In the last year more and more small business owners have adopted new ways of thinking to transform their business strategy with new digital marketing tools, helping them build customer engagement and start to rival the big players.

In this blog post, I’ll explain how to get started…

Although traditional marketing tactics have changed, the objectives driving the trend for increased digital expenditure are the same as with traditional marketing: allowing SMEs to sell more, save more and improve ROI.

On Elance we’ve seen this trend translating directly into business demand. The year-on-year number of digital marketing jobs posted in December increased by 42.9%.

The amount of money spent by clients on digital marketing jobs growing by 10.8%. Yet some small businesses are still slow to jump on the digital marketing bandwagon.

David and Goliath syndrome

Some SMEs still feel uneasy about competing with the big boys but when it comes to digital marketing, bigger is not necessarily better.

Think you have to build up your company’s authority first before communicating credible content to your audience? Think again, because your company size could be your biggest advantage.

Interacting with your audience through new generation media is often something that major players shy away from, simply because they’re concerned of losing control of their brand. SMEs on the other hand don’t have to worry about putting a corporate reputation at risk, so there is no need to be overcautious about scaring off customers and prospects.

As a small business you can use this to your advantage by using quirky or innovative strategies that bigger companies with rigid brand and communication guidelines would shy away from. 

Small businesses are often nervous about the resources it can take to implement a full digital marketing strategy. However with online platforms, businesses can try out new ideas and tactics with skilled freelancers rather than making an expensive commitment to hire permanent staff.

Work with people who “get you”

When collaborating and partnering with external professionals, make sure you work with people who truly comprehend your business objectives.

When it comes to content writing, it’s vital to work with people who‘get’ your messages and your tone. Spending the time researching their past experience, looking at work they’ve done for other clients as well as checking their grammar is vital and pays off in the long term.

By adopting new and nimble ways of working, SMEs can stay one step ahead of the big players.

They should fully embrace the new social aspects of their digital marketing campaign as a natural extension of what they’ve always done to expand their business in the offline world: drumming up contacts and prospects through active networking.