For small businesses, maximizing ROI (Return on Investment) is more than a goal, it’s a necessity. Small business owners have to be smart about what they invest their time, money, and resources into, seeing as they have little room for error.
Unfortunately, that sort of mentality can lead to small businesses undervaluing certain aspects of business operation, such as digital marketing. Maybe they think it’d be more expensive than they can afford, or they feel like the returns on time investment won’t be worth it at the end of the day.
We’re going to show you a couple of reasons why digital marketing is not only vital for small businesses, but why it should rocket up your list of priorities if you goal is both short- and long-term success.
- Digital Marketing might be one of the few ways your target audience hears about your business.
How can someone buy from your store if they don’t know your business exists?
Think about it – we’re living in an increasingly digital, customer-facing world. You can order a 3-course dinner delivered straight to your house, log onto Netflix or Disney+, and have a fun “family night” without ever stepping outside. This sort of customer service is only increasing across industries, with things such as prescriptions, food, and entertainment now being delivered direct to consumers.
The pandemic was an effective demonstration of how long people can thrive without leaving their houses. Americans are more sedentary than ever before.
It’s a very real possibility that if you were to invest in physical locations and advertising alone, members of your target audience might never gain awareness of your company. You have to be able to adapt to the times.
Make a Facebook and/or Instagram page, start commenting around on forums (Reddit and niche forums) or on other pages related to your niche. Think of every post you make as the equivalent to putting up a sign in real life, and every page you make on social media like putting up a bulletin board. Brand Awareness is the first step to landing a customer.
- Digital Marketing is as expensive as you want it to be.
While you’re never going to be able to completely get around the time investment, you can very much control how much money you pour into digital marketing. Even newer small businesses can reap the benefits of reaching their audience using completely free methods.
We talked about some of these, like making social media pages and commenting around in your niche. You could also make YouTube videos since people like connecting with faces and real personalities.
As far as paid methods go, once you’ve got your website and social media pages set up, you can look into doing paid ads on social media platforms to target other people interested in what your business provides. You could also invest in a content generation strategy, making use of SEO to bring your business traffic over time (Note: SEO tends to take a longer time to show tangible results).
Time vs Money is a tradeoff in digital marketing. You can save time by investing money to hire a digital marketing expert for your small business, or you can save money by investing time into your own research and experimentation.
It’s a give and take relationship, but it’s completely possible to see early results on digital marketing through free methods alone. Then, you can plan to invest based on what your perceived returns will be.
- Your competitors are using Digital Marketing.
Whether or not your competitors are successful at it is another thing entirely, but unless you’ve completely reinvented the wheel with your niche, it’s likely that major competitors for your business are just a few clicks and searches away.
Digital Marketing is too powerful to ignore.
All of the customers they’re snagging through their digital strategy could – and perhaps should – be aware of what you bring to the table, but they’ll never even hear about you if you don’t enter the ring, so to speak. Again, this doesn’t necessarily mean investing a ton of money into your digital marketing strategy, but you should lay out the groundwork that can later be built upon.
Digital Marketing is a Tool for Small Businesses
Whether you’re delving into digital marketing yourself, or looking to outsource to a team of experts, we hope you’ve come to realize just how powerful of a tool it is in this increasingly digital age. Small businesses are well-positioned to get a leg up on their competitors if they’re able to use savvy and creative digital marketing to their advantage.