Digital marketing is necessary and essential to the success of small businesses in today’s highly digital and competitive landscape, especially when you consider that more than half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices.
Creating and delivering engaging content, maintaining customer communications, establishing a social media presence, reviewing data-driven analytics and setting up advertising initiatives are all important but time-consuming steps to any strategic digital marketing plan. The reality is that most small-business owners simply do not have the time to dedicate to them in addition to actually running their business. With more than 30 million small businesses in the US, the importance of having — and successfully implementing — a digital marketing strategy cannot be overlooked as it’s what helps your business stand out above the rest.
One option is to consider outsourcing your business’s digital marketing efforts. It’s the same premise as hiring an accountant to handle your books or a cleaning service to wash your restaurant linens. Why take time away from running your business to perform tasks that you 1) aren’t good at 2) don’t like or 3) simply don’t have time to do. There are qualified people out there to help!
An effective digital marketing strategy can be designed and implemented to fit just about any small-business marketing budget, so that is something to keep in mind when considering if this approach is feasible for your business. Besides being affordable, it’s also an effective way to continue moving your business forward while ensuring the right audience is being reached, on the right platform(s) and at the right time.
Here are five additional benefits to outsourcing your company’s digital marketing activities:
Cost savings: Instead of hiring a full-time digital and/or social media manager, outsourcing marketing efforts to an agency will likely prove to be the better investment when the numbers are crunched. This will ultimately free up more money that can then be spent elsewhere — new product lines, staff bonuses, community or team sponsorships, exterior and interior store renovations and more.
Time to do what you do best: Business owners who are bogged down in day-to-day marketing efforts can’t focus on what is most important to them: Providing their customers with the best possible product or service (and making money while doing it). Outsourcing digital marketing ensures owners can stay focused on what they are most passionate about and on the managerial tasks they do best.
Expert team: A digital team of experts can create customized marketing campaigns tailored for your small business, its offerings and customer base. Marketing experts know how to engage customers and create communications that emphasize the unique selling propositions of your business’s solution(s) and they can implement them in a way that helps you stand out from competitors.
Growth: Outsourcing digital marketing allows owners to focus on growing their business, not stressing out over marketing. A digital marketing agency’s job is to deliver timely and engaging campaigns that help grow your customer base and increase profits. After all, attracting new business while retaining the customers you already have is what ultimately will keep the doors open.
Results: Digital marketing experts provide data-driven insights and marketing metrics that deliver meaningful results. It’s important to recognize and share where digital marketing has worked, as well as areas where efforts can be improved.
Most digital marketing agencies offer many important solutions for small businesses including:
- Website design and content (It only takes 50 milliiseconds for a website visitor to decide to stay or leave – a positive impression is a must.)
- Website SEO and monitoring
- Google Rankings and Google My Business
- Customer communications — email and text
- Establishing, monitoring, posting and maintaining social media accounts
- Reputation management
- Mobile-friendly options such as online ordering and customer support
- Paid social media advertising that directly targets current and potential customers
Leveraging these marketing services allows small-business owners to have better control over their online presence, build their company and brand reputation, and increase their rankings on numerous search engines.
Keeping in mind that more than 50% of e-commerce sales occur over a mobile device, think for a moment about your company’s website and online presence. Does your business appear at the top of a Google search? Can customers easily view, order and review your company’s offerings on any mobile device? Does your website look organized and cohesive, and do the pages and images load easily? Do you have a social media presence, and if so, are you regularly posting and addressing reviews and comments from customers?
If you can’t answer “yes” to all of these questions, it is time to consider implementing a digital marketing strategy for your small business. The bottom line? Strong online visibility across multiple platforms and a mobile-friendly website ultimately drive sales. Without having them, you are likely losing out to competitors who do.
Steven Clayton worked in the Information Systems field for 19 years, holding many roles including: CIO for a public company and ended his corporate career as a vice president for a Fortune 500 company. Since then, he has started and/or co-founded six different startups, four of which are in business today and running profitably — including NetBlaze, a digital marketing agency helping today’s small businesses thrive.
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