Out of all the businesses in India, 95% of them are categorized as SMEs ( Small & Medium Enterprises). SMEs are also known as the backbone of the Indian Economy. There are numerous problems faced by small businesses. One of the major problems which hinder their growth is they do not focus on Marketing.
In fact, I have noticed Business Owners say that spending money on their marketing is an Expense, but it is not an expense it is an Important Investment that will help the business in the long run.
In today’s age, Digital Marketing is the best marketing method that can be adopted by any business, irrespective of the nature of business.
Let us Discuss Digital marketing for small businesses in-depth.
Digital Marketing for Local Small Businesses
According to a survey, 50% of businesses can not survive their 1st year and 70% fail during their second year. Running a successful business requires several activities like Cash flow, marketing, sales, managing manpower, managing finance, etc
Difference between Sales & Marketing
I cannot explain all the activities here. I will talk about sales & Marketing. Many businesses consider sales & marketing as the same thing, but there is a huge difference between these two.
Marketing is about reaching to your potential customer and make them aware of your products or services. Once they are aware of your products and services, Now the sales process can be started. Marketing is about acquiring potential customers and sales is about converting those potential customers into paying customers. These are two different activities and you need to have different teams for both activities.
Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing for Local Businesses
Most of the Local Businesses market their products through newspapers, hoardings, Cinema halls, pamphlet ads, etc. But these forms of advertisements are no longer efficient because on average a person is exposed to more than 1000 advertisements in a day, it could be in any form, so people have developed a new thing called ad blindness they get irritated when they see ads.
These forms of ads are for the masses and cannot target a specific gender/group/location to show their ad. for example showing a shaving razor blade ad to a lady is of no use. you cannot personalize the advertisement with traditional ways of marketing, also you do not get any statistics of how your advertisement performed or what is the return on investment.
The time is changing, potential customers are spending more time on their mobile phones. The number of internet users in India increased by 47 million between 2020 and 2021 which is 45% of the whole Indian population and it is growing very fast.
There are 448 million social media users in India in January 2021 which is only 32.3% of the whole population. There is a huge potential to run ads on social media because it can tell you what are the interests of people.
Some of the benefits of Digital Marketing over Traditional Marketing are
- Location Targeting – If you have a small tailor shop in your area, you can run ads and target people in your area. you do not need to target the whole city or state
- Interest-based targeting – you can target customers according to their interests, for example, if you have a pet supply store, you can run ads and show your ads to only those people who have pets. The chances of those people buying from you become high, in comparison to showing your ad to everyone.
There are several other targeting options like Gender-based, Marital status, and many more.
In order to have good marketing, businesses need to market their products/ services online.
How you can Start Marketing your Business Online for free?
There are several websites where you can put up the details of your business and those websites will show your business name whenever someone searches for the product/service you offer in your location.
You can start with making accounts on websites like Justdial.com, Indiamart.com, Google Business, Don’t just make an account on these websites and forget, You must optimize your accounts so that the website puts you up.
You can also showcase your products or tell people about your service by putting out content on social media profiles of your business. Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, Youtube are great websites to amplify your message to a larger audience. You will definitely see results after some time. You can search on how to do all this on the internet.
here is an example of how these websites will show your result on google.
In some cities like Delhi, Mumbai there is a huge competition on these websites, You can simply run paid advertisements, they will take few thousand and bring your business to the top of the list. I will quote this again that investing in ads is an investment.
Many Businesses have taken the benefits of digital marketing while some are still thinking about whether to go digital or not. Marketing is one of the most important activities. It’s like you have created a very good product/service at your home and you are wondering people will come to you and buy from you.
No, it won’t happen that way. You need to get out and let people know what you have to offer to the market
If you have a running local business or you are starting a new business you must start marketing your business online. In today’s world, it is not an option anymore It has become a necessity, without Digital marketing your business might just survive.
It would be next to impossible to scale your business without digital marketing. Every big brand is shifting online for their marketing and you should too. You can start with the free methods I have mentioned in the article above. Once you see some results with the free methods, then you can also try paid advertisements.
It will certainly bring you more results, but you need someone who is an expert in making proper funnels. Many people think that just bringing traffic to your website will bring you more customers but it won’t happen that way.
if you want to learn more about anything please go ahead and write in comments, I will surely make an in-depth article on that topic.
Check out my other article in which I have written about How digital marketing works in India.