Small business is a special niche of our society and economy. Offering the public local choices, local options and the chance to keep the flow of money within the community is growing in popularity as the global economy becomes more and more aware of it’s importance. Most small businesses have a small budget and base most of their reputation on word of mouth. It is for this reason that small businesses should be most concerned with digital marketing over print or more traditional forms of advertising.
Chances are, whether a business is concerned with digital marketing or not, it is more than likely some information already exists online about that business. A recent study by Dimensional Research shows that 2/3 of all people research small business marketing strategies and products online. So if a small business is not able to be found online, chances are they are missing out on 2/3 of their customers! With platforms such as Yelp, Angie’s List, and Urban Spoon among others, information about businesses can be found online whether they are correct or not. Looking into what information is on these sites, as well as reviews that might be published by customers, is crucial. If there is incorrect information on the web this could negatively impact a potential customers decision as to whether they will use that business or not.
Luckily, today there are many options for maintaining a presence in the digital world and controlling what information might be found online. A small business might create a basic website or even a blog, use social media platforms like Facebook or Google Plus, or use their free Save Local Now account. These platforms can be used to create up-to-date information which will then be picked up by other sites such as the previously mentioned Yelp, Angie’s List, etc. Better yet, they will create an opportunity for customers to interact with the business. Most customers are already using social media as a personal platform and can easily share the information on a businesses Facebook, Twitter, or Save Local Now account to recommend it to friends. Also, if a customer has a negative experience they might be more likely to leave a comment or message on a Facebook page or blog where a business can reply directly than to post a review on Yelp where it is less likely to be compensated for.
The best part about platforms, such as blogs, social media, and Save Local Now, is they are generally free and therefore put all businesses on an equal playing field. As previously stated, small businesses base their marketing on Low budgets and word of mouth so with both of those in mind, they really can’t afford to miss out on platforms that are free and easily sharable.