As a small business owner, it can be overwhelming to determine precisely what is needed to grow and scale a business.
Considering so many small business owners wear multiple hats – from the owner, manager, accountant, human resources director, marketing director, and administrator – it can be challenging to manage so many aspects of business all at once.
As a result, digital marketing tactics such as social media marketing, content generation, blogging, and building an email list are simply items on a checklist that the owner assumes they “should” be doing.
Just like daily exercise, reading, and meditation, these tactics arrive on a never-ending list of self-improvement ideas for your business, yet are often reached for on an inconsistent basis. And without consistency, no tangible results are established, leaving small business owners drawn to the next component of growing their business.
Theoretically speaking, many small business owners claim digital marketing is important. Yet far fewer take actionable steps to implement an effective marketing strategy.
But on a larger scale, marketing strategies and building a digital footprint are proven to be significant, and more increasingly critical components of running a business. Chief Marketing Officers are being provided a larger say at the C-Level, and businesses from every industry are establishing an online presence like never before. Companies with more than 5 billion in revenue now spend 13% of their revenue on marketing on average.
So why aren’t small business owners following suit?
Truthfully, many small business owners deduce digital marketing efforts to the millennial generation, criticizing influencer efforts and minimizing copy for social media posts. Yet large companies expound a large portion of their financial backing on these very efforts.
So why the backing from such large companies?
Because digital marketing for business owners is a critical component to growing and scaling a successful business. It’s time for small business owners to grasp the significance of this, and exert effort accordingly. Here’s why.
- Digital marketing opens your small business up to an entirely new audience. Even as a location-based business, digital marketing efforts such as social media marketing and online advertising engage an audience of new prospects online that may have never known you existed. Prospects can be attracted and nurtured like never before, and with platforms like Facebook Ads, they can be targeted extremely specifically. Unless the goal of the business is to stay small and close the doors one day, it’s time to seek after new audiences.
- Digital marketing creates additional referral opportunities. Referrals are arguably the most important factor behind your marketing strategy, considering referred customers have a 37% higher retention rate. Digital marketing makes content distribution simple by sharing content, forwarding email promotions, leaving reviews, and sending more traffic for prospects to be referred over time.
- Digital marketing strategies create additional channels to serve your customers and clients. Online marketing has created opportunities to better serve and retain your current client base, such as adding value to them through helpful content and tools related to your industry, simplified messaging systems, and most importantly – serving them by showing up where they already are.
- Digital marketing generates trust. Because consumers are bombarded by messages and media on a daily basis, it can be difficult to discern where to invest time and dollars. It typically takes seven touch points for the average consumer to have established enough trust to implement a purchasing decision. Digital marketing efforts over time allow brands to nurture their prospects by the inbound marketing methodology – which attracts, engages and delights consumers through the sales process.
- Digital marketing generates results. Creating a strategic digital plan executed consistently over time to attract your ideal audience ultimately will create a high ROI for your business venture if you invest in your efforts. According to Hubspot, 90% of searchers haven’t made their mind up about a brand before starting their search, 91% of shoppers want to hear from companies they do business with via email, and Only 3% of Internet-using adults say they have a lot of trust in the information they get from social media. (Pew Research Center, 2018).(Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)
So what does this mean for your small business? It means it is time to show up, be consistent, and invest in the next generation of marketing.
Need help getting started with your small business marketing efforts? Ashley Monk is the creator and founder of It Media, a digital marketing agency for small businesses. Learn more about digital marketing and how you can implement a strategy today here.