digital marketing benefits small business

13 ways digital marketing benefits small business

Digital marketing should be an integral part of your marketing. Leave it out at your own peril.

Digital marketing benefits are not that glossy to some people or they don’t know what they can achieve with digital marketing

Having a business without a digital marketing strategy in place is like driving forward and looking at the rearview mirror. You’re going to move forward but sooner or later it will crash.

You wouldn’t want that to happen to you, do you?

The only way to keep that from happening is to have a digital marketing strategy in place.

Digital marketing is concerned with connecting with the right set of people at the right time at the right place or on the right platform.

But if you’re a small business, that makes it hard for you as you’ll be battling with things like having little or no resources, capitalization and all that stuff.

From growing awareness to generating sales you need an effective advertising strategy that is targeted, cost-effective, measurable, and scalable.

But what if I tell you, you can reach a mass market with little to no money with truly personalized messages?

Well, of course, you can but you don’t know and you’re just a few scrolled away from finding out how digital marketing can help grow your business in a massive and scalable way.

In this post, you’re going to learn about the benefits of digital marketing. Why you need it as part of your marketing strategy.

Why is digital marketing so important?

If you think digital marketing is is not necessary or not a big thing – you better unthink that shit!

In the first quarter of 2018 only, digital ad spend has reached a record-breaking $49.5 billion, which is more than what advertisers and marketers alike spend on television and cable networks.

And the reason for the rise in advertising on the internet is due to the fact that traditional advertising doesn’t have the power and effectiveness.

Recently, multi-channel digital marketing has been increasing by as much as 138 percent. And brands using various digital marketing channels have increased by an astonishing 500 percent. Wow, that’s a lot.

One of the major reasons why digital marketing is taking over traditional marketing is because the former has enabled businesses to interact with targeted audiences in real-time and break the geographical barriers.

People can interact with business in real-time using many digital platforms like – Facebook messenger, live chat support email and more. Which means anyone can interact with your business from anywhere in the world at any time.

You no longer have to lose that customer again because you’re not present. 

So now, how can your business benefit from digital marketing?

Digital marketing allows you to reach a global and local audience

The world, they say, is indeed a global village.

We are in a world where no matter where you are, you can be everywhere.

It is no news that you can be in Nigeria and be part of a conversation going on in the United State.

Technology made it possible by breaking the barrier.

For example, you can see and participate in any conversation whether it is someone feeling the volcano or election updates.

You can do all this without leaving the comfort of your room.

Now when it comes to business perspective, it is more or less the same, just that this time it is not an election or volcano.

Digital marketing allows you to reach this global audience breaking the barrier of not been seen by a large audience especially those who are not in your country.

With a small investment, you can reach a large audience locally or globally or both – Glocal.

Digital marketing allows you to reach a new market without sending your accountant crazy or having a hole in your back pocket.

Unlike traditional marketing, the cost of reaching a global audience is high and this is not a good idea for small businesses.

In fact, to most small businesses, traditional marketing is a nightmare they do not want to experience due to the large budget involved and it is not scalable.

Digital marketing is cost-effective

One of the ways digital marketing benefits small business is when it comes to budget. Not every business has the capacity to provide a large capital. All businesses are equal.

Businesses vary in sizes.

Businesses like Airtel or Coca-Cola can afford to pay for TV advert on major televisions stations. But can a small business afford this? NO.

Big businesses have the budget and the capacity to spend a lot of money on TV ads which small businesses cannot afford

However, does this mean a small business cannot advertise itself or what? The answer would have been different if there is nothing like technology. 

Imagine how much it cost to advertise on television. For example to reach one thousand people with TV ads will cost nothing less than while with digital marketing, you’ll spend almost next to nothing.

With platforms like Facebook, it becomes easy for businesses to target specific customers for ads and have your ad deliver to them far less with the cost of TV ads.

