Small businesses are the backbone of the United Kingdom economy, said Minister for Small Businesses Paul Scully MP.
And according to a recent poll, more British adults plan to start their own business, with one in seven planning to do so.
So, you may wonder, how many small businesses are there currently in the United Kingdom (UK)?
Well, in 2019, there were 5,867,800 businesses in the UK, of which 5,824,500 are considered “small businesses”.
Small businesses make up 99.3% of all UK companies. So digital technology will be crucial for these companies to succeed, continue to grow, and thrive in 2022.
We know that to be true, because research conducted in November 2021 by Censuswide on behalf of Intuit QuickBooks reported that over three-quarters of small business owners and decision-makers polled agreed that small businesses that invest in digital technology are more likely to succeed.
“Our findings show how important social media has become for entrepreneurs hoping to grow and thrive. The nature of social media means it is perfect for today’s digitally driven, ‘always-on’ businesses that are constantly looking to break down barriers and reach new audiences. Our separate Intuit Small Business Insights study2 shows that revenue generated from social marketing makes up almost a third of small business sales, and over three-quarters agree that small businesses who invest in digital technology are more likely to succeed. “The importance of adopting digital technology and social media has only increased since the pandemic. As an organisation, we are passionate about helping startups embrace new digital opportunities and working with countless small businesses to do so.”Victoria Ruubel, QuickBooks UK
What is business growth?
Growing businesses are those expanding in one or more ways.
A single metric can’t measure growth. Instead, several data points can show that a company is growing.
For Microsoft, where Steve Ballmer was in charge, his vision for growth was “as a global company, our future growth and success requires that we constantly look at ways to improve our ability to serve customers worldwide.”
For others, such as Benjamin Franklin, the American polymath who was active as a writer, scientist, inventor, statesman, diplomat, printer, publisher and political philosopher, said, “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement and success have no meaning.”
So, if growth requires improvement, there is no doubt that digital marketing is an improvement over traditional marketing.
Advances in technology have transformed the way we live our lives.
And while the impact of technology can be seen in almost every part of modern society, it would not be a leap to assume that it has completely revolutionised how we do business.
When it comes to maximising their services and communicating with their target market, technology has helped companies and organisations of all sorts.
This is especially true with digital marketing, which effectively levelled the playing field.
Indeed, businesses and organisations can now contact their target demographic with a single click.
And digital technology will continue to change our lives.
The Internet and mobile phones have changed our lives over the past few years.
With the future of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), to name just a few, we are moving forward rapidly, and businesses that don’t adopt technology will suffer.
We feel it would be helpful to discuss this issue to help you better understand how beneficial technology and change may be within the business.
If you’d like to learn more about this, keep reading as we analyse how digital marketing can help businesses grow and succeed.
Growing businesses expand in one or more ways. Just one metric cannot measure growth. Multiple metrics show the business is growing. Digital marketing has helped businesses and organisations of all types. Experts say digital technology will continue to change our lives, and businesses that do not adopt it will suffer.
What is digital marketing technology?
Firstly, digital marketing, also known as online marketing, uses digital technology to market a product or service via the Internet, social media, mobile devices, or any other digital platform.
Digital marketing technology helps businesses grow by targeting potential new clients through various digital channels.
Businesses can reach more people in their local area or worldwide by creating a website.
Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter allow businesses to communicate with current and potential customers at lightning speed.
Digital marketing includes email marketing, which sends messages directly to happy customers while in their home, at their desk or on the move.
The term refers to popular digital marketing strategies, such as Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation, Business Online Advertising, Video Marketing, Mobile Marketing and Email Marketing.
We covered this in more detail in our Top Benefits for Digital Marketing for Small Businesses blog post.
Each growth strategy requires a marketing plan to acquire fresh and relevant leads. It is one of the most challenging aspects of marketing.
Therefore, for businesses to improve year on year and continue growing, they must adopt digital marketing.
Are you looking for ways to improve and grow your company?
