Digital Marketing Tips for Small and Medium Sized Businesses

In the current competitive digital world, ineffective marketing only means money down the drain. It is of outmost importance to have a well-thought online marketing strategy and execute it accordingly.

Over the last decade, the digital world has evolved massively to become the primary channel for lead generation. Small to medium-sized companies have started to realize the importance of digital marketing. Now small to medium-sized businesses can easily reach a global audience through online funnels.

No enterprise should be left behind, otherwise they lose to competition. Below we have highlighted ways for you to utilize digital marketing to your advantage.

Mobile is Everywhere

As a small or medium sized business, you can directly engage your audience and know who your customers are. Experts argue that corporations have slightly lost their direct connection with the consumer that would allow for a personalized user experience.

The new generation has more alternatives, most of which can be cheaper; therefore brand loyalty is slowly waning. Consequently, expanding your reach online is a great solution to make your business available to people who would have otherwise never heard about it.

Restaurants can benefit by collaborating with widely-used app delivery services like Just Eat, Deliveroo and others that provide customers with a new way of discovering brands.

Retail stores should consider online shopping applications and marketplaces like Etsy to display their products to a larger audience online.

Visibility

If you are in the beginning of your journey into the online marketing space, visibility across as many channels as possible should be a priority. Target platforms where your customers spend their time. Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr are most suitable for creative industries, where content is mostly consumed visually. Twitter and Facebook should also not be ignored as these are channels to communicate with consumers or receive feedback for products or services.

Analytics

When it comes to running a small or medium-sized enterprise, costs and profitability are the two key metrics to keep an eye on to sustain continued growth. However analyzing your social metrics will help you identify successful online marketing campaigns. The digital footprint that customers will leave can tell you a lot about who is involved with your brand, products or services. Data on clients can be analyzed and leveraged to extract valuable insights on how to streamline your budget and achieve higher sales with a reasonable budget. This information helps keep track of what works, what doesn’t and how you can improve it.

These beginner tips in digital marketing should put you on the right path to launching your business on the worldwide web and start growing an online audience.

Survey Shows Businesses Expect Budget Increases for Digital Marketing in the Coming Years

Almost half (41%) of companies with more than 100 employees invest more than $500K in digital marketing every year. This is revealed in a US-based survey with 501 marketers published by The Manifest and looks to discover how businesses invest and how their investment might change in the coming year.

Respondents are a mix of senior level employees and companies. About 76% consider marketing has undergone more transformation during the last 2 years than 50 years before. With the advent of new marketing methods, traditional marketing like pamphlets, flyers or billboards have suffered a loss in popularity. 99% of Manifest’s respondents said they planned to increase spending on “at least one” digital marketing channel in the coming year.

Another report based on digital marketing, it was suggested that traditional media spend is being ousted by marketing automation tools for email and social, which has seen budget increases by 44% in just the last year. Meanwhile, marketing intelligence companies also predicted that total spend on social media advertising was set to grow by $28bn (£21bn) to reach $76bn (£58bn) by 2020.

Indeed, 64% of businesses surveyed by Manifest said they planned to spend both more time and money on social media marketing, while optimising their website was a priority among 55%.

An interesting bit is that businesses plan to put fewer resources on display and banner ads (19%), despite the ever-growing prevalence of automatic buying.

If your company doesn’t have a marketing budget of $500K per year, don’t worry just yet. According to co-founder and head of sales at B2B lead generation agency, the spending that a business should put aside for digital marketing varies by business and customer needs.

“It’s all over the map as far as industry goes. To figure it out, you need to understand who you’re trying to sell to and define those personas.

“Get a sense of exactly how people consume information and how they make purchasing decisions. If digital is really big for these customers, then digital marketing should be a massive amount of your budget”

“If you’re in an old-school industry that doesn’t really do a lot of digital stuff, digital marketing may not make as much sense.”

 

How to Maintain Your Reputation on the Web with ORM and Digital Marketing

A fast growing discipline and business necessity, online reputation management (ORM) is widely recognized as a valuable asset which can be one of the most important causes of competitive edge in a fiercely competitive market, and with companies/brands being under constant scrutiny from the business online community, good reputation management practices seek to help firms handle and cope with this scrutiny.

What is exactly is ORM and what does it entail?

Quite simply, ORM is a set of tactics and strategies put into practice across various communication channels, as a way of influencing a company/brand’s reputation online. This could include a range of different tools used for digital marketing across a multitude of online platforms such as social media platforms, websites, blogs, review sites, search engines etc.

With the rise of the internet and mobile technology, marketing and advertising efforts have partially and progressively transitioned to digital platforms. Today’s brands reach their customers mostly through websites, social media, blog posts, videos and other channels, and seek to perfect their online performance based on a hoard of customer engagement data.

Understand the Customer

The key for any business to thrive and rise above their competitors is for them to continuously hone in on understanding their customer behavior and tailoring their products and services to the needs of their customers. As more and more consumers rely heavily on online reviews for their purchasing decisions, brands should not overlook the importance and huge influence of what consumers as well as competitors and regulators within the market say about the brand itself online. The average customer finds social media more trustworthy than brand-generated marketing, thus making social media much more effective than TV commercials or advertising signs, when it comes to drawing potential consumers.

Managing customer relationships across all social channels implies constant communication and engagement with the online community, proactive engagement by responding to comments, questions, reviews left by customers and being receptive to positive as well as negative feedback. Most social media platforms offer specific tools which can help assess how well received certain and help gain demographic insights about the audience and competitors. Apart from insights on followers, one can see the performance of posts, stories, and ads, as well as the brand’s profile in general. The deeper the insight into customer behavior and preferences is, the more likely a brand is to engage them in lucrative interactions.

ORM and Digital Marketing

Certainly, digital marketing is a huge and indispensable part of online reputation management.Digital marketing represents huge potential for brands to expand their client base and grow their business. Another valuable tool for digital marketing is managing content in search engines, which most would first associate with SEO. Comprehensive and relevant keyword phrases and high-quality content increase the chances to push undesirable content further down on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). This is achieved by creating owned media such as blogs or websites that promote a brand in a positive manner, which will eventually raise a brand’s ranking on search engines.

However, SEO is not the only instrument that helps in ranking high on search engines. Paid media is another digital marketing tool that can improve an online performance, which essentially involves either displaying ads on social media or running sponsored ads on influencing blogs. With these strategies, a brand can develop a strong and credible online presence, which consequently will drive towards greater results.

Why is digital marketing important?

Digital media is so prevalent nowadays that consumers readily have access to information any time and any place they want it. Digital media is a continuously growing source of entertainment, news, shopping and social interaction, and consumers are now exposed not just to what a company says about its brand, but what the media, friends, relatives, peers, etc., are saying as well. And in most cases, they are more likely to believe them than what a company says. People want brands they can trust, companies that know them, communications that are personalized, relevant and products tailored to their needs and preferences. That is why good and proper ORM along with digital marketing is crucial for businesses that want thrive and rise above their competitors, whilst building and maintaining a positive brand image online.