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In a digital era where visibility and engagement are key, Black-owned businesses face unique challenges and opportunities. Digital marketing isn't just an option; it's a necessity to thrive in today's competitive landscape. Here's why...
In the digital realm, the playing field levels out, allowing businesses of all sizes to make their mark. Digital marketing stands out as the great equalizer, opening doors for impactful communication and broad audience reach, irrespective of a company's scale or financial backing.
The key to viral success? Be proactive. To yield high-converting ads, you've got to dive into advertising. While taking the plunge might seem daunting, no other channel offers the same competitive edge as the digital marketplace.
The spectrum of digital marketing tools is broad, from pay-per-click ads and social media engagement to content creation and search engine optimization. The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the importance of online visibility, especially for Black-owned businesses striving to sustain and expand their reach.
Platforms like Facebook, Google, Microsoft (Bing), and LinkedIn present open stages for all. It's more than just being present; it's about choosing the right platforms that align with your business goals and resonate with your audience. Embrace the bountiful opportunities digital marketing has to offer and craft a strategy that meets your leads and customers exactly where and when they're most receptive.
Leveraging the vast, interconnected landscape of the internet, these businesses can showcase their unique stories, connect with a larger audience, and build a robust brand presence that transcends geographic and demographic limitations.
Targeted Outreach: Utilize data-driven marketing to reach niche markets and audiences that align with your brand's values and offerings.
Cost-Effective Advertising: Access affordable, scalable advertising options that can adjust to any budget, reducing the financial barriers to market entry.
Cultural Connection: Engage with customers by highlighting cultural authenticity and diversity, which can resonate deeply with broader audiences.
Collaborative Networks: Participate in online communities and networks that support and elevate minority business owners.
Inclusive Branding: Craft a brand image that celebrates inclusivity, attracting customers who value and support diversity in business.
Educational Content: Share expertise through blogs, videos, and social posts, establishing thought leadership and trust within your industry.
By embracing digital marketing, minority-owned businesses not only gain visibility but also create opportunities for growth, partnership, and community engagement that are essential for long-term success.
Ever wondered how much effort and resources it would take to personally reach a thousand potential customers? Imagine the expenses and the sheer amount of time required to engage such a crowd—one that might not even need your services or products.
Digital marketing flips the script on traditional outreach efforts. Consider the efficiency of addressing a crowd 'virtually'—not just any crowd, but one already interested in what you offer. This precision targeting is like having a room full of eager listeners, except you're speaking to thousands simultaneously, not just one-by-one over 17 exhausting hours.
It's clear—conventional methods like face-to-face meetings simply can't match this level of outreach. While word-of-mouth marketing has its strengths, particularly in conversion rates, it operates on a foundation already laid by broader awareness. That's where digital marketing comes in, building that initial visibility so that word-of-mouth can make a bigger impact.
Let's do a rough calculation to show the difference between digital and traditional means. In this comparison, I will compare the cost to reach 1000 impressions but before I do this, I want you to understand some acronyms:
Cost Per Mille (CPM) - the price of 1000 advertisement impressions for a billboard, webpage, or other advertising location. Mille means thousand in Latin, which is where this advertising metric gets its name.
Cost Per Click (CPC) - The cost incurred for each click on an advertisement.
Click Thru Rate (CTR) - The percentage of ad views that result in clicks.
Cost Per Lead (CPL) - The cost to acquire a lead generated from an advertisement.
Cost Per Action (CPA) - The cost associated with a specific action taken, like a sale or sign-up, as a result of an ad.
Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) - The revenue earned for every dollar spent on advertising.
Now, with these definitions in hand, consider the scenario of reaching 1000 impressions through traditional means like a billboard. The cost can vary widely based on location, audience demographics, and visibility. Additionally, digital campaigns provide actionable insights through CPC, CTR, CPL, CPA, and ROAS, enabling marketers to optimize their spending for maximum return.
Traditional methods of advertising have long been the go-to for businesses looking to reach a wide audience. These methods include television commercials, radio ads, print media, billboards, and direct mail. While these channels have proven effective in the past, there has been a shift towards digital marketing strategies that offer more targeted and cost-effective solutions.
The following are some of the most common channels for traditional methods of advertising.
