It seems everywhere you look people are increasingly preoccupied with technological gadgets. While sometimes frustrating, most of us have probably found ourselves stuck behind a parked car at the green light at least once because the driver is too busy texting to notice the traffic light has changed, this fixation around connecting with and consuming technology actually offers abundant opportunity for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
It is the market’s deepening obsession with digital technology that makes a digital marketing strategy absolutely critical for small businesses. Without such a strategy your business is likely missing out on new customers, increased business, greater operational efficiencies, enhanced return on investment in advertising and promotions, and much more.
Components of Digital Marketing Strategy
A digital marketing strategy is a business’ unique way of connecting to, engaging with, and marketing its products and services to existing and prospective customers using digital channels. The mix includes website development or upgrade, mobile website design, ecommerce, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, SMS or MMS messaging, email marketing, webinars, content marketing, social media marketing and promotions, display advertising, analytics, and more.
It’s quite a bit in terms of understanding the multitude of options, tools, and tactics and deciphering which are right for your business based on your target customers and the markets in which you operate. Even more complex is setting a realistic budget, properly estimating the likely conversion rate and resulting return on investment, and most of all executing the strategy.
Creating Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Your digital marketing strategy is part of your competitive arsenal and must be driven in large part by your company’s mission and bottom line. That is, it must outline how the business will use digital technology to achieve its goals, in particular, its annual sales targets. It should also be strategically developed to deliver value to your customers while simultaneously strengthening your competitive edge.
With goals in place to work towards, it will be easier for you to determine which of the above efforts make the most sense, and are the right investments of your time and money. Many small businesses hire digital marketing experts to help them create a strategy, develop a plan around it, execute, monitor, measure, and evaluate the results. Some small businesses choose to outsource the entire strategy development and execution, while others prefer to retain some parts of the execution in-house depending on their internal capacity among other issues and concerns.
Developing and executing a digital marketing strategy may be daunting for small businesses. But it shouldn’t be. Like traditional marketing, the goal of digital marketing is to attract and engage with new customers. And, like most aspects of running a small business, digital marketing is about effort. That means the more you put in, the better your results will most likely be, when it comes to growth, efficiency, and awareness.