Julie Boisen Schmidt

Performance Marketing Executive

May 28, 2020

Benefits of Digital Marketing for Small Businesses

In an era of cutting-edge technology, it’s no wonder that digitalisation is on the rise. With more than 2 billion people expected to shop online in 2021, it is more important than ever to have a strong digital presence – especially for small businesses to establish their brand. 

When you launch a business your main goal is to attract new customers. In order to do so, you need to build awareness around your brand. The best way to achieve this goal is to utilise the digital landscape and initiate an effective digital marketing strategy. 

So where do you start and how can you really know if digital marketing is for you? That’s exactly what we’ll be covering in this article today. Hopefully by the end of it, you’ll learn to define your marketing goals and understand how you can achieve them. Keep in mind that all businesses are unique, hence, there isn’t a one-solution-fits all strategy and definitely is not a one-time thing. To see results, you need to be patient and consistent.  You’ll need to test and learn what works for your business and slowly you’ll see an increase in results – whether you’re looking for sales, leads, or more traffic!

Define Your Goal

If you’re looking to run a successful marketing campaign, there’s one thing you must get right and that is your marketing funnel! Essentially, a marketing funnel is a way of breaking down a customer’s journey. From a potential customer becoming aware of your brand, to considering a purchase, and finally, purchasing it.

Customers are your most important assets. By understanding where your customers are in the marketing funnel, it can assist you in defining your goals. Your end goal will then be able to help you define which digital platforms and strategies to aim for. For instance, if your business is new and you’re looking for new customers, then your marketing goal is in the awareness stage. What better way to make your brand known than to run prospecting ads on Facebook or Instagram! See, if you don’t have a clear defined goal, you wouldn’t know where to start or which marketing platform to use. Hence, it’s important to identify them first before coming up with a strategy. 

Next, one of the most important things is never to lock yourself down on one strategy, but to be open to changing it along the way as you gather more data and information. For example, you have allocated 50% of your marketing budget to Google and distribute the other half to Facebook. After two weeks or so, you’ve realised that you’re getting more leads or sales from Facebook as compared to Google. What you want to do next is to quickly allocate more of your budget from Google towards Facebook in order to get the end goal you want. On the contrary, if you’re not open to switching up your strategy, you might lose out more than you intend to.

Benefits of Digital Advertising

It’s no surprise that digital marketing is becoming more prevalent every day. Due to high-speed internet and the increase of mobile usage, people are now able to buy anything they want anywhere. To reach these consumers, undoubtedly digital marketing is the way. Here’s why you should take advantage of it:

Cost-Effective

There’s a misconception that in order to do great marketing, you need to spend more. That’s not always the case because even if your ad reaches a million people, you’d barely get any results if the content of an ad or your marketing strategy is not well planned. So, if you’re a small business and may not have a big budget – rest assured you have nothing to worry about! On the bright side, now that digital marketing is an option, you could even save more (as much as 40%) as compared to traditional marketing channels. Not to mention that in some cases, it is completely free to use such as your organic posts on Facebook and Instagram. Plus, these social platforms might also have a wider reach compared to traditional marketing!

Besides, with the ever fast-paced advancement of technology, traditional marketing channels such as TV, radio, and magazines are most likely being replaced by digital channels such as Facebook, YouTube, and streaming services anytime soon.

Fast and Flexible

Gone are the days where you’ll need to plan 2-3 months ahead to set up an ad campaign on a billboard. With digital marketing, we have the opportunity to do more things and at a quicker pace. For instance, if you decide to run a campaign at the very last minute you will be able to set up a digital campaign with all the ads within a few hours and be ready to go. By nature, traditional outlets do not have the same opportunity. 

A digital campaign is also very flexible, not only does it give you the option to make quick changes anytime but also anywhere you are if the need arises. For a small business, this could be beneficial when you are trying to scale your company.

Easy to Track

So how do you know if your ad campaign is working? While it can be difficult to track if your ad is performing on traditional media such as tv or radio – every digital marketing technique that you use is measurable. On top of that, you are also able to quickly adjust or pause the campaigns that are not working and increase the spending on the ones that do.

With the right tracking tools and pixel setup, you’ll also be able to check which marketing channel is performing the best for your campaign. This not only gives you the advantage to understand your customer’s buying behaviour but it also allows you to retarget your audience on the right channel and in the most relevant way.  Now with digital marketing, you’ll no longer need to guess which marketing strategy is working or not.

Know Your Customers

One of the best features in digital marketing is the ability to target specific audiences – especially with tracking tools such as Google Analytics and Facebook Pixels. What it does is, it helps you identify and target people who are interested in your products and leave out the rest. 

When you eliminate people who are uninterested, it gives you an idea on how much budget you should set aside for ads. Whereas, with traditional media, it’s like you’re losing at a gambling game – because you’re spending money blindly on an ad which you’re more likely unable to tell who might or might not be interested in your product or services.

A great alternative to learn more about your customers is by engaging with them. Here you can create interactive posts such as polls or questionnaires on Instagram stories, or run a competition or two on Facebook to see how your customers react. All these initiatives will allow you to analyse your customer’s behaviour and interest via your social platforms.

