The majority of the world exists online. That very key point means that the days of TV, Radio, Billboards, and Newspaper advertising are soon becoming extinct as people will now typically consume most of their media online.
So what does this mean for small businesses? In short, it means that small, online businesses who used to be able to rely on the internet and social media to reach their target audiences are now having to swim against the tide and fight the competition.
This is a good enough reason alone to invest in digital advertising for your small business, but it is worth exploring further. Here are some more reasons why small business owners should budget to invest in digital advertising.
You Can See Results Happening
When you run a digital advertising campaign, you can use software to see how many people have clicked on an advert, and how many of these people then continued to engage with a service. For example, if you choose to use LinkedIn as one of your chosen platforms for advertising, you can create your LinkedIn Ads report to see if you have been able to reach your desired target audience.
The results will speak for themselves. If you create an engaging, targeted ad campaign then you will improve your reach which is great for your business!
You can carefully choose which sources you use
The more you explore the area of advertising, the more you will be aware that there are several cost-effective platforms and channels you can use to advertise your small business. But how do you choose the right one?
It’s important to know that there are many factors involved in choosing the right platform, including the all-important area of target demographics.
If your small business has a target demographic of females between the ages of 18 and 34, then using mediums such as TV and radio won’t work as well. This is because fewer people within that age group watch live TV or listen to the radio- instead opting for streaming services to listen and watch.
Is social media the answer? With millions of people using social media, you could be right in thinking that’s the answer, but it is again worth considering which platforms you use. An increasing number of older social media users are on Facebook- with over 50% of users being over the age of 35.
As well as considering the age and gender of your target audience, it is also important to consider the education level, income, location and personal interests of the people you are trying to reach.
Those key indicators will help you to structure your advertising and choose the platforms that work for your small business.
The Internet will always grow
As the world’s population grows, so will the number of people who use the internet. In 1996, only around 16 million people used the internet, but in recent years that number has jumped to 4 billion users on the internet each day–which is over 50% of the world’s population.
Internet coverage increases as the population grows: with more and more countries opening up their infrastructure to make the internet accessible. Not the mention that with millions of people worldwide spending more of their time on the internet due to now having to work from home, and ‘stay at home’ orders in place.
Customers are online, and in not working hard to ensure that you have a good online presence, you will fail to be able to capitalise effectively using this fact to reach your audiences and therefore prevent the growth you need to be able to grow.
Search is one of the most powerful ways to grab people’s attention when they spend time online. Millions of searches take place every second of every day from people asking questions. The key to managing a successful digital marketing campaign is to make sure that what you advertise is the answer to that question.
You could work to make sure that your website is optimised to suit an audience of searchers, or you could use social media marketing to make sure your business is spotted by millions of social media users all over the world.
Consumer behaviours have adapted
The internet has made accessing information more possible–and for that reason, customers have become increasingly discerning about which products they buy from which businesses.
The main reason for this is that people tend to read more online reviews before committing to buying a product. Around 90% of potential customers will read the online reviews of a business before visiting them in-store or online and those reviews have almost 70% influence over buying decisions. Customers want to know as much as possible about a product before they buy it.
If your business doesn’t have an online presence, they will never get found by prospective customers–because nobody will know if what you have to sell is any good at all. This is where having online reviews is like the best advertising you could get. Online reviews are similar to word-of-mouth. People who have a great experience with a product or service will want to share their experiences with others. Having something online helps the news to travel much further much quicker.
Advertising online happens all day every day
Unlike a physical store, a business website is open 24/7. That means that potential buyers and customers from all over the world can go onto websites, learn about what you have on offer, make a decision and buy within moments.
The things that you have on social media, online reviews, where are you come on the search engine results page, are also what is seen by and read by Internet users. Paying close attention to your digital advertising means that you limit the potential to miss out on opportunities. Your advertising being linked to a decent website that is accessible to people all day and every day means that the journey from learning about your product or service to the point of purchase is streamlined. This is why it is important not just to consider your advertising campaign but how it is dealt with afterwards.
For example, it is important to make sure that any customer queries and questions are dealt with quickly on your website and all social media pages.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.