If You plan to send Direct Mail, you have to understand your capabilities and the quantity that you want to send. The United States Postal Service has an amazing calculator that can give an estimate for mail campaigns with various options.
Using the USPS calculator, it estimated $640 for this campaign for postcards! When I looked at the finer details, my selected options ranged between $230 - $1070...
Using a DIY approach and just paying for printing and mailing, the cost that I calculated for 1000 full-color postcards was about $460. For about $0.46 you can send a postcard to a mailbox (based on the USPS calculations).
Including another source, PostGrid, they also made a cool table that does a quick Direct Mail breakdown:
Billboard advertising and OOH (Out Of Home) advertising in general – is one of the most cost-effective ways of targeting mass audiences.
Digital Bulletins & Posters - computer-controlled electronic displays
Standard Bulletins - the largest standard-sized billboard that delivers maximum exposure to vehicular traffic on expressways, highways, and primary arteries.
Standard Posters - smaller advertising billboards located on primary and secondary traffic arteries most likely seen by vehicular traffic and pedestrians in commercial and industrial areas
For this example, I will use estimated pricing in Jackson, MS:
As you can see, the price estimate varies heavily but you are solely reliant on the traffic of the area and brand recall for billboards to be the most effective. Reaching 1,000 people can be easily done but this is more passive (in my humble opinion)...unless you are purposely looking at every billboard with full attention when you walk and drive.
Overall, the cost of a billboard depends on the type, size, location, and length of time it will be displayed. If you want to check estimated costs in your area, take a look at Ad Quicks Calculator.
These are the factors determining how much it costs to advertise on TV:
Show Popularity: Ads cost more on high-rated shows. For instance, prime spots like NBC's "Sunday Night Football" come with a hefty price tag.
Broadcast vs. Cable: National network affiliates (ABC, NBC, CBS) often charge less than cable channels with targeted demographics, not to mention the emerging streaming platforms.
Seasonal Demand: Expect to pay premium prices during major events or seasons like political campaigns or popular sports broadcasts.
Prime-time Premiums: Evening slots, typically between 8 and 11 p.m., command higher rates due to larger audiences.
Commercial Length: The duration of your ad affects cost—brevity can mean savings.
Geographic Reach: Expect higher costs in major cities compared to smaller, rural markets.
Market Competition: With limited slots available, higher advertiser demand drives up prices.
Locally, the costs may not be so bad, you are generally looking at a CPM range of $25 - $150.
However, national advertising can have you looking like this...
Stats and Tips to keep in mind, before your jaw hits the floor:
In 2022, it cost an average of $828,500 to air a 30-second ad during NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.”
A commercial on “This Is Us” cost an average of $317,981—the highest for any scripted show in the 2021-2022 season.
In the 2022-2023 season, the average TV ad cost was $47.14 per 1,000 viewers in a prime-time slot.
Remember you still have to produce the ad! This certainly adds to your time and/or costs.
You can take two main approaches for your digital marketing efforts to keep it simple; organic and paid.
Embrace the Organic Approach - This is marketing that relies on non-paid strategies to build and engage an audience online. It includes tactics like SEO, content creation, and social media engagement.
Invest in the Paid Approach - This type of marketing involves paying for advertising space or features online. Common forms include pay-per-click ads, display ads, and sponsored content.
Both strategies offer the power to adapt swiftly with real-time feedback. Spot what resonates with your audience, adjust your approach on the fly, and allocate resources to strategies that hit the mark. This quick-response capability sets digital marketing a world apart from traditional routes, where change is slower and less responsive.
We can test different messages, images, and calls to action with a limited budget, learning what resonates with audiences before committing more resources. This scalability, combined with the ability to track every dollar spent and tie it to specific outcomes like website visits, leads, or sales, makes digital advertising a financially smart choice for small businesses aiming to grow their presence and profitability.
Nearly everyone you see is likely to own a cellphone, often already in hand as they scroll through a digital world. We're more connected than ever through the boundless expanse of the internet.
Our lives are intertwined with online activities. From ordering a meal to booking our next getaway, securing concert tickets, conducting virtual meetings, and even running entire businesses—the internet is our go-to for just about everything. To suggest your audience isn't online is to overlook an ocean of opportunity where they're already swimming.
