Does Your Small Business Have a Digital Marketing Strategy?

Small businesses don’t need the most sophisticated or expensive marketing tools to be more visible than their competitors

Locally-owned restaurants, retailers, and other mom-and-pop stores are often skeptical about digital marketing. There can be hesitation about investing significant time and money without fully understanding what is happening “under the hood” of their website or social channels. But in today’s world, if you aren’t generating leads and producing sales online, your competition is and that doesn’t bode well for your business. Great products and services alone won’t bring more customers; they need to be shared with the world online.

For example, this week I stopped in an Evergreen, CO restaurant for a quick happy hour on the patio. At 5:30 p.m., I was the very first customer of the day. The server was thrilled to take my order, but you can tell the restaurant’s newly revamped light-bites and drinks COVID-19 menu wasn’t bringing the customers they expected and the server was bewildered.

The restaurant’s Facebook page had not been updated or active in many weeks. The same with their Google listing, which hasn’t had any recent user feedback, comments, or pictures. Suffice it to say, they had no digital marketing plan.

I asked her why they didn’t post at least once a day with pictures of the new gourmet hot dogs they were serving. “I don’t know, we rely so much on local customers that it seems like spending time online is better spent in the store,” she replied. Restaurants are busy places, and time spent doing basic marketing could be spent elsewhere – but they needed help and she knew it.

I asked if they’d consider at least creating a Facebook post about the recent Evergreen fire a few miles away. Surely, numerous volunteer and professional firefighters and other first responders were in the vicinity who would enjoy a happy hour after a long, hot day. How else would they ever know to stop by? 

She loved it. The idea was a simple, proactive, easily executable idea to at least try to bring more businesses through the door. I mentioned she could get real fancy and boost the post with $10-20 targeting the local zip code and first responder occupations, which would take five minutes of her time and just one online lead would pay for the entire boosted post.

Hopefully, the restaurant owner will take me up on my advice, but the point is digital marketing doesn’t always need to be overly sophisticated or expensive. More often than not, they just need to be more proactive than their local competitors to be visible.

Once the very basic marketing tactics and strategies become standard practice, owners are more willing to take the leap in partnering with a digital marketing agency, like Decibel Blue, to further develop their business’s online presence and visibility.

Decibel Blue has 15 years of experience successfully executing digital marketing strategies with commercial and residential real estate companies, restaurants, wellness and lifestyle companies, and franchises. If you’re committed to growing your company online, reach out to one of our team members who are located in Denver, CO, Phoenix, AZ, and San Diego, CA.

Tyler Rathjen

Tyler Rathjen is a partner in Decibel Blue, where he leads some of its highest-profile lifestyle clients. Whether developing strategic marketing plans, establishing creative programs, or managing digital, advertising, social media, influencer and branding projects, Tyler has a wealth of communications expertise. Tyler began his career with Decibel Blue in 2006 and has since overseen the launch of more than 120 franchises across the nation, including 80 Dunkin’ Donuts stores.

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