Online marketing is the best thing to happen to small businesses in decades.
For years, small businesses simply couldn’t compete with large, multi-national brands when it came to marketing. Big media buys were cost-prohibitive: TV commercials too difficult to produce, magazine ads too expensive and static, and billboards too small-scale to grow a brand
Around the early aughts, digital marketing shook everything up. How does online marketing level the playing field for small businesses looking to market themselves?
Online Marketing is Highly Segmented
One of the biggest benefits of digital marketing, especially for small- to medium-sized businesses, is that it’s incredibly segmented. That means it’s far easier to target specific audiences (i.e. new moms, local diners, etc.) with pointed marketing messages. Traditional marketing platforms like TV and magazines are too broad to accomplish the same purpose; successful online marketers know that highly-targeted marketing is designed to produce fewer – but much warmer – leads.
ROI and Analytics are Trackable
Historically, a huge challenge for small businesses who marketed was knowing whether or not their marketing budget was being put to good use. Traditional media buys leave much to be desired in terms of trackable data – after a commercial aired, for example, there was no measurable way to determine how many people actually saw it and if they felt moved to patronize the advertiser’s business. Online marketing is inherently trackable, offering useful data that can be used to plan for the future and produce better results.
Online is Less Expensive than Offline
Online marketing is relatively inexpensive! Production costs are minimal and since impressions are so targeted, cost can be as little or as much as a marketer wants. There are lots of options for even a modest marketing budget online: PPC advertising, link-building campaigns, banner ads, email marketing, and more. Digital marketing also requires less lead time than traditional advertising, and can usually be altered and adjusted on a dime to suit changes in the market.
So, what are some of the ways small businesses can successfully compete online against larger brands? The options are almost unlimited, but a few of the most popular digital marketing strategies for small companies include…
Pay-Per-Click: Also known as PPC, Pay-Per-Click involves placing advertisements directly in search results. Companies can literally pay per each “click” their advertisement receives which, based on search terms, should be a coming from a relatively warm lead.
SEO: Search Engine Optimization is the foundation of any successful online marketing plan. It’s the (continual) process of growing organic clicks to a businesses’ website based on its placement in search results. Hundreds of factors go into implementing a successful, profitable SEO plan.
Social Media Marketing: Social media is a useful tool for building an audience. Not only can it reinforce a brand’s authenticity, it can be used to disseminate marketing content across a variety of platforms with very little cost.
Email Marketing: Building an email list is one of the best things a small business can do. By cultivating a roster of old, new, and potential clients, small businesses can send out pointed messaging and direct offers without ever having to consider traditional “advertising.”
Does your small business need help getting started online? Online marketing is a process – it doesn’t happen overnight – and it’s something that should be carefully analyzed, planned, and implemented.
ClickReady Marketing is your Atlanta online marketing specialist. Our marketing team has decades of combined experience in digital; we know how to get your business found online. From social media marketing to building a mobile website, our services run the digital gamut.