The Future of Small Business Marketing
If you are like most small business owners you lie awake in bed constantly thinking about how to acquire new customers, increasing revenue and retaining your clientele. That’s the rub when it comes to owning a small business; you greatly enjoy the flexibility and being your own boss, but you’re on the clock 24/7.
It doesn’t matter if you are running a restaurant, hotel, plumbing business or insurance agency, the strategy is to convert new customers into repeat customers. This process is somewhat comfortable and familiar to SMB owners, after all they know their business best. It’s the new customer acquisition that is uncomfortable and somewhat difficult because it requires marketing and advertising which has gotten extremely complex in recent years.
Gone are the days where you can simply purchase a yellow pages ad and sponsor a little league team to market your business. Commercial rents have risen to new heights posing a new threat to many businesses. Even main street businesses in high foot-traffic areas must now embrace digital marketing like never before in order to survive, let alone thrive. The future of small business marketing is not getting any easier and business owners face more challenges than ever. Aside from the constantly changing digital environment, SMB owners need to be concerned about tech savvy millennials entering small businesses.
In a recent study by Bentley University, 66% of Millennials would like to start their own business. This should be concerning for SMB owners who still operate in the analog era, neglecting to do any digital marketing. In another study by research firm Clutch, 46% of small business owners don’t even have a website. That is astonishing. Do they think the internet is a fad and going away soon? Another poll by GoDaddy shows that SMB Owners list “attracting new customers” as their second biggest concern. Clearly many are aware that digital marketing is not their sweet spot. This is all creating a perfect storm for Millennials entering the small business workforce at a time when their skills, ambition and temperament are perfectly positioned to succeed.
Small business owners need to recognize this and optimize their marketing and customer lead generation to compete in near future. We give you:
How Can Small Businesses Improve Marketing
- Capture data to understand your customers better. According to a 2018 study by Epsilon, 80% of customers are more likely to buy from a company that uses digital insight to offer a personalized experience. This could be as simple as having an automated email sent on your customer’s birthday.
- Redesign your website to lead your customer to the information they need to make a purchase or inquiry. Your website is no longer a static business listing. It needs to be alive, greeting and guiding new visitors. You may read more about this in my previous article about the new functionality of a website.
- Invest in Local SEO. If your business provides a service to a local area you must understand and invest part of your marketing dollars into Local SEO. These are the tactics that get you higher visibility in Google when people search for your business. You don’t have to understand how it’s done, but understand the importance of being found on Google.
- Stop running your own advertising campaigns. You are literally throwing money out the window. Both Google and Facebook advertising platforms have gone through major changes in the last few years making them extremely complex for even the most experienced users. It’s simply too difficult to get a favorable ROI on your ad spend unless you are an expert
Google makes thousands of changes to its algorithm each year, which impacts every facet of online activity. It is no longer possible to ask your webmaster to learn SEO and expect results. It is no longer wise to ask an admin to learn social media in their spare time. Small businesses should strongly consider working with a quality digital partner to manage their online activities or hire an in-house expert. A quality digital marketing agency who has a 360-degree understanding of SEO, Lead Gen, PPC and Social Media can be an invaluable resource to small business owners. They allow small business owners to do what they do best – run their businesses. It is truly the future of small business marketing.
Thank You For Reading!