Most small businesses start their marketing with a focus on getting their first lot of customers through the door.
Big signage at the front door, distribution of printed flyers, discount coupons and direct mail are all great traditional marketing strategies. However, it does take a long time and effort to reach the volume of potential customers. Your product and services might be great but if your customers don’t find you soon, your business will suffer.
How to get the most out of your marketing budget?
While traditional marketing strategies may help getting you some business, you are missing out on a huge amount of potential customers online. An online marketing strategy can get your business maximum exposure and immediate results for higher sales. Every business, no matter how small or new, should look into marketing their business online. A well implemented online marketing strategy will yeild great results even for most tight budgets.
A well-planned digital marketing strategy and a startout budget can work magic for your business. Unlike the time consuming and expensive traditional print media, a well implemented digital marketing startegy will mean every marketing dollar spent is accountable. The tools used in digital marketing can also help your business spot trends and capitalise on opportunities quickly.
Benefits of Digital Marketing
- Reach a bigger audience and a wider marketplace to sell your product or service
- Reach customers in their preferred platform (google, facebook, instagram) and device (mobile)
- Get your business found when customers are looking for goods or services similar to yours
- Interact and learn from customers to find out what they are looking to improve your offerings
- Entice people to take action online to improve conversions for higher revenue and sales
- Create a brand loyalty by sharing images, stories and events happening at your business
- Earn peoples trust and build a brand reputation by encouraging customer reviews
- Do all of the above in a cost-effective marketing channel that delivers results.
So why aren’t all small business owners prioritising digital marketing strategy.
Owners are busy!
Small business owners sometimes believe that they don’t have the time or the money to be competitive online. New owners find it hard to face many challenges all at once while they are still learning the ins and outs of business in general. Many prefer to stick to one or two form of advertising hoping the business will evolve as time passes.
For a small business today, this is not the best approch. It will take a long time for your business to be profitable and start delivering high returns.
So, where to start with digital marketing?
Get a web presence.
Get a Website for your business. Your website is your online shop front.
Your potential customers are already online. They probably are looking for business like yours right now, so if you don’t have a website they will never find you and will end up buying from someone else.
Get found in Google
When someone wants to buy a product or a service, the first thing they will do is google online. Optimise your website to increase your website visibility to be found in search engines.
Social media presence
Reach customers in their preferred platform and interact with them online to build trust and get feedback. Most customers today would like to know about the business before theymake a buy decision. They might have questions about the product or service, booking times and post-purchase policy. Social media is a great way to connect and interact with customers in their preferred platform.
Start online advertising
Reach a wider audience through social media, run google ads to drive more sales. Get more leads and customers with targeted online marketing campaigns. It is easy and fits any budget with impressive results for your business.
Stay in touch with customers
Promote your business and encourage repeat business with regular email communication informing customer about upcoming events, new promotions, and discount specials for your loyal customers. You can do this by building a database of customer emails and staying in touch regularly with monthly email capmpaigns.
So, what should I do now?
Let’s talk about the options you have as a small business owner to drive results and grow your business.
Option 1. Hire a marketing professional to be in charge of the company’s marketing
Pros – a person who works inside the company will deeply embrace the business and own a clear view and understanding of the company.
Cons – A high level multifaceted skill level in design, web site management, content development, seo, ppc ads and social media management is required, so it might be hard to find 1 person with so many expertise. As the business needs grows you might need to hire a seperate specialist in each of the field anyway. A high performance in-house marketing team can be quite expensive.
According to Payscale website, the salary for one marketing analyst is around 69k per year.
Option 2. Contract a digital marketing company
Pros – When you contract a digital marketing company, you get a team of professionals with specialised skills working for your business. You could get the services of a team for the price of a single hire. Web designer, content writers, SEO and social media experts are all included in a single price package. Depending on the level and kind of service you decide on, you can hire an agency from as low as 1K per month.
Cons – Your marketing agency will also have other clients they work with. It could sometimes extend the response time and extend deadlines. Be sure to find the type of digital marketing agency that is responsive, results focussed and easy to work with.
Make the decision. Digital Marketing will help your business grow faster.
Digital marketing benefits both the business and the customer. Few forms of advertising are as cost-effective as digital marketing. It allows you to communicate your brand and reach a wide target audience even at a low budget.
Look at where all your customers are… people on the street, at bus stops, train stations, shopping malls, they aren’t looking at billboards or reading newspapers – they’re staring at their phones. Get started with a digital marketing strategy to grow your business today.