Digital marketing does not have hidden charges or additional charges like TV ads does, the only thing it requires is your time while traditional marketing comes with hidden charges.

It’s where most customers’ journey starts

When was the last time you purchase a product?

How is the buying process or journey?

Does it goes something like this, you realize you are in need of a product and you turn to Google to research about it?

Wait second; I sensed it. Did you see a customer review on Facebook or Google?

Maybe a friend of yours twitted about a particular brand on twitter.

You see it most of the customer journeys start online.

Some weeks ago, my dad, who was about 64 years old, called my brother about one company he wanted to invest in.

This is how the process went before he reached out to my brother.

He heard about the company on a morning radio program. Then he heads over to Google and searches for the company to learn more about them.

But since he’s not an internet savvy person, he couldn’t find enough information he needs.

So he reached out to my brother and the rest is history.

Think about it like this; a 64years old man searching online. That means a lot to every business because that is the exact thing everybody is doing.

Buyers in all industries are using digital content to make their purchasing decisions and your business is not different.

In fact, according to Google, B2B customers use the internet in their research process and they conduct 12 searches prior to engaging with a sales rep.

Wow! That’s a lot of searching and a lot of content consumed before a buyer ever asks for a consultation. And that trend is on the rise.

Now that your potential customers are turning to Google, or probably making a lot of research before ever reaching out to your sales rep, what do you do?

The answer is simple: Connect and educate your customers by creating content for each journey.

Digital marketing makes this easy, with channels like Google, Facebook and more, you can create content to meet your audience wherever they’re in the buyers’ journey.

Digital marketing allows you to reach your audience where they’re spending their time

With the help of digital marketing, it helps you to establish your presence at the place where your customers are already spending their time.

This way, you don’t seem pushy with your message.

Let’s say you want to run an advert using any traditional medium, meeting your audience where they spend their time become a problem you’ll have to deal with.

With TV ads you don’t know when your potential customers will switch on their TV and with flyers, you can’t be running here and there chasing people around trying to give them something they don’t even need.

So you see the problem with traditional marketing. They’re limited in scope, sizes, location, time, and even market.

Digital marketing connects you and your audience together at the place where they’re already and the time they needed you the most.

Often time this becomes farther but targeted.

Channels like Facebook allow you to personalize your message with your audience through a one-to-one relationship while Google allows you to show up when your customer search for keywords that matters to you.

Digital marketing is trackable and measurable

Management thinker Peter Drucker says “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.”

What he means is that you can’t know whether or not you are successful unless success is defined and tracked.

With a clearly established metric for success, you can quantify progress and adjust your process to produce the desired outcome.

Without clear objectives, you’re stuck in a constant state of guessing.

I think he is literally referring to traditional marketing.

Come to think of it, is there any traditional marketing that can be measured?

Tv? No. Radio? Never. Print? Bullshit.

Of course, they might tell you the number of people who viewed that channel or station if you’re thinking of TV or Radio.

But you can’t tell how many potential customers viewed your advert. What you do is spray and pray.

Maybe you even think of billboards. If not that it’s necessary for drivers to keep an eye on the road, no one will be looking out nowadays.

Because this is what car future will look like:

No one looks outside again. Do you look outside when in the taxi?

But with digital marketing, you can see who views your content, the devices, and geographical location.

There’s a number of tools out there that can give you insights about your potential customer. Google Analytics, for example, gives you a view about your website audience and their preferences.

Facebook audience insights let you know more about your audience like the time they’re most active, their age, location and more.

Digital marketing allows personalization 

Nowadays, we are so sensitive that we know when something is not related to us.

In the online world, we are used to be market around products or services we have already shown interest in.

Things that matter to us.

Personalization means creating message and content for a specific group of people or audience. This way you’re not speaking to everyone as not everyone is your potential customer.

It allows you to place your content in front of your target customer in a more personalized way.

Just like the way Optimizely personalize their website for Microsoft.

