Operating a small business comes with many challenges, however, one of them doesn’t have to be your marketing strategy.
With the right budget, digital marketing is the most preferred way to reach a business’s targeted audiences effectively.
Consumers have shifted a lot of their attention from stationary media to perpetual on-the-go media. These can include Digital Displays, SEO, (Search Engine Optimization), Pay-per-Click, Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Marketing Analytics and Affiliate Marketing, with the most widely utilized being described below:
83% of surveyed marketers over a span of 29 different countries reported that they use social media as a primary digital channel for their marketing strategy. In this day and age, this medium is vital for any small business growth to occur. Furthermore, over 54% of social media users use social media platforms to research brand products and services. And this trend continues to grow, so riding that wave is a wise marketing decision for any owner hoping for business growth. You can create a profile for your business on any social media platform and create posts to advertise new products, sales, or freshly published content. Ads can be bought to reach out to a new audience. Social media has high conversion rates, and efforts can multiply quickly as people like, comment, and share your content because you’ve targeted specific customer segments and conveyed your message to the right people.
But social media is challenging. New content formats are introduced frequently, and you will have to update on a regular basis. Although it sounds simple to post on social media, strategic planning is required, while dedicating enough time to do it consistently and efficiently. Which social media platform you will use will depend on the type of audience you want to reach. A marketing agency has marketing professionals who can help you determine best-reach options.
Traditional marketing remains a popular option for directly reaching prospective customers, especially when used locally. In some respects, although consumers are spending most of their waking hours online, it seems some are becoming increasingly numb to conventional digital advertising and engagement. They report frustration and negative brand association with digital advertising. With this sense of “digital clutter” on the rise, the door is open to employing other means of reaching your target audience and looking for a way to cut through the noise. Consequently, traditional ads are experiencing increased engagement. Some examples of traditional marketing are outdoor billboards, telemarketing, broadcasting (TV, radio, etc.), print (flyers, coupons, direct mailers), window displays and signs.
Consumers trust traditional advertising such as television, radio, and print more than social media advertising. As a result, local businesses can use traditional advertising to build brand credibility and trust in their area with good results.
Traditional marketing efforts used to be seen as often being more expensive than digital. But keep in mind that TV, radio, and print can outperform digital channels in terms of reach, attention, and engagement. Costs of online advertising have continued to increase, especially when accounting for impression, click, and conversion fraud, as the costs of traditional media have fallen, but consistently prove to be more sustainable over the long term. For example, while a coupon received in the mail may have an expiration date a few months out, digital offerings can become obsolete within days if not sooner. Printed materials, broadcast ads, and window displays might cost more upfront but are relevant for many months to come. Users of the digital space are constantly distracted by new things and businesses have to create fresh material to try and repeatedly capture their attention. Traditional marketing is alive and well and on a strong return as a most trusted source of exposing your brand.
Without this advanced data-driven targeting, marketers will need to refocus on extending their reach in other, more creative ways. Both Google (Chrome browser) and Apple (IOS) have plans to phase out and eventually eliminate the use of 3rd party cookies in 2023. Businesses will no longer be able to track website visitors, use detailed data on those visitors’ search preferences to improve the user experience and target consumers with personalized ad experiences, and essentially, be left in the “digital dark”.
We’ve chosen to address the most commonly implemented traditional marketing avenues for small business owners below:
People still respond to being able to physically touch information. Viewing it as a mailer or a store sign for instance, leaves an impression that digital advertising simply can’t match. It cannot be discounted as a viable means of communicating what you have to offer, whether it be a post card, brochure, coupons in the local paper, or a sign in your storefront window.
INTEGRATED MARKETING APPROACH
Combining digital and traditional marketing strategies can be very effective, allowing a small business to “branch out” its marketing efforts, resulting in a wider reach, as well as increased exposure and sales. This mixed approach to marketing creates a consistent brand experience and often proves to be the optimum use of a small business’s advertising dollars.
Since keeping your brand top-of-mind is paramount to business growth, this plan is a popular route for many small business owners.
Digital technology can leverage traditional tools in powerful ways for maximizing business growth.
For example, who would have thought that direct mail would be resurrected by a digital element? That’s exactly what happens when mailers are paired with a QR code that consumers can scan to learn more about your small business and its products or services. And presto, you’ve cleverly connected your printed material, which is literally in your prospects’ hands, to their digital world, with one small image! You can motivate buyers who might otherwise have turned away from marketing messages.
MEASURING THE OUTCOME
Once you’ve chosen the desired marketing approach, you will want to develop your strategy, which can include such things as creating an outline, planning the budget spend, determining your design parameters, hiring someone to implement the ads on the preferred platforms, and track results.
When it comes to measurement, traditional marketing is less exact than tracking it digitally. If you were to put a billboard along a major highway in your area, for example, you would undoubtedly increase exposure. But how is that measured? If an influx of new customers occurs, the good old-fashioned casual survey approach can give you at least an idea of why they’ve purchased…just ask! Otherwise, measurement of traditional advertising can be done by digital means, with a “where did you hear about us?” checkbox as they checkout online, or an online survey sent to your customers. This implies that you have email addresses, which, again, points to the importance of integrating your marketing plan to make sure you have every piece of information you need to stay in contact with your customers, ask for referrals, gain feedback, measure marketing, etc.
LET A PROFESSIONAL MARKETING AGENCY HANDLE IT
If you’re not sure what the right mix of marketing will help your business thrive, contact a professional marketing company. Marketing is both an art, and a science. Most small business owners are busy enough running the day-to-day facets of their businesses, often leaving very little extra time to devote to the extremely important marketing aspect. In the end, the quality of your marketing will determine its success, so don’t hesitate to contact us for a successful strategy and marketing plan that will ensure business growth and measurable results.