This article will explore how digital marketing helps small businesses grow!
How digital marketing helps small businesses grow
Online Marketing is the most powerful marketing tool available to business owners.
Digital marketers and the rise of different digital marketing tools help small business organisations communicate with their loyal customers.
Digital marketing today offers innovative and efficient solutions for growing businesses.
It reveals what clients need and how they can interact with content.
It’s cost-effective and efficient
The digital marketing revolution has levelled the playing field in marketing.
Gone are the days of traditional advertising—like on television (TV), radio and magazines—because businesses can now reach millions of people from all over the world with just their smartphones.
TV, radio and magazines are irrelevant because they are generally expensive.
It just means businesses have more options now, which are much more cost-effective and can reach a broad audience, much like TV, radio, and magazines.
Digital marketing allows companies to learn how to reach their global audience, instead of traditional marketing methods.
Fortunately, digital advertising can be inexpensive and more efficient for any small business owner than traditional marketing.
Digital marketing is a digital marketing strategy that is more efficient than conventional marketing.
Increasingly targeting only those customers who want to find your product or service saves money and time.
Because digital marketing is focused on analysis, results can be produced more efficiently for a fraction of the cost of other advertising options.
Specific audience targeting
Traditional marketing methods were once promoted door to door or mail dropping homes or businesses hoping to reach the right decision makers.
Without proper targeting, digital marketing isn’t efficient. Thankfully, it provides more precise targeting.
Over the last decade, marketing campaigns have changed.
For better results, you can segment your marketing lists and ad campaigns based on specific demographic characteristics like age, location, interests, gender, actions and much more as data becomes more accessible.
We’ll explore ways target audiences are used in marketing and the specifics surrounding them.
If you intend to use paid search marketing or social media marketing, ensure your audience targeting is accurate. Spending money on digital media advertising, using content, messaging, and offers that do not target your right audience, is a waste of money.
Paid media advertising is most effective when properly targeted. The ad design is a distant second!
Content creation is easier when you know your target audience’s needs, concerns, and desires. With this information, you can develop content that addresses those issues, driving traffic to your content, website and message.
Messaging on your website – If you aren’t aware of your target audience and what problem you are solving with your product or service, you will be less effective. According to research, you only have a few seconds to capture a new visitor to your website. Keeping their attention and earning their business will be difficult if your message is directed at the wrong specific audience.
By identifying the interests of your target audience, you can share content tailored to their needs. By sharing relevant content, you create affinity and connection with your prospects. Providing value to your audience can remove barriers that keep them from looking at what you do by providing content they are interested in, even if it has nothing to do with your industry or what you offer.
Targeting the right audience with the right content will open up opportunities for your business.
The importance of audience targeting in digital media marketing cannot be overstated. Audience targeting is the backbone of all your marketing. Your messaging, content, and effectiveness are significantly more likely to attract, retain, and convert customers when your target audience is spot on.
Levels the playing field
Have you heard of the phrase levelling the playing field? Well, it means attempting to make a situation or activity fairer and more balanced by giving extra advantages to those who would typically be at a disadvantage.
This can be done by trying to undermine the benefits of one’s adversary or competitor, and this is true for digital marketing.
Today, small companies can advertise side by side with some of the biggest brands in the world – competing with them and showing authenticity, bravery, originality and creativity.
Small businesses can level the playing field through digital marketing. Even if you have a modest budget, you can compete with mid-sized companies and corporations.
Over 2 million businesses connect with people on Instagram, of which a majority are small businesses.
Instagram is the second best performing social media platform for marketers.
Many small businesses have achieved amazing business results with various creative ideas, promoting various products and services.
As mentioned, small businesses may not have large budgets or a large staff. They often have more freedom to be nimble and try new things than larger businesses.
Don’t worry about being perfect at the beginning. Don’t be afraid to do what feels right, and if something isn’t working, then change it as quickly as possible until you find something that does.
- Businesses can invest in search engine optimisation (SEO) to boost their site’s ranking.
