Small Business Marketing and Advertising Tips

As I finished my last cup of coffee this morning, my mind is racing on the best way to communicate the value of a website paired with digital marketing. Small businesses doing marketing and advertising find it difficult to know where and how much to spend promoting their business. As a small business ourselves, we understand the budget challenges that other small businesses face. Even though our business operates in the digital marketing space, my recommendation my surprise you.

If you are getting a good return on your investment in traditional advertising and marketing channels (print, billboards, radio, television) then don’t change what you are doing. On the other hand, if you want to evaluate your options, here are 5 things to consider evaluating digital marketing vs. traditional advertising:

#1 – Cost

As budget is an important consideration for small businesses, let’s start with cost. One of the metrics used to evaluate advertising cost is CPM (cost per thousand impressions). Direct mail and television advertising typically have the highest CPM, while internet advertising and social media marketing have the lowest CPM. Learn more about Pay per click advertising or social media marketing to promote your business online.

More than a third of Chief Marketing Officers say that digital marketing will account for 75% or more of their spending within the next five years. July 20141

#2 – Compete Against Larger Competitors

Considering the lower costs for digital marketing, it allows smaller businesses to compete in the digital marketplace against larger competitors. This helps level the playing field for your marketing efforts. Even though larger competitors may have deeper pockets to invest in traditional advertising, a well-coordinated digital marketing campaign, paired with solid website design and effective SEO strategies will have you going toe to toe with those larger competitors for the same customers.

SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate. February 20152

#3 – Dynamic Content

The digital world lends itself to creating dynamic, engaging content for your customers. This helps you as a business owner better understand the needs of your customer. When you consider traditional advertising in print, television, billboard and radio is a static message to your audience, there is a great deal of flexibility with digital marketing to change your message and offers more frequently to engage your customers. This is accomplished through a content marketing strategy designed to evaluate the effectiveness of your message.

Content marketing generates 3 times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing, but costs 62% less. January 20153

#4 – Easy to Track Results

Paired with the flexibility of changing your marketing message is the ability to track return on investment (ROI) for every marketing effort and change. It is often hard if not impossible to track the impact of marketing through traditional advertising mediums, but that is not the case with digital marketing. This gives the business owner more control on refining messages to their customers that have true impact. It’s important to work with a Web Development and Digital Marketing Company that understands your business goals when building your website and digital marketing campaigns. It’s through this process that business goals are tracked (also known conversions) using advanced web analytics.

Marketers report the top five digital marketing metrics for success are; revenue growth (32%), customer satisfaction (30%), return on investment (23%), customer retention rates (23%), and customer acquisition (23%). November 20154

#5 – Tremendous Reach

Digital marketing expands your target market to a global audience, whereas traditional advertising typically focuses marketing messages to smaller regional areas. So if you’re a small business owner in a rural area, you are probably asking yourself, “Why do I need to reach a large market?” Well, consider that customer that is 400 miles away from you planning to travel to your area. At that distance, they are not exposed to your traditional ads, but they may be searching the internet in your area for your product or service during their travels. With digital marketing, you can have the best of both worlds. You can achieve global reach and put emphasis on your local or regional customer base with Local SEO services to increase your search rankings closer to home.

Every month there are more than 10.3 billion Google searches, with 78% of U.S. internet users researching products and services online. December 20145

There are many opportunities for small businesses to explore in the digital marketing age. Digital Marketing is steadily increasing, as more buyers are looking into online sources for information and purchases. A website combined with digital marketing is valuable online real estate that will keep paying dividends over time. As I mentioned before, if traditional advertising is working, don’t change what works. You may consider combining traditional advertising with digital marketing efforts to cross-market your message for greater impact.

Digital Marketing harnesses the creativity of the right brain and the analytical side of the left brain to design trackable, targeted messages to your customers. A motto we live by is Creativity + Analytics = Profitable Marketing!

Todd Nelson is a partner with BearCreek Web Works, a company dedicated to assisting small business with website design and digital marketing strategies. He is passionate about creative marketing and transforming business goals into reality.

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