Small businesses often find themselves at a disadvantage when trying to complete with larger regional or national competitors that have more well-established names and far bigger marketing budgets.
Fortunately, technology continues to help level the playing field for small business owners looking to compete against their biggest competition. By establishing an effective digital presence, a small business can effectively compete for customers. However, having a digital presence no longer simply means creating a website and hoping that customers click-on-by; companies that enjoy the greatest long-term success online find creative ways to get noticed by their target audience. Whether through online advertising, social media marketing, blogging or content development, a small business can work to craft an online identify that helps it stand above even the biggest brands.
Many small business owners already recognize the benefits online marketing can offer, as 92 percent of small businesses expected to spend as much or more on online advertising in 2017 as they did this year.
By staying current with the latest digital trends, you can better adapt to new ways of reaching your target audience in order to grow your business.
Mobile Optimize to Improve the Shopping Experience
At this point, there’s no denying the impact mobile has on a business’ bottom line. You either optimize your mobile platform to enhance the customer’s buying experience or you risk getting left behind.
Mobile continues to grow, and according the latest State of Mobile Commerce report from Criteo, 35 percent of all e-commerce transaction in the U.S. take place on mobile devices. If you look over the last 7 years, you see that mobile’s presence has dramatically altered the way people interact with the web. In 2008, the average adult spent 2.7 hours online a day, with 12 percent of that time being spent using a mobile device. In 2015, the average adult spent 5.6 hours a day online, with 51 percent of the that time being spent using a mobile device.
The implications are clear – if you’re not optimizing your small business website for mobile search or display, your business is going to suffer in comparison to the competition that gives mobile the respect it deserves.
Become Cross Platform Friendly
The term mobile no longer applies only to smartphones. Tablets, laptops, Kindles and even desktops all need to be considered when designing your website’s interface. Shoppers today no longer simply limit themselves to browsing with just one device. A potential customer may find your website on their smartphone while standing in line, browse your inventory on a tablet while lying in bed, before finally making a purchase from their laptop while sitting at the kitchen table.
No matter how a customer interacts with your website or shopping platform, surveys have found that consistency plays an important role in gaining consumer approval. In 2016, businesses that were able to provide a consistent experience across multiple platforms enjoyed a 39 percent higher conversion rate when compared to businesses with less diverse mobile platforms.
To become more multiplatform functional, small businesses need to utilize remarketing strategies designed to work on multiple devices to successfully intercept consumers and drive them towards making a purchase.
Establish a Social Media Presence
While the number of platforms customers use to browse the web continues to increase, so to do the number of digital channels. Consumers also now expect that the brands they follow will also interact with them through the channels they prefer. For many, social media has become the primary form of online interaction, with almost 20 percent of all time spent online in the U.S. occurring on social media platforms.
The sheer volume of time spent on social media platforms by consumers make them an excellent outlet for advertising and for growing a business’ brand identity. Not only do small businesses need the very basics of a well-curated and attended to business page, advertisers also need to take advantage of services like demographics, remarketing and other advanced marketing options offered by social media platforms.
Understand Your Target Audience
To understand what messages your customer base will best respond, you first need to understand who your target audience is to begin with. It’s not uncommon for even the most well-established small business to completely misunderstand its core customer base if they don’t take the time to gather and analyze all available consumer data.
Local Fresh can help any small business better understand its target audience and how connect in ways that matter. From demographics and social media preference to browser and purchase history, Local Fresh has the tools and experience needed to help your business better identify the customers that will help grow your business and bottom line.
Target to the Individual
Even with the existence of multiple platforms, mobile optimization, social media and precise marketing data that all help to target the consumer, shoppers have shown increasing resistance to ads that disrupt their browsing experience with distracting images or irrelevant messages.
Since studies have shown that 71 percent of consumers prefer personalized ads, small business marketing needs to invest in data analytic technologies that can help them create relevant, personalized ads that target the consumer. These types of customized messages will not only help improve the overall online experience for consumers, it will also enable a brand to compete with competition, no matter the size.