FACT: digital marketing for small businesses can help you break through the clutter and stand out. Why? Even with a limited marketing budget, digital marketing is an efficient way to build your client base.
What comes to mind when you think of a phone? An energy drink? Fast food? You probably thought of Apple, Redbull and McDonalds, with their logos clearly pictured in your mind. This is what branding is. The ability for your ideal customer to position your business in their mind.
Your business’s brand is its most valuable asset. Contrary to some beliefs, your brand is not just your name and logo – it is so much more than that. A brand is your business’ personality. It is the relationship you have with your customers and clients. A good brand is attributed to trust and credibility and communicates exactly who you are, what you do, and how you can help, just in a matter of minutes.
We have seen the power of how a good brand can influence action. Think of the Kardashians for example. It is true they may not be everyone’s favourite, but the brand that the family has created is extremely successful at influencing their fans that they need to buy what they are selling. Consumers will happily spend money on a product if they connect with the business and its values.
At The Marketing GP, we like to use the metaphor that if you took your business to a party and weren’t proud to introduce it to your ideal customer, it might be time to consider rebranding.
Why digital marketing for small business?
Consumers are online, and they’re online often. They’re on social media, using search engines to find the information they need, and playing games or watching videos.
We’ve all been known to switch off the ever prevalent screen-time feature on our phones to live in ignorance of how much time is spent on them, but the data says it all. The Digital 2020: Australia report by DataReportal states that in January 2020:
There were 22 million internet users in Australia
The number of internet users in Australia increased by 265,000 between 2019 and 2020
Internet penetration in Australia stood at 88 per cent of the population
There were 18 million social media users in Australia in January 2020
The number of social media users in Australia increased by 735,000 between April 2019 and January 2020
Social media penetration in Australia stood at 71 per cent
The number of mobile phone connections in Australia was equivalent to 130 per cent of the total population
[That last statistic may indicate we can’t be trusted to keep track of our phones, or that Aussies are a bit dodgy!]
If you want to reach more potential customers, you need to be online because the data tells us that’s where your customers are. Simple.
The “right-here, right-now” era
Don’t know where the nearest servo is? Google it. Need a review of a new video game? Google it. When it comes to sourcing information on just about everything the first point of call is Google, and that’s why it is the most visited website in the world ahead of YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Most of these searches are for products or services ‘near me’ – so they’re looking for local businesses that have what they need. If you don’t have an online presence, these potential local consumers won’t find you and will likely end up going to a competitor.
Google is also excellent for lead generation and drawing in customers you may not otherwise attract. Targeted digital campaigns give you the opportunity to test in demographic markets outside your regular channels. The results can sometimes be very surprising.
Even a basic foray into digital marketing will give SMBs an online presence. A Google My Business listing has the necessary information (phone number, store hours, address) for you to be found on Google Search and Google Maps.
Our advice, though, is Google My Business is a temporary measure to ensure you have an online presence while you prioritise a more user-friendly and consumer-oriented web experience. That’s where we provide expert guidance.
Google My Business is just one part of the overall digital picture you need built to improve your business’ outcomes.
Give your customers what they want
Just like showing up on a first date, you put on your best self, you’ll get a haircut and buy a new outfit. Even though we know you’ve got a charming personality beneath all that, showing up in your tracksuit and not brushing your teeth could suggest otherwise. The same goes for your digital brand.
Once a potential customer knows your business exists, they’re almost 100 per cent guaranteed to look you up online to get more information.
Whether they’ve found you via a Google search, passed your office or shopfront on their way to work, or been referred to you by an existing customer or client, they’ll want to know more. At a minimum, today’s consumers expect businesses to have photos, store hours, a phone number, and address published online.
But what they really want is a real website, and an organic social presence No matter how small your business may be, the lack of a professional website and digital profile is often taken by consumers to mean you’re not legitimate and therefore not worth visiting.
This will hurt your businesses growth and its future success – and we wouldn’t be expecting a second date.
Trust is key in digital marketing
With an ever-changing advertising landscape, and ads being pushed to us everywhere from billboards to Instagram, building trust is more important than ever to a business. Having an online presence and a website makes a business trustworthy. If you’re not online, your credentials can’t be recognised by clients and customers, both current and new.
Digital marketing for small businesses gives you the chance to engage with consumers online, making it easy to connect via contact forms and social media links.
Who doesn’t appreciate personal attention when you submit a question via a website link? Your contacts will likely be more willing to trust you when they can get fast, honest answers to their questions.
Marketing online is cost-effective and easy to measure
Digital marketing for small businesses offers a higher ROI than any other type of marketing in today’s marketing climate.
The other advantage over traditional marketing is the speed at which you can find out if your digital marketing strategy is working or not. The online world is driven by data so measuring the performance of a digital campaign is just a few clicks away. No more waiting for the latest tv viewing data or newspaper circulation numbers to get an estimate of how many people saw your latest ad.
Digital marketing is easily scalable, so SMBs can get started regardless of your budget. If you’ve steered away from marketing online because you think it’s cost prohibitive, we encourage you to check out our website to understand how we can help grow your business.