If there’s one type of business that can benefit a lot from digital marketing, its traditional, family-owned businesses. Digital marketing for family business can be incredibly powerful. Think of old import-export firms, manufacturing units, shop owners, trading houses, dealers etc. If you’re in such a business, it’s time you started thinking of taking it online. Why? Simply because 90% of your competition is not doing it. It’s a low-hanging marketing fruit, waiting to be eaten! Thereby, chances of you succeeding are quite high. There are fewer people competing for your keywords on search engines, hence you would end up spending lesser money too!

The Key Challenge

If you’re just stepping into your elders’ shoes at your family business, it’s likely your seniors are family members who are used to certain fixed methods of marketing their business. Convincing them to spend money online is going to be the key challenge for you. However, educating yourself on how to correctly implement a digital marketing plan that is specific to family businesses can ensure that your initial investments are low and pay off well in the long run.

The Tea Shelf

digital marketing for family business

A great example of a business that has adapted well to digital is The Tea Shelf. Headed by Atulit Chokhani and Srinidhi Chokhani, the owners come from a family with a 150-year-old history in the tea business, including tea plantations, tea engineering, and tea packaging and exports. Using a swanky online tea store, they are busy selling premium tea online.The team plans to reach break even in the next three years and has reached 200 customers in India, the UK, USA, Russia, Germany, Australia, and Canada since January 2015. They are using dynamic market trends in their favor by incorporating search engine optimization, Google Adwords, Facebook marketing and conversion rate optimization etc. in their digital marketing strategy to reach consumers all over the world.

Content marketing may be a little exhaustive and bewildering if you have been used to traditional marketing but it may be worthwhile to remember that content marketing doesn’t replace your old marketing, it adds to it. It involves the development and distribution of engaging content that is relevant and valuable to the audience that is being targeted in order to attract new customers or increase business from the existing ones.

Tips for developing a digital marketing plan to transform your family business

Know your goals: It is good to set short and long term goals of what you want to achieve by doing digital marketing for family business. Common goals include increasing awareness about the brand, growing traffic on the business website, lead generation, conversion of leads to customers, improvising customer retention through engagement and the likes. Working on just 1 or 2 of these goals, in the beginning, is definitely how you can move towards success without risking a lot of money in a new field.

Knowing your audience: Digital marketing for family business will be effective if executed based on the knowledge about the audience. For example, knowing the target age group, gender, location etc will enable delivery of personalised services that will attract the users despite other players in the market. For instance, if you have a lot of youth in your demographics, then social media marketing should definitely be on your list. If you’re catering to “Lalas”, then you’re better off NOT incorporating an email marketing campaign!

Proper market research: A thorough research will enable you to know about your competitors and shortcomings of your offerings that may drive your customers away. Incorporating the remedies for the shortcomings in the digital strategy will help retain the customers. In another example, we helped transform a vastu consultancy firm by creating a stronger online presence and integrating an online store. This separated them from the competition and helped create a distinct brand experience.

An effective digital marketing strategy will offer the following benefits to traditional, family businesses:

  • Fewer costs involved as compared to traditional marketing efforts
  • Retention of old customers in competition to newer corporates
  • New customers from around the world.
  • Consistent value to customers by creating a commodity that they may look forward to
  • Sharper and more innovative service offerings

Another story of a tradition success gone digital is Burberry, a brand that has been delivering luxury products since 1856 but their digital transformation off late has increased its popularity and reach in the current market.

If you also own a traditional family business, be assured that the competition in the market and the constant hunger of the customer for value may continue to challenge profits, but you may transform into the current scenario by embracing change and serving what is truly required through a more accessed medium that is the internet. Using digital penetration for your marketing needs may be the best gift you can give to you years of hard work.

Conclusion

While your family may have been in a specific for years and monopolizing the market, the current scenario involves competing with numerous corporate giants and young startups taking up the space through their advertising efforts. You may do that too by being visible where the consumers see, on the web.

There have been numerous businesses that have been around for a while and while your family might have been swearing by the success that the business has been drawing since generations, they seem to be suffering setbacks owing to market dynamics. The era is being taken over by digital marketing and the age-old clientele, word of mouth, reputation and the like may not be cutting it completely. Digital marketing efforts may just help to achieve the desired results by placing your brand in the modern market landscape. Digital marketing for family business will help these old companies by connecting them with customers all over the world and also carving interactions with them simultaneously.

If statistics are to be believed, content marketing on digital platforms, if done right may provide nearly 25% rise in effectiveness of communicating your brand’s value proposition to the audience. These figures are derived by measuring on scales of return on investment and engagement. While digital marketing may be on your agenda already, a formal content marketing strategy and an effective process of content distribution is what it takes to attract the required eyeballs to the business.

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