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How Digital Marketing Helps Small Businesses

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How Digital Marketing Helps Small Businesses

Marketing techniques have come a long way in the past two decades. Digital marketing has become a cornerstone of a successful modern marketing campaign, and digital marketing helps small businesses in a myriad of ways.

Digital marketing helps small businesses by:

 

  • Allowing them to meet customer expectations
  • Making marketing cost-effective
  • Increasing their legitimacy
  • Granting access to a broader range of customers
  • Giving them insight into their customer base
  • Making them accessible 24/7

 That’s a good summary of the incentives to use digital marketing for a small business, but there’s more to it than that. Below, we’ll go over each point in detail and help show you how they benefit small businesses in real ways.

You Can Fulfill Your Customer’s Expectations

The first thing to remember when looking at digital marketing is that everyone else is already doing it—and therefore, customers are going to expect it. Having a digital front to a marketing approach is so commonplace these days that it’s become standard.

In fact, not having a digital presence is likely to make customers confused. Modern people have become accustomed to being able to find details about any company at any time. If they can’t find information on a business online, they’re incredibly likely to choose another option.

Customers have three main ways of finding a business online:

 

  • By searching a term related to the business
  • By searching on google maps (i.e. “bakeries near me”)
  • By clicking through on an ad

Without a digital marketing strategy, an owner has no way to put their business in a position to benefit from all the online traffic their customers already see daily—in essence, they’ll be mostly blind to the business.

 It’s Very Cost-Effective

When you hear the term “marketing campaign,” it tends to bring up images of stuffy business meetings full of high-power executives—in short, it sounds expensive. For a large part of history, that was true. Launching a professional marketing campaign used to cost an arm and a leg.

However, with the meteoric rise of digital marketing strategies, the cost of running an efficient marketing campaign has dropped significantly. This is one way where digital marketing may provide even more benefits to a small business than to a big corporation.

Digital marketing opens up low cost, high return marketing strategies for small businesses that typically couldn’t afford those options beforehand.

 It Increases Your Legitimacy When a customer searches a business online and can’t find anything, this leads to them thinking three things:

 

  • Is this business even still open?
  • Is this business competent?
  • Is this business legitimate?

That last one is one of the biggest killers of a potential customer’s interest. If they can’t see any information about a business online, or if the information is inconsistent and outdated, most customers will have doubts.

The unfortunate truth is that missing or incorrect online information about a business is often a sign of a scam, and modern consumers know this. Having a well maintained online presence helps keep customer’s worries at ease. 

It Allows You to See Your Customer Base 

Digital marketing isn’t just all about the customer, but rather a two-way street. Just like traditional marketing campaigns are expensive and time-intensive; gathering information on a customer base used to involve expensive:

 

  • Surveys
  • Reports
  • Investigations

But modern marketing is much more flexible and transparent. Finding information on a customer base is extremely simple, and even small businesses without a lot of resources can have access to the information. They can see:

 

  • Their customer’s demographics
  • Location data for their web traffic
  • How much traffic comes from each demographic

Think of a digital marketing strategy for a small business not only as a marketing tool but also as a research tool.

 It Makes You Accessible to a Wider Range of Customers

A good marketing strategy allows a larger part of a target demographic to find you. A great marketing approach allows a large amount of several target demographics to find your business quickly—something that’s made easy with a digital marketing strategy.

Digital distribution is easy, fast, and cheap. That makes it very simple to reach out to several different demographics very easily. Say, for example, an owner wants to send a coupon out to past customers. If they’re going to do this the traditional way; they have to:

 

  • Remember to get their address in the first place
  • Design a template for the letter
  • Wait for the coupon pages to return from a printer
  • Package, stamp, and then mail every single letter (additional expense)
  • Hope that their customer doesn’t just toss it out along with their other piles of junk mail and
  • Offers

If they want to do the same thing with a digital marketing process, all they have to do is:

 

  • Design your template email
  • Click send to shoot it out to your entire mailing/newsletter list

…and just like that, it’s off to their customers for next to free. Even better, customers are much more likely to take advantage of a digital coupon because it’s easier than remembering to bring a paper coupon into the store. Having a good digital marketing strategy for a small business helps find and communicate with a more extensive customer base successfully.

You Can Easily See if it’s Working

While larger companies may have the resources to waste on marketing campaigns that don’t go anywhere, small business owners are often working with minimal resources and tight budgets. They can’t afford to continue sinking money into something that isn’t bringing good returns.

Luckily, digital marketing allows small business owners to see, in real-time, just how effective their marketing campaigns are. Not only that, but it also allows them to see the numbers broken down in detailed categories.

This offers several potential benefits to a small business:

 

  • A high degree of flexibility in their marketing strategy
  • Low experimentation cost for new types of marketing
  • The ability to rapidly learn what works best for their market

The instant insight into the effectiveness of a small business’ marketing campaigns allows owners to stop wasting resources on something that just isn’t working.

It Makes You Accessible 24/7

Like it or not, the modern world is a 24/7 enterprise. Customers are searching for, investigating, and buying products at all hours of the day and night. It’s just not feasible for any business owner to keep up with that level of demand.

A digital marketing presence picks up that slack. Owners don’t have to worry about losing customers just because their business isn’t currently open. When done right, a good digital marketing strategy for a small business allows customers to:

 

  • Easily find the business
  • Research the company and explore products or services
  • Buy products or book services outside of business hours
  • Easily keep track of where to find it

A good digital presence lets customers reach out without needing any time on your part, freeing owners to focus on more important things.

A Digital Marketing Strategy Helps Small Businesses

Some might want to consider digital marketing unimportant in the grand scheme and trust that their physical presence and past customer base will keep them afloat. Unfortunately, that just means someone else who is employing a robust digital marketing strategy will come by and fill that void, stealing a huge chunk of your potential business.

Thankfully, the good news is that digital marketing doesn’t have to be difficult, and it helps a small business in many ways, such as:

 

  • Allowing them to meet customer expectations
  • Increasing their legitimacy
  • Giving them insight into their customer base
  • Making them accessible 24/7

With digital, your marketing will be cost-effective, and you’ll reach a broader range of customers.

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Tracy Jackson

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