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For better or worse, technology has changed our world dramatically over the past 40 years. Perhaps its biggest impact has been its ability to close the gap between large and small businesses. Small businesses now have access to technological tools that only large businesses could afford in the past. Financial, project management, human resources and customer management products are plentiful and cost-effective in ways that would have only been dreamed of in the 1980s and 1990s.

With the advent of social networks and the proliferation of digital interconnections, marketing has never been more accessible for small businesses. The ability to cost effectively reach large audiences and connect with consumers in a meaningful way has never been easier. According to Fundera:

  • 60% of consumers begin their product research with a search engine before heading to a particular website.
  • 74% of consumers rely on social media to guide purchasing decisions.
  • 81% of shoppers research online before purchasing.
  • 75% of local-intent mobile searches result in offline store visits within 24 hours.
  • Customers who engage with a business on social media spend up to 40% more with them in the long term.
  • 41% of brick-and-mortar buyers read reviews before making a purchase.
  • The top two channels for customer research are online reviews at 55% and company websites at 47%.
  • 91% of customers have visited a store because of an online experience.

Despite all the benefits, many small businesses fail to take advantage of an incredible opportunity to level the playing field.

  • 1 in 5 small businesses doesn’t utilize digital marketing.
  • 36% of small businesses don’t have a website.
  • 11% of small businesses that don’t have a website don’t see value in it.
  • 47% of small business owners run marketing entirely
  • Almost half of small businesses spend less than two hours per week on digital marketing efforts.
  • 47% of businesses spend less than $10,000 on digital marketing.
  • 1 in 10 small businesses doesn’t invest in any kind of digital marketing.
  • 26% of small businesses believe their customers are not online.
  • 25% of small businesses lack technical knowledge.
  • 23% of small businesses believe it is not relevant to their business or industry.
  • 22% of small businesses lack human and/or financial resources.

Making use of digital marketing can be time-consuming and overwhelming, but as the world changes it becomes more essential for small-business owners. CatchMark Technologies is here to help. Below are four tips to help your business take advantage of digital marketing opportunities.

Build an Email List

Building an email list is one of the easiest ways to help you succeed. Once you get a comprehensive list, it will enable your business to engage actively with potential customers and leads.

  • If your website hasn’t officially launched, use a maintenance plugin with “coming soon” pages and encourage users to sign up for your email list.
  • Another way you can build your email list is to produce gated content that your customers must sign up for to receive access.
  • A monthly newsletter will also help to promote your company and collect leads through your distribution list. Promote your newsletter online using calls-to-action to attract readers.

Boost Your Site’s Search Engine Optimization Strategy

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a process that increases your website traffic and improves your brand’s recognition and online presence.

This strategy helps potential customers have a better chance of finding your website when they search for terms related to your brand. Mastering SEO can also boost your rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs).

  • To rank higher, business sites must incorporate two categories of SEO: on-site and off-site SEO.
  • On-site SEO: Create a site that appeals to humans (Fast loading, responsive, well organized, logical).
  • Off-site SEO: Create a site that appeals to robots. The goal here is to have a site that launches you up the page rank list for search engines (Google).

Produce Engaging Content for Readers

The best way to attract more business is to produce content that creates value for your potential customers.

  • This material is a fantastic way to introduce your brand and personality to the world and boost your digital presence.
  • You can also reach potential customers through podcasts, guest posting or question-and-answer sessions.
  • Diverse and consistent content keeps customers interested in your business.

Build a Social Media Presence

Almost 3.2 billion people around the world use social media. If your company doesn’t have a social media presence, your customers may not know you exist. Additionally, it allows your business to become more transparent and build trust with your target audience. Figure out which platforms your primary audience uses and dominate there.