Top 4 Benefits of Digital Marketing for Small Businesses (And Why It’s Never Too Late!)
There is no greater passion than the passion of a small business owner that truly believes in their product.
The belief in your product is what drives you forward each and every day. You’ve created something meaningful and you want to shout it off the rooftops....and THAT is exactly what you should be doing.
You have big plans for your business. It will provide you freedom but the core goal at the end of the day is to generate revenue. Don’t be shy about it. You don’t have to be a greasy salesman to sell your product.
If you believe in what you’re selling then it is your duty to spread the word. Marketing doesn’t mean you’re forcing your product down people’s throats. It doesn’t mean you’re shamelessly peddling your service. You are simply educating people about the benefits of what you are offering or how it can solve a problem. When you start thinking like that, the entire process will be a lot less intimidating.
But then there’s that tiny issue with the budget...you want people to know about you..but you may be working with a tight budget. When it comes to a small shop, every dollar is accounted for (at least it should be).
When you have all these overhead operating expenses...marketing may seem like the last place you want to invest in.
Here’s where WE educate YOU on OUR business - in layman’s terms since you’re likely a busy entrepreneur or even ‘solopreneur’ with a million to do’s.
Here’s our shortlist of why digital marketing for small businesses matters most.
The Benefit of Reaching More With Less (Even By Competing With Larger Corporations!)
Importance of Awareness and Reach
As a business owner you know that no one will understand your product the way you do.
You may think that your product is so amazing that people should be tripping over themselves to buy from you - and they probably should.
But if you don't tell them about it, no one will know. Unless your product is a never been seen before item on the market, chances are you have some competition already.
When you don’t put money into marketing, you will get lost in the vast sea of the internet. Putting time into optimizing your website such as publishing relevant content, SEO, page speed are just a few ways to attract more traffic to your page.
Furthermore, consumer behavior has evolved. People are digitally obsessed and impatient. They want to sit at home in their loungewear and put things into their virtual shopping carts and they expect it to arrive on their doorstep right away.
Advantage Of Even Playing Field Among SMBs And Larger Businesses
As a small business, how do you compete with the corporate conglomerates such as Amazon that offer overnight delivery for free?
This is where you can get creative with your marketing.
- You need to understand your audience (specific market segment)
- Target your audience with an email campaign (to nurture potential customers)
- Get a loyal following (whether through social media or brand loyalty)
- Word of mouth marketing can be invaluable for you
- Focus on your customer service
- Use tools such as Gather Up to garner reviews
- Share those reviews with your followers
- Share the great reviews so people can see how amazing you are
- Tactfully respond to negative reviews to show people how you resolved the problem
Email Marketing Cultivates Engagement And Generates Leads
If you’ve been in the business for a while then you’re well aware that what your company is today is not what it was 5 or even 3 years ago.
Provides Relevant Updates
Small businesses are constantly needing to evolve themselves to stay relevant. Something that was hot a year ago may now be lukewarm.
A plan and consistent messaging through emails informs your customers about your latest product or upcoming event is a great way to boost your sales and keep your brand fresh.
This is why email marketing is one of the best marketing tools to engage with your customers. In fact, email marketing was the most commonly used channel among entrepreneurs and/or small business owners in a recently surveyed pool of 1,000 respondents.
It’s not simply about popularity - this is an incredibly efficient way for small businesses to reach out to their customers to let them know you’re thinking about them and giving them the latest update on what’s happening in your business. If you have customers that have opted in to receive emails from you then by all means send them what they want.
Quality Websites Are Your Digital Storefront And Office (Content and Branding)
This is something people just can’t stop chattering about.
But what is a Brand? It’s what people think of when they hear about your product. It’s how your business is defined. This is why your website acts much like your in-store or in-person experience whether you have a physical store or office - your website is an extension of your brand.
Branding With A Website
Take Toyota for example, what comes to mind when you think of Toyotas? You’re probably not associating it with speed or luxury. Toyota’s brand is all about affordability and reliability.
How did they position themselves that way? With lots of strategic marketing - including their website experience. They send out that message and then consistently produce cars that deliver that promise.
Luckily you don’t have to be a huge corporation to establish your brand.
The first step to creating your brand image is your website. Your business will not get found on the internet without a solid website. Covid-19 certainly made small businesses rethink and consider more investment in an online presence.
Website Content And Visuals Reinforce Your Brand
Content is still king - meaning articles and blog posts that demonstrate your expertise in your product or service’s industry strengthens your brand identity and credibility.
So the benefit of a website for your small business is that it gives you a platform to produce content that resonates with your audience.
The 2021 Digital Marketing Report for Entrepreneurs & Small Business reports that content marketing is the digital marketing task that entrepreneurs might seek the most expertise or help with:
“The digital marketing strategy with the most experts was content marketing. However, most respondents identified as beginners or competent users across the board.” - Katie Hurst
Small Business Digital Marketing Competency Survey from Aweber
If you don’t have the budget because you’re just starting out, there are plenty of platforms such as Wix, GoDaddy, Wordpress that can get you started with a basic functioning site. We highly recommend a content management system which makes it relatively easy for someone without website coding skills to build and maintain a website.
As you grow your business, you can also start thinking about hiring an agency to design and develop your site. Having a professional website that is visually pleasing and easy to navigate is the starting point in how people will perceive your brand.
Is it monochromatic and serious? Is it colorful, upbeat and playful?
A well designed website should be able to convey that message loud and clear.
Social Media Marketing Provides Transparency And Loyalty
When you’re thinking about marketing your small business you want to be sure you are offering transparency and accessibility.
Social media gives you as the business owner to build trust that does not have to be manufactured. Yet it is vital for pretty much every industry.
But many small businesses struggle with the idea of marketing on social media.
You may be hesitant because you don’t see the value of spending time there. However consumers now are expecting transparency. They want to be able to go on Instagram, find your page and scroll through your products and see what you and others are saying.
You don’t need to be on every single social media platform. But when you have a presence on the right social media platform, it’s a way for your target customers to connect with your brand. (see how it all ties together?)
There are so many creative ways to market on social media. Platforms such as Instagram can provide a cool ‘behind the scenes’ look into your business - a first look at upcoming products. People can instantly engage with it. You can do live videos, you can do reels. Get a good grid going and start building up your brand.
Instagram grid example
Always remember to put out content that will make an impact. This can be a challenge since people are getting bombarded with millions of ads each day. Put time and thought into curating content.
Don’t have the mental capacity but have the budget? This would be a good time to think about hiring people that specialize in this field to do it for you.
One of the greatest benefits of being a small business is that you can run your company how you want.
You can see your visions come to life. With the right digital marketing strategy your journey as an entrepreneur can be a very long and fulfilling one.