Top 7 Digital Marketing Tips for Your Small Business

27 Mar 19 | Digital Marketing, Email Marketing, Online marketing, Social media marketing

As a small business, you need to constantly be on the lookout for ways to attract clients, without breaking the bank. The following are 7 cost effective digital marketing strategies you can implement to market your business.

1. Set a Budget and Goals

The first step in digital marketing involves identifying and defining the end game and requires you to strategise on your budget. Ask yourself what results you’re trying to achieve and make decisions on what is most important to you. Are you interested in increasing your conversions, or are you aiming to start your journey into brand recognition?

Action steps:

• Prioritise your goals. What are your most critical short and long-term objectives?
• Try Mint. It comes with a simplified interface that will help in managing small budgets and keeping track of your money.

2. Devise a digital marketing strategy

A digital marketing strategy is a written document (informed by research) that addresses your goals and maps out which methods you will adopt and how you will use each one regularly to achieve the results you desire. It constitutes a road map for the overall process you will undergo. A meaningful strategy is what differentiates between the companies who make an impression online, and those who don’t. One of the reasons companies struggle to see results from their digital marketing efforts is because they dive in without any plan of action.

What to include in your digital marketing strategy:

• Your business goals and purpose (to ensure you have a meaningful impact on your audience online).
• The channels or platforms you intend to use.
• The identity of your target audience.
• The types of content you plan to share and publishing frequency.
• Details of your approach to paid advertising.

3. Be Ready to Pay to Play

The phrase, ‘you have to spend money to make money’ is true, to a degree. Growing your business does require some investment, however digital marketing strategies are certainly more economical than traditional marketing strategies. One of the biggest advantages of online marketing, unlike traditional marketing, is you can know if your efforts are proving worthwhile by using analytics. If you’re serious about having a meaningful impact, you will need to consider parting with some funds to cover the costs of social media and paid search ads, professional development and training, SEO, PPC, social media marketing and email campaigns.

Online advertising is a great way of getting your website found locally for targeted keywords. Google Adwords, Facebook ads, Twitter ads are effective for getting the word out.

Granted, digital marketing can be quite intimidating, especially when you don’t know how to get started, or the costs that will be involved. Digital marketing is not free, there are expenses related to the time and talent it takes to manage your activity. Whether you choose to hire someone to place Facebook ads for you or choose to do it alone, it will be worth it in the end.

4. Take Advantage of Googles Local Offerings 

Google is the most popular search engine in the world. As such, it has various offerings for small business owners. One such offering is their ‘Get your business online.’  Studies have indicated that businesses with an online presence tend to grow up to 40% faster compared to those who are not online.

Action steps:

• Search for your business. Look at the information that is already available on the web. Determine what you need to do to ensure that it improves.
• Be sure to open a Google Business account.
• Claim Your Local Listings & Optimise. Claim your small business on local directories. Google, Yahoo, Yelp, Manta and many more are all local business directories. Leverage your presence on them with content about your small business. After claiming your page, you will have full control over your basic listings profile. To claim your listing click here and follow the process.

Most local directories might charge a fee, so make sure you are monitoring to see which one will be of most value to your small business.

5. Champion the right social media channels

According to Statista, there were 2.95 billion social media users around the globe in 2019, and predicts that there will be 3.43 billion social media users by 2023. These numbers confirm the fact that all businesses must master the use of social media to better position themselves. Marketing on social media offers an opportunity to reach a worldwide audience like never before. Being present on social media in 2020 is non-negotiable.

Social media marketing enables businesses to target the demographics they want, based on the data consumers provide about themselves online.

Social media activity can be overwhelming however. Attempting to juggle multiple platforms only adds to the overwhelm. It is great to have a presence across a variety of channels, but it is more effective to choose to focus your marketing efforts on the channel where your customers have the greatest presence.

In your quest for the right social media channel, do the following:

• Get on each platform so you can see, first hand, what discussions are taking place and what types of content are being shared, and to understand the feature sets unique to each one. For example, Pinterest and Instagram are highly visual networks where people mostly share images, Youtube and Snapchat and used mainly for sharing videos. On Facebook and LinkedIn a mix of content is shared.

• Note the different contexts and different kinds of messaging on each platform and how this affects the overall atmosphere, for example the content shared on LinkedIn is mostly of a professional or business nature, whereas on Facebook the content shared can be on any subject of interest and is far less serious than LinkedIn.

• Compare your findings from each platform to determine which ones offer the best chance of reaching your target audience.

Using social media to market your business isn’t easy, but with commitment you’ll see results.

6. Make Use of Email Marketing

Email marketing is a powerful digital marketing tool. If you have a database you can send your readers event notifications, information on your products and services, offers, company updates and more. You can initiate conversations with your customers directly. The only obstacle in your way is the time it takes to produce engaging content that will stand out from your competition.

Action steps:

• Always ensure your email newsletters include a clear call to action, making it abundantly clear what you want them to do.
• Be sure to personalise your message by including the recipient’s name.
• Brand your newsletter templates so they are visually appealing and so that they are instantly recognisable as your business.

Just as with social media, it’s extremely important to understand your audience in depth, so that you can tailor your content and email design to ensure it will be of interest and pleasing to your audience. Ensure you link back to additional sources that can be of further help to your readers.

7. Use Content Marketing

An excellent way of boosting your online efforts is starting a blog for your business. Strong content marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing tactics. Blogging helps you to speak directly to your customers, to demonstrate your expertise, to feed them information and position your value. It helps you to develop and strengthen relationships with existing and potential customers and helps others to connect with your brand.

Action points:

• Ensure you play with your keywords to optimise for SEO.
• Stick to a regular publishing schedule, this is a great way of increasing search engine traffic.
• Publish your blogs on LinkedIn Pulse, this is another great way of gaining additional exposure, increasing visibility and traffic.

Content really is king! The more content you can produce and share the better.

If you’re struggling to find the time to fully focus on your digital marketing activity contact me here to see how I could help with some of these tasks to ensure your business is properly positioned for growth.