Why is Digital Marketing Important for Small Businesses in 2021?
Digital marketing has evolved into an essential tool for every small business. It allows companies to reach their target audience across multiple channels at a low cost. While traditional forms of marketing such as print ads or television spots are still effective, digital campaigns offer a more comprehensive range of options that allow companies to reach customers where they spend their time online. According to the latest research, 84% of small businesses would consider using digital marketing if they had the budget. In fact, 92% of small businesses believe that digital marketing is an essential part of their overall strategy.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is the promotion of products or brands via electronic devices such as computers, mobile phones, tablets, etc. It involves the use of different digital technologies such as search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, and display advertising.
How does a marketer do this?
They create content that is interesting and useful to their target audience. They use paid advertising platforms to promote their products and services. They connect with customers through social media platforms and encourage positive customer feedback.
In addition to creating quality content, successful marketers know when and how to deploy each platform. They monitor analytics data to measure results and make adjustments accordingly. This ensures maximum exposure and engagement from potential clients.
So what does this mean for you? It means that now is the time to start investing in your digital marketing.
2 Types of Digital Marketing
This type of marketing involves sending emails and other messages via electronic means. It is one of the most effective forms of communication because it allows for direct contact between a company and its customers or potential clients. Since the subscribers have already given permission to receive messages from an organization, there is less risk involved than other types of online communication. And since these communications take place outside of social media channels, companies don't run into any issues regarding privacy regulations.
Social Media Marketing
This form of digital marketing includes Facebook pages, Instagram accounts, Twitter feeds, etc. If you have an active presence on these sites, they will be able to drive traffic back to your website. Many companies offer free advertising services through their websites, with paid options available if needed.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO helps search engines find content about your products and services when someone searches for those terms using Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc. For example, if I wanted to buy a new car, I would probably start my search using keywords like "new cars near me." A good SEO strategy makes sure that any page you create contains essential information related to your product/service so that it shows up high in relevant results.
With content creation, your company creates blog posts, articles, videos, presentations, infographics, ebooks, etc., that help educate others about what you do. When done correctly, it can give your brand more exposure. And, since many people prefer reading over watching, video content tends to get shared much faster than text-based material.
Pay Per Click(PPC) Advertising
PPC stands for pay per click. Email campaigns work best when targeting specific keywords. You might want to target certain demographics based on age, gender, interests, location, income level, occupation, marital status, education levels, political affiliation, religion, and even hobbies on social media platforms. Since each platform provides tools for advertisers to customize ads, it's easy to spend large amounts of money without knowing exactly who sees them. That said, some platforms charge fees based on how often people see your ad. Others provide analytics reporting after every campaign run. Either way, you should always test out various pricing plans before committing too heavily into a particular service.
Here are the Top 10 Reasons Why Digital Marketing is Inevitable for Small Businesses in 2021.
Fosters your brand reputation
Digital marketing is one of the most significant ways to build a business reputation, especially for small businesses. As we know, a company's reputation is based on how the outside world perceives them. The best way to do that is through the internet. By using search engines, social networks, and email, companies can reach a global audience. These methods give companies exposure and give them opportunities to interact with current and prospective clients. This means that when people visit a site, they have a positive impression of that particular company. They may even recommend that company to other friends and family members.
Targets the Prospect Customers
This is one of the reasons why most people don't understand that online marketing might be vital for them as an SMB. If your target audience doesn't know about or isn't interested in what you offer, they won't buy from you. By using digital marketing tools like social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, etc., you can reach out to these audiences directly and gain new clients who would otherwise never have known that there was something available for them.
Creates Brand awareness
If you own a small restaurant, chances are your competitors know exactly what kind of food you serve. You may advertise every day, but most people don't stop walking past your storefront long enough to learn anything about your menu. With digital marketing, however, you can make sure everyone knows about your unique offerings. Promoting specials, seasonal dishes, daily meal options, and catering services allows you to show off your best features without spending too much time and money on printing flyers. In addition, posting photos of your staff interacting with guests helps establish trustworthiness. The key here is always to provide quality images. Don't post pictures taken using poor lighting or blurry cell phone cameras. Instead, invest in professional photography services that capture great shots of your establishment.
Increases customer satisfaction
As mentioned earlier, getting targeted visitors to your site means gaining their trust. Once they come across useful information, they'll likely return again and purchase what they want. When this happens, you'll get better reviews than those who did nothing at all. Additionally, because you're reaching out to potential buyers, you may even find yourself increasing your client base over time.
Saving money is always nice but especially when it comes to spending it on things that aren't necessary. Social networking has been proven to save companies millions every year just by simply becoming active members on popular social media sites. Digital marketing reaches customers where they are. Instead of reaching all potential customers through traditional media such as TV and radio, digital marketing reaches only those who are interested in what you're offering. This allows you to spend less money on advertising and more money on customer service to convert leads into actual sales.