- Business owners can create and publish their own content themselves by using a smartphone, without needing publishers or agencies.
Your small business can level the playing field with technology and digital marketing advances with the right tools and know-how.
It generates more potential leads & conversions
There are no limitations regarding the number of people you can reach in your market.
If your strategy plays right, you can target customers and potential customers in the hundreds of thousands through your website and social media channels.
This is one of the most significant benefits of digital marketing.
With the right tools and digital marketing techniques to help you get more consumers and attract customers, you will significantly boost sales and revenue.
Let’s take a closer look.
Using social media marketing
If you create social media accounts and use social media correctly, it can be one of your most valuable lead generation channels.
With 3.6 billion people using social media worldwide, it’s an excellent channel for businesses to reach and attract leads.
The key to generating leads is to expose yourself to potential customers.
Social media provides a global forum for transparent exposure.
Besides allowing you to increase brand awareness with their easy accessibility, social media allows brands to engage with their audience on a more human level. This can lead to high-quality leads.
By allowing customers to see behind the scenes, comment on posts, and message a business through social media, you can create intimacy between your brand reputation and potential customers.
All it takes is the right digital marketing tactics. Yet, it is important to note that not all content works across all social media channels.
To generate quality leads, you need to tailor your messages to each platform’s audience.
You have to modify the messages for each site.
However, you will ensure more human contact with potential leads, and you will see a higher close rate this way.
Here are a few examples of how you can generate leads from social media:
- Lead Magnet – Offer enticing lead magnets that people will want. These can range from free research reports to free tools. You can offer discount codes, case studies, webinars and whitepapers.
- Share testimonials – Showcase how your products and services have benefited your clients to show their brand value. Use video, case studies, testimonial quotes, customer reviews, and feedback.
- Social Ads with offers – With this strategy, you can show your audience offers tailored to their interests using paid social media advertising and precise targeting options. Promote your products and services through these ads by including content about specific subjects, exclusive discounts, and limited-time offers.
- Lead Generation Ads – Somewhat different from social ads with offers, lead generation ads come with pre-populated forms, making it easy for people to sign up without entering their personal information repeatedly. You’ll save time, accelerate the process of lead generation, and increase conversion rates.
- Host virtual events via social media – You can use virtual conferences, webinars and events to establish your expertise and authority in your field while attracting a highly relevant audience. As a result, they effectively generate leads on social media, since people must sign up or register for the event.
Marketing via email
Email has been around for a while.
In terms of long-term growth, email marketing offers a 4,400% return on investment (ROI).
Whichever email marketing platform you use, there will be data tools that can help you more precisely target the right leads.
Although the analytics provided by your email platform seem confusing at first glance, they can help secure leads that could easily slip away.
Like social media, email marketing allows you to stay in touch with your customers through human communication, allowing them to feel close to your business.
With technology, email marketing strategies have advanced, from email marketing blasts to drip email marketing now to email automation.
Emails are sent automatically based on behavioural actions, like when someone on your marketing list visits your price page on a website.
Automated emails can be sent to those who might include benefit reminders or special offers.
Having each email customised in design and personalised to each person is a great way to help get your messages read and seen.
The best tip for email marketing is to make sure every email has a bold call to action, as this provides potential leads with a straightforward way to contact you.
You can benefit from the audience segmentation capabilities of the email marketing platform.
We tailor marketing communications to our audience through automation in our business.
Use your email marketing platform’s audience segments instead of sending the same email template to everyone in your address book. Then, send tailored emails to each segment.
Optimisation of a website
Your website is like a shop window. You must engage potential customers within seconds, or they won’t even enter your shop. Since internet users have limited attention spans, you need to capture their attention with what you offer in seconds.
Even though it’s not the most apparent digital marketing technique for generating leads, an effective and optimised website could convert one-time visitors into potential customers.
According to LeadForensics, a properly optimised website can convert 1-5% of your site visitors into successful leads, which is a remarkable return considering the amount of work needed daily to maintain the site.
