The primary focus of any startup or small business is on signing up their first customer. All along, businesses have been using the traditional advertising methods including print ads and offer coupons, banners and signboards to attract customers. Startups and small businesses however find the option a drain on their finances. Added to that is the fact that the campaigns cannot be tracked nor is there any certainty that it will bring new prospects.
However, although this method ensures a trickle of customers, an alternative method can change the trickle into a steady flow. Small businesses and startups need to look at the digital media, which offers amazing prospects leading to potential customers and revenue.
The main benefits accruing out of online marketing
The number of customers you can find online is much larger than what you can target from traditional media catering to the local market. Digital marketing helps you target a very large audience at a lower cost with measurable returns.
Some major benefits include:
- Interacting with users/customers and getting valuable information about their likes and dislikes, and what they are looking for
- Reaching a larger audience at a global level
- Save on the expenses that you would otherwise incur while deploying traditional methods
- Get closer to your customers and enhance your brand value and image
- Keep a track of responses from customers engage with them proactively
Why you shouldn’t postpone adopting digital marketing any more
With time being an important cost factor for small businesses and startups you can no longer afford to postpone going the digital marketing way. You may wonder as a small business where you are going to find the time and money to indulge in online marketing. In spite of all the challenges you are currently facing in your business, you should start thinking beyond the traditional methods of advertising and consider digital channels as an option to keep ahead.
Gone are the days when businesses used to wait for customers to walk into their brick-and-mortar stores. Just being around the corner doesn’t pay. You need to reach out to the millions of customers who aren’t aware of your business. You can build awareness of your business by being more visible online
Most of your customers are already online
Maybe you didn’t opt for digital marketing because you thought that you aren’t ready for it yet. You’re probably waiting for your business to get the right traction before venturing online. Since your customers are already online, engaging with them early will ensure that you start filling your pipeline with enquiries and prospects.
The problem is they go with whoever is visible to them and if you are not even online yet, how do you expect anyone online to know about you? Today most businesses are planning to go online right from day one. Customers too look for brands selling online, which they do after intense research and going through reviews, if any. They look for companies operating online and with a strong social media presence, because that is where all the action lies. The millennial crowd thinks that anything that is not available online is not worth pursuing.
There is stiff competition online too
If there is a lot of business going on online there is bound to be a lot of competition as well, which is a logical conclusion. If you want to make an impact online you need to watch what your competitors are up to. The idea is not to poach in their territory or target their business; it is more about understanding their strategy and formulating one for your business. Check the content they use and the blogs they publish. Are they using more videos and graphics, if so what sort of videos are watched most? These are the questions you need to ask yourself and find answers to.
Do your competitors have a unique selling proposition (USP), and how do they engage with their customers? You need to plan a strategy that can help you be a step ahead of the competition. When users start searching for a product or service they usually go for the ones that come up first in the search. Hence, it is imperative that your online presence is known with a visible website.
KYA or Know Your Audience (or target audience)
The advantage of digital marketing is that it lets you get real close to your customers through social media or an interesting blog that you publish. It is easy to strike up a conversation and get to know them better. This closeness allows you to understand their pain points and quickly find out what they have been looking for, and why it is still elusive. Digital marketing enables you to find your customers by using some modern tools and innovative methods. It is important to build a strong relationship with your customers and gain their trust. Not merely as a business, but as a partner worth trusting.