Digital marketing is likely a topic on the mind of small business owners across the UK. But what does 'digital marketing' actually mean? Whilst it can be summarised as "any marketing that uses electronic devices", this can be broken down into a business' website, social media marketing, search engine marketing, email marketing, branding and much more.
Small business owners being found to often fall behind on their digital marketing due to a lack of money, time and resources. Does this sound like you? The bad news is that you may seriously be harming your small business' chances of growth and success. But the good news is that we're here to help you take the first step toward digital transformation, and get your small business' digital marketing in a much better place.
In this article, we break down 4 of the top reasons why small business should be focusing on digital marketing in 2023. This covers an overview of the market to provide context around digital marketing as a whole. We will also delve into some of the individual marketing channels you could use, depending on what goals your business has. So, let's begin.
1. Digital marketing allows your small business to reach customers
The internet is an integral part of daily life for people in the UK. According to Statista, UK citizens are now spending over 5 hours and 47 minutes on the internet each day, reaching an all time high. This is unsurprising as it provides us with a means of communication, research, commerce and entertainment. Just think about a day without access to our digital devices - no alarm clock in the morning, no Instagram scrolling, no Apple Pay for the tube, the list goes on.
So what does this mean for small business owners? It provides us with an extremely powerful opportunity to reach our target audience, at any time of the day, with a relevant and engaging marketing message. Facebook alone has a total user base of over 44.8 million in the UK, meaning on these platforms alone you're able to connect with 66% of the UK population.
Whether you own a restaurant, bakery (can you tell we're hungry), florist, or building company, your ideal target audience is using the internet. It's now your job to reach them using some clever digital marketing techniques. Continue reading as we consider what some of these techniques may be.
2. You can tailor your message through digital marketing
As we've already hinted at, the internet not only allows you to reach potential customers for your small business, but you can also gain an idea of what they are doing when they receive your marketing message. For example, 53% of millennial TikTok users have been reported to have visited a restaurant they discovered through the app, favouring it's unbiased reviews from fellow users over traditional review sites and search engines.
Through digital marketing, we can tap into this learning by delivering content that is tailored to individuals who are using the platform in this way. In this case, we should make our marketing content on this social media channel informative, enticing and call out key features that would be of interest to the user when they're scrolling through their FYP (for you page).
As internet users ourselves, us small business owners are in a luxurious position of being able to understand our customer's behaviour - tap into this and you'll be on the road to digital marketing success.
3. You can combine multiple digital marketing channels to increase effectiveness
So you've launched an impactful TikTok campaign off the back of your research into your small business' target audience. The views and engagements are rolling in, but why stop there? The beauty of digital marketing is that you can use multiple channels in combination to achieve even greater success.
Nielsen research found that combining digital marketing channels was able to increase ad recall by 12 points compared to a single channel strategy, as well as finding a combination of Instagram and Facebook was able to deliver over 26% incremental reach compared to just TV. To put this into practice for your small business, think about 2 complimentary channels and how they could be combined. For example, if we're using YouTube to drive brand awareness and engagement, perhaps we should think about retargeting our viewers with Google Ads - as this platform is known for delivering sales for businesses. In fact, it is reported that 65% of small business-to-business companies have achieved at least one sale through the use of Google Ads, highlighting the power of this platform.
With this approach your digital marketing will soon gain momentum, building the full marketing funnel for your small business and enabling growth.
4. Digital marketing let's you track your small business' results
The final (major) benefit of digital marketing for small business is that it allows you to accurately measure the performance of your marketing campaigns. With tools such as Google Analytics, you can see how many people arrived on your website, where they came from and what they did. This allows you to assess which digital marketing channels are working best, and where your marketing budget and time resources should be spent.
This also brings us round full circle. We begin by researching our audience, then deliver tailored messaging through a combination of digital marketing channels, and finally measure and analyse results. Through this process, your small business can continually test and learn, allowing you to deliver successful digital marketing campaigns that get results.