If your customer database is linked to your website, then whenever someone visits the site, you can greet them with targeted offers.

The more they buy from you, the more you can refine your customer profile and market effectively to them.

It improves your conversion rate

If you’ve taken the time to examine the typical process your customers went through before making a purchase using traditional marketing strategy, you’ll notice it’s a long process

Especially if you have a store. They’ll have to come down to your store, and after getting to the store, they’ll have to walk around to start picking what they want.

Now take that experience online, if you’re an e-commerce store, you can create a store online that your customers can shop and find what they want online.

Having a website makes everything easy.

It is seamless and immediate.

With a couple of clicks, you can turn prospects into customers.

This reduced the stress your customers would have to go through before making a purchase.

Imagine what would happen if a site like Amazon does not have a website that allows people to make purchases online. It is going to be a disaster.

It gives you return on your investment (ROI)

What every business want is to maximize their ROI. That is spending less. Earn more.

If you’re looking to do that, then you need a marketing channel that allows you to spend less and receive more.

Let start like this.

If you’re looking to go into traditional marketing, you must be prepared to spend a lot of money. Advertising on traditional channels costs a lot and most of the time, it doesn’t worth the spend.

But with digital marketing, you can get more returns on your investment. For every dollar you spend, you’ll surely get more from it.

Let say you spend $25 on Facebook ads to drive traffic to your website. You have a conversion rate of let’s say 5%.

I don’t want it to be high that’s why we use this as a benchmark. Of course, you can have a conversion rate more than that.

And your $25 ad spend gives you an estimated reach of let’s say 2,345. That means out of this number you’re going to turn roughly 117 people to your customer.

How much do you think you can use to turn 117.25 people into customers with traditional marketing like TV and Radio?

Well, the least you can spend using TV ads to reach such potential customers nationally is $937.36.

And the worst of it – you can’t retarget those audiences.

Let’s say someone watch your advert on channels tv, there is no way you can retarget those people back if they don’t take the action you want them to take.

If you try to retarget, you’re sending the same message to the same kind of people which leads to ad fatigue.

Digital marketing allows flexibility

Marketing needs to be flexible and adjustable.

You need to be able to make changes to your marketing campaign for it to be effective.

Let’s say you’ve been running an ad for weeks now. You must have gathered some data to inform your decision.

For example, if you notice your ad was performing well before and suddenly, you see a diminishing return on the effectiveness of the ad, you can quickly make changes to it.

You can change the images, video, text or even call-to-action to know what works and doesn’t.

Compared to traditional marketing. It is more rigid, it doesn’t give a chance for quick changes, considering the number of paper works that has to go into it.

This blog post you’re reading was edited and fine-tuned before posting if anything happens, I can go back, edit then publish again. Compared to flyers that have been printed, you’ll have to go back and print new ones.

Brand development

Developing a brand online has become easy. 

One of the importance of digital marketing to the business is in the aspect of branding as it’s easy to develop a brand online than offline.

Take a look at the process of creating a brand offline. It’s just too tedious and not scalable and most importantly it cost a lot that small brand can’t replicate it.

But when it comes to online marketing, you can build a global brand with little effort.

Starting from having a website, and having a blog on your website to show your expertise. Because blogging helps a lot. It positions you as an expert in your niche.

HubSpot is one of the organic powerhouses when it comes to blogging, it is part of what they use to build the brand as more than 50% of their new customers come from reading their blog post.

Also, social media is also a great place to build your brand. Take a look at Starbucks for example, they have loving and raving fans about their product. Social media has really helped a lot of small brands to be able to compete with big brands.

Reach an audience that are ready to buy

One of the shifts in the way we shop today is eager and easy.

Customers want to buy things, shop for their kids and do virtually everything with the snap of their fingers.

So when such things happen, businesses need to be ready as well to satisfy the eager and ease of their customers by making themselves available when they’re needed most by their customers.

