Digital marketing is a popular topic and that’s not likely to change as we enter the new year.
Still, there are some businesses that don’t think it’s worth the time and money, wrongly assuming that digital marketing is just a fad.
[source: AllBusiness] This contributes to the fact that 39 percent of American small businesses said they hadn’t executed any marketing initiatives for at least six months, according to a Capital One Spark Business survey.
Deciding whether or not digital marketing is worthwhile comes down to individual companies. However, the majority of small businesses that run the numbers and utilize successful methods discover that digital marketing is the key to greater customer retention and increased returns.
Pros and Cons of Digital Marketing for Small Businesses
If you want to determine if online marketing will benefit your company, you need to weigh both the pros and cons. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of digital marketing on a small scale:
Pros: Some of the most prominent advantages of digital marketing revolve around affordability and a quick return on investment. Not all aspects of digital marketing will be in a price range small businesses can afford, but social media marketing, blog content, in-house videos, and customer reviews are all highly affordable. More importantly, these are forms of digital marketing that small businesses can use with ease.
Digital marketing is also an effective way for consumers and businesses to learn more about each other. It’s a much closer connection than might occur with traditional marketing tactics because it allows the two parties to interact directly. According to research by myBuys, 72 percent of consumers connect with brands through an integrated marketing approach. It’s hard to make that many connections with just traditional marketing tactics.
Cons: Small companies often shy away from digital marketing because methods don’t always work. Digital marketing is highly subjective to customers and their habits, and businesses won’t always get strategies right the first time. Unfortunately, many firms choose to listen to stories of failure rather than stories of success.
In order to experience the full benefits of digital marketing, businesses of all sizes must go through a trial and error process in which they learn from their mistakes, change their tactics, and try again. Only then will marketing from a digital standpoint reveal its full benefits.
Start Digital Marketing Today
If you’re a small business owner who isn’t yet using digital marketing, now is the perfect time to start. There are many tactics that can make digital marketing a more prominent, useful part of your strategy. Here are a few ideas:
Form a team or hire a third party marketer. If you don’t have the manpower, the latter is a better option. Your team will need multiple strengths that vary in specialization, from advertising to social media. You’ll also need to assign a healthy budget and instruct your people to use it wisely–but avoid discouragement if they make mistakes at first.
Focus on social channels. This is by far the cheapest form of marketing, since you can join most social networks for free. It’s also the best place to directly engage your customers.
Be willing to constantly improve. As mentioned, much of digital marketing is trial and error. When you make a mistake, you must be ready to change your strategy accordingly. This kind of mindset will help you achieve impressive returns on investments and a successful marketing strategy in the future.
Don’t give up on digital marketing before you give it a valid try. It’s important for businesses of all sizes, and those that wish to stay competitive will make digital marketing more of a priority.