Business Tips

Why Digital Marketing is Important for Your Small Business

Statista research shows that in January 2022, there were over 307.2 million Internet users in the United States - a number that is expected to continue increasing. This vast, growing audience makes the Internet the perfect space for locating and directing potential customers to your small business.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that marketers are increasingly utilizing this potential to promote goods and services online via various digital channels. In fact, in 2022 alone, retail e-commerce revenue was estimated at approximately $905 billion, with a forecast to exceed a whopping $1.7 trillion in 2027. So, if your small business isn’t already using online marketing, now is your chance to learn more about the importance of digital marketing, what it looks like, and why you should be using it. 

A small business team working on a digital marketing campaign at a table with laptops

What Is Digital Marketing? 

Digital marketing, or online marketing, is the process that allows businesses or brands to promote themselves online. It utilizes digital channels such as social media, websites, and search engines to interact with consumers. When used efficiently, digital marketing can facilitate several positive outcomes. These can include: driving traffic to your site, enhancing brand awareness, increasing conversions, and raising your business’s revenue. Here are some of the key benefits of digital marketing for small businesses. 

1. Search Engine Optimization  

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing the content on your website so that it performs better in the eyes of Google and other search engines. This, in turn, helps to increase the quality and quantity of organic (free) traffic to your website. This is typically done through an SEO strategy that implements highly-searched, relevant "keywords" in a business's written content

2. Pay-Per-Click 

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is a digital model where a business pays a fee to a publisher, such as Google Ads, each time someone clicks on their advertisement. It helps companies pay for targeted website traffic, and if done correctly, the return on investment can be much greater than the initial cost-per-click (CPC). PPC advertising can appear across several digital platforms, including search engines, social media platforms, and websites. 

3. Content Marketing 

Content marketing is the practice of creating and sharing relevant and valuable digital content to attract and stimulate potential customers’ interest. Examples of content types that are often used in content marketing include blog posts, videos, emails, and social media posts. Content marketing can generate leads as well as improve a brand’s visibility, authority, and customer loyalty. 

4. Social Media Marketing 

Social media marketing uses social media platforms to connect with existing and potential customers. This strategy is most effective when you have engaging content that aligns with both the target audience and the social media platform. When successful, social media marketing can help a small business build a brand identity, drive traffic, and ultimately improve revenue. 

5. Affiliate Marketing 

Affiliate marketing is a performance-based tool where an affiliate earns a commission for marketing another business’s product using an affiliate link. The most common example is using online influencers to promote a brand on their social media pages. When done correctly, this relationship is mutually beneficial for both parties involved: the affiliate receives a commission and the business gets brand recognition and sales. 

6. Email Marketing 

Email marketing is communicating with your brand’s subscribers via email to strengthen the relationship between your brand and the consumer. For example, you can send welcome emails to new subscribers or exclusive deals and news to existing subscribers. With over 4 billion daily email users worldwide, email can be an excellent tool to reach your customers. To find out more, check Optimum’s top email marketing tips.

7. Inbound Marketing 

Inbound marketing is the process of attracting, engaging, and delighting your customers through insightful content and experiences that are meaningful and relevant. This helps to value and empower your customers through any step of the consumer journey. Inbound marketing can also help position your business toward an audience already interested in your business’s industry. 

Why Use Digital Marketing for Your Small Business? 

Here, we will take you through Optimum’s top reasons for using digital marketing for your small business. 

1. Customers are online 

Digital marketing has powers beyond traditional strategies, purely down to its potential reach. With most of your potential customer pool being online, digital marketing can help you target your efforts toward these individuals to create meaningful interactions with relative ease. 

2. Boost conversions via a multi-channel approach 

Online marketing allows you to create multiple touchpoints for consumers to access your brand in a way that is most accessible to them. Multiple channels can help streamline your efforts to guide consumers to purchase from your business. 

3. Reach your target audience

Online marketing tools and analytics can provide valuable insights on your customers—such as demographic information—which can help you to channel your marketing resources towards similar audiences. This can utilize your budget more efficiently, as you can target consumers more likely to be interested in your product. 

4. Experience greater flexibility

Unlike traditional marketing tools, such as printed billboards or magazines, digital campaigns can evolve, and their budget and content can be adjusted if needed. Also, digital campaigns have flexible accessibility, since consumers no longer rely on shop opening times to access your business’s offerings. 

5. Measurable results

Digital analytics tools can help to quantify the success of online campaigns by collating valuable insights, such as how many impressions, clicks, or reactions an ad or social media post makes, as well as where these reactions are coming from. This can help to inform future campaigns and enhance your small business’s digital marketing strategy. 

6. Provides legitimacy 

Customers need to feel like they trust a business before making a transaction. Having a reputable online presence can help to build this trust through having multiple points of contact reaffirming a brand’s legitimacy, such as a website, testimonials, and social media presence. 

7. Affordable

One of the most significant benefits of digital marketing is that it’s suitable for all price ranges. Many online marketing tools are inexpensive—or sometimes free—meaning that you can drive traffic to your website with relatively small overheads compared to traditional marketing tools. 

8. Democratized

Online marketing can narrow the gap between small independent brands and vast conglomerate retailers when used correctly. Large budgets are optional for success if you have a well-executed and relevant digital strategy. 

If you found this article on how to use digital marketing for your small business useful, discover how we can help you grow your small business further with our marketing tips and resources.