There are a few common reasons why small businesses fail. Lack of cash flow, poor management and planning, and ineffective marketing are often cited as the top reasons.
You might not be able to control the economy or customer spending, but you can influence the number of leads you have and how many new customers you bring on board every month.
Entrepreneurs turn to digital marketing to generate leads, but many still struggle with making it work. Since they struggle, they don’t see the value of it, and digital marketing tasks fall further down the priority list.
Businesses don’t have the chance to grow. Do you want to give your business a chance to thrive in today’s competitive environment?
Read on to discover why you need to make digital marketing a priority and how to create your own digital marketing campaigns.
Benefits of Digital Marketing
Businesses can do just fine on repeat and referral business. What happens is that they stay stuck because repeat and referrals can reach a certain level of growth. Your business then becomes stagnant.
Expand Your Reach
Digital marketing expands your reach to find people who don’t know your business. You can use digital marketing to introduce your company to people. Over time, you build trust and develop your online reputation.
When the customer is ready to make a purchase, they’ll think of your business first and call you.
The main benefit of expanding your reach is that you create a consistent pipeline of customers. You don’t have to wait for customers to give your referrals.
You can reach new audiences in your local area through SEO and paid social media ads. You can also use organic social media to highlight your benefits and expertise.
Support Referral Marketing
Digital marketing complements repeat and referral customers and opens the door to growth. It doesn’t replace referral marketing, but it supports it.
For example, you have a happy customer refer a friend to your business. The first thing that person does is check you out online. They’ll look up your website, your social media, and they’ll form an impression about your business.
They’re really looking for evidence to validate the referral and they’re looking for a good reason to do business with you.
If you have a Facebook page with the most recent post being from 3 years ago, you’ll cast doubt in the mind of the person. You want to make sure that you have an active online presence to generate trust and business.
Strong Return on Investment
At the end of the day, marketing is all about generating revenue. Digital marketing tends to generate a return on investment.
The average ROI varies by industry and marketing channel, but you can be sure that you can make your money back and then some.
Create a Digital Marketing Strategy
Digital marketing is challenging to get a handle on because it’s so broad. By definition, digital marketing consists of any marketing activity that you do online. This includes SEO, blog posts, email marketing, pay-per-click ads, social media, and apps.
It’s easy to get lost in the maze of options available to you. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it. As you already learned, you simply can’t afford to sit on the sidelines.
You just need to develop the right digital marketing strategy for your business. Here are the steps to do that.
Define Your Goals
What do you want digital marketing to do for your business? This will help you define the rest of your strategy.
There are three standard goals for digital marketing. You either want to increase brand awareness, drive sales, or increase your leads.
Create a Customer Roadmap
You need to shift your thinking a little bit when it comes to your customer. They don’t just show up ready to make a purchase. They take a journey that can take months to become ready to buy.
Customers start by learning about your business. They probably don’t have a need for your products or services right away.
They’ll move through the journey when they realize they need to change and look for solutions.
The fitness industry provides a great example of customers moving through the roadmap. A person is hit with thousands of marketing messages a day about fitness.
There are articles, social media posts, and ads. They know that they aren’t feeling great about their weight, but they’re not ready to make a change.
When they realize they have a problem, they’ll look for information online. They’ll do searches for “how to lose weight” or “workouts to do at home.” They might join a weight loss group on Facebook or follow a few fitness accounts online.
When they’re ready to join a gym or hire a fitness coach, they’ll search for “gyms near me” and “fitness coach near me.”
They’ll contact the business that they’ve interacted with in earlier stages of the customer journey.
Your job is to map out the journey for your customer. How would they become aware of your business? What is the problem that they need to solve? Then decide where they would turn to solve the problem.
Pick Your Marketing Channels
You probably have a few potential marketing channels in mind once you complete your customer roadmap. Take a few minutes to look over your roadmap and align it with your goals.
For example, if you want to gain brand awareness, your digital marketing focuses on the early stages of the customer roadmap. Social media, SEO, and blog posts are good top of funnel activities.
If you want to generate leads, your focus will be on the middle part of the funnel. Email marketing and paid ads are often used in conjunction with a lead magnet that is valuable to the consumer. An example is a 28-day nutrition challenge.
Is your goal to increase sales? Then you have to be in front of people when they’re ready to make a purchase. They’ll look for businesses online. About 92% of consumers contact a business on the first page of search results.
It’s important to choose digital marketing channels that will help you attain your goals. You don’t have to be on every single social network. You just have to choose the ones that your customers use.
Common Digital Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
A solid digital marketing strategy doesn’t automatically mean success. There are some pitfalls that digital marketers have to avoid. These are some of the most common ones.
No Goals and Reporting
It’s tempting to skip that first step in creating a digital marketing strategy and jump right into it. You might as well throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks.
That approach costs time and money. Plus, if you don’t have a way to track your progress, you simply can’t measure what’s working and what’s not.
You need to set marketing goals. You can then measure your progress and make adjustments to improve the effectiveness of your campaigns.
Using the Wrong Tools
Digital marketing is a lot to take on and do on your own. Business owners get bogged down in using the wrong digital marketing software.
What do you need? It depends on your goals. If you want to generate sales and leads, then you want to invest in a tool that helps you manage your marketing funnel.
Kartra and Click Funnels are two popular tools. This Kartra review tells you more about managing your funnel.
Another worthwhile tool is social media scheduling. There are dozens of worthwhile tools on the market, including Hootsuite, Later, Loomly, and Publer.
Lack of Consistency
Digital marketing results compound over time. In other words, you need to be consistent with your efforts to see results.
The common mistake that marketers make is they start posting consistently for a month or so. Then they get busy and stop. They lose all of that momentum.
You have to make sure that you post on a consistent basis. That’s why a good scheduling tool is important.
Content Provides Zero Value
Another common mistake that small business owners make is that they create content that’s all about them. The content is all about promotion and sales.
That adds zero value to your audience. Every piece of content has to provide some sort of value to your customers. The more you can help them, the more likely they are to trust you and buy from you in the future.
Don’t worry about giving stuff away for free. That does more to establish trust and a loyal following than anything else you can do.
Make Digital Marketing Work for Your Business
Digital marketing is critical if you have any hope to grow your business and expand your customer base. It encompasses everything from email marketing to pay per click ads.
If you want to make digital marketing work for your business, you have to narrow down the focus to just a few activities that you can do consistently. You’ll broaden your reach, and you’ll be on the path toward exponential growth.
Click on the Grow tab above for more essential tips to grow your business.