Starting and running a successful small business is an exciting and rewarding experience. Yet, according to the Small Business Administration, nearly 22% of small businesses fail within the first year. That number skyrockets to over 50% within a five-year window. Statistics like these are exactly why you need to understand how and why digital marketing for small business works.
Digital marketing is the key to success for small businesses.
After opening up your doors, the first priority is typically ‘how do we get customers’. This leaves many small business owners relying on traditional (and largely outdated) forms of advertising. This includes coupon mailers, print ads, billboards, business cards, and more. They soon realize that the trickle of customers these mediums earn them isn’t enough to keep pace with rising costs and overhead.
Enter digital marketing.
The old ways of marketing are out, and digital marketing is IN.
Are you tired of losing business to the competition? Sick of seeing other companies outrank you on Google even though you offer better products and services? Ready to take your small business to the next level?
Savvy small business owners just like you are turning to digital marketing. This marketing style cost-effectively increases reach, enhances visibility, and captures market share. All these benefits and more position a business for growth now and in the future.
In this guide, we discuss the many ways that digital marketing can help your ‘small’ business achieve goals that are anything but small.
Why Digital Marketing is Effective
Now more than ever, digital marketing is an important component of your growth and sustainability plans. Those businesses that fail to implement a well-thought-out and expertly implemented digital marketing strategy will quickly find themselves at a significant competitive disadvantage.
Ensure Your Company is Where Your Customers Are: ONLINE
Research by AdWeek reveals that over 81% of shoppers begin their buying journey with an online search. This is true even if those same prospective customers eventually visit your physical store location to make a purchase.
Regardless of whether you sell online or off, a digital marketing platform is crucial. If your business isn’t optimized, visible, and readily accessible to prospective customers, you’re missing out on up to 81% of ALL potential sales.
Not only that, 100% of those “potential” sales are now going directly to your COMPETITORS. This is providing them with capital that will no doubt be used as ammunition against you in your industry.
The Importance of Small Business Online Marketing: By the Data
- 58% of individuals conduct localized searches on a daily basis before visiting a storefront (HubSpot).
- 89% of consumers make searches with purchase intent at least once weekly.
- 72% of those that make a localized search will VISIT a store within 5 miles of that search.
- Google claims over 90% of the total market share for mobile searches.
- 87% of consumers check and read online reviews before buying (BrightLocal, 2020).
- According to Google, 50% of individuals who made a local search on their smartphone visited a physical store within 24 hours of the search.
- In the same study, 34% of individuals making a local search on their phone visited a local business in person within 24 hours.
- According to Google, over 50% of all searches on Google have “local intent”.
- Search Engine Land states that 71% of individuals will search for the location of a business online in order to confirm details. This includes hours of operation, reviews, and if it exists before visiting for the first time.
- In 2017, a large study revealed that 97% of consumers search online for local businesses regularly, with 12% searching daily
- In another study published by Forbes, 95% of smartphone users search local on their phones. 61% call local businesses as a result of that search, and 59% physically visit the business as a result.
In other words, digital marketing enables savvy small businesses to show up when, where, and how their target market needs and demands them to. Modern commerce is tightly integrated with the digital market, with consumers actively researching online prior to making a buying decision.
If you aren’t there, you can be certain that your competitors are.
Using a smart digital marketing strategy you can ensure that your small business will be seen by your target audience.
The Benefits of Small Business Online Marketing
1. Increased Reach and a Broader Target Market
A digital marketing campaign transcends geographic restrictions, broadening your target market and reaching a wider sub-set of the population. Wider reach means a larger pool of prospective customers to market to.
While traditional marketing is often limited in reach, digital marketing can get small businesses in front of more relevant people. All this without sacrificing personalization. Plus, a successful digital marketing strategy will result in advertising to an interested audience. Best of all, digital marketing does so in a way that is sellable, affordable, and measurable.
2. Be Accessible 24/7/365
In the “age of now”, customers and prospects alike want information FAST. They want great support even faster. And when they don’t get it, they will find a competitor who can.
Your website design provides both existing customers and new prospects with a 24/7/365 multi-channel support system. A support system where they can easily access information, ask questions and connect with your team.
Just a few examples include:
- On-site chat
- Chat messenger bots
- Support ticket system
- Email / contact forms
- Knowledge Base and FAQs
- And more…
3. Always Be Closing – More Conversions, More Sales
It doesn’t matter what kind of business you run. If you can’t close the deal and generate sales you are effectively dead in the water.
But even the best salesmen in the world have slow months or “slumps” in sales. These slumps hurt your bottom line and make projecting growth and revenue a real pain.
But your website is different. Your website consistently delivers a powerful sales message to every prospect that it sees. It delivers the perfect pitch, full of features, benefits, and value propositions, coupled with a sense of urgency and call to action.
The result? A consistent flood of sales at a predictable rate, month after month, year after year.
Shape the Consumer Journey and Increase Conversions
One of the best and most impactful ways to earn trust is by establishing lasting relationships. By putting yourself in the shoes of your audience you can garner customer loyalty. Relate to them and success will follow.
Digital marketing allows you to map out the customers’ journey. This tool gives you incredible insight and control over how buyers navigate through the sales funnel/cycle. This includes what actions they take at each step, what bottlenecks or objections they face, and how to overcome those to earn their business.
Digital marketing is an incredibly powerful tool that gives you complete control over how buyers navigate through your sales cycle.
