Almost everyone is going online. As of April 2022, the number of online users worldwide has reached five billion. That’s 63% of the global population!
The growing popularity of the digital space has prompted businesses to change their marketing strategies. Besides posting ads on televisions, radios, and newspapers, they also utilize various digital channels. The same goes for small businesses. More than half use digital marketing to promote their products or services.
Benefits of Digital Marketing for Small Businesses
The Internet has become an indispensable part of modern life. Consumers and business owners use it to get and disseminate information and connect. If you haven’t already invested in digital marketing, it’s time to reconsider. You wouldn’t want to miss out on the following:
Easy reach. You can quickly connect to a wider audience. Internet users are increasing year by year. Most of them are also active. According to Pew Research Center, 85% of the population are online daily, with 31% reporting going online almost constantly.
Flexible. Digital marketing provides equal opportunities to all business types. It’s suitable for big and small corporations and multinational and local companies. Digital marketing also enables you to identify consumers’ needs and wants. In doing so, you can adjust your products or services to meet their demands.
Time-effective. You can efficiently save time. For instance, you don’t have to wait for a third party to print your flyers and posters. Instead, you can post them directly on your website and social media accounts.
Budget-friendly. The cost of print media, television, and radio advertising can blow your company’s entire marketing budget. Not to mention, it can be wasteful since you’re not sure it can reach your target market. Digital marketing is a safer and cheaper alternative. You can opt to post for free through social media platforms or go for paid ads via Google Ads.
Online Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses
There are many digital marketing ideas. However, choosing the most appropriate ones for your business can be overwhelming, especially when you’re just starting. Don’t fret! Here are some online marketing strategies you can try:
1. Content Marketing
Consumers want value. It can mean price for some and benefits to others. Consumers want to be assured they get their money’s worth.
Content marketing is one of the ways you can communicate value to your target audience. It involves creating blog posts, infographics, videos, and the like related to your products or services and helpful to prospective customers.
Are you in the business of teaching e-commerce courses? A blog post about the best print-on-demand companies might attract customers planning to sell customized products online.
2. Web Design
Your website may serve as consumers’ first point of interaction with your business. Hence, it should make a great first impression on them.
A great web design should be visually impressive. Choose readable fonts, such as Open Sans, Montserrat, and Helvetica. Also, make sure to use appropriate colors. Research shows that the proper use of colors can increase brand awareness by 80%, visual appearance by 93%, and purchase behavior by 85%.
Apart from aesthetics, a great web design should also be usable. According to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Systems and Information Technology, users spend more time on a website with a fast response time, easy navigation, and relevant content.
3. Search Engine Optimization
No matter how informative and relevant your content is, it’s a failure if no one can see it. Hence, promote your content, and increase traffic through SEO.
SEO can help boost your rankings in search results by incorporating keywords and phrases related to your business. You can’t just pick anything to fit your liking. Instead, it would be best to research how your target audience is looking for the products or services you offer online. You can also use the ones from your competitors.
Be sure to mention the keyword more than once. Use it in the title of your web content, URL, and meta description. Feel free to also add variations to it.
4. Pay-Per-Click Advertising
PPC is another way to grow traffic to your website. Unlike SEO, you don’t earn user visits. Rather, you buy them.
Getting your content to appear on the first of Google’s results page can be challenging for small businesses. With PPC, you can get your ad to appear above Google’s organic search results if you win the bidding. However, you’re only required to pay the search engine company when someone clicks on your ad.
In terms of cost, PPC is more expensive than SEO. However, while both effectively increase traffic, PPC offers quicker visibility than SEO. So if you have the budget, employ PPC.
5. Social Media Marketing
Humans are social butterflies. They need constant connection to thrive. Humans’ need for connection is what drives their social media usage.
Use social media to your advantage! Build relationships with old and prospective customers by keeping them engaged. For example, you can ask them what they think about your products or services or what they expect to see from your business.
You can also utilize social media to improve customer experience. Responding to consumers’ queries and concerns in real time can show your dedication to keeping them happy and satisfied.
Finally, social media is a great venue to market your company’s reputation. Do you want to tell consumers that you are more than just a money-making business? Consider sharing your history and values by posting behind-the-scene videos or pictures.
Word of mouth is the best tool to attract buyers. The best source is not you or your employees but customers who have tried your products or services. As per Statista, nearly 70% of online shoppers read one to six customer reviews before making a purchase.
Even bad reviews can be good for your business. If you display only good reviews, consumers might become suspicious if you’re being honest. After all, nothing’s perfect. There’s always room for improvement.
7. Great Deals
Consumers love discounts. They feel like smart buyers when they don’t pay the full price for what they buy. Consider running buy-one-get-one deals, cashback promotions, and flash sales. Besides increasing your sales, they also manage your inventory.
Do you know what else consumers love? Free shipping! The shipping cost is a burden to many buyers. It accounts for 52% of abandoned carts. Entice consumers to “Add to Cart” and “Check Out” the items they fancy by offering free shipping vouchers. You may want to set a minimum purchase value so that you can be assured that you can still make a profit.
Reasons Why Some Online Marketing Strategies Fail
Not all online marketing strategies succeed. You can increase your success rate by knowing the reasons for their failure and addressing them:
Lack of research
Not setting a specific and realistic goal
Having too many goals
Less focus on customers
Inability to provide a clearly defined value proposition
Digital marketing is a valuable tool to expand your business. Even so, you can only reap its benefits if you execute your strategies correctly. You must remember that digital marketing is about maintaining a strong online presence. As such, consistency is vital. Your online marketing strategies should also be customer driven. Remember that consumers prefer to buy products that add value to their lives. You can only do that if you know what they want. Hence, do your research.
Guest Post by Melissa Harmon