How to Sell Digital Marketing Services to Local Businesses

BY Kathy Crosett
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Prospects in your market know they need to shift their advertising efforts to digital formats. But they may not understand how to get the best results if they venture into the world of SEO, SEM and email marketing. This means you have a great opportunity to sell digital marketing services to local businesses.

Selling Digital Marketing Services to Local Businesses

As an SEMrush survey found, most local business owners are scrambling to keep up with the tasks on their lists. In fact, 64% lack time and resources to focus on marketing. For example, even when a business owner commits to investing in SEO, they encounter other challenges. SEMrush analysts point out that over 1/​3 of businesses struggle because dominant brands own the niche, SEO results can be slow to materialize, and Google is constantly adjusting its algorithm.

The Market Opportunity

If you’re ready to sell digital marketing services to local businesses, you should learn about your prospects before you start selling to them. The Fall 2022 CMO Survey from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business reveals that 57.9% of the typical marketing budget goes to digital formats. You can learn more about specific business categories and the types of digital marketing they use by checking out the local account intelligence reports and the digital audit available at AdMall by SalesFuel.

It’s also important to understand who is purchasing digital media and marketing services. Our Voice of the Buyer research shows that prospects who’ve been tasked with purchasing digital marketing services break out by generation as follows:

  • Gen Z 24%
  • Millennial 35%
  • Gen X 27%

42% of these prospects operate in the B2C industry such as consumer services, retail trade and health care. About 28% operate in the B2B sector.

In addition to being potential investors in digital marketing services, which we defined to include SEO and email, 49% of these businesses plan to purchase online advertising such as digital ads, mobile ads or social media ads. If you’re selling digital media as well as services, you’re in luck. But to effectively connect with these prospects, you need to be present in the channels they use.

What Buyers Want

While you may be ready to reach out with an email or cold calling campaign to connect with prospects, you might want to reconsider your strategy, especially if you’re targeting younger buyers. Prospects have already been checking out vendors, long before they have a chance to reach out with a sales pitch. And they are searching for vendors that have a great reputation for:

  • Providing superior customer experience 40%
  • Sourcing services and materials in high ethical ways 36%
  • Operating with “green” credentials 34%

Does this kind of information appear in a prominent place on your website? If not, you should update your content. Beyond that, 35% of buyers will skip over websites that don’t give a clear idea of product and service cost.

The best way to sell digital marketing services to local businesses is to create content that positions you as an expert in the details that matter. When a prospect begins to research potential partners, they check on:

  • Experience with customers in their line of business 51%
  • Customer ratings/​reviews on social media 47%
  •  Website 45%

Clearly, prospects don’t limit themselves to a seller’s website. They’ll also check out what people are saying about your company on social media sites. Keep up with any social media comments to show that you care about your customers and that you understand how to excel as a digital marketing services provider.

How to Increase Your Visibility

Because so many local businesses actively research suppliers online, you’ll need to adjust your strategy to stay a step ahead of the competition. About 45% of buyers have attended a webinar related to their business in the past year. If you need to generate leads to sell digital marketing services, consider holding a free webinar about the latest trends. Keep in mind that 41% of these prospects will share their contact information with vendors in order to access primary research relevant to their business. 

Vendors are ready to buyer digital marketing services. Are you selling what they're looking for?

Photo by AlphaTradeZone on Pexels.