Why Local Business Needs Digital Marketing
The increase in the way individuals use social media has affected how businesses strategize their marketing scheme. With the rise of mobile users in the previous years, this has encouraged businesses to be proactive online. A digital marketing strategy is the way to do it, especially for small businesses.
The term digital marketing has been around the market for a long time. But it is only now that this kind of marketing is being used because of the technological advances. Mobile phones, as the widely used device, are somewhat the epicenter of businesses (especially for the younger market). From market advertising, consumer awareness, to consumer purchasing – all can be done with the use of a mobile phone.
Digital Marketing VS Online Marketing
Several people (even those who are working as digital and online marketers) are guilty of interchanging these two terms. Digital Marketing is an umbrella term that covers any and all kinds of marketing that involve the use of technology.
Online marketing, therefore, is a branch of digital marketing. This field of marketing involves only those that have something to do with the internet. For example, social media management, search engine optimization, pay per click, and website use. All in all, anything beyond the internet falls under digital marketing.
Digital marketing is a type of marketing strategy that makes use of any technology to advertise and create awareness of businesses and brands. This is a broad term since it covers several aspects hence why it is often broken down into several points. This includes online marketing.
However, unlike online marketing, this does not only involve the use of the internet. Sending a text message blast about a new product is also considered as a form of digital marketing. Anything that has something to do with technology (e.g. television, radio, the internet) is part of digital marketing. Having said that, if there are changes in technology, there will also be changes in the way digital marketing works.
This kind of marketing strategy gives great focus on getting in touch with your customers, making it best for business to customers (B2C) type of transactions. In today’s age, the user experience is extremely important. This is evident in the younger generation who are keener on gaining experience rather than merely holding the product itself.
Digital marketing generally involves using the internet because it is quick, easy, and cheap. This is perhaps the reason why many people, especially small businesses, tend to interchange an online and a digital marketing strategy.
Components of an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy
For a digital marketing strategy to be effective, there are certain aspects that you need to consider. If you want to ensure a strong small business digital marketing strategy, you should keep this in mind when crafting your strategy.
Similar to any form of marketing strategy, setting a goal for your business is extremely important. For example, long-term goals like where you want to be in the next five years or short-term goals like how you want your customer engagement to improve in the next three months need to established. Your goals will be your northern star – a guide that keeps you on track in case you lose your way. Being goal-centric will also allow you to highlight on the important (or lacking) areas in marketing and improve from there.
Identify Target Market
For your digital marketing strategy to work, you need to identify your target audience. Knowing who your market is important for your strategy because this will change the voice of your marketing. This will also change your approach. For example, which social media platform you should give the majority of your focus on.
Call to Action
A call to action (CTA) will be your way of encouraging your audience to do something. This engages them to buy, to comment, or to click. This is usually composed of an image or a text and should direct your viewers back to your landing page.
The CTA should be in line with your leads management. The creation of a leads management in a digital marketing strategy is important because this helps you reach potential customers. Just because people are on social media does not mean they will right away message or ask of your product. It’s 2018, make the first move.
The ultimate goal of a digital marketing strategy is to increase your website traffic. Therefore, you should always keep this in mind when crafting your digital marketing strategy. It will be counterproductive if you practice an active social media engagement if these do not translate to your website traffic. That said, double check your posts and always include a link of your website to your social media platforms.
Strategies to Consider for Digital Marketing
There are several ways you can approach your small business digital marketing strategy. Considering that it’s the beginning of the year, there have been several upgrades and changes in this field. Here are some of the most important aspects to have when strategizing your digital marketing:
The first thing digital marketers would tell business owners is to have a social media account. That is because of a large number of people using social media networks. As of the third quarter of the year 2017, Facebook alone has an average of 2.07 billion monthly active users. And that is 2.07 billion possible customers reach.
Facebook (including FB ads)
Perhaps the most popular social media platform, Facebook should be your top priority when drafting a small business digital marketing strategy. With this social media platform, one can do Facebook remarketing (that is creating posts on your Facebook account) and Facebook ads. Lately, the trend has been to hire a Facebook marketing expert to handle all their postings, messages, and engagements. This only goes to show how big of an impact Facebook can bring to your business.
If you haven’t added Instagram to your digital marketing campaign, then you are missing out on the sales generating possibilities. Instagram is the preferred social media account for the youth. If a majority of your target market are teens (or millennials), then you have to up your Instagram game.
This is also a great platform for businesses that are largely dependent on photographs and graphics for their marketing.
Since social media has become a huge part of marketing, there are certain social media sites that allow paid engagements – this means one can pay for likes, comments, etc. However, the same cannot be said for Twitter.
