Small Business Marketing in the Digital Age

Today, dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing is as impor­tant as tra­di­tion­al mar­ket­ing. There was a time when dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing was new-age and sup­ple­men­tal, but dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing has pre­vailed in recent years (and months) as essen­tial. What is best about dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing is that it is acces­si­ble to every­one, regard­less of expe­ri­ence and exper­tise. Whether you hire out for mar­ket­ing or do it your­self, all ele­ments of a strat­e­gy can be han­dled vir­tu­al­ly, and results can be mea­sured direct­ly. 

Let’s take a look at why small busi­ness­es need dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing more than ever.  

Do I Need to Use Digital Marketing?

Busi­ness­es of any size need to use dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing. As a small busi­ness, it can be tempt­ing (and even effec­tive) to rely on word of mouth and tra­di­tion­al mar­ket­ing endeav­ors. How­ev­er, today’s cur­rent cli­mate lim­its the num­ber of con­ver­sa­tions and out­ings, reduc­ing the chances of any brand receiv­ing as much expo­sure as in the past. Addi­tion­al­ly, dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing only bol­sters cur­rent mar­ket­ing ini­tia­tives and helps to build your brand’s pres­ence online. 

Check out how dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing helps your small busi­ness:

  • Sup­ple­ment mar­ket­ing: For every mar­ket­ing ini­tia­tive done in per­son or print, you’ll now have a liv­ing exten­sion of it online. This gives con­sumers anoth­er way to reach your brand, read about your event or reg­is­ter to be part of what you offer.  
  • Online foot­print: Emails, social media, web­site copy, blogs and arti­cles all cre­ate a dig­i­tal trail that leads con­sumers to your brand.
  • Poten­tial refer­rals: Web­site and online infor­ma­tion can be eas­i­ly shared, increas­ing refer­ral oppor­tu­ni­ties. 
  • Inbound leads: While you can’t track every instance of foot traf­fic in your store, you can set up a track­ing sys­tem for vis­i­tors online on your web­site or social chan­nels and con­vert them to leads. 
  • Growth and devel­op­ment: Dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing inevitably gets the word out about your brand and increas­es band­width for com­mu­ni­ca­tion, engage­ment, and sales. 
  • Mar­ket share: The heav­ier your pres­ence is online, the larg­er your pres­ence will become in your local mar­ket. 

Do I Need to Use Digital Marketing

The Guide to Digital Marketing for Small Businesses

As you get your busi­ness off the ground and grow­ing, there are a hand­ful of prac­tices that will get your strat­e­gy into a sol­id posi­tion for con­tin­ued devel­op­ment. Let’s look at some of our team’s go-to’s for get­ting start­ed with dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing. 

  • Stay up to date on dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing news: Fol­low a dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing account, newslet­ter or influ­encer and stay up to date on cur­rent and emerg­ing trends to adopt. 
  • Devel­op a sol­id web­site: Invest in a devel­op­er or build a site on a DIY host to cre­ate an online home base for your brand. 
  • Cre­ate strong con­tent con­sis­tent­ly: Cre­ate a con­tent strat­e­gy and update your con­tent chan­nels con­sis­tent­ly; this includes web, blog, email, and social chan­nels. 
  • Devel­op a pres­ence on social media: Dis­tin­guish your brand by curat­ing an account on social media han­dles. Inves­ti­gate your con­sumers to find out which plat­form is best for your busi­ness.
  • Secure your brand posi­tion: Stay con­sis­tent with brand­ing and mes­sag­ing to secure your posi­tion amongst com­peti­tors in the mar­ket­place.
  • Build your email mar­ket­ing: Work on gen­er­at­ing an email list to share news, offers and con­tent with more prospec­tive buy­ers. 
  • Refer to a 360 approach: Every mar­ket­ing instance should be part of a well-round­ed and all-encom­pass­ing approach. For exam­ple, if you share news about an event on Insta­gram, the event needs a sep­a­rate land­ing page on your web­site and a fol­low-up email.
  • Remain goal-ori­ent­ed: Stay true to your objec­tives and keep your­self account­able by re-assess­ing goals each quar­ter (if not more fre­quent­ly).
  • Track and ana­lyze mar­ket­ing efforts: Set up a track­ing sys­tem to keep tabs on which efforts are work­ing and which efforts are flat. Then use this infor­ma­tion to improve your dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy. 
  • Engage with your online audi­ence: Be respon­sive to your online audi­ence. Com­ment back in mes­sages, share fun and excit­ing con­tent and get to your con­sumers in return. The more you engage with your audi­ence online, the more trust you can build and work toward cre­at­ing a loy­al brand-con­sumer rela­tion­ship. 

