Many small businesses don’t think they “do marketing,” or need to “do marketing.” In fact, around 37% of small businesses in a survey of 500 small businesses don’t have a website to market their products and services.
The basis for this line of argument for many of them is that they’re too busy trying to get customers through the door to be bothered about “fancy marketing.”
However, marketing is a more effortless and surer way to bring in the business they want. This article will reveal some benefits of digital marketing for small businesses and show that marketing truly matters regardless of the business you run.
Does Marketing Really Matter?
Marketing absolutely matters for businesses of any size. However, building a digital marketing strategy is the last thing on the minds of business owners. They are more concerned with what they consider to be tangible stuff, like, for example, getting the number of customers up.
They believe that customers would inevitably find their way to them since they have a great product or service. But unfortunately, although this strategy might bring some customers (after all, who doesn’t love great products and service?), its results pale compared to what they’ll get if they use digital marketing.
The global pandemic and measures to curb its effects have changed the business and retail landscape. Many people have integrated online reviews and searching online into their decision to purchase a product or service. This reveals just how much digital marketing helps small businesses and why it's in their benefit to take advantage of this new situation.
The market out there is simply too big and important to be ignored. According to the Global Overview Report, more than 4.6 billion people worldwide use the internet, and 46.3% of them use the internet to research products and brands.
So, what does this mean? Having a great product or service is essential, but it’s ultimately futile if nobody knows about it. Digital marketing is how you get your product out there and should be part of every small business’s strategy for growth.
Why some small businesses don’t invest in digital marketing
Since marketing offers many benefits, it’s bewildering to see small businesses fail to invest in it.
However, it’s important to note that these owners have their reasons. Some of the common reasons include:
Service-based companies don't need to do marketing.
On the surface, this looks like a genuine reason, but it turns out to be smoke and mirrors. As long as you’re a business selling something, you can benefit from a sound digital marketing strategy.
The business has tried marketing before and it didn't work.
Just because you’ve tried something before and it failed doesn’t mean it can’t ever work. Have you tried something else? Sometimes, some businesses have started on the right marketing path but fall off because of a lack of patience.
It’s essential to measure the right metrics in any marketing campaign to judge whether it's working or not accurately.
There is plenty of help available to small business owners who want to improve their marketing strategy.
The business is small and plans to stay small.
Growth isn’t for everyone and small businesses that say this can’t really be faulted. However, just because you don’t want to grow bigger doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from marketing.
For example, marketing can help you increase your retention rate and even improve the quality of customers or clients you attract.
Free Guide: Digital Marketing For Small Business
Why Digital Marketing is Important for Small Businesses
Relying solely on traditional marketing methods will not achieve the desired results, so small businesses should adopt digital marketing.
With so many people connected to the internet, online searches have increased in volume and frequency over the past year. 79% of consumers currently use the internet to find information about local businesses, and a digital marketing strategy makes it possible to be found easily by searchers.
Another reason why digital marketing is excellent for small businesses is that it can turn customers into brand ambassadors. Using digital testimonials can complement the “word of mouth” way of marketing and since 89% of consumers read reviews before buying products, integrating such testimonials is a no-brainer.
Digital marketing widens your reach. By using multichannel, you can increase conversions and reach potential customers where they are. Social media is a gem, with 4.20 billion people using it. So by tailoring your message on the different channels, you can boost your reach over time.
Benefits of Digital Marketing for Small Businesses
- It increases your reach
- You can target your audience at the right time
- It improves communication at all stages of the buying process
- It’s cost-effective
- It’s easy to tack and monitor
- Marketing allows you to know customers better
- It lets the customer come to you
- Digital marketing increases your revenue
1. It increases your reach
Considering that people today are spending more time than ever before in front of their screen, digital marketing offers small businesses a great chance to reach new audiences.
Small businesses can use either organic or paid digital efforts to reach these new audiences.
2. You can target your audience at the right time
Most digital marketing channels have personalization and segmentation features that allow you to reach your audience with the right message at the right time.
For instance, you can send time-limited offers to subscribers on your email list. Or run Twitter ads during specific holidays to target your audience at the right time.
3. It improves communication at all stages of the buying process
People rarely go from being unaware of your brand to become customers. There’s typically a buying process they go through, and digital marketing channels help you guide your audience through this process.
For instance, you can create valuable content that answers questions your audience might have with your blog. Also, you can use social media to drive conversations and engagement among your audience.
4. It’s cost-effective
Compared to traditional marketing, digital marketing offers a low-cost method to reach your audience. Sometimes, with channels like social media and email marketing, you might not even have to pay to market your products and services to potential customers.
5. It’s easy to tack and monitor
Most digital channels come with analytics that help you quickly identify what elements work within your marketing strategy.
Once you identify an under-performing area of your strategy, you can quickly switch things up and monitor how well the new elements are working.
6. Marketing allows you to know customers better
Before starting your business, you likely had an idea of your ideal customer. However, marketing helps you even get to know this ideal customer more.
How they interact with your campaigns and marketing messages helps you identify what’s important to them and how you can connect better with them.
7. It lets the customer come to you
Consistently creating valuable content for your audience helps you build authority and subject matter expertise (SME) in your industry. When people have problems concerning the topics you talk about, it’s easy for them to turn to you.
8. Digital marketing can increase your revenue.
Assuming your conversion rates are constant, it goes without saying that you’ll make more money if you reach more people — and that’s exactly what digital marketing helps you do.
Using social media, a website, email marketing, and more digital channels, you'll have more avenues to reach more people through at a marginal cost difference than you would if you used traditional or in-person marketing methods.
Use Digital Marketing for Small Businesses
Digital marketing can have a huge, positive effect on your business. Developing a marketing strategy might take some time, but it’s time well worth it. No business, big or small, new or old, should overlook the opportunity to generate leads and improve conversions that digital marketing offers.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in November 2006 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.