Benefits of Small Business Digital Marketing You Need to Know
As a small business, digital marketing can be quite challenging if you don’t know how to gain more customers. There are many types of marketing such as direct marketing, network marketing, internet marketing, search engine optimization, social media marketing, etc., but selecting which type of marketing ultimately depends on your overall business strategy.
But the question still arises, what are the benefits of small business digital marketing? Should I do digital marketing? The short answer is YES, because by 2025 (not too far from now) about 85 percent of Americans will be online and 72 percent of all internet users will be accessing the internet through smartphones, and because of these skyrocketing statistics along with COVID-19 restrictions, many people will be buying products and services online.
Now, enough said, let’s get into the benefits of small business digital marketing you need to know:
Understanding Small Business Digital Marketing Strategies
Successful businesses have successful marketing. Whether if you use radio, TV, billboards, mail-in coupons to attract customers, they don’t work very well in the 2020s and the effectiveness of these traditional marketing strategies simply won’t do your business any good 5 years from now.
As more people are on social media and browsing the internet, you shouldn’t be depending on one single marketing channel for new business. Some of the benefits of small business digital marketing and different types of digital marketing that I’m about to list down below can be very effective if done consistently and correctly.
SEO Marketing (search engine optimization)
SEO is the practice of gaining traffic from organic search results (can be from Google, Bing, or other search engines).
SEO marketing is a great way to attract customers who are already interested in the products/services you have to offer. SEO is one type of inbound marketing that ATTRACTS your ideal customers (you show up at the first page of Google for the products or services they are looking for).
SEO is hugely important for any small business that wants to rank on the first page of Google or at the top of the local search on Google. Unlike social media marketing, where you have to take people down a marketing funnel before you can start selling them products/services, SEO can bring you customers that already have an interest in what you sell.
How to Do SEO for Your Small Business
To have success in SEO for your small business here are some key points you may need to do in order to gain more sales. Successful SEO is not about how much traffic you can get, but the amount of sales you will end up generating as a result of SEO. Here are some key points to consider:
- The first step to a successful SEO campaign for your small business is to select the best keywords. What are your customers typing into Google?
- A good website design is another key factor for SEO because user experience is becoming more important as a ranking factor on Google and Bing. Also, by having your website mobile responsive, you will have a higher chance of ranking higher on Google due to Google new update (as of September 2020), Mobile-First Indexing.
- A fast website is another key factor for SEO as it affects the user experience (people are not going to wait 15 seconds for a website to load).
- Inserting SEO optimized content into your website.
- Uploading content on a regular basis helps to increase relevancy to the industry you’re in.
Benefits of SEO for Small Businesses
- Increase of business reputation (ranking on the first page of Google will make people trust your brand vs an ad).
- Higher quality leads that are easier to close
- Increase in brand awareness
- You can pick an area to service without having a new physical location
- Is an effective long term solution to marketing challenges
Downsides of SEO for Your Small Business
- Can take 6-12 months to see any significant results in traffic, leads, and sales depending on the location and competition.
- Your small business may also get noticed by other audiences
- When you start to see significant results in SEO, a common problem is that clients can’t handle the amount of leads that come in. Unlike PPC where you can switch the ON and OFF button, once your SEO campaign is successful, you can’t switch it OFF instantly
Social Media Marketing
About half of the world’s population are on social media, so social media marketing can be another great avenue to attract new customers into your small business.
Now before you start diving into social media marketing to attract new customers, first realize that not every social media platform is going to work for you. As a small business owner, you may not have enough time to invest in social media marketing as it can be quite challenging to get traction on each platform.
As a small business, in order to save time and money, start off by selecting the best platform for your industry. Every audience is different in each social media platform:
Instagram is a photo and video sharing (started as a photo-sharing platform) social media platform and is a great platform to attract young individuals into your small business. Instagram has about 850 million users, 140 million of them are located in the United States. 67% of all Instagram users are between the ages of 18 to 30 according to Hootsuite. 56% of Instagram users are female.