Website optimisation may not always be the most important aspect of generating leads.
One of the most desired aspects is whether the website is easy to navigate from a user’s perspective.
A website that is easy to use will generate more leads, because visitors won’t get frustrated if they can’t find prices or a contact form.
An effective website should make it easy for visitors to convert, a prime lead generation opportunity.
Use landing pages with forms and A/B split testing to fully optimise your landing page for maximum lead generation.
Marketing with content
According to HubSpot, 47% of buyers will view three to five pieces of content before contacting a sales representative. And who can argue with HubSpot? Through inbound marketing, HubSpot grew their business, which is now valued at £14.90 billion.
This statistic alone proves the value of content marketing. How can it help you grow and generate quality leads that help your business progress?
Inbound marketing is how consumers seek information for their needs and interact with brands through content, search and social media marketing.
Creating your own blog posts, eBooks, or even Instagram memes will raise awareness for your brand and may even go viral, meaning it spreads rapidly through a population by being shared with several individuals.
You should create content that makes everything easy for this generation to help themselves.
You’ll get most of your leads from customers seeking information that traditional sales reps would have given them. They prefer to find out what they need to know on their own.
A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) guide or case study on what you offer will allow more independent customers to identify how your services can benefit them before reaching out to you.
Make sure you promote this content using existing online marketing tools, such as social media, online ads and SEO, to allow people to find your lead-generating content.
This will help you stay in contact with your customers
Because digital marketing is often done through websites, email, and social media channels, you will teach your customers and potential customers some essential tips and advice on the products you are offering.
You can help your customers make educated decisions on whether to do business with you through helpful content.
As digital media and technology have grown, new customer interactions and customer journeys have emerged that are highly complex. Many touch-points influence purchase decisions that can be used for digital marketing for small businesses.
This customer lifecycle visually from Smart Insights summarises how paid, owned, and earned digital media channels and offline communications tools can influence purchase decisions.
TOFU, MOFU, MOFU refers to top-of-funnel, middle-of-funnel, and bottom-of-funnel content used to nurture customers.
Using marketing tools and digital marketing services, you can customise your communication to help nurture customers along their sales journey.
Not all prospects will convert, but you can recycle leads and reengage with them when you’re ready with digital marketing.
Yet, small businesses can simply message customers directly with digital marketing tools like email, social media, or direct messaging in its most simplistic form. It depends on your growth aspirations.
You might be asleep, but your customers might be awake. Many businesses operate 24/7, including industrial and utility services, logistics and hospitality.
Likewise, people work night shifts, morning shifts or in different time zones worldwide.
While you might not be able to communicate personally to customers 24/7, your digital marketing tools and marketing campaigns can.
To achieve business growth, it makes sense that your digital marketing campaign efforts are engaged with customers whenever, wherever.
Additionally, this means your global audience has access to information whenever they need it. Your website can be found when they search online for information or have questions 24/7.
You can market and grow your business even when you’re not at work, so you can get more out of your marketing budget.
Digital technology, an increasingly flexible workforce, and consumer demand drive the 24/7 environment.
Businesses that ignore the 24/7 environment risk losing their market share.
It’s easy to track your results
For those who are still sceptical about the benefits of digital marketing, here’s another thing to consider: you can easily track your results.
Because digital marketing uses the Internet, businesses can track their results instantly.
Besides this, digital marketing makes it easy for companies to track different data, including which search terms are likely to yield the most outstanding results.
As a business owner, decide which marketing channels are most effective for your company – perhaps social media, online advertising or inbound marketing – and then focus on those that will bring results.
Your digital marketing KPIs are metrics directly linked to your strategy, such as:
- KPIs for lead generation
- KPIs for brand awareness
- KPIs for brand reputation
- KPIs for brand loyalty
- KPIs for sales growth
- KPIs for search engine optimization
KPIs can be derived from various tools and digital platforms, such as:
- LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are your social media channels
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC) tools: AdWords, now Google ads, or Bing ads
- Web Analytics Tools: Google Analytics
- Analytics and digital tools your sales team uses
With digital marketing metrics, you can easily compare data for given periods, like year to year, per quarter, and drill down into the details to help answer why questions.