There are three ways in which people use the internet. I like to call this moment.

We have the: Informational, navigational, and transactional.

A good example of this local search.

Often time, when people perform a local search, they’re ready to buy. Something like “restaurant near me” will trigger this result:

Looking at the SERP, Google is telling you that most of the searchers who perform such queries are actually looking for places to eat.

By optimizing your website for local search, claiming your citations you can meet your audience when they’re almost ready to buy from you.

Digital marketing allows you to know your audience better

In any business or organization, it is very critical to know who you’re selling or marketing to. Just like the proverb that says, “if your product is for everybody, then your product really is for nobody.”

How do you get to know your audience? Or rather Who are your audience?

Knowing who your audience is (and who isn’t your audience) is pivotal in creating a successful marketing strategy. When you’re a small business, you have the tendency to fall into the trap of wanting to make everyone your audience.

But you aren’t the right fit for everyone. That’s why most people create businesses that fail.

You don’t need to be the best brand or best product for everyone, you just need to be the best brand for someone.

But I’m not saying you should go out there and start inviting your customers over to get to know them or sending a survey (even though you need those as your business evolve). 

There are several ways you could get to know your audience. You could reach them on social media, develop a conversation and connect with them to understand their pain points.

Another way you could connect with your audience is to take a look at your website’s analytics. What interests your audience, which pages are they frequenting and which pages are they having a hard time finding.

Forum is another great way to get to know your audience, is there a forum your target audience tends to visit? Join in on the conversation to learn what makes your audience tickle.

Another way to get to know your audience is through a survey where you ask them to fill in some questions.

Online is your new store

Many businesses don’t understand or see the reason why they should go online.

It’s okay, but if only businesses can think of online as their local store, they would understand why it’s so important for them now than before to go online.

Online is where things happen these days, whether it’s someone feeling the volcano or an election just about anything.

This kind of situation makes it even more important to be present on the internet because your customers are there, your competitors are also there.

It allows you to create an atmosphere where people can come anytime they like from anywhere in the world and do whatever they want to do with your business making it more effective than your local store 

Now that we have known the importance of digital marketing, it will also make sense if we talk about the setbacks of digital marketing.

Not everything that has advantages doesn’t have disadvantages but the pros far outweigh the cons.

Let’s look at the disadvantage of digital marketing

Disadvantages of digital marketing

Skills and training

Before any skills you need training. You need to ensure your staff has the right knowledge and expertise to carry out digital marketing for your business successfully.

In the digital world, Tools, platforms, and trends change rapidly and it’s vital that you keep up-to-date with the current trend if you want to stay in the business for long.

It is time-consuming

You need to dedicate time to your digital marketing effort for you to be successful with it.

Optimizing your online campaigns, speeding up your website and making it responsive, responding and interacting with followers on social media all take time.

It is important to measure your result to ensure you’re having a return on investment.

Complaint and crisis

Any negative feedback or criticism of your brand is and can be visible to your audience through social media and review websites.

Carrying out effective customer service online can be challenging.

Negative comments or failure to respond effectively can damage your brand reputation. And you know better than to delete those negative critics.

Competition

When you are going global, you no longer compete with businesses within your geographical location, but you’re also up against global competitors also.

It can be challenging trying to cut through the noise and grab attention among the messages aimed at customers online.

The question you need to ask yourself is do you need to go global and if yes do you need to reach everyone? With these questions, you’ll be able to narrow your message and stand out among the competition.

Conclusion

It’s not news that digital marketing is important to business, considering the fact that it helps eliminate most of the things you never would have dreamed of when doing traditional marketing.

It easy now to reach a large audience paying peanuts and messages are more personalized than ever which makes it an effective way of marketing than it’s counterpart.

There you have it, 13 ways in which you can benefit from the ever-growing industry and the new, right way of marketing. Want to incorporate digital marketing into your marketing strategy? Hire us to handle your company’s digital marketing

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