Online Marketing for Small Business Options:

When you’re ready to strate­gize and imple­ment a dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing plan, you have sev­er­al options for accom­plish­ing your work­load. You can mix and match, sin­gle in on one, or exper­i­ment with sev­er­al until you find the resource that suits you best. 

  • Out­source: You can out­source all of your dig­i­tal needs today. You can work with a dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing agency or com­pose a team of free­lance agents on your own. You can hire a strate­gist, a brand­ing spe­cial­ist, con­tent cre­ators, edi­tors, and SEO man­agers with­out hir­ing a sin­gle per­son in-house and with­out putting any­one on pay­roll. If you have flex­i­bil­i­ty in com­mu­ni­ca­tion and a tight bud­get, this makes a great option.
  • Auto­mate: You can also train the com­put­er to do much of your mar­ket­ing work for you. By work­ing with automa­tion soft­ware, you can send emails, post on social media, and run adver­tise­ments with­out lift­ing a fin­ger. 
  • Strate­gize: You might con­sid­er hir­ing a pro­fes­sion­al to help you curate your mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy. This per­son will set your strat­e­gy time­line, plat­forms, and key dates for exe­cu­tion. All you’ll be respon­si­ble for after­ward is see­ing to it that every item on the list gets done at the right time. 
  • In-house: Hir­ing an in-house mar­ket­ing guru can be prici­er, but it also helps ensure avail­abil­i­ty, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and com­mu­nal brain­storm­ing. You might hire one mar­ket­ing pro­fes­sion­al if you’re a small com­pa­ny; if you’re a mid­size busi­ness, you’ll need to con­sid­er hir­ing sev­er­al peo­ple to han­dle the heavy mar­ket­ing work­load as there are many mov­ing pieces. 
  • Con­sult: The last option on this list is to hire a mar­ket­ing con­sul­tant to check in with you every quar­ter or year to eval­u­ate how your strat­e­gy is going, which improve­ments you can make and how to oper­ate most effi­cient­ly. The con­sul­tant will work with you tem­porar­i­ly and remain avail­able for urgent needs and requests. 

When to Hire a Digital Marketing Agency for Small Businesses

Depend­ing on your team com­po­si­tion, skillset, and bud­get for resources, out­sourc­ing mar­ket­ing could be a safe bet for your com­pa­ny. Work­ing with out­side teams cuts down your over­head and lets pro­fes­sion­als work on your behalf to get the high­est ROI. All com­pa­nies have vary­ing needs and for each, there is a team with your exact solu­tion. Hone in on your exact needs, iden­ti­fy bud­get and time, and then sched­ule con­sul­ta­tions with var­i­ous out­lets to deter­mine whether or not hir­ing a dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing agency is the right move for you. 

When to Hire a Digital Marketing Agency for Small Businesses

Comment Below

Are you a small-to-mid­size com­pa­ny who’s used dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing to improve your busi­ness? We would love to hear from you! Tell us about your expe­ri­ence, what works or does not, whether or not invest­ing in dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing is a safe play. How has it trans­formed your busi­ness? Let us know in the com­ments below.

Rosy Strategies

Rely on Rosy Strate­gies for all of your dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing needs. Whether you need assis­tance automat­ing and out­sourc­ing, or you want strate­gic guid­ance as your craft a dig­i­tal strat­e­gy, our team is here with all the tools and tips you’ll need. Reach out to us today!