Digital marketing for SMEs

Digital marketing can be a very effective way to reach potential customers. With the whole of the internet at your fingertips, using the right platforms to find your target audience is efficient and cost-effective.

In fact, in our recent survey of SME business owners, 21% of respondents felt that digital marketing was one of the top three factors that helped them grow their business.

From paid adverts on Google to targeted Facebook ads, this section will talk you through the benefits of each platform and how to work out which is best for you.

Benefits of digital marketing

Effective use of digital marketing can have lots of benefits for your business – from reducing the amount you’re spending per customer acquisition, to making it easier to track the effectiveness of your marketing spend.

Here are some of the benefits of a strong digital marketing strategy:

  • Target potential customers effectively. You can connect with targeted customers to attract exactly the right people to your business at a low cost. All platforms now have targeted adverts, meaning you can choose who sees your ads. They can be filtered by a variety of data points, from location to education.
  • Generate higher conversion rates. More effective targeting and messaging means you can drive more conversions for each pound you spend on marketing.
  • It saves you money. Digital marketing is considerably cheaper than offline, with costs limited to whatever you set them to be with paid adverts. And of course, standard social media accounts are completely free.
  • Real time customer service. If potential customers have a question or doubt about choosing your business over a competitor, you can remove their concerns immediately with a simple message.

According to a recent HubSpot report, digital marketing can help businesses generate better cost-per-lead compared to traditional marketing or even telemarketing.

What platform?

From display advertising to promoting posts on social platforms, with the plethora of platforms, it’s key to analyse the potential of each one to make sure you’re spending your marketing budget wisely.

Deciding what platforms to focus on is the first step for setting up your digital strategy. Digital marketing consultant and trainer Jessie Healy gives us her top tips on creating the best digital marketing strategy for you.

Get to know your customer

With digital marketing, it’s important to first understand your customer well – creating ‘personas’ can help you visualise the real people you’re speaking to with your marketing. Once you have this nailed, it’s easier to decide what target audiences to go after with your campaigns. Remember these are only assumptions, you have to test them to find out whether they’re true!

Tried and tested

The key to really good digital marketing is to continually test and iterate. If you think your product is best suited to women in their 30s in London, then run a test campaign on Facebook (for instance) and see how they respond. If it doesn’t work, try a new approach. But remember to be really clear at the beginning about what the hypothesis is that you’re testing. If you have too many competing theories you won’t get clear information and you’ll waste budget without knowing which part is wasted. Set up the right tracking from the beginning and keep a record of everything you’re doing.

Choose the perfect channels for your business

Another important aspect of digital marketing is choosing the right channels for your product or service. There’s no point advertising on Google if people aren’t yet searching for your service. Equally, people on Facebook might not be in the right frame of mind to purchase your type of service.

Try to understand the mindset of your customers and figure out the channels that are going to have the highest likelihood of converting people into customers. Again, you should always test any assumption you make and validate it before you commit large amounts of money to it.

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