Examples of Digital Advertising Channels

Now that we have established the importance of digital marketing strategies, and the benefits it brings, let’s take a look at the different ways of utilizing these great marketing channels.

Organic: SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

Here’s a tip. When it comes to your website visibility, you should always aim to rank on top of a search engine page (preferably the top 3 results) because 75% will never scroll past the first page on Google. This can be a huge value for your business as it will give you the opportunity to gain more brand awareness, website traffic, and potential sales.

So how do you rank on top of a search page?

Here’s when the Search Engine Optimisation becomes useful. The best part? It’s free! To achieve great results of SEO, you’ll need to identify the right keywords to use while keeping your meta title and description relevant to your brand. We’ve written an entire blog post of how you can do it here.

Paid Marketing

Paid advertising is a great way to reach a broader audience that is not possible to reach through organic marketing. Before you panic, don’t worry, as you can achieve great results with a small budget.

When talking about paid advertising the main marketing platforms are Google and Facebook. Paid advertising on Facebook includes boosting of an organic post, run page like ads, or generic ads – all of this to reach new potential customers. Paid advertising for Google on the other hand allows your website to show up on top of the paid search engine results for keywords that people are searching for. 

Working with both channels can be a great way of moving your customers along the marketing funnel. Facebook is especially great for top of the funnel marketing if you’re looking to create awareness for your brand. Whereas Google gives you the opportunity to convert customers further down the funnel as they have a higher search intent. 

For example, let’s say you have a clothing store. To build awareness for your brand, you may run prospecting ads targeting people who are interested in fashion or design on Facebook. When there’s enough awareness for your brand, customers who are interested in your brand will search you up on Google to get to learn more about your product and services through your store’s website and potentially make a purchase!

CRM or Email Marketing

Email marketing is not dead. In fact, it is one of out of the many digital platforms that can allow you to stay connected with your audience on a deeper, much more personal level. Look at emails as a love letter from your brand to your customers. 

To build a proper audience list, you first need to acquire data and this can be done through your other marketing platforms. For instance, you can run a Facebook and Instagram lead generation ad or you could even offer an incentive in exchange for their email on your website such as a “20% off your first purchase, sign-up now!” pop-up.

Next, you could consider building an automated email flow. What it does is, these emails will be automatically sent as long there’s a trigger action. For instance, if someone signs-up on your website, this can be considered a trigger action. What happens next is that the CRM platform will send an automated ‘Welcome’ email that you’ve pre-built, to your customer. These automated emails do not have to be overcomplicated,  because even if it’s just a simple email saying “Thank you for subscribing. We can’t wait to update you on promos, news, and more!” you’re letting your customers know that you value them. By doing so, not only does it make each customer feel valued as an individual and not just collectively, it is also going to help you build a trustworthy relationship with them.

Social Media

Social media is one of the most crucial marketing platforms to tap on. With the ever-increasing usage of mobile devices, almost everyone has a Facebook or Instagram account. Facebook messenger or Instagram direct message is typically where customers go to if they’ve queries about your product and services. 

Hence, it’s important especially for small businesses to have a social media presence so that your audience knows that you exist on platforms they’re familiar with. This allows customers to reach out to you conveniently. Plus, owning a Facebook or Instagram account is free!

However, do keep in mind that it is important to understand which social platforms your customers are on, this way you’re able to reach out to them and them to you easily. We would also recommend combining your social media activities with paid ads as it will allow you to expand your reach and scale your business quicker.

Content Marketing

They say “Content is King” and this still holds to be true. No matter the size of your business a good content strategy is a fail-proof way to engage customers. Keep in mind though that great content isn’t about how good your designs are and neither is it the fancy words you use. Great content is all about relevancy. 

For instance, if you’re a skincare brand and would like to promote your new range of products for dry skin, your content should be catered to address dry skin issues and how your product can help. This creates value and relevance. 

On the other hand, if you’re only promoting the product itself without mentioning what skin type it is for, chances are, you’re not going to get a lot of traction from that ad or social content. By creating relevant content, not only are you able to connect with your audience better, build greater brand awareness, but you’re also able to create authority and credibility.

Great, now that you know the importance of creating relevant content, you should also know that content consistency is equally crucial. This includes your ad creatives, copy tonality, and all things that build your brand identity. 

When you’re consistent with your content, it shows audiences that you are a brand who is well put together – that everything was thought of properly from your social media to your website. By doing so this further supports the credibility of your brand. When people develop a trusting relationship with your business, that’s when you’ll begin to see more traffic on your website which will eventually lead to having more sales!

We hope that this article was helpful. To read this article again, you may bookmark this! Again, as mentioned above, when marketing is done right, it can contribute to the growth of your business no matter how small your company is. If you’re interested in digital marketing strategies, we offer solutions that can boost your company’s sales. Drop us a note at [email protected] and let’s schedule a chat!

 

Julie Boisen Schmidt

Performance Marketing Executive

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