Google Analytics is a tool you can easily use to track digital marketing growth. These are built-in insight reports that can quickly offer helpful information you wouldn’t get from traditional marketing channels like footfall numbers in your small business store or print ads.
And with digital marketing analytics, you can always tie it back to return on investment.
It has never been easier to determine where your marketing efforts focus on online data availability.
Tracking those results is crucial to understanding how your target market responds to the different marketing channels.
According to Pareto’s principle, it’s accepted that 80 per cent of your sales will come from 20 per cent of your customers.
To make the most of this lucrative segment of your customer base, you may want to focus your efforts in this direction.
This information can help businesses adjust their marketing strategy if needed.
Spy on your competitors
Spying on competitors is the only way to beat the competition and stay ahead in digital marketing. Take a look at what your competitors are doing, how they are doing it, and what resources they are using.
And it’s not as difficult as you might assume.
Remember, you might assume that a similar business is your main competitor down the road.
But with online marketing, your main competitor might be a business you never knew existed, and they are targeting your ideal customers and winning their business without you even knowing.
An excellent place to start with keywords and competitive research into Google or Bing.
Let’s see what comes up.
Find out what types of ads your competitors are running, and what kind of ad copy they have.
Visit their landing page and see:
- What do all of them have in common?
- Do they all have forms?
- Do they all have pop-ups?
- Do they all use the same colours?
- The exact use of the same services or products?
- What prices are they displaying?
You can use various digital marketing tools to analyse a competitor’s website for information like number of keywords ranking, website traffic statistics, site structure or backlink profile.
Spy on your competitor’s social media and look at what they post and their running campaigns. Study the core messages they are talking about.
You can use this information to build your own campaigns and re-engineer what works. This method is partially easy to do with online advertising.
Many businesses even set up online ads to bid on competitor brands and promote their alternative solution.
There is no rule against bidding on brand keywords, regardless of whether it’s your brand.
A business owner’s most powerful marketing tool is online marketing. Companies can learn how to reach their audience with digital marketing instead of traditional methods. For any company owner, digital advertising can be inexpensive and more effective than traditional forms of marketing. Audience targeting is one of the most important aspects of digital media marketing. Your marketing efforts are based on audience targeting. Using digital media advertising, content, messaging, and offers that do not target your right consumer, is a waste of money.
Today, you’ve learnt that the most effective way to reach customers is through digital marketing.
If you want to grow your business, it’s time to start using digital media marketing.
And that companies like yours can use digital marketing instead of traditional methods for more success in their growth campaigns.
For any company owner, digital marketing like online advertising, SEO and social media can be inexpensive and more effective than traditional marketing approaches, because you can pinpoint your audience with precision.
Audience targeting is one of the most important aspects of digital media marketing. If you don’t know who your target market is, it doesn’t matter what message or offer you put out there – they won’t hear it!
Your business growth will depend on successfully reaching the right audience through a targeted strategy that incorporates content messaging, as well as offers that appeal to them specifically.
We learned 99.3% of all companies in the UK are small businesses. So, if these companies succeed, continue to grow, and thrive in 2022, digital technology will be crucial to their success.
Businesses can communicate with current and potential customers through social platforms like Facebook and Twitter in lighting and real-time.
Digital marketing provides you with the opportunity to reach millions of people looking for your products and services.
Therefore, digital marketing is crucial for any business owner and is the key to the growth and development of the business.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments box below! Thanks for reading and sharing.
Dynamics Tech’s digital marketing offers a wide range of services tailored to meet the needs of small businesses in the UK. Using our combined services, we will focus on what you need right now, develop marketing strategies that will make a massive difference for SMEs, and work together to achieve your business objectives.
Book a free consultation now to learn how to help your business grow!