Why Small Businesses Need to Invest in Digital Marketing
A few decades ago, small businesses invested their marketing and advertising budget in white/yellow pages (Not Happy Jan!), newspaper ads, and/or printed flyers. This would have worked out very well back then as this is how customers were accessing and viewing information. However, now (thanks to the smartphone and the internet), things have significantly changed and people are viewing information differently. The businesses that haven’t jumped on the digital marketing bandwagon will be left behind (if they haven’t already). In order to reach their potential customers, businesses need to invest in digital marketing.
What is digital marketing?
Digital Marketing is marketing through digital channels. They are referred to by many terms, like online marketing or by their specific delivery channels such as Facebook marketing, Email marketing, or Search Engine marketing. Its purpose, as with traditional marketing is to generate leads, convert them to customers, and make them repeat customers.
Why do businesses need to invest in digital marketing?
The easiest, most cost-efficient way of getting your message, product, or business out to your potential customers is through Digital Marketing. This is purely based on how people are using technology and how they are now interacting with businesses.
With so many people using digital technologies, it is unlikely that you will not find your target market using digital marketing.
What are the benefits of digital marketing?
- Price: Traditional marketing is expensive and in a lot of cases does not give you the same type of return. This is obviously due to the cost of delivering the message to the number of people required. A lot more manpower is required to deliver a message through print media than through the internet.
- A way to compete with big brands: Businesses don’t need to invest huge amounts of money to get the required outcome with digital marketing. Therefore, small businesses are able to compete using the same marketing platforms used by big companies. A business simply needs to think about its USP (Unique Selling Point), have a marketing strategy, and thought-out online customer experience. This gives small businesses the opportunity to compete with big brands on a semi-even playing field.
- Detailed Reporting: A lot of information is collected and provided to you when you launch a digital marketing campaign. It is all in real-time as well, so you can find out instantly: How many people liked a Facebook post? Did they follow the link to my website? Did they spend some time on the website? Getting the answers to these questions means that you can answer the most important question “Is this marketing strategy working for me?”. It is very hard to measure the results of traditional marketing. John Wanamaker, a pioneer in marketing famously quoted saying, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”.
- Better Exposure Possibility: With the same budget, you can get your Facebook ad in front of more people than you would receive with a traditional marketing campaign. If you make the campaign interesting or funny, people will spread the word for you.
- More targeted exposure: With digital marketing channels, you can specify your target audience, i.e. are males between 18-34 located in Sydney your target audience? Change a few options and hit enter! The message goes out directly to them.
What type of digital marketing would you recommend?
The answer to this really depends on your business, your target market, and your budget. At the very least businesses should have a digital presence. The great thing is that it costs you nothing to set up yourself:
Google Business Listing
It is extremely easy to Add or Claim your business listing with Google. Adding a business listing will allow people to search for you on Google Search and Maps.
It won’t cost you anything to list your business with Google. When searching for you, your customers will be able to quickly view the most important information about your business, such as your Phone Number, Address, and Opening Hours. There are a number of other places to list your business as well.
Facebook is a great platform for any business to interact with its customers. This is because there is a wide range of people using the platform. This is because it has been around for a long time and is one of the most well known social media platforms. A large number of both businesses and customers are using the platform. Depending on your business and your target market a different platform may encourage better engagement with your intended audience. However, we recommend our clients to create a Facebook account.
People often get worried when we suggest a website. Yes, for a great custom designed website you could spend up to $15,000. However, you can find websites that you can create yourself or companies like ourselves that will sell you a template website (we charge $25/month to fully set up a website for our clients). You don’t need to spend a fortune to have commercial real estate online. We recommend businesses to get a website (even a very simple one) to provide information to their potential customers that may be researching you. It gives your business credibility and the opportunity to sell your product before the customers arrive at your door. The website is available 24/7, so people will be able to browse your products/services at any time of the day. Combine this with an online store and you could make money while you sleep.
Don’t forget to make sure that your website is mobile-friendly!
Watch our video
We go through an example to show you why Tom the hot dog stand owner would benefit from a Google Business listing, Facebook account, and a website.
Digital marketing is a great way to reach and interact with your target audience. All businesses, big or small, should at the very least have a digital presence. If you are looking to grow your business, the next step is to look into spending money to push your message, product, or service.