Smaller companies usually have less visibility online than their bigger counterparts. This means there is an opportunity cost involved because these businesses cannot reach as wide or diverse audiences as big brands. However, through digital marketing strategies, you can increase your visibility among different audiences. Whether you specialize in selling clothes, sports equipment, or other items, having a solid presence on the internet gives you access to customers across all types of industries. Because of its ability to reach such a broad range of consumers, digital marketing has become essential for almost any type of business.
Improves SEO rankings
Search engine optimization plays a huge role in whether or not people see your page in search results. Using digital marketing techniques such as article submissions, press releases, video production, podcasts, infographics, and others help raise your visibility within search engines like Google and Bing. These combined tactics result in higher placement, meaning more people will view your product/service before someone else does.Better Reputation Management
If someone shares negative feedback about your company online, what happens next? Most likely nothing. But when bad reviews start showing up on sites such as Google Local, Yelp, Angie's List, Citysearch, etc., your reputation takes a hit.
People who search for your brand on those websites want to find positive information about your product or service. When they see negative comments, they assume everything else written about you is also accurate. This makes it challenging to get new customers since existing ones might avoid working with you altogether. One way around this issue is to respond directly to negative posts yourself. Responding shows potential customers that you care about your image and that you are willing to address concerns. Another strategy is to hire social media managers who understand how to manage online communities. They work closely with you to monitor mentions of your brand, correct inaccurate content and use relevant hashtags to attract followers. These employees help build your credibility within the industry by increasing your exposure and improving your reputation.
No More Paperwork
The amount of paperwork needed to run an office has never been lower than today. From filing taxes to paying bills, there are countless forms involved. And if you happen to forget one or two important pieces of paper, it could cost you thousands of dollars later down the road. Fortunately, digital solutions exist to automate these processes while saving companies millions of dollars each year. For example, QuickBooks Online offers cloud-based software which makes bookkeeping easy and efficient. It automatically tracks all transactions, so users don't have to spend hours entering data manually. Other popular programs include Freshbooks, Xero, Wave Accounting, and Zoho Books.
Besides the above-discussed benefits of digital marketing, there are a lot more ways in which this online mode of marketing can prove your best friend and, of course, your partner in crime.
1) Your competitors are doing it too!
2) You don't want to miss out on any opportunity to grow your business.
3) There's no better place than the web to get high traffic and convert visitors into paying customers.
4) Search engines drive the majority of website visits every day. That means if you aren't ranking well enough, people will just pass over your site without even clicking on it.
5) Having a strong presence across multiple channels gives you more options to show up higher in searches.
6) Social media allows you to interact directly with your ideal clientele and form genuine relationships. When done correctly, it creates excellent word-of-mouth publicity.
7) Email marketing is still one of the best tools for getting tons of qualified prospects. But unless you're sending messages consistently throughout the week, you may be losing out on a lot of sales.
8) Mobile app development makes life easier while allowing your brand to go where the masses are hanging out – their pockets. And since everyone uses their phone/tablets at some point during the day, the chances are good that someone will see your message.
9) Paid ads cost money but pay off big time. Even though Facebook recently changed its algorithm to limit organic reach, many advertisers continue to spend heavily on sponsored posts because they work so well. These ads allow you to target specific groups within your niche specifically.
How to do Online Marketing for your Business?
Thinking of marketing your business using the digital modes of marketing? Here's how you can get started.
Create a Brand Identity
Your brand identity is the foundation on which all future campaigns are built upon. You need to make sure it represents who you are as a business. This includes everything from logo design to color scheme.
Develop Content Strategy
Once you've got your brand identity down pat, it's time to create content strategies around each platform. For example, you may want to write blog posts or host videos about your products/services. These should help increase awareness and drive traffic back to your website.
Identify Audiences & Goals
Now that you're developing your content strategy, it's essential to identify audiences and goals. Who do you want to target? What type of messages will appeal most to them?
Build Landing Pages
A landing page is one of the best ways to capture lead information such as names and emails. To build out a successful campaign, it is recommended to have at least 10 different pages.
The next step after building landing pages is optimizing websites so leads convert into sales. SEO, PPC, SMO are some of the tactics used to achieve higher rankings within SERPs.
Use Email Marketing
Emails are another effective way to communicate with potential clients. Make sure you include relevant CTAs.
After implementing any changes mentioned above, measure those efforts by tracking conversions.
There are many things you can improve once you've implemented a few steps. One thing that could work well is testing new ideas every month.
As more and more companies implement digital marketing, there are opportunities everywhere. All you have to do is find them!
The Bottom Line
Digital marketing has become increasingly popular over the years due to its effectiveness in reaching large numbers of consumers. Because consumer demands and expectations have changed over the past decade, marketers must reevaluate the rules of engagement and test new technologies before diving in headfirst. New technology also allows us to track across channels, allowing measurement that was impossible just a short while ago.