In the digital age, businesses no longer have to compete solely on price or product. Because almost every industry and market has a presence online, companies must compete based on their digital marketing efforts. Similar to how in-person interactions have given way to texting and video calling, digital alternatives are replacing traditional marketing methods.
Research shows that nearly 90% of customers use the internet to research products before purchasing. As such, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) need to understand the value of digital marketing so they can thrive in this ever-changing environment.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is the process of promoting a product or service online. It includes creating content, distributing it via various channels, and measuring its results. Digital marketing is also web marketing, internet marketing, or digital advertising.
Digital marketing has become an essential component of modern marketing as it allows instant and customized delivery of product information and advertisements. With digital marketing, producers can target their customers based on location, preferences, and demographic information.
Why is digital marketing important for SMEs?
Customers' use of the internet to research products before buying them means that they have a virtual presence and rely heavily on digital marketing. Because customers count on internet research, SMEs need to have a digital presence to compete in today's market.
For example, if customers search for "coffee shops in New York," they'll see Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, and other popular brands. You're invisible to customers if your business doesn't have a digital footprint.
With no digital marketing strategy, you're unable to make an impact on potential customers. Digital marketing is cost-effective, scalable, and measurable, which makes it ideal for SMEs. Businesses must invest in digital marketing to ensure their products reach the widest audience possible. Once a company captures customers' attention, it can make a sale.
How can SMEs benefit from digital marketing?
- Brand visibility - Visibility is probably SMEs' most crucial benefit of digital marketing.
If you don't have a digital presence, then customers won't be able to find you. Hidden Gems Café might not ring a bell, but Hidden Gems Café: The Best Café in New York will capture your attention.
- Conversion rates - Digital marketing efforts can increase the number of customers you have, increasing your profits.
- Customer retention - Retaining customers is more expensive but more beneficial than acquiring new ones.
Once you've captured a customer, you can increase their spending with referrals and loyalty programs.
- Improved sales - Digital marketing campaigns can help you sell more products and services.
A study from the Harvard Business School found that every $1 business invested in digital marketing can result in up to $4 in revenue.
How to invest in digital marketing?
Investing in digital marketing to increase your brand's visibility and generate more leads is essential. Doing so will also allow you to create more revenue and profit. Below are some of the best ways to invest in digital marketing:
- Invest in creating high-quality content - The best digital marketing campaigns are those that keep customers coming back.
The best way to do this is to provide quality content that is interesting and useful. And this all starts with creating high-quality content.
- Create an attractive website - Having a website is a must. It allows you to create a digital presence that customers can access anytime.
An attractive site that provides relevant information about your business is essential for digital marketing success.
- Create a social media presence - Social media is a great way to attract customers and create brand awareness.
It's also a great place to provide valuable content that will keep people coming back for more.
- Consider SEO and paid advertising - SEO and paid advertising are two staples of digital marketing campaigns.
SEO involves optimizing your website for search engines to appear near the top of search results. Paid advertising allows you to reach a wider audience.
Nonetheless, if you're an SME that wishes to get started with digital marketing but don't have the workload to justify hiring full-time employees for each role, at Cápita Works, we have the solution for you.
You can use our Shared Services Center, which provides the team of people needed to handle marketing activities (graphic designer, content creator, video editor, social media manager, amongst others). You can get on-demand access to our SSC depending on the hours of work and services you need. Your business can get on with marketing without breaking the bank. To learn more about our Shared Services Center, click here.
Digital Marketing Tips for SMEs
- Start with one strategy, then move on to the next - Don't try to implement every digital marketing strategy simultaneously.
Instead, start with one strategy and move on to the next once you've mastered the initial task. Doing one strategy at a time will help you learn which methods work best for your business.
- Keep up with trends - Digital marketing trends constantly change as technology improves and new tools emerge.
To keep up with the latest marketing trends, follow industry leaders, read blogs, and keep up with digital marketing news.
- Test, evaluate, and adapt - Don't expect your digital marketing efforts to work right out of the gate.
Instead, test, evaluate, and adapt to see what works and what doesn't. Doing so will allow you to create the most beneficial campaigns for your business.
The digital landscape is ever-changing, so businesses must keep up with the latest trends and technologies. Digital marketing campaigns can help you increase brand visibility, generate more leads, and increase conversion rates.
Digital marketing is beneficial, and it doesn't have to be expensive with alternatives like our fully-equipped Shared Services Center, instead of hiring digital marketers, managing campaigns, and investing in new tools.
If your business struggles to keep up with the digital landscape, it's time to invest in digital marketing. Digital marketing benefits all companies and can help you increase brand awareness and generate leads.