High digitally engaged small businesses are 2 x more likely to be growing revenue
The online world opens up huge opportunities for small business, but less than 1 in 5 have high digital engagement. According to a Deloitte Access Economics report, Connected Small Businesses, Small businesses making full use of the internet with high digital engagement enjoy better business outcomes, with a 20% increase in annual revenue. It’s a no-brainer, and small businesses that don’t have an online presence are in danger of falling behind the growth curve. It goes further to say that the median revenue per employee for small businesses with very low digital engagement was $87,500 while, for small businesses with a high level of digital engagement, revenue per employee was $187,500.
The importance for SME’s to have a digital marketing strategy is clear. Creating a digital strategy will initially take time and cost money, but there are significant benefits over time. The largest resistance it seems is not due necessarily to a lack of skills, but more to a lack of knowledge about its benefits. Around 10% of small businesses with a very low level of digital engagement thought the importance of the internet would increase over the next 12 months. On the other hand, many of the small businesses (41%) that already have a high level of digital engagement expect that the internet will increase in importance. Firstly, small businesses need to learn and understand the benefits and tools digital marketing presents. Identify your business goals, understand your market, and decide how you are going to reach them. Some simple tips to help get you started:
- Build a Website that Works– Your website provides the digital frontage to your shop. Make it pretty, make it accessible/user friendly and make it sell.
- Build a Social Media Presence– Simply go meet the people where they are. More specifically, meet YOUR customers where they are.
- SEO and Local Search– More and more often people are using the Internet as a resource to research local businesses, just like they would have used the yellow pages in the past. Make sure you list your business on Google Places and other free business directories, however we advise SME’s seek professional assistance when it comes to SEO (it’s not as simple as once upon-a-time)
- Evolve– Don’t just put up a site and brush your hands off. The digital sphere is constantly changing and the way people interact within this environment. Users expectations online are frequently changing, and unless you are adapting, you may be left behind.