OppGenetixOppGenetix
  1. »
  2. Community

By OppGenetix

12 Reasons Why Small Businesses Need Digital Marketing

If your small business doesn’t already have a digital marketing strategy in place, then it’s time to start making one.

Understandably, you may be reluctant to put some of your small business’s budget into digital marketing. Rather than thinking about it as a cost, think of it as an investment in your small business — an investment that, when carried out properly, is worth more than the initial investment. If you’re not investing in digital marketing, you actually could be losing more in the long run.

And that’s just one reason why your small business needs digital marketing, and there are several more reasons than that.

 

1. Digital marketing evens the playing field

Small businesses typically lack the resources to create commercials of Super Bowl quality. Depending on the size of a small business and its available resources, a billboard or radio ad may be out of the question.

But digital marketing is an area where small businesses can be on the same level as their larger commercial competitors. The barrier to entry is low, and provided small businesses are able to run a successful campaign, they are likely to reap the benefits of digital marketing.

 

2. There’s a wide variety of digital marketing options

Newspaper ads, posters, billboards, and local radio spots and TV commercials are traditional marketing avenues that don’t offer a lot of variety and fail to garner as much attention as they once did.

Thankfully, digital marketing has a plethora of options and fewer limitations on creative freedom.

 

Search ads

Paid search ads, are text ads shown on search engines like Google or Bing that are tied to keywords consumers search. What makes search ads so effective is that consumers using search engines are further down the marketing funnel. They’re not at the stage of awareness. They’re interested and are considering taking action for whatever it is they’re searching for.

Businesses are typically charged each time a consumer clicks on a search ad. The cost per click (CPC) varies and is based on a bidding system. Businesses bid on how much they feel a certain keyword is worth, and the amount businesses spend per click determine their position on search engine pages.

Search ads are geotargeted, which means these ads are sensitive to a consumer’s location. As a result, it will only display ads to consumers in locations selected by the business itself. For example, if your small business has one location in Columbus, Ohio, then you would want to ensure the people clicking on your search ads are in the Columbus area.

 

Display ads

Display ads are another form of search ads, though unlike their text-only counterparts, they are much more visual. They use images and video and come in a wide variety of sizes.

Display ads are typically run through search engines and are also linked to keywords like search ads are. Rather than appear on search engines, display ads appear on websites that are related to the topic a consumer searches.

Payment-wise, display ads are run on a cost per thousand impressions (CPM) model, which means your business will be charged for every 1,000 views an ad has.

 

Social media ads

Paid social media ads are found on social media sites, like Facebook and Instagram. They use a combination of text and visuals and have even more variety than display ads do. Facebook, for example, allows carousel ads, video ads, collection ads, and more. 

Like PPC ads, Facebook allows you to set a budget and bid on keywords to determine how much you’ll pay for its ads.

Paid social ads use both CPC and CPM payment models, depending on the kind of ad you decide to run for your small business.

 

SEO

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is an organic form of digital marketing, which means it doesn’t require paying a search engine or social media site. SEO is the practice of creating a website that ranks high on search engine results pages (SERP). Ideally, you want your website to be on the first or second pages of Google; it’s pretty rare for consumers to go beyond the second page.

At the very least, SEO requires your small business to have a quick, mobile-friendly website and someone with the ability to create thorough original content about topics related to your business’s offerings. It helps to have tools like Ahrefs to track keywords consumers use to find businesses like yours. Ahrefs tracks page rankings, how difficult it will be to rank for a certain keyword, keyword search volume, and more.

 

3. Digital marketing expands small businesses’ reach

Due to all of the digital marketing channel options, it’s easier than ever to reach different consumers in multiple places at the same time. Some consumers may be at different parts of the marketing funnel, but there are several digital marketing approaches that can be used to reach them.

For consumers at the top of the funnel (awareness and interest) who may have visited your small business’s website but did not take any action beyond the home page, you can create display ads for these consumers. This is referred to as remarketing or retargeting, and it’s a highly effective way to keep your small business’s brand at the forefront of people’s minds.

 

4. Digital marketing is cost-effective 

Google conservatively estimates that for every $1 a business spends on Google Ads, that business makes $8 in profit through Google Ads and Search — an impressive increase from Google’s earlier research that reported $2 in revenue for every $1 spent.

