Small and medium-sized businesses are putting more and more emphasis on their digital efforts, 77% of SMEs planned to increase their advertising spend in 2018. However, research carried out found that that 29% of small businesses do not have a website.
On one hand, it seems that these businesses are starting to realise the benefits digital marketing can bring, but on the other, it still seems as though there are many small businesses that are reluctant to make the investment. The number of SMEs that do not own a website is surprisingly large.
Below are 5 reasons why your small business needs to invest in digital marketing.
1. Your customers are online
Some businesses believe their customers are not online, so an investment in digital marketing doesn’t seem worth it to them. However, 97% of consumers look online before making a local purchase. Other studies show that between 70-80% of consumers research a company online before making a purchase. Small businesses that don’t make the digital investment may miss out on real opportunities. If you don’t have a website for your small business, you won’t rank for local searches, which have a high conversion rate. Similarly, you run the risk of losing ground to more digitally savvy competitors who rank for important keyword search terms relevant to your industry.
2. Consumer expectations have changed
The modern consumer has a heightened sense of expectation. If a potential client goes online to reads up about your SME but finds that you don’t have a website or social media presence, it is considered a huge disadvantage, especially to younger demographics (Millennials and Generation Z). If you want to resonate and connect with the modern consumer, you need to develop your online presence.
3. Take advantage of seasonal trends
Without a digital marketing strategy in place, it’s harder to keep up with seasonal trends. Research shows that on Black Friday for example, email marketing and mobile shopping are increasingly big drivers of sales on those days. If your business wants to make the most of this large shopping day, consider how to incorporate email and mobile marketing into your campaigns.
In 2015, 25.1% of all transactions were driven by email marketing. Mobile shopping accounted for 30.6% of all spending. Similarly, the influence of digital on other seasonal events like Christmas and Halloween continues to grow. If your small business operates in the retail sector, digital marketing is now a must-have.
4. Trust, Reputation and the Customer
A good online presence creates a great experience for your audience, and positively impacts your brand’s reputation. The lack of an online presence can cause your audience to lose trust in your brand, resulting in them looking to your competitors to solve their needs. This competition is very evident when it comes to search engines.
5. Your customers are mobile
The smartphone has revolutionized the way we go about our daily lives. Consumers today have the power of a personal computer at their fingertips at all times. Google has confirmed that there are now more searches conducted on mobile than on desktop. To target your mobile customers, your site must be optimized for viewing on mobile devices. Optimizing your site for mobile does not have to be that expensive either. There are many great themes and plugins, which will help you make your website mobile friendly.
Small businesses also need to be able to put themselves in a position to convert local mobile searches into customers. One example at Baker Tilly Hughes Blake is when people search for things like “accountants near me”. You need to put in the work to give yourself the best chance of ranking in high intent local search like this one. Best practices here include registering your business on directories like Yelp and Google My Business and including your locality in your title tags and metadata.