The group of potential customers found online is a much larger group of people than you are likely to be able to attract locally. Using digital market
When small businesses start, your focus is usually on getting your first group of customers in. They can rely on traditional forms of advertising, such as print ads and direct mail with coupons or even large signs on the sides of the road. They can trust that, as they know they offer a good product or service, it is only a matter of time before customers find their way to them.
While this strategy can generate business, there is a better and easier way. Small businesses should consider the huge market for online prospects. No small business, no problem how new, should ignore this vast market.
Benefits of online marketing
The group of potential customers found online is a much larger group of people than you are likely to be able to attract locally. Using digital marketing, you can receive a huge audience in an economical and measurable way.
Other benefits of online marketing include:
- The ability to interact with your potential customers and learn exactly what they’re looking for
- The ability to reach a global market
- You can save funds and reach more customers with less money than traditional marketing methods
- Know your audience and let them know you personally, which can help build brand loyalty
- You can track results to your marketing efforts right away
Why would you choose to delay investing time and effort in digital marketing? Different small business owners can come up with a variety of reasons to avoid this form of marketing, but in the end, procrastination is still procrastination.
Sometimes, small businesses believe they don't have the time or funds to be competitive online. They think they can only deals with many challenges at once and are still learning the intricacies of business in general. Many of them may prefer to go slow and stick to one or two basic forms of advertising, assuming their business will evolve over time.
They may even think that the best strategy is to simply wait for customers to show up. Because they are a small company, they may think that they need only a small number of customers.
This is not an effective approach. There is never any guarantee that your business will attract customers just because it exists, and even if it does, you will not attract as many customers as you need to make your business profitable.
Your customers are online
If you've been avoiding digital marketing, is it because you think you're just not ready? Do you think you just need some time to settle in and then you will discover the digital marketing angle?
The issue with this approach is that your customers and prospects are already online. Right now. Today. There is a good chance that they are already looking for a company like yours, but if they cannot find you easily, they will probably choose someone else.
That's how people do business today. When someone is interested in your business, be it in your niche in general or if you are curious about your brand, the first thing you are going to do is search online and see what they can find out about you.
They hope to find you there with a website and presence on social networks. They may be looking for reviews to find out what other people are saying about your company and whether it is a good place to do business.
If a potential customer cannot find you online, they may conclude that your business does not appear to be legitimate. There is a good chance that many of these potential customers will decide not to take your business seriously and will quickly move elsewhere.
After making that decision, they probably won't come back.
For your business or service to be successful, you need to pay deep attention to what your competitors are doing and learn from it. Think of your competitors not just as someone you plan to beat, but as people who have something to teach you.
By observing what your competitors are doing, you will have an idea of what is working and what is not. Most likely, whatever type of business you operate in, your competitors have established a presence on the web. What kind of content are they using? Are they doing blogging or are they using a lot of graphics and videos?
How do they communicate your brand and what makes them unique? Do they engage well with the public? Do you think you can do better? You can't if you don't participate in the competition in the digital world.
If your potential customers start looking for a business similar to yours and can find the competitor's website, but not yours, your business isn't even running. Your potential customers can't choose you if they don't know about you. In this scenario, your competitors have just run ahead of you, regardless of whether they have an effective website or a clear message.
Be accessible to your customers
Of course, in today's digital world, the first place where the average consumer looks for what they want is online. Whatever the product or service they are looking for, they will most likely start searching on Google. If you have no online presence, you will not be found and will not be able to compete.
If you have an online existance, but your competitors are easier to find and are found first, you may still not be found. In addition to creating a website, learning search engine optimization is a strategy that can help you move ahead of your competitors just by being the first name a potential customer finds in a Google search with keywords that can take you to your business.
Simple questions that your potential customers might want quick answers to are easily found online, such as where you are located, what your hours are and what you specialize in. By looking at your site and your competitors' sites side by side, your potential customers should be able to compare times, prices, special offers and more.
That is why it is critical that you know what your competitors are doing. Your potential customers are already checking on you and your competitors. They are already comparing and analysing you against each other. What are they discovering?
Let customers come to you
Think of digital marketing as a way to make yourself accessible to the audience you are trying to reach to offer your products and services. The scope of your business can go far beyond your walls. You are able to attract a much larger audience than possibly just serving local potential customers.
When creating a web presence, your company will be open for business even when it is closed. You can create an environment in which your customers can come to you at any time of the day or night.
At your convenience, customers and prospects can email questions, make purchases and browse your inventory. Potential customers who cannot physically come to you can still do business with you, whether they are limited by disability, transportation or simply living far away.
Know your target audience
Digital marketing allows you to engage with your potential customers. You can get to know them gradually and what they hope to find. On social media or on a blog, you can start a conversation. Do some research or try to get to know them. Pay attention to your comments or responses to surveys.
By connecting with people digitally, you can start to know what they are looking for. Where's their pain? What keeps them up at night? What solutions can you offer them? Instead of trying to guess, digital marketing offers tools and methods to discover who your customers really are.
That way, you start to establish a relationship with your customers. You become much more than a business. You become a trusted partner. People are much more likely to buy from companies they have already bought from.
Few forms of advertising are as economical as digital marketing. Small businesses often try to do as much as possible on a small budget. Many forms of digital marketing allow you to communicate your brand and reach a wide target customers, even when your budget is very tight.
Compared to advertising on TV, radio or direct mail, digital marketing spendings notably less and reaches a much wider audience at the same time. Using digital marketing to promote your small business will help you have a much better chance of business success.