Digitalization Can Help SMEs Grow With Less Investment
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In the past decade, we witnessed a big digital boom in every sector of business. Not only direct B2C consumer business, even B2B finds it useful to digitalize their business. In the New Year 2020, we can expect at least 60 per cent of industry players to go digital. Due to the government’s push for ‘Make in India’, we have many small entities coming up with the skills to manufacture specialized products. Usually the small entities, SMEs, come with a huge technical potential but have the constraints of a low marketing budget. This makes them weaker in the highly competitive market where we already have big local as well as imported brands. At the same time, the market keeps growing as more investment gets directed into research and development. So, if SMEs can choose the right marketing strategy even in low budget they can at least cover a portion of the growing market. Digital marketing would be the best bet for branding with low investment. Here are a few essentials for SMEs to go digital.
Also Read: Digital Disruption Is Coming For SMEs
Creating a company website with details of the business, specialization and products or services should be the first approach, and it can be done in a few thousands invested just one time. Professional videos and photos can be helpful to develop a professional website. It is an efficient way to create online visibility for the company and develop a certain level of confidence on the company in all new visiting customers. Clear information about the business and products can attract more customers across the globe.
Listing your products on e-commerce B2B portals could be budget friendly and offer better online visibility for the brand. Many B2B portals are now established in the niche sector of lifesciences and laboratory industry. These portals already have a good online reputation and targeted visitors from the industry. SMEs can take advantage of these portals by listing their products here to grow their business. Usually the portals charge a few thousands for unlimited listing, or first few products also get listed free with just a minimal commission applicable on every sale. Payment gateways associated with these e-commerce portals also helps to make convenient and secured transactions between the buyer and the seller.
Google search engine
When it comes to online business, the first mode of acquiring customers is through Google search engine. If your products get showcased in the top 5 results of Google search, you stand a much higher chance of gaining new customers every day. To get yourself in the top 5, you need to work on the SEO, i.e. search engine optimization of your website. This can be done by adding unique and relevant content to your website, images with alt-text, link building and other SEO related activities. In addition, you can create a Google business page, which is easy and free. You can add details of your company, add photos, regular updates and ask your customers to submit reviews online. Whenever a customer looks out for you, they would be able to see your Google business page. It helps in creating a brand impression to the online audience as well as generates leads in the long term.
Business pages on social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram can be a good way to have online presence and generate leads, if used effectively. There are various ways to interact with your customers on social media at essentially zero costs except for access to the Internet. Facebook also has a marketplace wherein you can list your products to sell online. Usually it works well for daily consumer products. Social media platforms are growing in terms of number of users every day and can be effectively used to interact with many customers without the need to visit personally on-field.
WhatsApp is the one of the widely used communication app which has a presence in almost every country. Businesses can utilize the free calling and messaging feature on WhatsApp to interact with customers across continents, develop relationships and convert leads to orders. It’s a good way to talk as well as promote your offers to customers. The only requirement is to know the contact number of your customers.
These are just a few essentials to begin with at a low cost. There are many more modes of digital marketing such as webinars, online advertising and blog, among others, which can be employed to grow business digitally at low costs. Digitalization has the power to target your products to the right audience with less investment and still get worldwide recognition. Knowledge of digital media along with creativity can help SMEs to grow and shine beyond expectations.