The Benefits of Digital Marketing for Small Businesses
13 Sep 2022 • 5 min Read
There’s been a significant shift in how small businesses use marketing, and traditional marketing efforts, such as print and billboards, are taking a step back. More and more businesses are realising the benefits of digital marketing and are investing more resources in digital marketing services, such as SEO, PPC, Content Marketing and Social Media. Business owners now have a wide range of digital marketing methods at their fingertips that can be adapted to suit their objectives, budget or industry.
It’s fair to say that digital marketing has entirely transformed how businesses connect and engage with their customers. With more consumers searching and buying online than ever before, digital marketing has become crucial. In essence, it allows businesses to effectively put their brand in front of their target audience at the right time and in the right place cost-effectively and measurably.
So, what does digital marketing have to offer you as a small or medium-sized business owner?
1. DIGITAL MARKETING WILL GET YOUR BUSINESS FOUND ONLINE
Investing in digital marketing services is crucial for your business; if existing or potential customers can’t find you easily online, they will likely go with another business. This is the nature of business today. If someone wants to learn more about your brand, they will probably research you online; perhaps they’re looking for reviews to see whether or not your company is a good fit for them.
As of last year, around 36% of small businesses were operating without a website. Without an online presence, potential customers may assume that you’re not legitimate or may not take you seriously. The result is that they will choose a competitor instead.
Consumer expectations have changed in today’s digital world; the average customer tends to search for a product or service online, likely starting with Google. If you don’t have a website or social media presence, it will be next to impossible to compete.
Digital marketing helps to promote smaller businesses in a way that allows them to compete with well-established brands.
2. PERFORMANCE OF MARKETING CAMPAIGNS IS EASIER TO MEASURE
Unlike traditional marketing, digital marketing gives you the ability to monitor the performance of your campaigns in real-time. You don’t have to wait until your campaign ends to gather the data and analyse the results. By accessing timely data through tools like Google Analytics, you can review the effectiveness of your strategy and make changes accordingly.
Being able to gain these invaluable insights into your digital campaign allows you to respond quickly. You can adapt and refine your digital marketing strategy in line with your customers’ requirements.
It’s also much easier to measure the success of a digital marketing campaign. You can easily track metrics such as engagement and conversions, which is much harder to pinpoint for traditional marketing, such as print ads. With digital marketing, you can see results within a matter of hours, whether it be the number of visitors to your website, the number of people clicking on your ads or the level of engagement you’ve had on your social media posts.
3. DIGITAL MARKETING CAN GET YOU MORE ENQUIRIES ONLINE
Gaining additional customers is essential for growing your business in terms of revenue and profitability. There are several ways of reaching customers through digital marketing, from websites to video marketing and social media.
It also helps you to attract mobile customers, which is a huge and rapidly growing market. At the end of last year, in 2020, mobile devices (apart from tablets) generated 52.6% of global website traffic; in 2009, this value was 0.7%. Digital marketing helps you to capitalise on this traffic to ensure you’re not missing out.
Digital marketing offers a platform to explain why your customers should choose your business and why your products and services help them.
4. DIGITAL MARKETING CAN HELP YOU REBRAND
Rebranding a small business that you’ve been growing can be a daunting decision and task. You may hesitate at the idea; however, even though rebranding can be overwhelming, it can also offer many benefits, from breathing new life into your business to changing the way your target audience perceives you.
There are several reasons why a company might consider rebranding, such as transforming a brand that may have become outdated, further distinguishing a brand from its competitors’ or reflecting a change in your product line.
Such was the case with ROCCIA, the largest independent retailer of tiles in the North of England. The Company wanted to transition from Tile Mart into Roccia to reflect the high-end services and products. The challenge, however, was to ensure they didn’t lose the reputation they’d built over 20 years. To accomplish this, we created a content marketing strategy aimed at the new audience ROCCIA wanted to target, and a Digital PR campaign picked up by many publications.
After a 100% retention of authority and rankings and a 254% increase of traffic to blog posts, it’s fair to say that a well-thought-out digital campaign can help a business to follow a new vision by transforming its brand.
5. YOUR WEBSITE IS A 24/7 SALES MACHINE
For a small or medium enterprise, keeping within budget is essential. Investing in staff to promote your services and products can be costlier in the long run; while you may have to spend some money on sales efforts to grow your business, having a strong online presence can help you boost sales and reach your audience more efficiently.
A well-designed website will ‘work’ for you every hour of the day, every day of the year, allowing potential customers on the other side of the world to easily browse your services and products outside of office hours. This means that, while your sales team is off the clock, your website is still hard at work and helping to bring in more business.
6. IT’S COST-EFFECTIVE
Many small businesses don’t have the budget available to utilise costly traditional marketing services such as TV and billboard adverts, putting them at a distinct disadvantage to competitors with larger marketing budgets. Only well-known brands can adopt this approach regularly, which meant that they could dominate the market with ease.
Luckily, digital marketing is an affordable and cost-effective option for all businesses. A well-executed and effectively targeted digital marketing strategy can reach potential customers at a much lower cost than traditional marketing. By only targeting users actively looking for your services or products, you save money and time.
This puts smaller businesses back in the game. By giving them resources that were previously only accessible to larger corporations, these businesses now have the ability to compete for the same traffic as those with much bigger marketing budgets.
For an example of this, you can read about the work we do for Electronic World. The trick is to be ‘strategic’ about your marketing campaigns; by clearly understanding the results of your data, you can increase your revenue without spending a lot of money.
