The right small business marketing plan complements a digital marketing strategy with some traditional flavor.
We all hear about the benefits of digital marketing. But how much value can small businesses really get from blogging, writing SEO articles, launching Facebook fan pages, sharing information via Twitter, sharing product images on Pinterest and having a presence on LinkedIn?
One of our clients recently asked us if developing an online marketing campaign would be enough to effectively promote his new company. The answer was “no” based on his services and target audience. The biggest problem with using only online marketing strategies is that you could miss out on valuable local prospects.
Effective marketing strategies are not one size fits all. While some businesses can flourish through online marketing only, most small business owners need to develop a diverse marketing mix to build their brands.
Small Business Owners All Abuzz About Digital Marketing
According to BIA/Kelsey, small and medium-sized businesses spent an average of $1,190 over the past 12 months on websites and other online marketing tactics such as engaging in social networks and creating mobile optimized websites.
We know online marketing can boost your brand and lead generation. Have 1,000 likes on your Facebook fan page? How about 2,000 Twitter followers? Just reached 500+ LinkedIn connections? If so, you’re doing a great job with your digital marketing campaign.
But what does it really mean if you’re not converting Facebook likes, Twitter followers and LinkedIn connections to buyers?
Mix Up Your Online Marketing Strategy
Research tells us online marketing works. However, so does traditional marketing (print, direct mail, etc.). It’s okay to use both traditional and online marketing strategies. In fact, in most cases, it’s highly recommended. Traditional marketing strategies can help build your local brand. Online marketing can help you reach consumers throughout the United States and the world.
For example, if you own a senior home care agency, then you’ll want to spend more money and resources on print and direct mail marketing to capture the attention of your local audience. A website and social networking are still very important in this scenario, but the print materials will help expand your local presence.
Ira Blacker published a blog that discusses the benefits of traditional and digital marketing. In the blog, Blacker points out that consumers spend $90 billion annually on printing companies in North America. What does this mean? Businesses are still using traditional marketing methods to promote their companies.
We know social networking and digital marketing are gaining popularity among small and medium-sized businesses. But you have to ignore the noise about the latest marketing this or that and do what’s going to get customers knocking on your door and money in your pocket.
We’re not suggesting online marketing isn’t beneficial. It can be extremely helpful in building your company’s brand. We’re just saying think about your target audience and develop a marketing mix that will yield the best possible results for YOUR business.
What’s the Word: Don’t do what other small businesses are doing without evaluating your company goals and the needs of your target audience. Also, don’t pit traditional and online marketing against each other. You’ll typically need both to build a strong brand in today’s highly competitive business climate.