You already know that millions of consumers are online everyday researching brands, products and services either locally or internationally. Prospective customers are all over the internet whether it be on review sites, search engine results, websites or social media platforms. To establish a relationship of trust it is essential to play an active part on these channels online to engage your customers directly and create ongoing conversation. That is where digital marketing comes in to help you touch base with targeted consumers anytime, anywhere.
Although traditional media still has its uses, online marketing is more effective for the little fishes. Once upon a time communications revolved around traditional methods that communicated one-sided messages to consumers within large audience at high budgets.
Today, communications have evolved.
While larger companies still have an advantage amongst traditional channels, you can now benefit from modern marketing and have an opportunity to compete against the larger fishes. Small businesses quickly realise the benefits of a strong online presence and are rushing to implement online strategies, blogs, Facebook and other platforms on the Internet. With a rapid growth of digital use and adoption amongst consumers, it is no wonder why almost all businesses have jumped on the online bandwagon.
So what are the major benefits of digital marketing for small businesses? The following listed will reveal why digital marketing is a wise investment when growing your business.
1 Low barrier to entry and Cost Effective
Small businesses usually base their investments on low budgets. Compared to traditional methods which require a larger budget more suitable to larger companies, digital marketing can be implemented by businesses of any size. Online strategies and tactics are low cost and only ask for consistency and creativity.
2 Level competitive field
With heavy and fast-paced competition, how can small businesses compete with already established ones? There was a time where small businesses where forced to be left behind because of small budget capacity and incapability to compete with the buying power of larger companies. Now that the digital world has evolved, any business of any size can build a brand image that can compete or even top larger competitors.
Compared to traditional methods, digital marketing is much easier to measure progress, results and return on investment. There are all types of tools marketers can use when measuring different types of platforms for social media interactions, click-through-rates, conversion rates – whatever it may be. Digital marketing is also helpful for monitoring competitors online and gaining access to their measurable interactions and figures to maintain competitive. The immediate figures available from digital marketing enable small businesses to react quickly and effectively.
4 Higher conversion rates
Digital marketing provides precise targeting opportunities enabling you to engage and directly converse with people you want to specifically talk to. Consumer information is easily accessible online e.g. online profiles, cookies. Marketers can then target audience accordingly to demographics and consumer behaviour resulting in generated leads and increased conversion rate.
5 Higher revenues and ROI (Return on Investment)
Since digital marketing is cost effective, small businesses are taking advantage of the minimal costs and greater savings to reap the benefits of higher revenues and ROI. The opportunity to stretch marketing dollars for better results with a small budget provides exceptional value for small businesses owners and their communicative efforts.
Social media posting/sharing and websites enable immediate communication in different media forms: video, images, text, audio. The flexibility and direct communication pathway between businesses and consumers enable small businesses to engage with prospective and current customers in a human-like way. Thus, engagement will allow you to build your own audience of loyal fans.
7 Interactive – Real time customer service
The benefits of online platforms are clear from the use of posts, messaging, comments, sharing and likes on social media, websites and blogs. Communication between businesses and consumers are less one-sided and are more conversational. This allows businesses to ask questions and receive feedback from consumers that are either happy or unhappy with products and services. Taking advantage of constructive feedback and the customer service channel will give small businesses the opportunity to keep current customers and satisfy new ones.
8 Wide reach
The Internet is accessible to people spread all around the world, enabling small businesses to send messages to everyone on a global spectrum. Products and services can be exchanged and brand messages can be heard no matter where the business is or where the consumer is. As an example, some small businesses such as online e-retailers or online services may have products and services that could really benefit from digital marketing and its’ wide reach.
Digital marketers are equipped with customer database tools to help determine targeted audience demographics, device use and online behaviours. The information available would assist small businesses to tailor their greetings, messages, offers and services accordingly to consumers’ choice of device, time, place and need. The more you exchange with them, the more you can refine your customer profile and market effectively to them.
10 Long term benefits
Traditional forms of media are usually short lived. With digital marketing, everything on the Internet stays there for as long as it is wanted. Online platforms will always provide small businesses the opportunity to lengthen digital marketing campaigns and bring in new traffic for years after they have been created.
Going digital would be the only way for small businesses to compete in this highly dynamic marketing environment. If I had to emphasise anything I’d say It would be unwise for small businesses to ignore the numerous benefits of digital marketing.
If this is not enough, the Internet is predicted to spread on to everyday devices such as washing machines, coffee machines, watches, fridges, lamps and more. Anything with an on and off switch would be modified to send and receive data through the Internet. Named as ‘The Internet of Things’, Gartner predicts that by 2020 there will be over 26 billion devices connected to the internet. Everything is moving further into the digital space so it is important that every business adapt to modern marketing to survive in this fast-paced competitive world.