At this point, most firms are on the digital advertising train. This is natural as, so many new players are relying on the online space for just about every aspect of business. However, small businesses are not all on-board. If you run a small business there’s a chance that you’re in the minority that aren’t sold on the benefits of digital marketing or social media marketing. Although it can present some extra expenses, there are clear benefits to going down this road.
Let’s discuss why:
Here are just some basic stats:
Only 25% of small businesses invest in online marketing, with many spending over $500 on their website. Of those that have invested in their online activities, almost 90% of marketers say their social marketing efforts have increased exposure for their business, and 75% say they’ve increased traffic.
Despite this, there are some gaps in how small businesses are implementing digital and social media marketing. Specifically, to gain the proper benefits, you will have to spend money (there’s no way around it). Most small businesses are not doing this, as 17% are investing in search engine optimization (SEO). Similarly, only 26% are investing in email marketing and 50% of small business owners use two or fewer software platforms or applications for marketing. Needless to say, these efforts could be further expanded for added benefit.
In terms of more specific activities, 80% of small businesses do not invest in content marketing. Marketing experts are insisting that this is a major opportunity that they could be missing out on. Another glaring gap is in whether they monitor their success online. Less than 30% of small businesses use website analytics, call tracking, or coupon codes. 18% of small businesses admit to not tracking anything. Analytics like Google’s can be crucial, as 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. This is a treasure trove of information you would be missing out on, so it’s best to capitalise on it.
Advantages For Small Businesses
Best Bang For Your Buck
The obvious advantages of the digital space is how cheap it is. Cost can be a major sticking point for small businesses so this advantage can’t be understated. Larger firms dominate traditional advertising and quite a bit of the online space, but small businesses can get a lot of mileage off of relatively cheaper means of marketing. In fact, there are many forms of digital advertising that are entirely free, which should be a great starting point (though not the end-all be-all).
Google Ads and Facebook ads can be so much cheaper for small businesses than putting up some billboards or flyers. The rates per click or impression are far more cost-effective, especially considering how many people they reach. Ads like these are also much much more effective in their targeting, creating a lot less waste readership thanks to Google’s algorithms.
Effective Monitoring & Planning
As mentioned earlier, there is a wealth of information and analytics one can get with digital marketing. Take full advantage of this: track how many people click on your ads, do some basic A/B testing, get into your Google stats etc. This is also so much better than billboards or flyers as you can get a sense of marketing effectiveness with just a few clicks.
There are also fewer considerations and headaches in terms of finding your audience. Since so much of Google and Facebook ads are targeted and sent to consumers directly, geographical and demographic planning is practically taken care of. It makes sure that the ads reach who they need to reach.
Suits the Pace & Operational Needs of Small Businesses
Aside from being costly, traditional outlets require a lot more pre-planning. Print advertising, billboards, flyers, TV ads etc. are all a mine-field in this regard. Small businesses are working at a fast pace with a small staff and even smaller marketing budget. The Internet is much more suitable for the sort of pace these businesses may need. In effect, getting your digital marketing plan up and running can be a matter of a few minutes.
Similarly, making changes to the plan, swapping out ads or putting out new information can be done on the fly as well. This gives small businesses the edge in terms of sheer speed. It’s especially crucial as small businesses need to hustle a lot more to keep their operations relevant to customers, as opposed to large businesses which can cope with costs and larger time-scales.
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