In recent years, many businesses have moved to digital. They created websites and pages on social networks to promote and sell their goods and services online.
However, some more conservative entrepreneurs still prefer to conduct their business entirely offline. For adherents of the traditional way of doing business, digital marketing seems like an unnecessary caprice or just a waste of time. But for real business sharks, the benefits of an online presence are obvious.
Where did this controversy come from? Is Internet marketing really essential for today’s small businesses, or is it still possible to survive without any online strategy? Keep reading to find the answers to these questions and to understand if digital marketing and an online presence will benefit your business.
Key Sticking Points
Let’s analyze the most popular reasons why some entrepreneurs avoid using digital marketing for their businesses. The statements below support different viewpoints. Some of them sound convincing, while others can be easily parried with a reasonable counterargument.
Statement #1: “I have enough customers already.”
Your business is doing well enough, even without a website. Why rock the boat, right? Well, in case you are satisfied with your current client base, and you are not interested in the further growth of your business, there is no point in persuading you. But this position is only true if you are 100% sure that your current customers will stay with you for a lifetime. Are you?
Statement #2: “All my sales are conducted offline.”
Of course, if you rely entirely on traditional advertising techniques, such as billboards beside the roadside, coupon promotions, or print ads, you will only attract offline clients. At the same time, Google receives 5.6 billion requests per day, and there are about 2.5 billion monthly active users on Facebook. Could any one of them be interested in your business? Yes! Could you scale your business beyond your hometown, state, or even country with a consistent digital marketing strategy? Definitely! So why reject such an opportunity?
Statement #3: “Digital marketing didn’t work for me.”
If you have already tried some techniques, and they did not show the expected results, this does not mean that digital marketing is useless. The problem could be in its implementation or strategy. No business is immune to failures. If your digital marketing tactics do not bring the desired results, it makes sense to improve the strategy and try another technique. You could try to shift attention to different digital marketing channels (or search for new ones). You can make sure you’re targeting the right audience. There are many advertising platforms, such as Google Ads, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, and more. You just need to find out which one is right for your brand.
Statement #4: “Online marketing is too expensive.”
In general, small businesses do not have huge marketing campaign budgets, and they often stick to familiar traditional marketing methods. But even if your budget is limited, there are still many things you can do to promote your business online at minimum cost. For example, many email marketing platforms, such as MailChimp, MailerLite, and Moosend, offer free plans for small businesses. Besides, you have the opportunity to create your business website free of charge with Boxmode.
But do not forget that marketing always entails investment. If you keep investing consistently, the money will return to you with a good profit.
Statement #5: “I don’t get it.”
No doubt, for a person who has never had anything to do with online marketing, it may seem like voodoo magic. But the lack of knowledge is not a sentence, it’s a possibility. If you’re persistent enough, you can learn digital marketing intricacies with the help of this blog and plenty of others. Besides, you can always hire a specialist or agency who will do this for you in the best possible way.
Benefits of Digital Marketing
With the main arguments against online marketing listed above, it’s time to hear the arguments in its favor.
Argument #1: “Consumer expectations have changed.”
In the digital era, when almost every American uses the Internet regularly, people learn about brands and businesses mostly from the web. Would you be surprised if we told you that the number of people who go online every day is still increasing? They prefer to find products and services through their mobile phones and would rather buy goods from a company’s website then a physical store. Even if the purchase was made offline, it’s likely that the buyer had previously googled the company’s location.
Marketing is all about connecting with your target audience in the right place and at the right time. That means you need to reach them exactly where they hang around. Today, it’s the Internet. Having a website is the absolute minimum for an online presence that a consumer expects from a brand. This will help you attract a wider audience and strengthen your business.
Argument #2: “Business competition moves to the next level.”
If you are not enthusiastic about creating a digital marketing strategy, this does not mean that your competitors share this standpoint. More than 700,000 new businesses were started in the US in 2019. Perhaps, right at that moment, they are conquering the digital realm, winning your potential customers while you waste your time drifting. And every step of their online strategy is a step ahead of your business.
Today, the competition in the marketplace is tighter than ever. You may not need digital marketing today, but think about what can happen to your business in a year. Going digital is an investment in your future.
Argument #3: “Digital marketing gives measurable results.”
Digital marketing is the most measurable type of marketing. While it can be challenging to track the results of a traditional marketing campaign, such as mailers, newspaper ads, or radio advertisements, every digital marketing tactic is measurable. And you don’t have to wait for months until after the campaign is complete to check out the results. By keeping track of your digital marketing campaign in real-time, you can see which tactics are performing well and which are not, and you can adjust your campaign on the go.
Digital marketing analytics allow you to use your budget more effectively. This benefit alone is a sufficient reason to invest in digital marketing.
Argument #4: “Digital marketing improves personalization.”
Personalization is one of the most significant advantages an online presence can bring to your business. Using the capabilities of digital marketing, you can create unique offers for your prospects and customers by predicting their desires. And you don’t even have to meet them for that!
Based on the user data collected online, you can create better content, effectively target specific audience groups, and boost your sales and conversions.
According to Evergage surveys, 70% of respondents agree that personalization has an extremely strong impact on customer experience. Today, every brand that wants to stay afloat needs to develop a digital personalization strategy to keep users at the center of attention and engage them with exciting and contextually relevant experiences.
Argument #5: “Online presence helps to build relationships and trust.”
Another considerable benefit of going digital is that your business website and social media presence grant you access to customer feedback in the form of reviews and comments. Before people buy something online, visit a new place they’ve never been to, or download an application, what is the first thing they do? They check the reviews.
The impact of online reviews on sales and revenue is huge. It appears that now consumers depend more on ratings and reviews than on recommendations from their family and friends. According to Spiegel Research Center, just five reviews of a product can increase its chances to be sold by 270% compared to a product with no reviews.
Naturally, negative reviews may expose the weak points of your products and services. However, you can use critique to improve. This is a great way to establish yourself as a trustworthy business in your niche.
Take Advantage of Digital Marketing!
Looking at the above list of benefits, the importance of digital marketing for small business can hardly be overestimated. Traditional marketing methods show slower results and can effectively attract customers only at a local level. The usage of digital marketing techniques transforms the way your business connects and engages with the target audience. It is an excellent way to reach your prospects and customers exactly where and when they are more likely to purchase.