Small businesses are generally privately-owned companies, partnerships, or sole proprietorships with a small number of employees and relatively low revenue. They might have very few employees but they play an important role in the economy by creating jobs, driving innovation, and contributing to local communities. Some examples of small businesses are local restaurants, retail shops, service providers, and independent contractors.
If these businesses have to promote themselves, digital marketing is a great and effective way to reach and engage with their target audience. Experts opine that this kind of marketing will help to influence people’s lifestyles and interactions. They say that as the Internet is becoming more and more accessible, the number of users has also increased exponentially.
According to a survey by world-leading IT service providers, we have over 4,66 billion active internet users and 92% of them use it via their mobile phones. This proves how much digital marketing can influence your small business online.
A report _ Unlocking India’s digital potential by Deloitte says:
Digitally engaged small to medium businesses (SMBs) in India can reap huge digital dividends. When individual SMBS moved from offline to advanced digital engagement, they could see revenue growth up to 27 % points higher. The report finds that Indian SMBs with higher digital engagement are:
Source : Deloitte
When you begin your small business, you generally tend to focus on your customers. Earlier, entrepreneurs were dependent on print ads, coupon mailers or even outdoor advertising. While these methods are good for customers to trickle in, only the online presence makes you more familiar with your customers. You can be sure to benefit from a combination of traditional and digital marketing.
This blog will throw light on the different ways online platforms can help your business grow. Digital marketing, a round-up.
Cost-effective: Digital marketing is more cost-effective than traditional marketing channels. Small businesses can use digital marketing techniques such as social media marketing, email marketing and search engine optimization to reach their target audience.
Increased visibility: In today’s fast-paced world, it’s crucial for small businesses to have a strong online presence. According to a study, 50 % of consumers who searched for a store on their smartphones or tablet or their desktops, did visit it.
Visibility is increased when you create a website or social media profiles, and other digital /public. Businesses can easily reach a wider audience and build brand awareness. When you study the survey and research findings we can safely say that digital marketing did improve the visibility of small businesses and attracted more customers to their stores.
Lower cost of entry: Digital marketing channels, such as social media, email marketing, and content marketing, have a lower cost of entry compared to traditional marketing methods, such as print advertising or TV commercials. This means that businesses can reach their target audience without spending a significant amount of money upfront. You can also start with a small budget and scale your efforts as you see results. Additionally, email marketing is often free or very low cost, making it an excellent option for small businesses on a tight budget.
Targeted advertising: Targeted marketing is an important aspect of digital marketing, especially for small businesses. It involves creating and delivering marketing messages to specific demographics or audiences. For example, Facebook and Instagram allow businesses to target their advertisements to users based on their interests, age, gender and location. Targeted marketing has its own advantages:
Digital marketing allows businesses to be flexible with their marketing strategies. For example, businesses can adjust their advertising budget or change their messaging in real time based on the performance of their campaigns.
Digital marketing provides businesses with tools to track and measure the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. This allows businesses to understand the return on investment (ROI) of their digital marketing campaigns and adjust their strategies accordingly.
Digital marketing provides businesses with the ability to engage with their target audience through various channels, such as social media and email. By engaging with their audience, businesses can build stronger relationships and increase customer loyalty.
Measuring the results of digital marketing is essential for businesses to understand the effectiveness of their efforts and make data-driven decisions. You should analyse metrics like website traffic, conversion rates, and engagement levels to improve their strategies.
Website traffic: This is an important metric to measure as it shows how many people are visiting a business’s website. Tools such as Google Analytics can track website traffic and provide insights into user behaviour, including bounce rates, session duration, and page views.
Conversion rates: Conversion rates measure how many website visitors take a desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a contact form. By tracking conversion rates, businesses can understand how effective their website is at converting visitors into customers.
Social media engagement: Social media engagement measures how many people are interacting with a business's social media profiles, including like, comments, and shares. This metric can provide insights into how well a business's content is resonating with its audience.
Email marketing metrics: Email marketing metrics, such as open rates and click-through rates, show how many people are opening and interacting with your business's emails. By tracking these metrics, businesses can understand the effectiveness of their email campaigns and make adjustments to improve engagement.
Search engine rankings: Search engine rankings show where a business's website ranks on search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant keywords. By tracking these rankings, businesses can understand how well their SEO efforts are working and make adjustments to improve their rankings.
Cost per acquisition (CPA): CPA measures the cost of acquiring a customer through digital marketing efforts, such as social media advertising or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. By tracking CPA, businesses can understand the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns and adjust their budgets accordingly.
We now understand the importance of tracking metrics that will align with your goals and objectives. You should periodically analyse the metrics and take decisions driven by data. Businesses can thus optimize their digital marketing strategies and improve their online presence.
Digital marketing provides small businesses with the opportunity to engage with their customers in real time. Digital marketing provides businesses with a range of tools to engage with their customers in real time.
Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram allow businesses to engage with their customers in real-time. By monitoring their social media profiles and responding to customer inquiries and comments, businesses can build good and strong relationships with their customers.
Live chat is a real-time communication tool that allows businesses to engage with their customers on their websites. By providing a chat window, businesses can answer customer inquiries in real time and provide personalized assistance.
Webinars and online events allow businesses to engage with their customers in real time through interactive presentations and Q&A sessions. By providing valuable information and insights, businesses can build trust and credibility with their customers.
Push notifications are alerts that businesses can send to their customers through mobile apps or web browsers. By sending targeted notifications, businesses can engage with their customers in real-time and provide them with timely updates and offers.
It is very important to find out about your competitors. They are not someone you need to fear but you should treat them as teachers. You will learn where you have failed and why. This works well for how they interact with their audience, how are their blogs, content, or any visual content such as videos targeted and so on.
To find out about your competitors you need to focus on keywords and research them. You can make use of online tools to help you with this. Keywords are very important and you must understand what works well for your business. It can be long-tail or short-tail keywords. Analyse your website too.
All these aspects take you very close to your customers, their behaviour, your competitors and their behaviours and their pathway to success. This is not possible in traditional marketing. Digital marketing gives you real-time engagement tools, brings you near to your audience, lowers cost and also builds stronger relationships with your customers.
In other words, Digital marketing is very essential for small businesses if you wish to compete in today’s digital age. By investing in digital marketing, small businesses can increase their visibility, reach their target audience, and gain a competitive advantage. It's a cost-effective way to build brand awareness and increase customer engagement, and with measurable results, businesses can make data-driven decisions to improve their marketing strategies.