A Wordstream study found that the average cost for Google’s search and display ads across all industries were $2.69 per click and $0.58 per thousand impressions, respectively; Wordstream also found that Facebook ads average $1.72 per click across all industries.

Digital marketing costs less than traditional ad channels and allows you to place a cap on how much to spend. It’s clearly the superior route to take when it comes to how much you’re investing to advertise your small business.

 

5. Digital marketing targets multiple audiences at once

A print advertisement in the local newspaper typically targets one audience. The problem with this and other traditional forms of marketing is that they miss out on reaching your other audiences.

You can multiple digital marketing campaigns at once for different audiences via different channels, and this can become very specific and granular depending on which marketing channel you’re using.

 

6. Digital marketing keeps consumers engaged

In some cases, quantity isn’t everything. The quality of customers matters, too. In times of economic downturn, you might not be able to rely on occasional customers; you may have to rely on a loyal base of customers instead.

Keeping customers engaged with content, whether it be on your blog or your small business’s social media accounts, can keep them coming back to support your business.

 

7. Digital marketing boosts conversion rates

In digital marketing lingo, a conversion is another term for a goal. Conversions can be several different things: leads, purchases, newsletter subscriptions, engaging with content, visiting specific web pages, and so on.

Whatever your small business’s goal is, digital marketing makes it easy to track conversions and make optimizations to your digital marketing campaign that can boost overall conversion rates. 

 

8. Digital marketing has quantifiable results

Unlike traditional marketing methods, the results of digital marketing can be quantified. You can see the exact numbers, data, and statistics showing the state of your campaign. You can see how many people have “bounced” from your website, the number of people who have converted, and calculate an accurate return on investment.

There’s no guessing how many people bought products or signed up for a newsletter — the data is there.

 

9. Data can be used to improve marketing campaigns

Having quantifiable data can give you some idea of where your digital marketing campaign needs improvement. Sometimes it’ll require a bit of guessing and checking, but if you take a scientific approach to it by running the same ad with one slight difference, you can get an idea of how your small business’s digital marketing campaign can be improved.

 

10. Data can also be used to customize campaigns for highly specific audiences

Digital marketing data can help small businesses learn about their target audiences’ digital habits. There are tools out there that make it much easier to find your target audiences’ interests and discover the best approach to convert them to regular customers.

For example, Facebook offers a lookalike audience targeting option, which uses the information about your current target audiences and runs your advertisements to audiences that share similar features.

You may even find out that your small business has an audience that you never knew about until you started to review customer data. Then you can start making digital marketing campaigns specific to this audience segment, too.

 

11. Successful marketing campaigns can lead to new services and new business locations

Depending on the level of success your digital marketing campaign brings you, you may want to consider expanding your small business.

This could mean adding new services on top of the ones you already offer or even opening up another location. These additions and expansions can bring in even more revenue and customers.

Once you’ve got a strong digital marketing campaign for your main location or current services, you’re more than capable of creating more campaigns for your newer services. More services bring in more customers, more customers bring in more revenue, and more revenue means you can continue to grow your small business. It’s a cycle that continues to grow your business at each turn.

 

12. Resources for digital marketing are everywhere

There are tons of tools and resources for your small business’s digital marketing campaign: Ahrefs, Google Keyword Planner, Google Analytics, and so much more.

Our free digital audit is one great place to get started. For more information and even more digital marketing resources, contact us today.

By OppGenetix

Creating A Website That Meets Consumers’ Expectations 

The majority of consumers don’t understand how search engine results work, according to BrandVerity’s Online Consumer Search Trends 2020 study. 63% of consumers think that search engines categorize results by advertising spend or relevance, or they don’t know how the search engines work.

The study also found that nearly half of consumers felt misled by a site in the search results; a quarter of them reported feeling like they were “often” or “always” misled by a result. 25% also said that the page a search engine directs them to does not show them what they were looking for.

There may not be a whole lot to do in terms of educating consumers about how search engines work; however, there are some things businesses can do: meet consumers’ high expectations and improve user experience. 

Larger, more established businesses typically have more resources, so it’s easier for them to meet those expectations and create a better user experience. Growing businesses may lack some of those resources, but that doesn’t mean they can’t do the same thing for their website in similar ways. Even the smallest change has the potential to make a big impact on your consumers.