The challenge isn't finding your audience; it's capturing their attention. And that's where the digital trifecta of advertising, content, and SEO comes into play. Compelling ads, engaging content, and a robust SEO strategy can put you on the map—because someone, somewhere, is always looking for services just like yours. "Google it" isn't just a phrase; it's a reflex, especially when you get cravings for the nearest authentic Jamaican food.
Consider Facebook, home to the largest collective of active users globally. It's not just a social network; it's a launchpad for going international with your brand. By maximizing your online presence, you're not just opening a door—you're inviting the world into your digital storefront.
The Google Business Profile (GBP) emerges as a cornerstone for local business visibility. Google's commitment to evolving the GBP platform has turned it into an indispensable asset for businesses aiming to establish a strong local presence. Here's why embracing GBP can be a game-changer:
Boosts Local SEO: GBP is a critical factor in local search rankings. A well-optimized profile can greatly enhance your visibility in local search results, connecting you with nearby customers searching for the services you offer.
Essential for Zero-Click Searches: With the rise of zero-click searches—where answers are displayed directly on the search results page—having a comprehensive GBP means users can get the information they need without even clicking through to a website.
Convenient Information Hub: GBP serves up a wealth of information at a glance, from business hours to contact details, streamlining the customer's search experience.
Centralizes Digital Assets: It consolidates various elements like images, customer reviews, and special offers in one location, providing a rich narrative of your business.
Direct Booking and Appointments: GBP can house booking integrations, allowing customers to make appointments or reservations directly through your profile, simplifying the conversion process.
Integrated with Google Maps: Not only does GBP help customers find you via Google Maps, but it also assists them in getting directions, further embedding your business in the local community.
Leveraging GBP not only increases your discoverability but also elevates the customer's journey by providing immediate access to critical information about your business. Keeping your profile updated, responding to reviews, and posting regular updates can significantly influence customer perception and your overall online reputation.
If you haven't claimed your listing on Google yet, please go to https://www.google.com/business/
Let me tell you, the capabilities of digital marketing are truly mind-blowing, and it's all made possible through simple lines of code. Tools like Google Analytics tags, Facebook Pixel, LinkedIn tags, Pinterest tags, and many others hold the power to unlock valuable insights about your online presence. While they may not be flawless, they give you the ability to track and understand where your website traffic is coming from.
For example: You discover that you're receiving a significant amount of traffic from Instagram. Armed with this knowledge, you can strategically focus on creating more engaging content specifically for that platform. By understanding where your customers are coming from, you can tailor your marketing efforts and provide a better user experience for them.
As a business owner, having access to this data allows you to engage with potential customers on the platforms they prefer, increasing the chances of conversion. Making decisions based on data-driven insights is always a smarter approach. It enables you to analyze the situation, understand user behavior, and make informed choices that are more likely to lead to success. Ultimately, data-driven decision-making outperforms any decision made without proper analysis and understanding.
Google Analytics stands as the cornerstone for building a data-centric business, providing critical insights that are essential for refining your website and driving user-focused enhancements. It's the key to unlocking potential areas for improvement, comprehending visitor behaviors, and making informed decisions to elevate the overall user experience.
Data-Driven Insights: Google Analytics offers a rich array of data, from the demographics of your visitors to the ways they find your site. This treasure trove of information empowers business owners to gain a deeper understanding of their audience, informing decisions that lead to more effective targeting and improved conversion rates.
Budget Optimization: With often tight marketing budgets, small businesses need to know what works. Google Analytics tracks marketing ROI by following user conversions and assessing channel performance. This insight enables smarter budget allocation, directing funds toward the most impactful marketing efforts.
Enhanced User Engagement: Google Analytics reveals how visitors interact with your site, highlighting popular content and potential sticking points. These analytics are invaluable for creating a more engaging site that keeps users interested, increasing session times, and boosting the likelihood of conversions.
Goal Setting and Monitoring: Set specific objectives within Google Analytics for key actions like sign-ups or sales. Additionally, customize alerts to monitor for significant shifts in site traffic or user behavior, allowing for prompt action to harness opportunities or rectify issues.
Strategic Edge: A thorough grasp of your digital footprint can provide a competitive edge. By swiftly adapting to analytics trends, you can outpace the competition and expand your market presence.
Google Analytics is more than just a tool—it's a strategic partner that enables small businesses to effectively target their audience and grow sustainably. It's a powerful, no-cost resource that turns insights into meaningful action.
