Digital Marketing and the Small Business: A Perfect Match

Most small businesses don’t have the big budgets that big brands have. Yet they need to make an impact through their marketing and communication efforts. That, obviously, can be a challenge.

Digital marketing, though, represents significant opportunity for small businesses.

Digital marketing is important to small business because it is easily accessible, cost effective, and has a broad reach. Businesses of any size, with even very small budgets, can effectively find, reach, and engage with their target audiences online through their websites, social media channels, and paid advertising (which can be highly targeted and very inexpensive).

What Is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is a term that refers to the broad range of communication activities that can take place in a digital environment. These include:

  • A company’s website.
  • Social media activity.
  • Email marketing.
  • Online advertising.
  • Participation in online forums and chatrooms.
  • SEO
  • Backlinks.
  • Referrals.
  • …and more.

Any communication or messaging shared through digital channels could be classified as digital marketing. And, just as with traditional marketing, whatever you’re doing across these channels needs to be consistent and coordinated (and also coordinated with your traditional communication activities).

While digital marketing offers great opportunities for marketers of all kinds and sizes, it also represents a lot of challenges precisely because there are so many options to consider and coordinate.

Do-it-yourself (DIY), or Outsource

As we’ve said, digital marketing is accessible, so business owners can easily do it themselves. But just because they can, doesn’t mean they should. Most small business owners wear a number of hats. Arguably, most of their efforts should be focused on running their business. Marketing, of course, is a part of that—but it’s a part that can often benefit from outside assistance.

Start-up companies may be so pinched for cash that they have no choice but to go it alone. As companies grow, though, those with larger budgets can benefit from hiring experienced digital marketers—either independent contractors or agencies—to help them out.

Getting Results

Whether taking a DIY approach or working with a third party, it’s important to consider what results will indicate success for your business. Initially, this might just be building an audience, or generating awareness. Ultimately, though, relevant results will be based on leads, inquiries and, ultimately, sales.

Results aren’t immediate, but over time—generally at least 3-6 months—for businesses that are consistent and effective in their messaging (and have a high quality product or service to offer).

Put a stake in the ground by establishing some desired outcomes, then monitor and measure activity over time. One of the many benefits of the digital marketing environment is that it’s easy to both measure and keep track of what’s happening in the digital world, making changes as you learn what works, and what doesn’t.


About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We work with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content. Whether on- or offline, or both, we’ll help you achieve desired results.

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

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Recommended Reading:

21st Century Secrets to Effective PR

Managing Remote Staff

Direct Mail in the Digital Age

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Strategic Planning

The Everything Guide to Customer Engagement

Best Practices in Influencer Marketing

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