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Can small businesses afford digital marketing? If yes, then how can they make it profitable?

These questions come to the mind of most of the businessmen who are looking to expand the horizons of their businesses and take their business to the digital space, eventually building an online customer base for their products/services.

The first step towards entering the digital arena is acknowledging the fact that marketing is no longer seen as merely an expense, but it is considered an investment towards brand building. Hence shying away from this added cost also means compromising on the potential of greater ROI for your business.

Small businesses, especially those who have the potential to grow big, by harnessing the digital space, do invest in digital marketing, but they cease to do so after a month or two. They want results over a short period. But this myoic vision keeps them from getting to the actual gold mine.

It takes a little more than just a month or two to understand your audience, to build your audience and eventually, the ROI starts to increase. Your journey from non-digital to digital, and finally to becoming profitable over digital will take time. And till then, the investment you are adding in, is enabling the process of getting there.

Let us see this with an example. If you have started digital marketing recently and are successfully driving traffic to your site but sales/conversions are not happening, then this doesn't mean your campaign is a failure. The audience that visited your website for the first time will take time to gain confidence in your brand.

As soon as you start remarketing to them and you engage them on social media, they will convert eventually. This happens at a later stage in your funnel, of course, depending on the strategies, the time to reach the later stage of the funnel may differ.

You can profitably start digital marketing with a budget as low as INR 20,000 - INR 30,000 per month. This amount varies for different businesses and their marketing objectives. I have seen a small bakery in a small town of India investing in digital marketing with a spend budget of INR 2,500 for months, and eventually, noticing the brand value it has created in the town.

Hence, small businesses can and, according to me, should start digital marketing. They can garner great ROI from the same if they are consistent in their approach, and finally see that the investment they were making initially, does realise into gains later.

What is your thought on this? Share in comments.

Written by Ashit Malik (Founder at Socioshoot)

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