Life, as we know, has been drastically digitized – most people rely on the internet to search for information and a large number of buyers have moved to online purchasing, it is easy, convenient, and you can compare alternatives all on a single screen. In today’s world, where countries can be shut down for weeks or months, the buyers, as well as sellers, have adapted to online transactions. More than 80% of the customers search online before making a purchase (Statista, 2020). That is a huge percentage of consumers that should not be ignored. It is now essential to create a digital presence and attract online consumers to your brand. Before implementing digital marketing, it is essential to understand what it is and why businesses need it. This article will explain digital marketing and give you a simple explanation of why small businesses need it.
What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing includes all the actions taken by a business to promote a brand online and connect to its potential customers. This is done so using digital platforms such as websites, search engines, mobile advertising, social media, and email marketing. The main goal of digital marketing is to target customers and grow your brand’s online presence. Since we live in a technological era, digital marketing has become the most important way to market brands. It is the desired medium for promoting your business to consumers around the globe.
More than a decade ago, entrepreneurs focussed on traditional channels to market their products and services. Even today, we see many companies use traditional marketing tactics like running TV and billboard commercials, printing flyers, and distributing business cards. In terms of marketing, nothing has changed besides the fact that the customers are now online. People are online for a multitude of reasons – be it exploring new places around town, reading news articles or blog posts, learning a new recipe, scrolling through social media, or looking for solutions to a problem – these people are willing to be directed to your business.
Digital marketing uses the following techniques:
- Website Design
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- Content Marketing
- Online Advertising
- Email Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
A company can utilize a combination of these techniques that work best for them. Designing a sound strategy will ease the execution of a successful digital marketing campaign which can be challenging for most small business owners. Our team understands that mastering these techniques can be overwhelming, which is why we are here to provide creative solutions for your complex problems.
Do small businesses need digital marketing?
As mentioned earlier a large chunk of consumers prefer buying online. As an example, let’s consider your most recent purchases, whether it was a new pair of shoes, a mobile phone, or you made a hotel reservation. You would have taken the following steps to make your purchase – you searched online to find what you were looking for. The search engine would have generated several options, you checked out several results that appeared on the top results page. You shortlisted your choices to a few companies and compared their prices, reviews, benefits, etc. In the end, you chose one company and finalized your purchase. Just like you, many others start their customer journey online. Therefore, it is essential for your company to appear higher up in the search results and relevant social media platforms. Being significant and popping up on various online channels has become necessary for business.
What are the benefits of digital marketing?
Digital Marketing helps a small business compete against small and large companies equally.
- You don’t need expensive tools to advertise digitally. In digital marketing, novelty and creativity can be more effective than big-budget campaigns. A viral ad campaign can be made with a small budget and have a larger reach than many big-budget videos.
Digital marketing is affordable to small businesses
- TV commercials, billboard ads, etc can be out of budget for many small businesses. Whereas many digital marketing tactics are affordable and help small businesses reach their target audiences. Some tactics like social media marketing campaigns may have high returns for an investment as low as $1.
- There are other tools that boost your website traffic and search visibility for free – tools such as Google My Business (GMB) create visibility for a business in local SEO search results. Businesses can create a GMB profile for free on the Google search engine. This also boosts foot traffic for the businesses from the local SEO search.
Digital marketing helps small businesses build relationships with their customers
- The ultimate focus of a business is to generate sales and ensure that its customers continue to buy from them in the future. In traditional marketing, the store checkout counters were the last point of contact between a business and a customer. With digital marketing, there are more ways to engage with a customer even after a purchase is completed. For example, social media posts engage customers online and keep them updated on the products or services a company provides. Whereas email marketing campaigns can be used for receiving feedback from existing customers which helps in improving product/ service.
Digital Marketing increases the reach of your company
- The online platforms make it easier to promote your company to people living anywhere in the world. This helps the brand to explore new markets as well as generate new sales leads.
In the end, the goal of a business is to create a brand that will lead the target audience to your website and convert them into customers. When done correctly, digital marketing has a positive long-term impact on a brand’s online presence. Though it is easy to master the tools of digital marketing, it is time-consuming and needs constant attention. Rather than spending your time and resources on doing it all by yourself, turn to our talented professionals at Sennight. Make your brand stand out in the digital world, contact us for a consultation today