James Hopkins Marketing: Why Digital Marketing Is Important for Small Business
Digital marketing is not something in today’s world that is only for big companies with large marketing budgets. One of the key mistakes made by many small, local business owners is thinking that digital marketing is only for big companies.
However, people will still search online even when looking for something locally. Approximately 18% of all local searches online will lead to a sale within 24 hours, and 72% of people who visit a brick-and-mortar store will choose one within 5 miles or less of their original location.
More than half of all shoppers today (53%) will always research online before making a purchase, and this includes people who intend to physically make that purchase locally. Digital marketing agencies therefore have a wider scope of potential clients than ever before, with more local businesses looking to expand and enhance their digital presence to keep up with consumer trends.
Social Media Marketing
One way in which any business can make an affordable foray into digital marketing is through utilising social media networks to connect with their customers. The typical amount of time the average person spends on social media today is around 135 minutes daily. This provides businesses with countless opportunities to connect with existing and potential customers, network with contacts, and convert prospects.
Social media provides a unique platform for building brand awareness, sharing engaging content, providing customer service, and learning how to better understand what customers are looking for in products and services. There are also potential opportunities to collaborate with influencers which can increase trust in and recognition of the brand and reach a wider audience.
Content has long been known to be the lynchpin of digital marketing, with years of research showing that business offering fresh, original and engaging content tend to do better. As technology advances, new mediums for sharing content become available to businesses.
Interactive content is a growing trend that creates unique ways to connect with customers and get people involved with the brand. Types of interactive content that can be experimented with include online quizzes, voting or polls, animated infographics, contests and assessments.
Another area to explore could be expiring content. Making certain types of content available for a limited time only creates a sense of exclusivity and urgency among users, who may then make more effort to seek out similar content time and again.
Even businesses that do not operate online need to appear in search results if they want to attract more customers. With so many people performing online searches before deciding to make a purchase, it is essential for the modern local business to ensure it appears towards the top of search engine results for its brand, products, services or other related keyword searches.
Adding even a basic website can help increase visibility of a business to online searchers. Businesses should ensure that it is easy to find information about them online, including contact details, opening hours, location and products. Many people use search engines to make online comparisons before making a purchasing decision, so details of any special offers or promotions should be included alongside clear pricing details and anything else that makes a business stand apart from its competitors.
Local businesses will likely benefit from utilising various online services for location-based marketing, including web optimisation for local search with map functions integrated. This gives prospective customers all the information they need to be able to find their nearest store with one click.