Need more information on Google Analytics? Go to https://analytics.withgoogle.com/
Remember, in the digital world, data is power, and using it to your advantage can significantly impact the success of your business.
One of the most beautiful things about digital marketing is that once you have something in place that works...it works! The beauty lies in the ability to scale your efforts from there. By fine-tuning and optimizing your successful campaigns, you can expand your reach, increase your impact, and drive even greater results.
Working on multiple platforms simultaneously can also enhance your overall marketing campaign. Take, for instance, a home service professional. By advertising on Google to capture potential customers actively searching for services, and simultaneously using Facebook to retarget and engage with those who have shown initial interest, you can create a comprehensive and integrated approach that maximizes your chances of success.
Another incredible advantage of digital marketing is the level of control it offers. You have the power to start, pause, or completely stop your marketing efforts whenever necessary. Perhaps you've implemented such a stellar marketing strategy that you need to slow down or temporarily pause to manage the influx of leads. With digital marketing, you have the flexibility to make those decisions based on your business's unique circumstances and needs.
The essential message here is about empowerment. You wield control over how, where, and when your marketing unfolds. Don't let apprehension hold you back; embrace the opportunity to cultivate or tweak a marketing strategy that could revolutionize your business. With digital marketing, you're at the helm, navigating your business journey with precision and adaptability.
Start, pause, stop...the choice is yours. Don’t let growth scare you from starting a strategy that can work for your business.
It can be scary to get yourself out there in the digital world, it’s very noisy, and everybody is doing something. It’s just one of those things you have to become comfortable with. People buy from people and your future customers/clients just need to see a face behind the brand.
A content marketing strategy to educate, entertain, or engage with people is easier said than done but doing it is better than not doing so. You want to get to the point where people can refer others to you or they can talk to you.
There are many Black Business professionals out there who have been seen as inferior to their counterparts. Their hatred is not an easy problem to fix, but what can be done is to gain such a following that it becomes hard to ignore that we have passionate leaders and professionals within our communities.
Building trust in the digital world often hinges on transparency and customer feedback. Engaging with your customers and encouraging them to share their genuine experiences in the form of online reviews can significantly bolster your credibility. These authentic testimonials become visible to prospective buyers, providing social proof that often plays a crucial role in the purchasing decision-making process.
At the end of the day, as Black-owned businesses, we have a greater responsibility—empowering our communities. And digital marketing presents us with an incredible opportunity to not only grow our businesses but also create local employment opportunities. By harnessing the power of digital marketing, we can hire and support talent from within our communities, contributing to their growth and prosperity.
We can draw inspiration from the historic success of Tulsa's Black Wall Street and channel those lessons into our present-day endeavors. By collaborating and growing together, we can create a stronger and more vibrant community. Digital marketing can transcend borders and connect us with customers worldwide. Through online platforms, our businesses can go international and reach audiences across the globe. The barriers that traditional businesses face no longer need to hinder our growth. We have the opportunity to offer our products and services online, breaking free from geographical limitations.
While it's true that many businesses fail within the first three years, this challenge is often compounded for Black-owned businesses due to a lack of capital and opportunities. However, one common thread among all failing businesses is the failure to market themselves effectively. This is where Imani Advantage comes in. We exist with a purpose—to help small Black-Owned businesses conquer the digital marketing landscape and equip them with the knowledge and strategies needed to thrive in today's competitive market.
Remember, digital marketing affords you the chance to compete and succeed in the marketplace, regardless of your business's size or background. It's a powerful tool that allows you to amplify your brand, build relationships, and drive growth. So, take that leap, embrace the digital world, and harness the tremendous potential it holds for your business.
If you're looking to gain clarity and improve your local marketing strategy, filling out the form below is a great first step! Our Local Marketing Strategy is packed with insights to drive your business growth:
🟩 Local Demographic Data
🟩 Local SEO Techniques
🟩 Content Strategy for Social Media
🟩 Advertising Tactics
🟩 Referral Marketing
🟩 Partnerships & Networking Strategy
🟩 and a Competitor Analysis Worksheet
Imani Advantage is a Marketing Operations consultancy that empowers small biz growth through lead gen, nurturing, automation & Strategic consulting. Our customer-first approach simplifies marketing complexities.