Around 25 percent of small businesses invest in online marketing, yet 75 percent of them believe that internet marketing is very effective and useful in customer attraction, according to a BrightLocal survey
. We have seen online marketing change in
the past few years. In fact, the growth of marketing in recent years has been nothing short of remarkable. With the growth of online marketing, many previously unfeasible avenues are now available for small business owners. Small businesses are tapping into the technological revolution to make their dent in the marketing arena. Paper marketing has given way to the digital marketing era, and social marketing platforms are now a fixture of many marketing campaigns. From increased access to local customer metrics to a rapidly closing marketing gap between multinational companies and small businesses, here is how marketing a small business online has changed.
Customer Personalization And Analysis Is No Longer Only For Larger Businesses
One of the largest changes in the online marketing arena for small businesses has been the increased ease and access to online marketing. Now with a more even playing field, SMBs have access to some of the same online marketing tools that their larger competitors (with more resources) use. This includes customer data analysis tools. For online marketing to hit the mark, it must be targeted correctly. According to a study by Epilson
, 80 percent of customers would buy from a company that provides a personalized experience using digital insight.
Analyzing data collected from customer emailing lists, customer purchase records or the business’ social media account can be used to improve a small business’ online marketing in a variety of ways – without the large investment. Two great examples are using the data to tailor a small business’ online content and its email marketing strategy. Tailored, automated follow-up emails to customers can remind customers of relevant products or remind them to repurchase – something that was once seen as out of reach for small businesses.
Print Is Out, Digital Is In For A Small Business’ Customers
Traditionally, small businesses were locked out of the online marketing space due to the cost and intensive skills needed to compete effectively. When this was the case, paper advertising like store brochures and local newspaper ads was their go-to to connect with their customers. However, with lowered cost barriers and easier access, more small businesses are marketing online than ever before.
However, a key point here is that the local target market is also turning towards online marketing instead of print marketing. This is also equally important for a small business, regardless of whether they are eCommerce or store-based. Around 46 percent of Google searches are for local businesses. According to Go-Globe, half of the local smartphone searches result in a store visit within a day, driving in-store traffic. Therefore, it is no longer important for small businesses simply to advertise online. They also need to have a strong local SEO strategy.
The Need to Recruit Additional Marketing Help
Small business owners are seen as the wearers of many hats: accountant, bookkeeper, and in many cases, marketing officer. However, with the digital marketing world constantly evolving
and concepts such as SEO and AI becoming mainstream, the need for expert help to optimize your online marketing campaign is more apparent than ever. Outsourcing your online marketing needs as a small business or recruiting the services of a digital marketing expert is now easier and more cost-effective than it was before. In fast growing cities like Phoenix, Charlotte, and Austin, this is something businesses constantly take advantage of. Specifically in Austin PPC services
is something businesses are very eager to implement as this marketing method yields positive results, and very fast.
Small businesses are also tapping into the social media marketing trend to boost their lead generation. With the use of social media influencers and effective social media strategies, they are now able to connect directly with customers, regardless of where they are. Using these platforms effectively is also allowing small businesses to get ahead in the lead generation game online. Approximately 40 percent of digital customers use social networks to discover new businesses or brands.
The Move To Online Has Increased The Pressure For Perfect Customer Service
On the other hand, customer expectations have also shifted when it comes to online marketing for small businesses. Thanks to advances in technology and online marketing platforms like social media, customers want around the clock availability
from companies, large or small. Nowadays it is seen as a mark of great customer service and important in encouraging customer engagement. Constant and consistent interaction with customers online is now considered a part of a small business’ online marketing strategy. Thankfully, with the help of business customer service tools like Freshdesk and HappyFox, small business owners can afford round the clock customer service on a budget.
There is bound to be more change to come for online marketing and small businesses. After all, the world of digital marketing is constantly changing, and to stay competitive, the online marketing strategies of small businesses must change as well. For now, they have more choices and access than they have ever had before. How well they capitalize on this is up to them.