Pre-pandemic, most small businesses had slowly been reactive to digital transformation, whereas big high street brands (with deeper pockets and bigger budgets) had taken a more proactive approach by investing in smart devices and implementing digital marketing and advertising strategies on a large scale.
Small businesses, in particular, those that depend solely on walk-in trade and word-of-mouth have often relied on traditional means of advertising, such as outdoor signage, door-to-door product marketing or physical shop, billboard advertising, business cards, leaflet handouts and local print publications. However, with more and more people having access to the Internet and smart devices, it has always been inevitable that they will adapt to new ways of communication and marketing, eventually. Consequently, the bigger brands have led the way for the smaller brands to follow in this contemporary and modern ‘way to do business’ direction. Most small businesses would have realised the importance of digital transformation when they would have seen a major shift in their consumer behaviours and purchase decisions (particularly high street shops and local tradesman). However, what no one was prepared for was the unprecedented event of the pandemic. Covid-19 shook the world, impacting people’s home life and work. Had it not been for technology and the Internet, things will have been a lot more difficult and challenging then they already had been for many.
The impact of the pandemic had left people and small business brands with no other alternative than to communicate and fully-operate digitally (particularly, in full lockdowns). At this time, digital marketing was far more critical than it had ever been or is now, because business (both small and big) were losing and failed start-ups very unlucky in their timing. When a small business first starts, the priority is often to get the first customers through the shop door. While their traditional efforts may be helpful in achieving this, it also helps a business to have a branded website or digital business card prior to launch. Nowadays, most will ensure to have this and most consumers will at least check that a business or sole trader has a website or some sort of web presence that will give them a little more information prior to visiting or buying any goods or services from them.
Having a website is the first step to digital marketing and advertising. Initially, potential customers will be able to search for the person or brand by typing the name directly into their browser or by search in a search engine such as Google (but this is only if they have heard of this new brand). This is a great start; however, a brand name is not enough as a search term, especially when a brand is new because it is highly likely that potential customers will search for specific products and services or information at a time when they need or want it. This is when local SEO, website optimisation, social media and content marketing, email marketing and paid advertising can help (individually and collectively). It may seem overwhelming with a lot of time and costs involved, but in essence it will really help raise brand awareness and grow leads and revenue which is ultimate goal. If you have a small business brand or start-up you can hire experts like Purple Dove Media to manage all your digital marketing needs. Our services are affordable and tailor made and we can add more services as you grow. We do not approach our digital marketing packages as a ‘one size fits all’ approach, because we are realist, we know that marketing costs and priorities depend on the type and size of a business as well its target markets and overall needs and requirements.
No matter how new or how small a business is, digital channels should never be overlooked because they are the way to generating leads and customers. Some of the key benefits of digital marketing include:
Cost-effective (reach more customers for less)
Scalable and measurable data insights
Realtime and instant communication
Custom planning and automated scheduling
Brand awareness and brand loyalty
Digital tracking and monitoring (from anywhere and any device)
Local search and geographical targeting.
Digital marketing and traditional marketing working in tandem
Online traffic and sales (as well as sales in ‘brick and mortar’ shop).