Updated: Oct 18, 2020
When a small business is just starting up their main priority is how to get customers through the door. They may believe that traditional forms of marketing are the way forward, using printed ads, coupons or advertising on the big signs on the side of the road. Yes, eventually this will bring customers in.
Why this strategy may be effective, there is an easier and more cost effective way to bring customers to your door. Businesses should take into consideration the huge marketplace of prospects online. No matter what size your business is you should never overlook this huge marketplace.
I am going to go through the main points of why digital marketing is important and effective for your business.
Benefits of online marketing
The group of potential customers you can reach online is so much greater than what you would reach locally. Using digital marketing, you can reach a greater audience in a way that is both cost effective and measurable.
Other benefits of online marketing include:
The ability to interact with your audience and get a better understanding of what they are searching for.
You are able to take your business global and interact with potential customers around the world.
It is cost effective, meaning you can reach more customers for a fraction of the price, rather than using traditional marketing methods.
You will also be able to get to know your customers better and online marketing allows you to get to know your customers on a personal level which will help create brand loyalty.
Another great advantage of online marketing is that you are able to to track responses to your marketing efforts straight away.
Your customers are online
Have you been avoiding digital marketing? Is this due to the fact you don’t feel like you are ready? Or do you think you just need some time to get established and then decide on what digital marketing route you would like to approach?
This is all understandable but you could be losing potential customers because of this! Your customers and potential customers are already online. Like right now. There is a high chance they are looking at a business that is similar to yours, but if they are unable to find your business easily, they are most likely going to choose another business.
If people are interested in something such as your business the first thing they will do is go online and do some research to see what information they can find out about you.
They will expect to find you with a website and a social media presence. What they may be looking for is reviews so they can have a better understanding of your business and so they can see what people who have used your business say about your company and whether it is a good place to do business.
If a prospect is unable to find you online they may decide that your business doesn't look legitimate. There is a high chance that a lot of these potential customers may decide to not take your business seriously and they may choose another business instead. Once that decision has been made, they probably won’t be back.
Your competitors are online.
It’s not just your customers that are online but your competitors will be online too. For a business to be successful you must be aware of what your competitors are doing and learn from it. Don’t just see your competitors as someone you want to beat, but also as people who have something to teach you.
Keep an eye on your competitors and see what they are doing, you will be able to get a better understanding of what is working and what isn’t. It doesn’t matter what business you are in, your competitors will have established a web presence. Look at what content they are using? Do they blog? Do they use graphics and videos?
Also how do they communicate their brand and what makes them different? How do they interact with their audience? Do you think you can do better? The answer is you can’t if you don’t participate in competing in the digital world.
If your potential customers begin to search for a company that is similar to yours and are able to find your competitors’ website but they cannot see yours, your business is not even in the running. Your prospects can’t choose your business if they don’t know about you. In this situation, your competitors are one step ahead of you whether or not they have an effective website or a clear message.
Be accessible to your customers
With today’s technology, the first place the potential customer looks for what they want is online. Whatever product or service they decide, they are more than likely going to start their search with Google. If your business has no online presence at all, you won’t be seen, nor would you be able to compete.
If you do have an online presence but your competitors are easier to find and are found first, you still may not be found at all. As well as having a website, search engine optimization is a strategy that can help you rank higher than your competitors in google search with keywords that can lead them to your company.
When your customers are doing research online they are probably looking for answers for simple questions that should be made easily found online, such as where you are located, what are your hours and what do you specialise in. By browsing at your website and your competitors website side by side, your potential customers will be able to compare hours, prices, special offers and more.
This is why it is SO important to understand what your competitors are up to. Your potential customers are more than likely researching you and your competitors and are already comparing you against each other. But what are they finding out?
Let Customers Come to You.
Try to think of digital marketing as a way to make yourself approachable to customers you are trying to reach in order to offer your products and services. Digital marketing allows you to attract a much greater audience than you perhaps would by just catering to your local prospects.
By having a presence online, your business is open for business even when it is closed. You can make your customers feel like they can come to you anytime, day or night.
At their convenience, customers and prospects can send you emails with questions, make purchases and browse your inventory. Potential customers who are unable to come to you, can still do business with you, whether they are limited by disability, transportation or simply live too far away.
Get to know your target audience.
Digital marketing allows you to engage with your potential customers. Slowly, you can get to know them and what they are hoping to find. You can do this on social media or on a blog you can start a conversation. Also you can run a survey or try to get to know them.
By interacting with people digitally, you can get a better understanding of what they are looking for. You are able to build a relationship with your customers. You become so much more than a business. You become a trusted partner. People are so much likely to buy from businesses they have previously purchased items from.
Few forms of advertising are as cost-effective as digital marketing. Small businesses frequently try to get as much as possible done on a small budget. Many forms of digital marketing allow you to communicate your brand and reach a wide target audience even when your budget is very tight.
In contrast to advertising on TV, radio or through direct mail, digital marketing costs considerable less and reaches a much broader audience at the same time. Using digital marketing to promote your small business will help you have a much better chance of business success.
I hope these key points of digital marketing gives you a better understanding of how digital marketing is extremely useful for you and if you have any questions or inquiries please contact me: Emma@shinebrightmarketing.co.uk