What is one of the first thing you do when you need something? Maybe it’s a new product or service, or simply an answer to a question you’ve been pondering. I’m will to bet the answer most of the time is you google it.
Consumers are online searching for what they need. Just how often? Well, according to Hubspot research, there are 63,000 searches conducted every second on Google, that equals out to 5.6 billion searches every day. And the average person conducts between three and four searches every single day. There is no doubt people are online – I don’t think this is a surprise to anyone – because, well, here we are right now.
Your business can capture a lot of this traffic online, but for those businesses that don’t show up online, it’s as if, in the eyes of the consumer, they don’t even exist, out of sight, out of mind.
So how do you get in front of an online audience?
What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing is marketing that uses digital avenues to deliver your message, vs traditional means like print.
Digital marketing uses the internet, digital technologies and platforms to promote products and services. The introduction of the internet in the 90’s changed the way businesses do marketing forever. As the Internet became more popular, and home computers and smart phones became more prevalent, people increasingly began using digital devices instead of visiting physical locations or picking up a newspaper. Digital marketing, in turn, has become more prevalent.
Is digital marketing good for small businesses?
There are multiple reasons why digital marketing is good for small businesses. A big reason being it is more affordable than traditional marketing, allows you to reach a wider audience and be more engaging for your audience. What’s more, it makes it easier to directly target your ideal audience and retarget interested audiences.
The majority of consumers are consulting research online prior to making a purchase. As a small business, or business of any size, you have many more opportunities to get in front of your target audience today than ever before.
Why do you need digital marketing?
Over 80% of consumers conduct an online search before a purchase. People are online, they are doing research, they are spending time on social media. Go where the people are. You want to be where your audience is, to capture their attention and their business.
Even if you don’t have a strong digital presence, it’s almost certain that your competition does. So, when over 80% of consumers are doing research online, they are going to go with the business that is easily and readily available to them.
Showing up and being found is only the first step, from there, you need to use a digital marketing strategy to grow your business.
How does digital marketing help grow your business?
In a world where we love transparency and we are accustom to having all the information we could ever need right at our fingertips, we expect it. And we expect it from the companies we buy from, too. We want instant information, we want our questions to be answered as quickly as possible and we want to have control over how we get it.
Consumers are looking into every detail of a company or product before making a purchase, your digital presence helps them make that decision. When you have a strong digital presence it allows you to:
- Show up more often and in front of the right people
- Build awareness in your brand and company
- Build trust and authority in your niche
- Become more searchable
- Build relationships with consumers
- Builds social proof
- Stay top of mind
- More easily capture repeat business
How to use digital marketing effectively.
Every business’s digital marketing will look a little different, but there is a basic framework, the basic items you can tick off your digital marketing to do list. This helps you build a strong online presence to reach your target audience.
First and foremost you need clear messaging; Know who you are, who you serve and why, know your ideal audience’s pain points so you can speak directly to them and prove to them that you are the solution. Remember, no one really cares about our businesses, it’s true, what they care about is their problems and whether we can help them solve them. That will be the deciding factor that makes them buy.
Show them you are the solution with a strong message and digital presence.
- Have a well-designed website. Your website is your online hub. It should be on brand, speak directly to your ideal client or customers pain points, be easy to navigate, and optimized for search engines.
- Have a Google Business Profile. This can help you appear in more local search results including Maps. Also a great place to collect and display reviews.
- Have a free lead magnet. Dependent upon your business, people are not often apt to call right away. They want to learn as much as they can first to see if it’s worth their time and/or money. Having a lead magnet, like a free guide or exclusive trial, allow them to enjoy a small perk in return for providing their email address to you, and now you have a lead.
- Have an engaging presence on social media. Today consumers love transparency and getting to know business on a more personal level. By showing up on social media you allow them to get an inside look, which helps them in their decision-making process and keep you top of mind.
- Email marketing – That lead magnet helps you to build an email list and now you want to stay in front of those leads. Sending weekly emails is a great way to stay top of mind. There are many great resources like Flodesk to help you do this. (click the link for a 30 day free trail and 50% off your subscription cost!).
- Collect and display reviews. Most people rely heavily on reviews before making a purchase decision. It’s like word-of-mouth digitized. Be sure you are collecting reviews and keeping them on display. You can easily do this on your Google Business Profile, website and social media.
This basic framework is a good starting point for any small business, but consider consulting a digital marketing professional if you are not experienced or don’t have the time to stay consistent with it all. The last thing you want to do is leave your audience hanging, or worse leave them with a bad first impression, consumers are not likely to give second chances.
Digital marketing is very fast paced; So we’ve got to stay in front of our audience or be buried by the competition.
Do you have a strong digital presence that’s working for you?
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