When it comes to getting ahead of the competition, marketing is good, digital marketing is great. And here at Market Jar, we know how competitive business can be, just take a look at the industry we’re competing in – digital marketing itself.
But a study by Clutch.co revealed that 80% of small businesses don’t invest in digital marketing. So if you want to beat your competition, whatever your industry, all you have to do is make a smart decision and invest in your digital marketing efforts.
While this highlights an easy gap for you to close, and even more alarming statistic shows that less than two-thirds of small businesses (that’s under 64%) have a website. That’s right, in 2020, one-third of small businesses STILL don’t have a website.
Yet everyone knows how important a website is for your small business.
Research by Search Engine Journal shows that 93% of all online experiences begin on a search engine. And 47% of these searchers go on to click on just one of the top three results.
What does all this mean?
You know the answer already – if you want to have skin in this game, you have to play by the digital marketing rules.
So what can you do, as a small business, to not just defend your position but build an advantage over your competition?
Try implementing these 5 easy tips and watch the competition slip into your rearview mirror.
1. Get to know your customers.
A great way to figure out what your audience is after is to ask them directly – use your social media platforms, for example, to engage with your audience and find out, straight from the horse’s mouth, what they want to know.
If you know what your customers or potential customers want, you can give it to them. How do you do that? By filling your website with useful content. You’ll not only please your audience, but you’ll also boost your online presence too.
2. Get to know the competition.
How do you beat the competition? By getting to know them and then being better than them.
Find out everything you can – trawl their website, their eCommerce shop, follow them on social media, ask them a question to find out about their communications process, order something to find out about their distribution process. You want to know who their target audience is, how they carry out their marketing, what their points of difference are.
But you aren’t looking for ways to copy them. No, you are looking for ways to better them – so if they’re weak in certain areas or there are obvious gaps, that’s where you can excel.
3. Get to know yourself.
Figure out who you are, what you offer, how you differ from the competition and use this information to build your own brand identity. Use digital tools to help you find out what it is about you that your customers identify with and run with that:
- Use keyword research tools like SEMrush to give you insights on your competitor’s keyword rankings.
- Use answer the public to discover what people are asking about your industry or business. Get consumer insights directly from the search engines to help you create the kind of content your customers actually want.
- How do you know if your efforts are working? By measuring everything you do. Google Analytics is the tool you want. It’s free and it measures your website activity.
4. Put yourself out there.
There are so many strings to the digital marketing bow, if you’re only using one avenue of digital marketing then you’re missing a trick. To maximise your online presence and get in front of your target audience, you need to be using as many different marketing channels as possible. From email marketing to social media marketing, video marketing and advertising. Just make sure that your message is consistent across all channels.
5. Get help.
Digital marketing isn’t something you do once and reap the rewards from forever, it takes continuous effort to keep your lead over the competition.
In this day and age, the smallest things can make the biggest difference, for example:
- The first 5 seconds of a page load time has the biggest impact on your conversion rate – if you don’t have a quick loading time, you’ve lost your audience. According to Portent, website conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42% with each additional second of load time.
- In 2019 half of all website traffic came from a mobile phone – if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re cutting yourself off from potentially 50% of your customers.
- Optimising for featured snippets. If you aren’t in the top three results organically, get in front of your audience in featured snippets.
Depending on what you want to achieve from your digital marketing goals, if you don’t know how to do a particular aspect of digital marketing such as technical SEO, consider working with a local SEO agency like Market Jar, who can show you the way.