There’s no doubt: small business marketing will never be the same. Digital marketing offers small businesses so many more ways to reach and interact with customers, that many traditional small business marketing tactics are all but extinct.
Forget that direct mail, flyers, and printed directories are not real environmentally friendly—they simply don’t work as well. Add to that the Internet’s nearly instantaneous ability to search, and it’s not hard to understand why prospects go there when they’re looking to buy.
Out With The Old, In With The New
One of the neat things about digital marketing is that there are digital tools that directly replace familiar small business marketing tactics.
So, if in the past your business has used direct mail to good effect, in the digital world you will want to look hard at email marketing. There’s pretty much a digital proxy for every traditional marketing tactic.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important ones.
There is no more important part of your small business marketing plan than your company’s website. It’s your company’s address in the digital world and it’s your digital “face”.
This is where customers will find your business, learn about what you offer, how you are different from your competition, and what they can expect when doing business with you.
You could look at it as your “virtual” storefront. It’s able to answer customer questions about your business, its products and services; in other words, sell for you 24/7/365.
While you won’t be spending the millions on your site that major retailers like Amazon and EBay do, it will be a significant investment for the business nonetheless. Even the government recognizes this and allows businesses to capitalize their website and treat it as a business asset.
In terms of budgeting and allocating resources, you should look at your website as both a large capital project as it is being developed, and as an important business tool that requires ongoing investment.
Similar to direct mail—and about as well-received by prospects—is email marketing. Frankly, despite its dislike by many members of the public, email marketing, like direct mail marketing, has proven to be an effective part of an integrated small business marketing plan.
Much like direct mail, email marketing involves the acquisition of prospect lists, formulation of the ad copy, and sending it off to the prospect. Thankfully, from a cost perspective, email marketing is usually a bit less costly because there aren’t expenses for printing and postage.
Because there aren’t the printing expenses, email marketing is much more suited to things like A/B testing. Especially with large campaigns, there are opportunities to test ad copy and optimize for effectiveness.
Social Media Marketing
It is truly hard to find a tactic in traditional marketing that is similar to social media. Social media is a powerful small business marketing tactic for three reasons:
- It reaches customers who prefer to interact with businesses via social networks
- Social network users add credibility/reputation to a business as they interact with it on social networks
- Businesses with a strong reputation & popularity on social networks enjoy higher website ranking from Google
If you are unfamiliar with social media, learn more using the links below.
Taking Your Small Business Into Digital Marketing
While it’s no small task to add digital to your small business marketing mix, it is critical. More than 80% of consumers research buying decisions on the Internet. Your business needs to be there.
We also understand that you’ve got a business to run. That’s why there are digital marketing agencies like ours.
A digital marketing agency can give you as little or as much assistance as you need to take your company into digital marketing.
Give us a call and let us know how we can help. At Bent Oak, We Know Small Business™.