for things online. It’s that plain and simple.

Salesforce and Publicis.Sapient research shows that 87% of shoppers start their product search on some type of digital channel. If you don’t have an online presence, you’re missing out on a massive market. Not to mention, your competitors most likely already have a digital marketing strategy in place.

Statistics show that 96% of small businesses use social media. Those customers that engage with businesses on social media spend 40% more with those businesses. If these numbers aren’t enough to convince you about the importance of digital marketing for small businesses, here are a few more reasons:

Digital Marketing builds Customer Relationships That Last

Per ASBFEO Small Business Counts Dec 2020, 98.4% of Australian businesses are small businesses. There’s also about a 2% increase in new businesses every year. That amounted to a 46,651 increase in 2019-2020. These percentages are very similar in the US and the UK. So if you’re a small business owner, you have a lot of existing competition and new competition appearing each year. Standing out from the crowd is becoming increasingly difficult while at the same time, it is a lot easier to lose customers today than it was 25 years ago.

But if you use digital marketing the right way, you can target your customers and product or service in a way that keeps them coming back for more. Digital marketing doesn’t end after a customer makes a purchase. It reminds them through testimonials, social media, email campaigns, and remarketing strategies to keep buying and spreading the word about your brand. To become ambassadors of your business and remain loyal customers.

Digital Marketing allows You to Learn More About Your Customers

Without knowing your customers’ needs, you won’t be able to fulfil them. A major challenge for small businesses is attracting, capturing and converting leads into paid customers. That’s because you can’t do this without identifying what your target customer needs. With digital marketing, you can learn your customers’ habits through market research. This will allow you to target your ideal customers.

Instead of making assumptions, smart small businesses use tools like SurveyMonkey, Google Search Console, Google Analytics and SEMRush to learn what their customers search for and want. This is how you identify interests and create highly personalised proposals to convert leads into customers. You can also use social media to see what your customers post or react to so you can know more about your existing audience. With this information, you can create a buyer persona that you can target with specific marketing campaigns.

Digital Marketing allows you to Reach Potential Customers Where They Are

With a multichannel approach to digital marketing, you can reach more people and boost conversion rates. A multichannel approach means that you’re using a combination of strategies to reach people where they are. That can be through email marketing, Facebook, Instagram, Google Ads, SEO, and many other channels to reach your audience and eventually turn them into customers. For B2B small businesses, that could mean a heavier emphasis on LinkedIn since it provides 80% of social media leads.

By adjusting your message to different audiences, you can create a strategy that boosts conversions. This way, you can reach those that prefer to open emails, others that prefer to read blog posts, and you can throw in a combination of ads to keep them engaged enough to make a purchase. This is the power of digital marketing, reaching people anywhere, on whichever platform they prefer.

Digital Marketing allows you to Competitively Compete With Larger Businesses

It’s no longer only the large organisations that can afford high-quality marketing. With so many digital marketing tools that small businesses can affordably use, the competition is levelling out. You don’t need a big budget to grab some attention, make sales, and grow. You just need to know your audience, know your product or service in-depth, and then use a little creativity and ingenuity to get noticed.

It can be as simple as making a Christmas ad video for your hardware store. All they needed was a video camera and the owner’s cute son to pull off this successful ad. With 2.7 million views and counting, one commenter had this to say, “Okay, this makes me want to get on a plane, fly to Wales, go to this store and buy a Bodem—just so this adorable child can wrap it for me.”

With Digital Marketing, it is Easy to Measure Your ROI

Unlike traditional marketing, digital marketing is more targeted so you can see results more measurably. You can more easily see what is working and what isn’t. For example, you can invest a small amount into online marketing, see how it’s working, and then further invest once you see positive results. Start with creating a landing page to capture inbound traffic. Using Google Analytics, you can then track ROI metrics such as how many people bounced, at what point they bounced, how many engaged with the whole page, and how many became customers.

This will allow you to adjust your converting techniques, whether that means shortening your landing page, changing the call-to-action, or the layout. A/B testing can also be used to experiment with different versions of your landing page so you can determine which variation performs the best. In contrast to throwing up a billboard on the side of the road, digital marketing can more accurately measure your ROI.

The Bottom Line

Most of your competition is already using some form of digital marketing. You know who they are. Check their Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn pages. I’m sure you’ll see most, if not all of them, are on there. You can see what kind of ads they’re running on Facebook (explore the ad library) and you can also do a Google search to see if their name is linked to other sites. Different tools will also allow you to see who they’re targeting and how much traffic they’re getting.

If you'd like to some assistance in understanding what your competition looks like or what your options are with digital marketing, feel free to contact us today for a quick no-strings-attached conversation.

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