One of the biggest mistakes that a lot of small businesses, in particular, make involves assuming that they’re “too small” to benefit from the advantages that a digital marketing campaign will bring with it.
In reality, it’s almost the opposite that is true – small businesses and especially niche organizations like CPAs, real estate agents and more are the ones who stand to gain the most.
Consider the sheer amount of time the average person spends every day on their smartphone, tablet or computer. We all scroll through social media or our favorite websites for countless hours. Digital marketing gives you a chance to harness this to your advantage for a variety of reasons that are certainly worth exploring.
The Power of Digital Marketing: Breaking Things Down
One of the major benefits of digital marketing strategy for accounting firms, real estate agents, and other types of small businesses is also among the most important: the cost.
With digital marketing, you’re trading the typically enormous up-front capital requirement of a “traditional” advertising campaign for something that begins smaller, but that is much easier to build over time. It doesn’t cost much to put together an email newsletter list, for example, which can quickly grow to reach thousands of people in your target area. Setting up a website is relatively inexpensive, and you can sign up for accounts on popular social media networks like Facebook and Twitter for free.
Are you immediately going to have the reach that you would if you’d spent thousands (or tens of thousands) of dollars on television commercials or newspaper advertisements? No. But you’re going to save a significant amount of money and you’ll be able to slowly build and cultivate your audience over time.
Another one of the major benefits that digital marketing brings with it is that it’s easy to measure – which also means that it’s easy to improve on, too.
Take email marketing software, for example. Even the most basic solutions will tell you not only how many of your messages were delivered, but how many were opened. Video analytics software on popular streaming sites like YouTube can tell you how much of your videos someone watched and exactly where they disengaged. Website analytics can tell you how someone arrived at your site, which pages they viewed, and exactly when they navigated away.
Once you’re armed with this information, you have nearly everything you need to optimize your digital presence moving forward. You know what’s working and, most importantly, what isn’t. That gives you an incredible opportunity to double down on the former and get rid of the latter whenever certain trends start to shift in a new direction.
In terms of optimization, digital marketing also presents an important opportunity for segmentation that niche businesses like real estate agents and CPAs can capitalize on. Customer segmentation is a process where you take large groups of customers and break them down into smaller and more focused ones based on the criteria that are most important to you. So if you’re a real estate agent, you’re not just targeting “people in a certain zip code who want to buy a house.” You can break things down based on their income level. You can specify their education, how long they’ve been in their home, how many kids they have and more. You can narrow these things down to make sure that you’re only spending money on acquiring those people who most resemble your “ideal client” – which in and of itself is the most important benefit of all.
The Importance of Local-Focused Digital Marketing
But even going beyond that, digital marketing helps in a variety of other ways, too. It’s not just that you’re trying to reach the biggest possible audience – it’s about reaching the right audience at exactly the right time. If you’re a CPA based out of Cleveland, Ohio, it doesn’t matter if someone in Baltimore, Maryland sees your ad on television or in the newspaper – they were never going to become one of your clients.
With digital marketing and especially local SEO, however, you have an unbeatable chance to target the types of people who live and work in your own backyard. Consider the fact that according to one recent study:
- Searches using terms like “near me” have grown over 200% in the last few years, particularly on mobile devices.
- Approximately 69% of people say that they will use their phone to assist with a decision about an in-person purchase.
- Content marketing, in general, has a tendency to generate three times the amount of leads of paid search advertising, despite the fact that it costs over 60% less than traditional marketing.
Statistics like those prove that especially for small businesses, digital marketing is a highly effective way to more organically reach a better audience, all while spending far less money in order to do it.
What you’re left with is a perfect storm in the best possible way. You have a chance to get the right message in front of the crowd at exactly the right time, and the opportunity to do it over and over and over again. It’s something that you simply can’t replicate through traditional advertising – and it’s a big part of why digital marketing will continue to be so popular (and important) for small businesses for years to come.
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