 

Optimize your business’s website for multiple devices

People use their phones nowadays for the majority of their consuming, including shopping and educational content. So, it only makes sense to have a website that runs smoothly on a smartphone, or any other mobile devices, for that matter.

When (re)designing a website, it’s critical to implement a mobile-first website with responsive design. Responsive design uses HTML and CSS to resize websites based on the device a site is being viewed on. It works for phones, tablets, and desktops of various resolutions.

Many web hosting and CMS platforms, such as WordPress, have features with built-in responsive design code. As an added bonus, a custom platform like Prismic offers CMS capabilities in a more efficient manner, giving businesses the ability to create mobile-first and fast websites, that will in turn boost SEO. It’s a win for everyone involved.

It’s 2020, and there shouldn’t be any more excuses for having a website that isn’t mobile-friendly.

 

Use a well-designed website layout

It’s tempting to go all out and use every single cool feature as seen on other businesses’ websites. But here’s the thing: a busy-looking website can be too much to follow, resulting in higher bounce rates and less information retained from your consumers.

Don’t be afraid to use white space. It gives content breathing room and can help users find where to focus, or even to look for a product or page. That said, choose a focal point or two and use color or images to draw consumers’ attention. Think about size, too. The bigger an element, the more attention-grabbing it is.

Visit a website and take note of the first item you notice, then the second, third, and so one. Ask yourself what exactly drew you in. Was it color? An image? Text? Was it the biggest element on the page? Or the brightest-colored?

 

Choose fonts, colors, and images wisely

Fonts, colors, and images can make powerful focal points that direct consumers’ attention from one part of the page to the next. 

 

Font

Paragraphs, please! Write paragraphs that are ideally no more than five sentences long. Longer content is good for SEO, but one giant blob of text is not good for readers’ eyes. You must balance form and function, with the rise of smartphones many readers are now trained to digest content in smaller blocks.

Be sure to make use of different heading sizes to divide up sections. It helps readers skim to find what they’re looking for. Headings are also useful for outlining content before writing it, making them a win-win! Typical site headings scale from H1 down to H5, with each heading being smaller than the previous to help set a visual hierarchy in the content. We recommend starting your H1 font size around 36px (pixels) to 50px. These headings will also factor into your search engine optimization strategy. 

Text size is important and so is the readability of the font. Cursive scripts may look elegant, but they can be difficult to read. Save those fun fonts for headings or titles, or maybe even the business’s logo. Don’t use them for the main body text. For most websites, start with a body font size of 14px or 16px depending on body font style. 

Use no more than two or three fonts on the same page and make sure it’s legible. Also, consider what’s being marketed on a website to help select the fonts that are most appropriate for the products. Advertising IT services or medical treatments with Comic Sans would interject more questions than provide credibility, but that font may be more acceptable for a preschool’s website. If you do not have an agency or creative person in-house, simply start with a neutral font such as Open Sans that can be industry agnostic. 

 

Colors

Assuming your small business already has certain colors selected for its branding or logo, try to implement those colors on your website — but don’t overdo it.

Consider keeping the overall background white, gray, or black. Neutral colors go with everything and are less likely to clash with other colors.

Highlighting focal points with colored sections on top of that neutral background can really make your website pop.

Make sure that your font is readable. Black font on a black background is not accessible to readers.

 

Images

Use professional-looking images — even stock photos. Yes, stock photos can appear too fake, but at least they look clean, crisp, and professional.

If possible, get a professional photo taken of you and your team. Seeing the “real faces” behind a small business makes it more personable and approachable. Even including small headshots, a very brief bio or quote (no more than a sentence or two), and contact information for each employee in the “about us” section helps.

 

Keep an organized navigation bar or menu

If your horizontal navigation bar at the top of the page contains more than five or six elements, it’s time to start consolidating, especially if it’s a dropdown menu.