Facebook is another photo sharing and messaging social media platform and is very useful for running hyper-targeted ads. Facebook’s organic reach is becoming more difficult for small businesses as more ads are on display.
Facebook is not such a great platform if you don’t have a good amount of money to spend on ads, the organic reach on Facebook is reported to be one of the lowest than on any other social media platform according to HubSpot.
What this basically means is that although your digital marketing efforts can be spent on Facebook, the best ways to get the most out of this platform is to join related or similar groups that are within your industry.
Be strategic on your approach to getting more leads when it comes to organically expanding your reach on this platform. Where are your customers hanging out? What kind of groups are they in? Who do they follow?
On the other hand, Facebook is one of the best options for hyper-targeted ads. If you have a budget to spend on ads, Facebook is great for finding your ideal prospects. While it may take money and effort to get quality leads from Facebook, this is another avenue for gaining leads for your small business.
Pinterest is similar to Instagram, with only a slight difference, you can save photos or videos that you see to a “board”. You can group different boards if you are looking to sort out your favorite pins into particular groups.
Starting your digital marketing campaign with Pinterest is a great way to boost your brand recognition as it is one of the easiest platforms to get traction on (if your industry involves a lot of photos/videos).
About 67% of the users on Pinterest are women. According to a study by ComScore, about 80% of women in the United States ages 18-64 use Pinterest.
Benefits of Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses
- Large user base and is relatively easy to find target audiences
- Algorithms can help you target a specific demographics/interest base for advertising. Facebook is the best when it comes to hyper targeting your ads to a specific group of people.
- Does not require any money
- Builds brand recognition
- Easy to manage when starting out
Downsides of Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses
- Requires time to correctly set up social media for digital marketing success
- If advertising, marketing to certain audiences is not going to automatically generate leads, may take 3-6 months of testing and recodifications to start gaining quality leads
- You can waste a lot of digital marketing dollars if your strategy isn’t well planned or tested
- Time consuming
Content marketing is a great inbound marketing strategy that can help your small business gain high quality customers. With content marketing, there are many ways you can go about this. If you own a gym, you can make a video on how to build more muscle or create a blog on what are the best programs for building strength.
When you’re doing content marketing, you’re not exactly promoting your product/service right away, you’re educating people. After people consume your content and find value in it, they will become more interested in your brand. It’s that simple.
When you create content that offers value for your readers, it can generate more engagement, which is great when you have a valuable piece of content on your blog as this helps to rank you higher in the search engines.
Benefits of Content Marketing
- Can increase your small business’s reputation
- Customers feel more confident in buying your product/service
- Helps rank your website higher (if content is posted as a blog post on your website)
- Increases conversions
- Builds brand awareness
- Increases traffic to your website
Which Digital Marketing Tactic Will You Use for Your Small Business?
While I’ve only listed 3 of the most common digital marketing tactics such as social media marketing, SEO, and content marketing, selecting a digital marketing tactic can vary depending on several factors such as:
- How much time are you willing to invest in digital marketing
- What your budget is for marketing
- What stage your small business is in (startup or established business)
- What industry your small business is in
The basis of a successful digital marketing campaign should always be content marketing. Whether or not you have the money or time, as a small business, content marketing can help you stand out from the competition. Content such as blog posts, videos, tutorials, should be used.
If a potential customer had these 2 options, who do think they will with?
- Established business
- No content, videos, or pictures
- Has a clear & visible storefront
- Products are easy to find in store
- Established business
- Informational videos and quality pictures
- Has a clear & visible storefront
- Products are easy to find in store
- Business ranks #1 on Google
- Website is very informative and can help you select the right product in the store more easily
Here are the REAL Benefits of Small Business Digital Marketing
- Increased Reputation
- Increased consumer confidence
- More qualified prospects coming in (this only happens if you layout your small business digital marketing strategy correctly)
- Increased brand awareness
- More sales
With all of that said, if you’re thinking about doing digital marketing for your small business, remember this: internet usage is growing at an exponential rate. The benefits of digital marketing are much better than the benefits of not doing digital marketing for your small business.
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