Digital Marketing has made business digitally convenient for small-scale business owners. The primary aim of any small business upon starting is to focus on attracting the first set of customers. Before the advent of digital media, social media, and digital marketing, business owners relied on traditional forms of advertising, such as big signboards, print advertisements, etc.
Small businesses that initially relied on conventional means believed in their product, and hence the audience’s ability to find it and make a purchase. This strategy is slow and also inefficient for quick results and sales. As such, small businesses should explore realm of digital marketing and advertising.
The best part about digital marketing for small businesses lies in the fact that it offers a vast marketplace to the business owner with lots of free or low cost promotional options.
Digital technology has drastically changed over the past few decades, and along with it the means of business execution and revenue generation. It is no longer just mega businesses that benefit from online marketing, but small businesses also benefit from digital marketing to a great extent. The integration of digital space with the fields of marketing, design, strategy, and advertising creates brand awareness online, which leads to driving customers to buy the product.
Before we evaluate why small businesses need digital marketing, it is essential to understand what digital marketing means and what it entails.
What is digital marketing?
Digital Marketing refers to the various marketing activities of a company that are carried out through electronic devices via the internet. Digital marketing uses distinct types of marketing formats, including blog outreach services, email marketing, digital advertising, social media, SEO inbound and affiliate marketing to develop a digital business strategy for all kinds of businesses – big and small.
So, now that you have a little background, why would you want to use digital marketing. The following are five reasons why small businesses need digital marketing:
1. Provides Equal Opportunity To All
One of the key reasons small businesses need digital marketing is that it provides them the same number of opportunities as big-scale businesses. While you can spend a ton of money in digital marketing, you can also do it on a budget and still see significant success, thus leveling the playing field.
Digital marketing provides similar marketing and advertising space to all kinds of businesses. The online world opens a realm of options where small businesses get a chance to stand in perfect competition with other more established businesses.
2. More Affordable Than Traditional Marketing
Digital marketing is, by all means, more affordable and cheaper as compared to traditional marketing techniques. While conventional methods of opting for flyers, billboards, tv ads, etc., might seem the feasible option initially, these tactics can come at a hefty price.
This is because it requires repetitive investment and is also not environmentally friendly or ecological. Imagine the amount of paper that gets wasted in making flyers? You could also save all of that while opting for digital marketing.
The best part about digital marketing is that it enables you to track all those who clicked at the ad. Tracking can be much more challenging with traditional marketing. Through digital marketing, you can track the success of your campaigns through various analytics platforms.
Whether you are running advertisements on Facebook, Instagram, or Google, or just simply managing organic social media campaigns, you have multiple tools to keep tabs on the results.
While traditional marketing can (and should) be a part of your overall strategy, it is advisable not to focus on it entirely and instead move on to digital methods for the reasons explained above. Not only economical, but digital marketing is also comparatively more accessible. Given the current circumstances of COVID-19, digital marketing is also one of the best ways to make your product reach potential customers on a large scale.
3. Paves the way for Influencer Marketing
Social media is one of the most powerful tools of digital marketing. Tools like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram are the leading social platforms that can influence the general public, potential clients, and customers.
The inclusion and spread of social media have led to the creation and generation of various digital marketing influencers. Influencers are those on social media who have a, a large, active following. Therefore, they influence the general masses – their followers and subscribers – in their decision-making process regarding the purchase of a particular product.
You can consider them to be small-scale celebrities. Therefore, digital marketing, in its correct form, paves the way for influencer marketing, helping small businesses to endorse their brand to boost the sales of their product/ service. The most beautiful thing about digital media and social marketing is that commoners with no fancy degrees can also influence millions of people, thereby leading to the publicity and marketing of small-scale businesses.
4. Multi-Channel Approach
Digital marketing has a vast set of formats to encourage marketing via online means. A few of the marketing formats are email marketing, social media marketing, social media and PPC ads, and so on. These tools help by broadening the scope of your marketing and increasing the audience reach and customer base.
For instance, email marketing focuses on potential customers who frequently use their emails for various purposes online. However, social media marketing works best for potential clients who are tremendously active on social media channels, which you can target based on your audience’s preferences.
Instagram has also come up with a product-based feature where you can convert your account into a public business account. This helps you to make an online selling platform out of your Instagram account. The aim here is to get potential customers to buy their product or service. It is imperative to keep in mind that each different type of channel demands a distinct approach and strategy, but the key is to have faith in your business and product and continue to sail on.
The power lies in creating convincing and relatable content around your product and disseminating that content across multiple channels to increase your reach. You can also opt for blogging and content creation for websites, depending on the kind of product you are selling via your business. Therefore, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that using digital marketing’s multichannel approach enables small business owners to explore and engage with potential customers via online platforms.
5. Study Your Competition
Small business owners often learn a lot about their business by studying their competition. Thanks to digital marketing, there are lots of great examples to follow and learn from. This enables the small business not just to get inspired but also to learn and succeed.
A few of the best ways to keep a healthy competitive eye on your competitors is by checking if they have a regularly updated blog, whether their Instagram, LinkedIn, and FB are updated, and to keep tabs on their other digital channels.
Facebook goes one step ahead. It can also show you the kind of (if any) ads are your competitors running. Intrigued? All you need to do is click on their page info on one of their social media pages and check their ad library. After that, you must do a Google search for their name, and it will be easy for you to assess if other sites mentioned them or not.
One thing which you must keep in mind here is that you must note, track, and pen down every finding that you think may help your brand in the longer run. All that data that you look up for will equip you better to kickstart any kind of digital campaign- via the means of SEO, paid search, social media ads, and more.
With unprecedented times hovering above our heads, businesses can’t rely on traditional means of marketing and advertising. Therefore, make the most of all the online tools available for making your business a success. Undoubtedly, the group of potential customers that can be found online is way more than the ones targeted locally. For this and many other reasons explained above, small businesses must use digital marketing for their product and related sales.
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