Bubblebox is celebrating small business week! Between May 4th and May 8th, small business owners from across the U.S. will gather in celebration of the entrepreneurial spirit that lies at the heart of the American experience. While there’s no question that small businesses play a crucial role in the American economy—they do, after all, pay 44% of the national payroll—a recent survey conducted by Clutch uncovered major opportunities for small business owners to increase growth and engagement. The study revealed that more than a quarter of small businesses do not have a website. Even more shocking is that more than half of SBOs allocate less than 20% of their marketing budget to digital marketing initiatives. When you consider that a staggering 94% of shoppers go online to research a product before purchase, the message is clear: small businesses, its time to get digital.
Small business owners are notoriously slow when it comes to adapting to the world of digital marketing. When surveyed about the most important methods of customer engagement, 73% of SBOs said word of mouth while 40% said business cards—business cards!? The last time we checked, word of mouth is great but not quantifiable, and business cards have gone the way of the Rolodex—stale, tired, and obsolete. According to Clutch, small business owners “repeatedly say they are overwhelmed by all of the marketing options available to them.” Digital marketing doesn’t have to be complicated, and its benefits can be transformative to your small business. So, in honor of mom-and-pop shops everywhere, let’s explore 5 benefits that any small business can achieve with a digital marketing strategy:
- Digital marketing creates customer engagement. The internet is a hotbed of potential customers just waiting for you to make a connection. Digital marketing platforms offer multiple channels of direct communication with your shoppers, making customer engagement easier than ever. From social media to more advanced tactics like cart and browse recovery emails, research proves that small businesses need to engage their customers via multiple touch points in order to convince them to transact.
- Digital marketing delivers—in real time. In today’s competitive eCommerce market, its all about engaging your customers in real time, as they shop, click or browse your website. Digital marketing technology gives small businesses the ability to leverage online visitor data into targeted re-marketing campaigns. Want to remind a serial abandonner that there’s still an item in her cart? Thanks to advanced digital marketing platforms, you can send personalized cart recovery emails in real time—a practice that has proven to increase conversions by up to 33%.
- Digital marketing is cost-effective. Good news for small business owners everywhere! Digital marketing saves you money. Say goodbye to paid adverts in the Yellow Pages or on the radio– digital marketing is replacing traditional marketing channels at a fraction of the cost. Not only is digital marketing cheap—its automated, triggered, and operates in real-time. Gartner’s Digital Marketing Spend Report revealed that 40% of SBOs experienced significant savings after implementing a digital marketing strategy. Going digital means that you can focus on more pressing business.
- Digital marketing makes you money. Did you know that small businesses that implement digital marketing strategies are 2.8 times more likely to experience revenue growth? Enough said.
- Digital marketing makes your messages mobile. 48% of all emails are opened on a mobile device. If your emails aren’t mobile responsive, your customers will disengage—it’s a fact. A study conducted by BlueHornet revealed that 70% of recipients will delete an email if it doesn’t adapt to their mobile device. With responsive email design, small business owners can rest assured that their emails are adaptable to screens big and small, mobile and desktop.
Digital marketing holds the key to increased engagement, conversions, sales and revenue. Still not convinced? Take a moment to consider who is driving this trend towards digital. It’s the consumers, of whom 72% are already connecting with their favorite brands online. So if the customer is always right, why haven’t you implemented a digital marketing strategy into your small business?
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“Key Findings From U.S. Digital Marketing Spending Survey, 2013.” Gartner. Gartner, 6 Mar. 2013. Web.
Moth, David. “Nine Case Studies and Infographics on Cart Abandonment and Email Retargeting.” Econsultancy. Econsultancy, 23 Sept. 2013. Web.
Report: Bluehornet. 2013 Customer Views of Email Marketing. Rep. BlueHornet, 2013. Web.
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