We created a valuable asset for our customer Morecambe Metals; in this case, a well-researched infographic supported with creative content based on the popular TV show Game of Thrones. We succeeded in getting this featured by The Express newspaper, securing a link from a high-authority website and generating brand exposure nationally.
This only serves to prove that you don’t have to spend big money to get big results.
7. YOU CAN EASILY MANAGE YOUR ROI
The reason why companies invest in marketing is simple: they want to maximise profit. Return on investment is the ultimate goal, whether it be through traditional or digital strategies.
We’ve already mentioned that digital marketing is cost-effective. Still, for business owners who want to achieve a high ROI, digital marketing has also proven to be successful without a shadow of a doubt.
We can track almost every aspect of our customer’s campaigns, rankings, conversions, leads, or traffic with our digital marketing services. Analytic tools allow us to focus on what is and isn’t working, enabling us to utilise the available marketing budget effectively. Simply put, we can stop spending money in areas that aren’t working and focus on what is most likely to drive enhanced ROI.
When it comes to paid advertising, ROI – or, more commonly, ROAS – is often the main KPI, especially for e-commerce businesses. ROAS (return-on-ad spend) is found by dividing ad spend by the revenue generated by ads.
Not only does this assist in identifying areas for optimisation, but it also allows decisions to be made using the data provided, such as how much money needs to be assigned where. ROAS essentially measures how much of your advertising spend you get back in revenue.
8. DIGITAL MARKETING BUILDS BRAND AWARENESS
Digital marketing has completely revitalised the way businesses engage with both current and potential customers. It has made them at once accessible to new customers and familiar and recognisable to existing customers. So How Does Being Accessible Help with Brand Awareness?
Firstly, digital marketing has become an incredibly effective tool for building trust and fostering long-term relationships. It’s important to take advantage of social media platforms when it comes to connecting with your audience. By posting regularly, answering questions and queries quickly, and responding to reviews and comments – positive and negative – you are fundamentally improving brand loyalty and therefore increasing brand awareness. You are showing customers that you care about what they say and think.
Alongside this, you can also improve brand awareness through strategically planned content marketing that reflects your brand’s personality and motivations.
Content created with your target audience in mind can ensure that your brand is reliable and approachable. Writing articles and blog posts that reflect and address their interests and pain points will encourage more engagement and highlight you as an expert within your industry.
This is an approach that we have taken with our customer, The Aesthetic Skin Clinic. We have carefully developed a content strategy that has established them as an authoritative voice within the cosmetic sector, achieved through well-researched and well-written blogs, which have helped build trust among potential patients by educating them on their own health.
9. SPECIFIC AUDIENCE TARGETING
Traditional forms of marketing once meant sponsoring an ad during the break of a prime-time TV show and hoping that it reached the right audience. Fortunately, digital marketing allows for much more specific audience targeting. It’s no longer “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to marketing campaigns; it is now possible to become a lot more personalised. You can tailor campaigns to specific demographics, such as age, location, interests and gender, making them more effective.
With our client Axess2, a company that specialises in lifts, we targeted homeowners, architects and interior designers to establish Axess2 as a reliable expert in their industry. To amplify the reach of our content, we also created a targeted Digital PR campaign. This led to publications in important industry magazines, such as the Chartered Association of Building Engineers, and on websites such as the Durham Cathedral (after installing a lift in this UNESCO World Heritage Site building).
Specific audience targeting doesn’t restrict you to local campaigns either. In fact, you can realistically target people worldwide with just one marketing campaign. You can access a global audience through effective but specifically targeted strategies.
Social media platforms, in particular, have the ability to target ads to almost anyone; by using information collected from their users, they can target people according to their behaviours, lifestyles, interests and connections.
By using this insight into your customers’ interests and preferences, you can easily tailor and personalise the marketing messages they receive. This is often considered digital marketing’s biggest advantage over traditional marketing, as personalised messages make customers feel much more valued.
10. INCREASE CONVERSION RATES
One of the best things about implementing digital marketing is that people no longer need to come to your physical store for you to make a sale. It now takes a matter of clicks to convert customers online. Your website is your store; it should offer potential customers everything they need to know about your product and services so that they can make informed decisions on whether to purchase and enquire.
Whether you’re spending money on sponsored Facebook ads or Google Ads, you can embed unique codes that allow you to track who, when and how people saw your ad, as well as what they did after this. Did they visit your website? And if so, which page did they view? Did they download content? Place an order? With digital marketing, you can monitor your conversion rate to see which leads turned into revenue.
With our customer Banks Lyon, we have executed a paid media strategy that utilises Google Ads and Google Display Network, creating a seamless user journey, from remarketing at the initial customer touchpoint through to enquiry and purchase. This has allowed us to track them every step of the way.
To make digital marketing really work for your business, you need a strategy that uses the resources available to you. Many businesses experiment with digital marketing services, e.g. using social media and posting a few Facebook posts here and there or spending a bit of money on SEO. To really benefit from the power of digital marketing, you need to adopt a more holistic approach. An efficient digital marketing strategy means tying in all digital channels and creating a collective and collaborative campaign. Integrating all the platforms available will go a long way to achieving your set objectives.
Without an online presence, it’s now impossible to compete and grow your business. We work with our clients to develop digital strategies that are an innovative blend of analytics and creativity. We work together to seamlessly create and implement innovative and robust digital marketing strategies that help grow their business.
This article was contributed by sqdigital
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