What is the importance of digital marketing for small businesses? This guide covers the key benefits and uses of digital marketing campaigns.
Your business needs to have a strong online presence. Besides the obvious fact that everyone spends their lives online these days, focusing your efforts on online marketing can help you achieve many things that traditional marketing can’t.
When establishing your online marketing strategy, it’s important to understand all of the possibilities that digital marketing has to offer your business. This can help you refine your marketing efforts to ensure you’re doing everything you can to attract more customers.
To help you create more impactful marketing campaigns that do more for your business, this guide covers some of the main advantages of digital marketing for any kind of small business.
- Why Digital Marketing is Important for Your Business
- How to get Started With Online Marketing
- Is Digital Marketing Important for Local Businesses?
- Choosing the Right Digital Marketing Channels
- Using the Right Tools
Why Digital Marketing is Important for Your Business
Quite simply, the right digital marketing strategy has the potential to help any kind of business attract far more customers than any other kind of offline marketing tactic allows.
Here are some of the main benefits of developing a robust digital marketing strategy for your small business:
- You gain direct access to an enormous pool of potential customers
- You can easily interact with your customers online and understand exactly how they behave
- Digital marketing eliminates physical boundaries, so you can reach anyone, anywhere, at any time
- Thanks to the mass amounts of data collected online, you can be super specific about how you personalize marketing campaigns. This helps you achieve better results and ensures you always target the right audience
- Digital marketing is very low cost, or even free, compared to other marketing strategies
- Digital marketing lets you gain total insights into your marketing successes and metrics. This means you can refine your campaigns and understand exactly what kind of ROI you’re getting
- Marketing online helps you understand your audience and their behaviors. The more you dive into the data and analytics, the more you can get to know your prospective customers
- Digital marketing lets you apply strategic inbound strategies where your customers come to you. You can publish content and watch it deliver long-term results of drawing customers to your business
This is not to mention the fact that practically every business these days relies on its online presence. If you’re not focused on your digital marketing efforts, you’ll soon fall behind the competition.
How to Get Started With Online Marketing
Now that we understand the importance of digital marketing, it’s important to know how to strategically set up a digital marketing campaign.
The key to any successful digital marketing strategy is being present where your customers are. While any business can create a social media page and set up a website, actually using these online assets to connect with your customers is a totally different journey.
To help you set up a killer digital marketing strategy, or refine your current one, here are a few of the most important considerations to make.
Understand Your Customers
First and foremost, you need to have a deep understanding of who your customers are if you’re going to target them effectively online.
This includes developing a detailed customer persona, understanding their interests, online habits, demographic information, and what would inspire them to discover and support your business.
Without this information, your digital marketing strategy will just be shooting in the dark.
Understanding your customers in detail will help you to:
- Focus on the right digital marketing channels that deliver the greatest impact
- Refine your marketing content and create content that speaks with your customers
- Optimize any marketing spending to achieve the best possible ROI
- Make sure you’re not wasting any time or effort on digital marketing strategies that don’t work
The great thing about digital marketing is that you have loads of data and analytics available. Once you have established your customer personas and target audience, you can analyze the performance of each marketing channel to ensure it’s delivering the best results and that you’re targeting the right people.
Remember, understanding your audience and having a lot of data on them is what makes digital marketing important.
Make Sure Your Customers Can Find You
While digital marketing offers endless opportunities for any brand, the online space is also insanely competitive. This means you’ll need to stand out from the competition. Otherwise, your customers won’t find you – more on that later.
The important point here is to establish a digital marketing strategy where customers can find you. You want to attract customers to your business through helpful content or appealing ads.
The great thing about digital marketing is that you can attract customers through strategic inbound and attraction marketing techniques instead of annoying them with messages they don’t want to see.
To achieve this, you’ll need a solid content marketing plan. You’ll also need to know where your customers are online and what they’re interested in – but we’ve already established this in the topic above.
While we’ll get into this in more detail, one of the most critical steps in starting digital marketing is making sure customers can find you and not you going out targeting them. You can achieve this through strategies like search engine optimization (SEO) and using social media platforms.
Understand Your Competition
Your digital marketing strategy will only be effective if you know how to beat your competitors.
Chances are, there are many other brands competing for the same target audience as you. While this can pose a threat, it’s also a great opportunity to help you refine your marketing efforts.
When setting up digital marketing campaigns, start by running an in-depth competitor analysis. Look at what channels your main competitors are using, how their website is set up, what kind of content they’re publishing, and so on. This can help you see what you need to do to beat them, where they fall short, and what gaps and opportunities exist.
The more you understand your competitors, the better you will be able to develop marketing campaigns that help you attract customers away from them and toward your business.
Understand the Customer Journey
This is a critical part of developing a powerful digital marketing strategy. You don’t just need to understand your customers, but you need to understand the steps they will take to discover your brand online and make a purchase. This is known as the buyer’s journey
The buyer’s journey is broken up into four main stages:
- Attract: where you attract new customers to your business
- Engage: Where you develop trust and engage prospects who already know about your business
- Convert: Where you turn prospects into paying customers
- Retain: This is where you get customers to return or become advocates for your brand
The buyer’s journey can also be summarized in the following funnel image:
Any effective digital marketing strategy revolves around publishing the right content at the right stage of the buyer’s journey. Your aim is to move prospects down the funnel and eventually turn them into customers.
