Why Does My Small Business Need Digital Advertising?
PPC Analyst, Small Business Specialist
It’s a digital world we live in today. Remember the days when you wanted to hire a contractor? You would pull out the phone book, discuss your options with your neighbor who would then refer you to his sister’s husband’s friend who used some guy that did a great job and didn’t charge too much. Ah, those were the days. Today, we have greater access to services providers who can be found online. If you’re not currently scaling your business digitally, you’re in last place. Actually you can trust me that you’re not even in the race. Digital advertising is just as important as a phone number on your website. The question is: why does my small business need digital advertising? Well, small business owners, I will tell you why.
Accessibility & Digital Advertising
First, you may be wondering what digital advertising even is. According to digitalmarketer.com, digital advertising is defined as a strategy that promotes a product online. This promotion happens on social media platforms, search engines, websites, or even your inbox. Essentially, digital advertising is promoting your product or services to people on the Internet.
So you’re like “Cool, I have a website, so I’m good.” Nah, there’s more. No one is saying you have to use ALL platforms in digital marketing to promote your products. That’s not even the top recommendation for best practice. You want to find which platform best suits your business. Some questions you may ask yourself are: Who is looking for my product? Where are they? How do they find me? Where are my competitors? These are all great questions to consider when deciding which platform may be best for your business. The number one consideration is accessibility: how easy are my products to find for my desired target market?
For example, go to Google, search for the products/services your business offers and see what pops up. In our example, I used “housekeeping cleaning services”. The guys at the top are most likely getting most business because they are engaged in pay-per-click advertising, which is one BIG part of digital advertising. In today’s world, you have to pay to play.
Now that you know what digital advertising is, your next step is to figure out how to leverage it for your business.
“There are many digital marketing channels a small business can use to reach their audience and, in the end, get them to buy their product or service. Each of the channels asks for a different approach, of course, but once a strategy is created and preparations are made in general, it’s easy to adjust the messages to different audiences and boost conversions.” (Marketo Blog)
Among the most popular, with the greatest results are:
- Pay-Per-Click Advertising
Yep, that’s exactly how it sounds. Remember when I was talking about pay to play? If done correctly, this online advertising method can be a vital contribution to your small business leads. Google, Bing, Pinterest, and Facebook offer a variety of pay-per-click advertising options. Which platform to use and how to use it is up to the goals of your business.
You know when you log in to your Google Analytics and see your website showing up for a ton of clicks in Maine, but your business only operates in California? Well, this is something SEO can help fix. It sounds more complicated than it actually is.
Overall, the goal of SEO is to rank your website within a high position in the right locations so your customers can find your business efficiently and quickly.
“Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of continuously improving your site’s organic rankings on search engines such as Google, YouTube, Amazon, and Bing. SEO is a popular digital marketing channel because higher search engine rankings can drive targeted traffic to your website. Which ultimately can lead to more leads and paying customers.” (semrush.com)
Stay up to date with the top SEO trends for 2022.
- Social Media Marketing
Well, we’re finally there. We can wake up, pick up our phone, and see what our grandma’s latest ventures are. This is possible due to the multi-million dollar concept called social media. Given that we can find almost anyone on social media, don’t you think it’s a good idea if we can find you too?
In the world of digital marketing, there are many variations as to what is present on social media can mean for you and your business. At the least, it is recommended that small businesses have at least a Facebook business page as a contact/informative place for new and existing customers.
Spend & Competition
Hopefully now you’re considering becoming more engaged with digital advertising for your business. That, however, brings us to the next question: what should I spend for successful results? This is one of the most important questions to ask yourself when beginning digital marketing. Databox.com suggests a total marketing budget for a small business should be 7-8% of your business’ revenue. For small businesses, you want to allocate 7-8% of your projected or actual gross revenue to your marketing budget. This number will vary depending on your industry, your business capacity, the amount of growth you can handle, and how fast you want to make an impact.
Having a sufficient budget is also essential due to your competitive advantage. If your closest Google competitor is spending a substantial amount more each month (and with the correct strategy), they will most likely gain the largest part of the market share. Therefore, It’s important you or your agency does the necessary research to suggest an optimal budget for success.
Luckily, there are many digital experts out there that can help you align your strategies & goals with an appropriate budget. (Ahem, one right here!)
There is no “exact science” to digital marketing. Hiring a team of experts is often worth the cost (and headaches) of establishing a successful digital marketing plan. That being said, there are still expectations from the client’s side, even when paying a marketing agency.
Results & Expectations
Great job, small business owner. You’ve made it this far! You know what digital advertising is. You’re ready to hire someone and you’re ready to get your small business ranked. Awesome! However before you start, know what may be expected of you as a client from the agency’s side. Yes, most of us give you homework too!
- Don’t be ‘that guy’: Please don’t hire a digital marketing agency, pay them each month, and swear you can do it better. If you could do it better, you wouldn’t have hired someone in the first place.
- We are not out to take your money: We too want the best for you and your business, however, if we suggest inputting more budget, it is most likely because it’s necessary and has a direct impact on successful results.
- It’s not an overnight strategy: One of the biggest issues I face with a large share of clients is wanting to give up after two weeks of not seeing their desired results. We completely understand you’re paying us and your advertising platform and you want results fast. Unfortunately, some strategies can take 3-6 months and analysts usually have no control over this time frame.
Don’t just take it from me! Perform your own research before hiring an online marketing agency so you know exactly what to expect during this period. While we will also educate you, there are many resources available to confirm our strategies. If you’re looking, we know a great recommendation!