Digital Marketing For Small Businesses: Benefits, Challenges, And Trends
17 August 2021
As soon as you mention digital marketing to a small business, their first reaction is preventive in nature. They might say that they do not understand the same, or do not want to invest in it as they are unsure about its effectiveness for their business niche.
Small businesses are usually concerned and focus on driving the first batch of customers through their store or showroom doors. Following this, they believe in word-of-mouth marketing, referrals, and other traditional strategies like flyers, leaflets, and more.
While this has been working from time immemorial, small businesses need to realize that there is a faster, easier, and cheaper way to improve performance for their business. In recent years, the awareness around digital marketing has slowly grown.
While there was awareness, the pandemic has started forced conversations between small businesses and digital marketing. In this article, we are going to look at some aspects small businesses should know about digital marketing- trends, challenges, and benefits.
Digital Marketing for Small Businesses: What you need to know
If experts at Igloo digital marketing agency are to be believed, nine out of ten small businesses would be engaging with some of the other forms of online marketing by 2022!
Digital marketing in simple words refers to the presence of businesses on search engines and social media platforms. It also encompasses Ecommerce, aggregator listings, and even starting a YouTube channel for improving branding and driving sales for the business.
It should be pointed out that digital marketing requires a clear and comprehensive focus. It also requires monetary investments. This is one thing that might deter small businesses, which are always short on resources and budgets when it comes to marketing.
While there were indifferences earlier on, in recent years, changing consumer behavior has necessitated small businesses to take the digital plunge.
Benefits of Digital Marketing for Small Businesses
In this section, we are going to outline some of the major benefits of digital marketing for small businesses-
Small businesses can attract local customers and target audiences that in turn can drive local footfall into stores and showrooms. Having a good Google My Business (GMB) page that has updated reviews and ratings can play a major role in local footfalls.
Small businesses that are looking to expand into newer markets and regions can employ digital marketing strategies to find new customers. Without physically moving locations, Ecommerce can play a major role in increasing sales in a new region.
The presence on social media platforms can help small businesses start meaningful conversations with their target audiences. This can help in improving products or services, as well as highlight areas that might require improvement like logistics.
New age customers, especially from Gen Z consider that have a digital presence as credible and trustworthy. This means that small businesses need to invest in ensuring that they have an active and credible presence on search engines and social media pages.
Opting for digital marketing can open up a lot of possibilities in terms of B2B collaborations. Small businesses can find new vendors, attract franchise requests and monetize their business in ways that they had not imagined earlier.
In 2021, small businesses need to explore digital marketing seriously. It can help them build sustainable and future-proof businesses that will continue to perform well in terms of sales and customers in the near future.
Challenges of Digital Marketing for Small Businesses: An Analysis
While there are some definite quantifiable benefits that come from digital marketing, there are nevertheless some challenges that small businesses need to contend with.
Firstly, small businesses need to make a choice between hiring an external digital marketing agency or setting up their own in-house teams. Like there are good agencies, there are bad ones as well. Doing complete research, evaluating experience, and fixing the fee structure are important.
Secondly, there is so much to do when it comes to digital marketing. Numerous platforms, bets practices, and investments can deliver benefits in different areas. However, small businesses have limited resources, and hence prioritizing what should be done needs to be thought about diligently.
Thirdly, digital marketing is not only a set of strategies that you do today, and leave the next day. It has to become part of your businesses’ habit to guarantee success and performance. This means investments and strategies need to be made long-term in nature, rather than being experimental.
Fourthly, small businesses need to ensure that a culture of proclivity towards digital fields is established in the organization. This means that all the employees on the team need to be on board the digital marketing landscape. This will ensure that the support towards processes and strategies is complete and dedicated.
Lastly, small businesses need to measure and analyze the efforts of their digital marketing spends. You are never going to get it right the first time around. This requires constant optimizations, tweaking, and a lot of hard work. Cooperating with your agency will help you set up for success.
Digital Marketing Trends Small Businesses should be aware of
In this section, we are going to discuss five digital marketing trends that small businesses should be aware of-
Experts state that staying on top of the latest social media offerings is a sure-fire way to improve organic reach, traction, and engagements. For example, on Instagram, Reels, Stories, and IGTV are registering the highest traction and engagement.
Small businesses need to understand that their website blog is one of the best ways to build credibility and improve sales. It can also be one of their biggest lead magnets. Investing in the blog will help you build it like your own digital asset online.
Voice Search through Smart Home Assistants and Connected Car Tech is becoming popular. Optimizing your SEO strategies and using more long-tail keywords can help in improving search rankings, performance, and traffic.
One element that will always remain a trend as far as digital performance goes will be quality content. Investing in high-quality content is always going to help small businesses with their digital performance. Images, text, videos will all guarantee success.
The Bottom Line
There is no doubt that digital marketing has tons of potential for small businesses. By being aware of the benefits, challenges, and trends, small businesses can optimize their digital marketing engagements.
In this article, we have tried to list down some important elements small businesses need to understand and know about digital marketing. If you have any other questions that you would want to know about digital marketing, let us know in the comments section below.