Several businesses prefer the use of Twitter because of its organic growth, meaning buying likes are not allowed, and any like, tweet, or retweet is gained fairly. Plus the use of hashtags can allow you to reach people of the same industry easier.
Although not the most popular out of all the social media platforms, Google+ is important for the Search Engine Result Page ranking. This is why many businesses are encouraged to use Google+ because ranking will impact your website views
This is the best and most popular platform for video sharing. Youtube is great for promotional video and has a possibility of having viral content.
Videos uploaded here can be shared to other social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, and it has been observed that having videos on posts can increase the engagement on that said post.
Mobile Responsive Website
The previous year showed an increase in the use of mobile searches compared to desktop searches. As a result, there is a demand to optimize websites to be more mobile friendly. Your website should be able to properly shift from mobile use to desktop for your small business digital marketing strategy to be effective. Multi screens are a huge trend now, so it’s best you keep up.
A Secure Website
Considering that online shopping is more popular than ever, it is paramount that you secure your website through Secure Socket Layer (SSL). What this does is it will encrypt the information passed from one computer to the other, that is when you shop online using your computer (or your mobile phone) the credit card information you put into place your order is encrypted transferred to a different source.
If a website is missing an SSL when the information is passed from point A to point B the computers in between could see the information whereas when SSL is present, this information is encrypted and is unreadable to any other computer other than A and B.
The previous year has introduced us to voice search. Many are inclined to use this kind of searching method rather than typing in their searches. A voice search changes the way you should be optimizing your keywords, rather than using only certain words, now you can use phrases instead. Despite how advanced or complicated it sounds, small businesses can already add this to their digital marketing strategy by using voice-search oriented keywords.
An active online engagement helps build trust between you and your client. This is important because loyal customers will help in sustaining your business operations. Customers will feel empowered knowing they have control over the functions of your company and your product. Additionally, this will help attract more clients due to the purchasing experience.
Email blasts allow you to reach your customers and potential customers. Big companies send hundreds of emails regularly to their clients and potential clients for updates on their company, new products, and promos, to name a few.
If you are only sending a handful of emails a day (or none at all), you might need to improve on that as soon as possible.
Writing a blog is a fresh way to reach an audience. Content for this should be new and well researched. An average of 80% of the daily blog visitors are new, and that is 80% of new potential clients everyday.
Aside from blogging, you can also do guest postings; this is when you write a blog or an article for a certain blogging community. Not only will you be able to showcase your website but you can have access to an untapped market. This will also help in establishing your online reputation.
Advantages of Using Digital Marketing
Although digital marketing has been around for many years, it is only now that the use of digital marketing has expanded and this is largely because of the technological advances the past years has brought, as well as for the following reasons.
Unlike the other kinds of marketing strategies, digital marketing is relatively a lot cheaper since all you basically need to do is have a computer, a mobile phone, and a working internet connection. This gives an opportunity for small businesses to engage in a digital marketing strategy without having to break the bank.
There is no need to create focus group discussions, surveys, and what not because information is readily available online.
Increase in Revenue
Due to the borderless reach of the internet and the advances in technology, having an effective digital marketing campaign can help in the increase in your revenue. That said, the amount of traffic, likes, and mentions should be able to translate to your sales.
For businesses, especially those that cater to a person’s lifestyle, branding is a priority, and social media can help in developing your brand. You can do this by crafting your post to make it in line with the brand you have in mind.
Larger Audience Reach
Compared to traditional types of marketing, the technology today does not limit you to your geographical location. You can have a customer from a different state, even from a different country (if shipping allows), instead of just those in your locale. For a small business digital marketing strategy, this allows those with brick and mortar shops or restaurants raise awareness in their locality and possibly increase foot traffic.
One of the advantages of using social media is getting real-time results, meaning when you post, you can see immediate track the likes, shares, views, and comments of your viewers (customers). You will know what your customers like and do not like and can have reviews of your products right away. It is like having a focus group discussion in a matter of minutes.
Community building allows users to reach the business easily and at any time, and any grievance they may have can be raised (and addressed) through this as well. Build customer trust, and it will result in harmonious and loyal customer relations.
Small-Medium Enterprise VS Big Corporations
Back in the day, it seemed that local businesses focused more on local clients, working silently in the background and letting the big corporations take the spotlight. However, with the use of digital marketing, small and medium enterprises or businesses are now able to compete with big corporations and are starting to make names in the industry. This only goes to show that having an effective digital marketing strategy will enable you to level the playing field in business.
Take advantage of the technology available and incorporate an effective small business digital marketing strategy to get ahead of your competitors by getting in touch with Syntactics, Inc. – a tech company in the Philippines offering a comprehensive digital marketing plan for businesses, big or small, local or international.