Navigation bars typically include links to the following pages:

  • Home: Bring users back to where they started: your small business’s home page. You can simply use the word “home” or link your logo back to the home page.
  • What We Do/Solutions/Treatments/Products: Essentially, this page features what your small business does. Pretty simple, right?
  • Resources: What extra resources could your small business offer? Product sheets or white papers? Client testimonials? Case studies? Blog posts? These are all items you can include in a dropdown menu, and in some cases, one or two elements can be separate elements on the navigation bar.
  • About/Team: What’s your small business’s mission statement? What are your goals? Write a brief bio or quote with professional headshots for each employee. Include professionally taken photos of your business or products. You may want to include hiring information in this section, too, or at least as part of a dropdown menu.
  • Contact: Depending on what services or products you’re offering, this may be the most important page. It’s where users will take the next step and schedule an appointment or learn more about the service or product.

 

Create authoritative content

Show consumers that you know what you’re doing by creating in-depth content. Content comes in many forms: podcasts, videos, and blog posts. It’s easier than ever to start getting into any of these mediums.

Become the authority in your industry — or at least the expert in your neighborhood. Showing your knowledge doesn’t make you a know-it-all; it shows everyone else that you are a great resource who knows their business and industry.

Building up trust and meeting (and eventually, exceeding) consumers’ expectations takes time and effort, but that effort will pay off for you and your small business.

Website redesigns can be a lot to take on, especially while you’re trying to run and manage your business operations. This is why we specialize in helping growing businesses design and develop better website experiences built for their unique consumers.

facebook redesign

By OppGenetix

The Facebook updates you need to know about

At the annual developer conference on Tuesday Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive of Facebook, announced plans to shift users towards private conversations and away from public broadcasting on social networks.

The conference also unveiled a redesign of the Facebook desktop and mobile app. The updates will include new features that will promote more small group conversations instead of messages and status updates on the news feed. The redesign is being hailed “FB5” and will be rolling out over the next several months. Zuckerberg is convinced these updates “will end up creating a more trustworthy platform.”

Facebook has made a conscious effort to push messaging apps WhatsApp and Messenger. This update will allow them to be in the forefront of changing social media behaviors and encourage more private and small community conversations.

There are updates to other platforms including Instagram. The photo-sharing social platform has a new camera feature called Create Mode which will allow users to create a post for stories that aren’t a photo or video. At the developer conference it was also announced that Instagram is going to be running testing on hiding likes for users. The company stated “We are testing this because we want your followers to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get.” The post creator will still be able to see the number of likes on a post. 

They will also allow influencers to tag clothing items they are wearing in a post so followers can purchase within the app. Zuckerberg also announced Oculus, the virtual-reality company, will start shipping two VR headsets later this May.

Pelotonia

By OppGenetix

OppGenetix is proud to partner with Pelotonia in 2019

Pelotonia has started a movement that inspires meaningful collective action by mobilizing purpose-driven communities and accelerating funding for innovative cancer research. This collective action involves a three-day experience that includes a weekend of cycling, entertainment, and volunteerism all with the goal to fund cancer research.

All proceeds raised by riders, virtual riders and volunteers go directly towards cancer research at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – The James. Last year, the organization raised over $27.4 million for cancer research, bringing their 10-year total to over $184 million raised for cancer research. With their record-breaking 8,470 riders and 3,056 volunteers from more than 40 states, Pelotonia is making a major impact on cancer research.  

In 2019, Pelotonia Ride Weekend is scheduled for August 2-4. Participants who register as a rider have the option of 15 routes to choose from, ranging from 25 miles to 200 miles. Each of their riders has a fundraising commitment starting at $1,250 – $3,000 with 100% of every single dollar they raise going back to cancer research.

At OppGenetix, we believe in making a difference in our community. We are committed to causes such as Pelotonia as they, not only have a local but global impact on a universal struggle to end cancer. Our team has been helping execute a lead generation initiative through digital advertising for this year’s Pelotonia race and fundraising efforts toward cancer research. This has allowed Pelotonia to maximize their digital advertising impact so 100% of every dollar raised can go towards cancer research.

Are you interested in joining the movement? There are many different options available for riders of all types. Let’s work to achieve a healthier world and live our best lives. Please visit the Pelotonia website for more information on how to register.

12 Reasons Why Small Businesses Need Digital Marketing
Creating A Website That Meets Consumers’ Expectations 
facebook redesign
The Facebook updates you need to know about
Pelotonia
OppGenetix is proud to partner with Pelotonia in 2019