For entrepreneurs, the increased and nuanced abilities of the digital age offer an incredible opportunity for the success of your business. Dedicated small business owners have begun to utilize digital marketing to accommodate the demand growing within their industry. If you have a passion or product and are ready to take the jump into self-employment but are still unaware of how to scale and market your business, a digital marketing consultant may be the answer.
WHAT IS DIGITAL MARKETING?
Digital marketing is different than traditional marketing in that business promotions and advertisements are not limited to a billboard within a geographical location, on the inside page of a magazine, or within a prime TV time slot during which you can air your commercial. In this physical world, the ability to advertise within highly visible and sought-after commercial space is limited to a business’ advertisement budget. In which case, scaling your business may be a long process that takes more time than your business can afford in this rapidly changing digital environment. These days, the landscape on which to scale and market your business is the internet and with the correct tools and knowledge of how to navigate this vast and ever-expanding network, the possibilities are endless.
Digital marketing allows a business to gain visibility to a specific demographic using techniques such as web design, email marketing, Google, Facebook and Instagram advertisements, lead generation, search engine optimization (SEO), social media management, content creation, and a host of other digital services to gain familiarity and notoriety within an industry over time. This allows the best of what a business has to offer to shine through to those most likely to buy your product or use your service. Digital marketing costs much less than traditional marketing and is much more efficient in targeting and reaching potential customers making it much more valuable. People who have a general interest in your industry but otherwise would have never heard of your business are now being specifically selected to view your ads and prompted to visit your site.
THE PROCESS OF DIGITAL MARKETING
Digital marketing could be considered a simple process. Virtually anyone with access to a computer could do the research, begin creating content, and embark on their own marketing campaign with little to no prior knowledge or experience. There are websites and programs dedicated to improving the website design process and social media outlets offer ample opportunity to reach an audience if used correctly.
To begin marketing in the digital age every small business should require a welcoming brand identity, a well designed and mobile-friendly website, presence, and activity on all major social media platforms, and a well organized digital advertising campaign, all of which require continuous time and effort to improve and revitalize amongst countless competitors.
TURNING A TALENT OR PASSION INTO A BUSINESS
There are bound to be giants in your industry, so it may seem a daunting task to capture the attention of those who are interested in your field amongst such fierce and established competition. Luckily, there is no shortage of opportunities for modern business owners to make a name for themselves in the digital age. Initially, any quality business starts with a business plan. This helps to proactively navigate through different aspects of what it will take to run the business in general. Your plan could include current and expected financial costs, a marketing plan and budget, necessary staff, and growth potential. Familiarize yourself with any competing businesses in your geographic proximity as well as online. If potential customers have already subscribed and are loyal to a competitor in your local market, you might have a hard time getting things started and investigating. Essentially, your business plan should help you establish your process, products, and operations as well as expose any faults within the business and help find proactive solutions to problems that you may encounter along the way.
Creating an enticing brand isn’t a cheap startup proposition and there can be a substantial initial investment to get the ball rolling. Many entrepreneurs fund their small businesses by getting friends and family to invest, or by getting a small business loan. Most companies will need the right equipment and must have sufficient space to protect any manufacturing equipment as well as the product itself. There should also be a hefty marketing budget established upfront to promote the products and services successfully, as competition can be stiff. Attempting to handle all of this in-house may prove to be a financially exhausting undertaking as well as a time-consuming and seemingly never-ending task.
There are many decisions to be made when you begin to market your business. As many companies are innovating, it is crucial to develop a solid marketing plan, especially in the beginning stages. This plan may come to be one of the most important aspects in the success of a new business. Some of the factors to consider include:
Product Design – Quality and consistency are the priority but when going to market, your product design carries equal weight. The color, shape, and material can make a difference in who a consumer will choose to do business with. Whether you are selling are opening a yoga studio, food truck/restaurant or e-commerce site, be sure to appeal to the customer and reflect your ideal vision of the products or activity propelling your business.
Logo/Tagline – The logo must be easily recognized and the tagline memorable, think the Nike “swoosh” and Just Do It. Take time to consider the name of your company and design a logo to match it. Combing through the details prior to launching may increase the appeal of your business. If the creative process is too overwhelming for you as you try and launch a business, consider contracting out for help with designs and professional creative services.
Location – Any business may have the potential for success online but it may be worth the consideration of a brick and mortar location where you can serve, as well as sell, your creation. If you are providing an outcall or incall service, make sure your local market is large enough to sustain long-term business amongst the competition. If your business requires an office, manufacturing facility, or retail location, you’ll need to carefully consider the additional overhead costs associated with a store, including rent, utilities, insurance, and licensing. If you are operating within the construction or emergency service industry, prepare to test for certain permits and be under strict oversight varying from state to state and even from county to county.
Licensing – When it comes to licensing, depending on where you live and where you plan to do business, you will need to ensure you have the correct licensing and meet the legal requirements on a local, state, and federal level.
EXPECT TO SWEAT
Owning a new business is no small feat but that doesn’t mean the hard work has even begun. Even before doors open or the launch of the product there is much more to take care of. Although there are decisions to make about branding and marketing, you will also need to ensure your products are worthy of being sold. It will be imperative to consistently stay organized and work with others you can rely on and trust.
By working through a business plan and taking the time to plan out the details of your brand, finding success in your field is possible. Your vision and planning should also include steps necessary to handle the growth of the company. There is a vast difference in managing startup operations and managing your business after successfully scaling your business. Decide from the beginning what your company’s future looks like and start putting goals in place.
GETTING OUT THERE
If you are looking to sell in a small regional market, create a network to propagate opportunities where you can introduce your product to the public. Pair up with a local bakery or set up shop at a local farmer’s market to get to know your customer base. If you are looking to break into a larger market, do your homework and find the right broker to help you make the most beneficial deal for your product and your company’s vision.
Have a plan to create and promote your website and social media pages. These days marketing resources allow companies to get up close and personal with their potential customers. Be prepared to listen to the feedback they provide, as this information can be the most valuable to your business growth.
Be prepared to offer top-of-the-line customer service from day one. People who are treated well are likely to be loyal to a brand. Plus, their word-of-mouth advertising on your behalf can help increase your business presence effectively.
PREPARE FOR TRIAL AND ERROR
Establishing a business will likely take a lot of trial and error – from perfecting your operation to finding just the right packaging for your product. Different approaches will produce different results and it will take some investigative work to find the right way for your business.
At Accelerated Vision, we offer a free 30-minute consultation, which allows you to gain a better perspective of what you may need to reach the maximum audience and level of operations without excessive cost. With a wide array of skills and proven tactics, we approach your problems with confidence and understanding. We specialize in website design and development, website maintenance & hosting, SEO, analytics, photography and editing, video production and editing, lead generation, ad management, social media marketing and management, product and graphic design, 3D graphics, film scoring, and royalty-free music. Everything is necessary for making a new or existing business scale to the next level.
DIGITAL MARKETING CHECKLIST: