Starting one’s own business can be an exciting time in the early stages of its development, but it can also be quite stressful. There are logistics to take into account—numbers to crunch, plans to lay out, finding the company “voice”— the list goes on and on. 

An important detail that should definitely not be overlooked, however, is the oasis of potential growth that digital media marketing holds for your company (and especially in the low-to-no-contact times of the current pandemic). Here are seven reasons why your small business needs digital marketing in 2021. 

1. It keeps you competitive. 

One of the most daunting things a small business faces is the overwhelming level of competition out there. It may seem almost impossible to compete with bigger, more established businesses that have existed for years— and even decades— before. Even though they may have bigger pockets to expend on general marketing, digital marketing actually levels the playing field— no matter how big or small your business is. 

You will likely need to invest some money into SEO (search engine optimization) and content marketing to yield the most ideal results, but it can be done on a budget. Google looks at more than money when it comes to a company’s advertising— it evaluates the quality of the content and relevance of the website before ranking it. If you can put out high-quality content that accurately answers people’s questions, you can absolutely achieve a high spot on the SERP (search engine results page).

2. You can target your desired audience.

In today’s digital age, it’s easier than ever to predict buyers’ clicks and movements online. We now have tools that track individuals’ demographics and online activities, which are then translated into data by digital marketers to advertise specific services and products to potential buyers. When an online visitor clicks on a company’s ad— whether it’s through search engine results or on social media— the same company can later on target the visitor with related ads in the future. This type of campaign is called retargeting and serves as a reminder to past visitors of your website to revisit and hopefully buy your service or product. 

3. You can improve your ad conversion rate.

It’s a given that it’s difficult to track conversion rates with traditional print advertisements— how could you ever possibly know the number of people who saw your ad in a paper or a magazine versus who showed up to your store? And if you don’t know how well your ad is doing, how can you improve and optimize it? Digital advertising completely takes the mystery out of the equation concerning your conversion rate, since every single interaction can be tracked. We have the tools to see how many eyes are on you and how many clicks are buying. With this technology, it is easier to refine, nuance, and better tailor ads in the future. 

4. You can directly measure the results of digital marketing.

This is closely related to the point we just made, but again— every single online user interaction can be tracked, down to the detail of how long an individual scrolls and lingers on the page. Data analytics software makes it possible for you to see how many people saw and/or clicked on your website, the number of sales made from the website, and your ROI (return on investment). 

5. You can build brand credibility.

Building brand credibility is arguably one of the most important things a young company can do in order to ensure longevity, growth, and sustainability. The quickest way to do this in 2021 is through the utilization of the internet, i.e. what we’ve been talking about—digital marketing. 

Content marketing studies actually show that the most digitally ubiquitous and active brands are the ones with the most credibility. Through carefully curated content, a company can establish its voice in a sea of similar products and services, address consumers’ concerns, and show that it understands how to stay relevant in an ever-changing market. 

Blogging can be a way to demonstrate expertise in your market. What better way to address the questions and concerns of potential consumers than through producing high-quality content that will gain your readers’ trust? This in turn will make your website more sought after, which will then increase your ranking in the organic SERPs, which will then ultimately lead to a loyal consumer base.

6. It’s completely worth the investment.

The old adage “it takes money to make money” especially holds true in digital marketing. Digital marketing does not have to be expensive initially— a small business can quickly gain traction in the online community if it can establish its unique presence and reach customers early on in their buying experience. Even the utilization of social media campaigns is cost-effective and requires little more than an investment of time and skill. 

With that being said, when looking to grow one’s business it is essential to calculate your CAC (customer acquisition cost) versus the CLV (customer lifetime value). 

Your CAC is a formula in which you divide your overall marketing expenses (e.g. salary, overheads, marketing tools, etc) by the number of new customers acquired within a given time period. One thing to keep in mind is that although the formula stays constant, the variables themselves always change. 

For example, take SEO in comparison to Google Ads— it may be tempting to lump them together as far as marketing strategies go, but the two yield different results on different timelines. SEO, like content marketing, is a longer-term strategy that takes more time to yield results— whereas direct advertising on Google and other social media websites yield more immediate results. 

CAC on its own does not tell the entire story of your marketing profit margin. The CLV plays an important role in determining how much money is worth investing in acquiring new customers. The CLV essentially represents a prediction of the total amount of money a customer will spend toward your business. These predictions are derived from the amount a business can charge for things like subscriptions, upselling services and/or products, and the ability to retain customers for as long as possible. 

For example, the CLV of a regular coffee drinker could potentially be very high depending on how many cups of coffee they drink a day, how many days a week, and whether they decide to consistently buy from the same store. 

The CAC and CLV exist in a symbiotic relationship, and both are important in determining how much money you are willing to invest in marketing in order to acquire more customers and expand your business. Both are imperative in seeing the big picture of your business and how cost-efficiently it’s being run.

7. Because everyone else is doing it. 

Let’s face it— change is difficult, but it’s inevitable. The rate at which digital technology is expanding is exponential and beyond human ability to be controlled or curtailed. The pandemic that hit us in 2020 further proved that digital marketing is here to stay— businesses that no longer could physically open their doors were instead forced to adapt and are slowly learning to enter the digital doorway of marketing. 

Look no further than the giant that is Amazon, a business that was already successful that was able to expand even more during COVID-19 because of its remote-friendly business model. 

Long gone are the days where most ads are viewed on television, flipped through in a magazine, or listened to over the radio. Virtually every person in the developed world has the entire world at its fingertips, and it is imperative that you and your business are part of that world.