To start with, we have to know what digital marketing is and why it is very important to integrate it into the building of your small scale and medium sized businesses.
Digital marketing is an avenue for promoting products and service through the internet with the use of web-based or web-enabled/enhanced digital technologies such as desktop computers, mobile phones, and other digital media platforms.
Every business whether small-scaled or medium-scaled need digital marketing to grow. The use of digital marketing in business can help to drive brand awareness and tell people more about a business thereby drawing customers’ attention and making sales. Digital or Online marketing can be done through platforms like social media, a business’s (i.e., company’s) own website, search engine rankings, email, display advertising and other kinds of incentivized advertising strategies done with ICT tools or via the internet.
The knowledge of Online marketing is vital for businesses and aspiring business owners must make effort to include it right from the kickoff stage of their business. Just like new students offer 101 (i.e., foundation) courses to introduce them to the basics of their course, business startups and startup founders need to get the proper orientation on digital marketing for managing and making good turnaround in their businesses. This is important whether you are a small business, a medium business or a big/large business. The knowledge of digital marketing is one knowledge that can (and will) surely help you to have a successful business.
Below covers some fundamentals of digital marketing and explains the reasons for digital marketing in business:
(1) Digital marketing Helps In Goals and Targets Setting.
Every business has a goal and target it wants to meet in say 5 to 10 years. For instance, as a business owner you might want to reach a million customers in 3 countries in 10 years. This is a big goal and only digital marketing can help you to achieve this.
This may not be your goal but every business has similar goals as this. To meet them, you need to apply several strategies of which digital marketing comes top.
Before now, when we had to send letters to friends and family or business partners and the rest, we used post offices and these letters and messages did not get to them until after days. Also, people only did their businesses within their immediate environments and only few people knew about it which eventually brought very little sales and profits.
Now, you can sit at the comfort of your office or business location and reach customers thousands of miles away from you by the help of social media, emails, search engines and advertorials on blogs, websites, and forums. This is what we call digital marketing. Goals which looked unattainable to people and businesses decades ago can now be achieved through the help of digital marketing with ease.
(2) You Need Digital marketing To Create Awareness and Potential for Your Business.
Digital marketing can help you to discover the potential of your business and how big it can get. It helps you to determine how much your business can generate and how far it can go.
With digital marketing, you can easily know and have a better understanding of your target market, online audience and people who are searching for and need your product(s) or service(s).
Adequate knowledge of online marketing is what businesses that have gone big use in improving and expanding their reach and evaluating their strategies. You simply won’t know your online audience and market place without effective digital marketing.
(3) Digital marketing Assists to Beat the Competition
You can keep up with competition when you apply digital or online marketing to your business strategy. You will find out that you can reach more customers too and expand just like other businesses can.
(4) It Helps You To Maintain Relevance in the Market
Most contemporary businesses that stay in the market for a long time and become successful used digital marketing to do that. The world is moving very fast and everything is going digital so only businesses that go digital too stay relevant.
A lot of things have gone from manual to automatic. Not many people still go to stores to buy goods or services. Rather, because more people now spend most of their time online, they can easily see product and/or services they need online, order them and get them delivered to their doorsteps.
If your business has an online presence, you can sell to targeted buyers online too and make good profits with less stress. On the contrary, you will keep selling only to the people who can sacrifice their time to come patronize you physically. Of course, the number of people who fall into this category these days is getting fewer.
Now that you know the importance of Internet marketing in businesses growth and success, the question could be, “How Do I Implement This Digital Marketing in My Business to Make It Grow?”
It starts with deciding on the digital marketing strategy or platform that you wish to use. This is essentially choosing the areas of digital marketing that would be best to use for your small-sized business or medium-sized business.
Top 4 Digital Marketing Options to Choose From
There are many options that you can deploy in your online marketing endeavor. However, I am of the opinion that the following are the pivot on which the majority of other digital marketing strategies hang:
- Social Media Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Content Marketing
- Email Marketing
Let’s see what each of them entail in detail:
(1) Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is the use if social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram and other social media platforms to connect with your audience to build your business/brand, reach wider audiences and increase sales.
Social media marketing is a great way to start digital marketing as a small business owner. It is easier and mostly free to use. It only comes with charges when you intend to further expand your business by leveraging paid adverts to reach wider audiences.
Let’s take a look at what you can do yourself in social media marketing your business yourself. Facebook is a very popular social media platform for marketing. First, you open a page that talks about your business. Then, invite your friends to like the page and post your products there for them to see. You can also post in groups you are in and also on your wall and get a team that will help you amplify these posts.
Some groups have been built by social media influencers into potential market places. Some of those groups with over 50,000 members can be good to post about the goods and services you render. What you just do is contact the administrator of the group and negotiate for a front page allowance for a period of time. You can also apply this strategy to other social media platforms and even forums with constant visits. This is a great way to increase sales and traffic for your website.
(3) Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engines nowadays are almost the number one gateway to many websites because when you search for something online on a search engine like Google, the websites with arguably the most relevant information displays. This is as a result of search engine optimization done by the owners or administrators of such websites. Search engine optimization simply means carefully arranging your site to increase its visibility for relevant searches. This can lead more people to your site and convert this traffic (i.e., visitors) into (repeat) paying customers.
(3) Content Marketing
This is the creating, publishing, and distributing relevant content to help target audiences. You can do this by guest-posting (i.e., guest-blogging) on other blogs/websites, placing valuable contents on forums, sharing contents on social media, advertising on digital magazines, brochures, yellowpages, etc.
(4) Email Marketing
Email marketing is the type that help you keep customers aware of you products and services. You can read more about email marketing strategies for better conversions here. If you are new to email marketing and you wish to know how to go about it, g ahead and read this article. It will surely help you to kick start your email marketing on the right footing.
This article shared the basics of digital marketing. It explained the concept of digital or online marketing and covered the importance of it. Furthermore, it explained the different digital marketing platforms and strategies available and how to choose them for your business. Beside the ones mentioned here, understand that there are other digital media marketing tools out there. This include Voice SEO, video marketing and Pay Per Click (PPC) Adverts. These have their peculiar advantages and I invite you to leverage them also for the success of your business.