This means you need to use a strategic combination of digital marketing tactics in order to provide the right marketing messages and resources to people at the right time. You’ll also need the right digital marketing tools to do this – like email marketing and leads management software.
Map out the customer journey and establish what steps they will take from learning about your brand to becoming a customer. There are probably multiple paths that this could include.
Now you can create and optimize content to match this journey.
Learn more about customer journey management in our complete guide for more details on how to optimize this process.
Create a Solid Content Plan
Digital marketing revolves around content. This is the meat and potatoes of your digital marketing strategy.
Content includes anything you publish online that is useful, interesting, educational, or entertaining to your target audience. This could be on social media, your blog, YouTube videos, podcasts, or more.
Whatever the case, ensure you publish content that your audience is interested in and that offers value to them. Your goal should be to use content to attract prospects, develop trust with them, and push them down your marketing funnel.
Various types of content can help you achieve this. For example, a blog post is a great way to attract new prospects. You can then target them with email content (after they sign up for your mailing list, and send them content like live events or social media tips. All of this helps to develop trust and move the prospect down the funnel. ‘
Follow our complete guide to developing a content marketing plan for more information.
Be Accessible to Your Customers
Once you know your customers and their journey, the next step is to set up a presence on the right online channels. This must include your website as your main online asset (where you drive all your traffic and make sales) and can include things like social media channels, a blog, and so on.
Once you have set up this presence, it’s important to make it accessible to customers.
Digital marketing is not only about promoting your brand. These days, consumers expect to be able to connect and engage with brands online. In fact, 80% of consumers expect companies to interact with them on social media.
Your digital presence can help you provide support, answer customer queries, show off your brand personality, and more.
The key here is being accessible. Open up communication and make it easy for customers to get in touch with you through online channels. Respond to comments and queries on social media, accept reviews, and more.
The more accessible you are online, the more impactful your digital strategy will be.
Do More With Less
One of the really beautiful things about digital marketing is that you can achieve a lot with a little. You don’t need a big marketing budget to achieve awesome things and make an impact.
When establishing your digital strategy, look at ways you can attract customers and create an impact without requiring a large marketing budget. This can include tactics like:
- Social media marketing
- SEO content marketing
- Email marketing
- Running giveaways
And more. The key here is to be organic and create highly targeted campaigns to reach a specific audience and not just try to reach everyone. This will help you achieve the best possible ROI.
You can read our guide on low-cost and free marketing tactics for more ideas.
Understand the Data
Online marketing is all about having access to more meaningful information. The more data insights you can draw from your marketing efforts, the more impactful and successful your marketing strategy will be.
One of the key things about digital marketing is making use of your available analytics platforms to understand your audience, understand the effectiveness of your campaigns, and continually optimize so that you’re achieving the best possible results.
Without this, you could be focusing all of your time and effort on marketing efforts that don’t actually do anything for your business.
Start by setting goals and establishing what metrics you want to track that align with these goals. Then use platforms like Google Analytics and social media analytics tools to measure your success.
The more you dive into the data, the more you can make use of personalization and targeting. This can help you achieve far greater success with marketing.
Is Digital Marketing Important for Local Businesses?
What about digital marketing for local businesses?
Sure, a digital strategy is essential for digital businesses (like eCommerce), but it’s equally important for a location-based business. You just need to use the right tactics and target the right people.
For example, local SEO is a critical part of running any local business, and it can help you attract a lot more traffic and get a lot more feet through your door. Social media marketing and generally developing a strong online presence are essential. This is because people search for businesses online first before they look for businesses in physical locations.
Check out our complete guide to local marketing strategies for more insights and tactics you can use.
Choosing the Right Digital Marketing Channels
Of course, the effectiveness of digital marketing comes down to the channels you use and how they align with your brand. To reap the benefits of digital marketing, you need to be set up with the right channels in the first place.
This needs to include a website which is your central online asset. This is where you drive all of your traffic and convert it into customers, bookings, or sales.
Other online channels you should use include email marketing and social media marketing. Of course, the channels you focus on depend on your business and your target audience.
The key thing here is not to spread yourself too thin and focus on too many digital marketing channels. While digital marketing is extensive and can be overwhelming, the best approach is to start small and try to gain the best possible results from a handful of channels. You can always scale up your efforts as you grow.
Using the Right Tools
Finally, tapping into the power and potential of digital marketing is only really possible with the right software. You’ll need tools for building a website, sending email campaigns, automating your marketing workflows, personalizing campaigns, and more.
Luckily, this has become a lot more accessible thanks to all-in-one marketing solutions like Wishpond. With this, you get a single platform that covers your entire marketing strategy. Setting up a killer online marketing presence couldn’t be easier.
There are clearly loads of benefits to using digital marketing for your small business. It’s not even something you should consider doing – it’s something you have to do. This important thing is to understand what kind of benefits exist and know how you can tailor your marketing strategy to reap these benefits.
Follow the sections above and ensure your marketing strategy is covering all the right bases. Once you get this right, you’ll see just how much potential the right digital marketing strategy has to grow your business.
Looking for more inspiration and tips? Check out our helpful guides below.
- How to Create an Email Marketing Strategy: 20 Email Marketing Strategies & Tips
- Small Business SEO: 10 Small Business SEO Tips
- How to Create the Ultimate TikTok Marketing Strategy
- What is Paid Media? And How to Use it for Your Small Business