With offline or traditional marketing you only get ONE touchpoint to make an impact. However, with digital marketing, you can facilitate and nurture the prospect every step of the way. From making a buying decision to improving the experience they have with your brand, each of these factors ultimately earns you more sales.
This is a good thing, considering that research shows modern customers require (on average) 8 touchpoints before finalizing a purchase.
Similarly, research from Gartner has shown that businesses that utilize sales funnels and customer journey mapping are twice as likely to outperform their competitors.
Better Data, Better Results for Less
Traditional marketing channels offer little opportunity to gather information about your target market. However, this is where online marketing thrives. Today’s digital marketing campaigns are fueled by precise and accurate data gathered about customers and prospective customers alike.
Information such as user behavior, consumer interests, purchase history, income, age, gender, zip code, and more can all provide key information. This information can in turn be used to create better offers and drive conversion rates through the roof.
Veer Away From Costly Mistakes
Similarly, data on customers as well as that of the market can aid small businesses in dodging costly mistakes. Data-driven decisions remove bias and give small business owners the confidence they need to make better decisions and avoid costly mistakes.
Discover Hidden Opportunities For Growth
Insights from data gathered through digital marketing can help small businesses fine-tune and optimize marketing campaigns to earn a higher ROI. Analysis of this data often reveals hidden opportunities that would have otherwise gone untapped.
Personalized Your Marketing to Speak to Each Prospect
Personalization is one of the most powerful ways small businesses can leverage the power of online marketing. It leads to superior results for their business all while providing an unbeatable customer experience.
In fact, research shows that:
- 63% of customers will stop shopping at brands that fail to personalize
- 71% of customers report feeling frustrated with impersonal brand experiences
- 72% of customers report only interacting with personalized messages
Market and Competitor Intelligence gives your Small Business an Edge
Competitors offer a treasure trove of digital intelligence ripe for the taking. By leveraging digital marketing strategies and data, small businesses can capitalize on the same high-performing campaigns and online marketing channels the competition is using. This is all while avoiding those that are failing or have failed to perform.
More Marketing for Less Money
When measured against ‘old school’ offline and non-digital marketing channels, online marketing wins (by a long shot).
Although your mileage may vary (based on niche, business, offers, etc.), the following represents average ROI backed by data:
- Email Marketing: 3,600% average ROI (ConstantContact)
- Content Marketing: 13X more likely to generate a positive ROI (HubSpot)
- Google / PPC Ads: 2X average ROI for every dollar spent (MainStreet ROI)
- Conversion Rate Optimization: 223% ROI (VentureBeat)
- Retargeted Ads: 64% boost in ROI
- Dynamic Video: 49% increase in ROI
And that’s just the tip of the online marketing iceberg. For savvy small businesses that opt to leverage the power of digital marketing, results can be extraordinary.
Backed by data, digital marketing boosts a company’s ROI by extraordinary amounts.
Small Business Digital Marketing: Key Opportunities
Search Engine Optimization
If you’ve been in business for a while, chances are you’ve tried SEO. And why wouldn’t you? All the cool kids are doing it, right?
And you’ll no doubt have come to the conclusion that in regard to “online business”, Google rules the world.
Their omnipresence cannot be ignored. 70% of all purchase decisions first take place via a search engine search. The impact Google has on your businesses has never been more palpable.
Just how much does ranking on Google Matter? Let’s take a look at a few key facts…
In 2017, over 46.8% of the global population accessed the internet. By 2021 this figure reached over 53.7%.
Organic Rankings Can’t be Ignored
If you’re not on the first page of Google for your targeted keywords you’re missing out on 90%+ of traffic. Most individuals NEVER click past the first page of organic results.
But that’s not all. Even if you’re on page #1 if you’re not in the top three positions you’re missing out on over 60% of traffic.
What Can You Do About it?
Now you’re asking the right question!
Google themselves has confirmed that they track, analyze, and weigh over 200 “ranking signals”. Then they apply the results against a layer of algorithms in order to determine the “best” pages. These signals determine what order they should display them for any given search phrase at any given time.
As it relates to “local”, they also apply a further GEO proximity algorithm.
If that all sounds a bit complicated, that’s because it is. Add to that Google applies hundreds of “micro” algorithm adjustments and a few core algorithm updates each year (Yikes).
But don’t worry.
As an award-winning SEO Agency, Boosted Lab can help you quickly and easily map a plan to dominate online search. Simply put, we help your business rank higher, earn more traffic, and convert more sales.
PPC – Pay Per Click Advertising for small business
Pay Per Click (PPC) ads offer an immediate solution for driving clicks and traffic to your website.
But does it work? Let’s take a look at the numbers…
- Google display campaigns reach a whopping 90% of internet users worldwide!
- Customers who view display ads are 155% (on average) more likely to search for branded terms (i.e. your company name)
- 89% of traffic coming from PPC ads is NOT replaced with organic clicks (Google)
- 40% of clicks for high purchase intent searches goes to the top three PPC ads (Wordstream)
- 98% of consumers choose a business listed on page #1 of results (BrightLocal)
- A 200% ROI – $2 return for every $1 spent on Google Ads (Google Economic Impact Report)
- 72% of marketers report a strong ROI and intent on increasing ad spend (Search Engine Watch)
- 70% of consumers using mobile call a business directly from Google Search (Search Engine Watch)
Digital Marketing for Small Business
Ready to learn more about online marketing for small businesses and how digital marketing can help your business outpace and outperform the competition?
Contact Boosted Lab today. We are a fully accredited digital marketing company with a proven track record. Our goal is to help small businesses thrive and prosper in some of the most competitive markets worldwide.