Digital marketing has become an essential pursuit for any business looking to succeed. With the web now serving as the primary mode of interaction between customers and companies, building a strong online presence is crucial to attracting attention to your business.
However, appearing online isn’t enough – you need a solid search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing strategy to drive traffic to your page. For small businesses especially, an excellent digital marketing strategy can meet these needs, differentiate you from competitors and increase your reach to potential customers.
6 Benefits of Digital Marketing for Local Businesses
Digital marketing isn’t just for global corporations with a world-renowned online presence; local businesses need digital marketing to grow and thrive, as well.
Here are just a few of the benefits of digital marketing for local companies:
1. Increases Audience Reach
According to a 2018 study, 87 percent of consumers begin the shopping process by researching goods or services online, even if they intend to spend their money locally.
Whether on phones or laptops, these online searches create an ever-widening audience for your products and services. What’s especially great for small businesses is that digital marketing can help you connect with local consumers and potential customers who would otherwise be completely out of your reach.
2. Increases Target Audience Interaction and Conversion Rates
When users on your site become a lead, paying customer, subscriber, or take some other desired action, you’ve achieved a conversion. Digital marketing serves to target your best demographics, drive traffic to your site, keep potential customers engaged with your content and make the purchase process as streamlined as possible, thus positively influencing your conversion rates and your bottom line.
Digital marketing allows you to reach your target audience where they spend the most time online and helps you learn more about the groups you are trying to reach. By building an online marketing campaign centered around your target audience and built upon your knowledge of their online behaviors, you can make conversion rates soar.
3. Analyzes Customer Input
Unlike traditional marketing techniques, digital marketing produces mountains of valuable data. With it, you can analyze a variety of metrics, from information about the users that visit your site to the actions they take once they get there.
For example, you can assess which products are clicked on and abandoned in a digital shopping cart, or you can analyze how many email recipients accessed your site through your promotional link. These valuable insights can influence you immensely when building a marketing strategy that helps engage potential customers and encourage them to interact with your business.
4. Creates Cost-Effective Solutions
Digital marketing is not only the most effective marketing method in the digital age, but it is also highly cost-effective compared to traditional techniques. If you can create relevant content with a solid keyword strategy, you don’t need to spend enormous amounts of money on promoting your products. You just need to know how to appear prominently within Google’s search algorithms and maintain audience attention.
In fact, the online world offers a much more level playing field for small, local businesses and the global competition. Before digital marketing, if a company didn’t have the money to out-advertise big box stores and larger local competitors, they would find themselves at a loss. With online marketing, that’s all changed. Now, any business that wants to promote its products or services can do so to any audience for a reasonable cost.
5. Builds Lasting Relationships
Creating a relationship with customers is a must for small and local businesses to keep them coming back. In a survey conducted by The Keap, local business owners answered that one of their biggest challenges in 2019 was building a lasting relationship with customers and getting former customers to re-engage with their company.
Digital marketing offers a variety of ways that you can interact with your customers and create relationships that keep them coming back. From a live chat bar on your website to a personalized, automated follow-up email after someone makes a purchase, your business can interact with its customers frequently and effectively.
6. Makes Your Business More Accessible
As previously stated, the first place people go when they have a question about your business, products or services is online. Whether they’re seeking information about your store hours or your prices, most people won’t call your shop or ask a friend – they’ll simply look you up on Google or Facebook. So creating an attractive, functional website and maintaining active social media accounts can quickly help people learn the necessary information about your business.
With a strong online presence and smart content that boosts your rankings on search engines like Google, you also become more accessible to people searching for general information about your niche.
Creating a Solid Digital Marketing Strategy for Your Small Business
For the modern business, digital marketing has many facets. As mentioned, it isn’t enough to simply set up a website. Instead, you’ll need to employ digital marketing strategies like content marketing, social media marketing, SEO and email marketing. These strategies are essential to make your brand more visible on different online platforms.
Social Media Marketing
With its inception, social media created a world of ways to promote your business online. By creating a social media account for your business, you are already taking strides to make your company information more accessible to your audience. There are billions of users across several social media platforms, making social media marketing one of the most effective types of digital marketing with the highest conversion rates by far.
A social media presence is an amazing way to build your brand and reach local, regional and global consumers for small businesses. Whether you want to drive more traffic to your site or looking to create more long-term customers, social media accounts can help your business in many ways. Not only can you advertise and promote your products and services, but you can also learn a lot about your customers.
Major benefits of social media marketing include:
- Attracting new customers
- Increasing sales
- Improving your search engine ranking
- Free advertising
- Low-cost paid advertising
- Increasing customer interaction
- Simplifying communication
Content Marketing: Creating Content That Converts
The content your company creates plays an enormous role in boosting your search engine ranking, driving traffic to your site and informing users about your business. Utilizing high-value keywords to attract relevant traffic is only the first step.
Companies need to dive deeper than common popular keywords their audience might search for. By knowing your target audience, what they’re interested in or how they may react to specific content, you’ll be able to shape your content and marketing strategies to promote more interaction with your business.
Creating content that interests your audience and ultimately influences them to interact with your products or services is what’s known as creating content that converts. Conversely, content that isn’t interesting, relevant or helpful can detract from your appeal, undermine your status as an industry expert and lose potential customers.
So build a content strategy that keeps trends in mind, appeals to your target audience and engages readers of all types.
Knowing How To Use SEO and Algorithms
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a fundamental piece of the digital marketing puzzle. SEO begins with the process of making critical website improvements to boost user experience (technical SEO). This fundamental basis of SEO involves ensuring your website is mobile-friendly, loads quickly and is simple to navigate, allowing users to access your high-conversion pages to become paying customers.
However, the most well-known SEO practice involves the use of relevant keywords and phrases to ensure Google’s algorithm displays your website when a user searches for a relevant topic (organic SEO).
For example, if you want your homemade candle business to appear prominently when users nearby search for “scented candle,” using that key phrase strategically in your site content will ensure Google serves your website on its search engine results page (SERP). Optimizing web copy and other content can increase visibility and drive relevant traffic to your site.
Why Is Digital Marketing Important for Small Businesses?
Each of the above aspects of digital marketing is crucial for any small or local business looking to differentiate itself from the competition and boost conversions. As the world moves online, local businesses must continue to adjust how they communicate with their customers. The world’s largest corporations have moved the bulk of their marketing online, and to maintain or grow your local business, you’ll need to follow their lead.
Billions of people use the internet every day, creating a massive market for businesses of all sizes to promote their products and services via digital marketing. Online marketing enables customers and companies to communicate easily and allows local shoppers researching their next purchase to learn about your company before they even walk out the door. Perhaps most significantly, digital marketing provides a way for smaller, local businesses to compete with larger companies without the need to match their marketing budgets.
With its high conversion rates, global reach and ability to connect with targeted, local audiences, digital marketing is an essential tool for any local business.