When we come across the word marketing, we tend to think of high-quality T.V commercials, large billboards, sponsorships, and funny Superbowl ads. These marketing techniques are typically only available for large companies who can afford them. This may seem a little discouraging to small businesses, which do not have the capital to use these techniques.
With the rise of digital marketing, the playing field has been somewhat leveled. Thanks to the internet, small businesses now have access to the same tools and resources that large companies do at an affordable expense. In fact, a few of these techniques are free of cost! Success largely depends on the efforts of your business and how well the strategy is planned out.
The internet is a very large place and can be intimidating for a small business if they don’t know where to start. Luckily, I have listed 4 digital marketing techniques that are reasonable for small businesses. When used correctly, these can and will turn a profit. They include:
- Email Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Let’s start with email marketing. You may have seen reports that email marketing is dead or outdated. This couldn’t be further from the truth. According to Statista, there are 4 billion email users globally (Statista 2020). This is simply too large of a population to ignore.
One advantage that email marketing has is that it can be more informative and personalized than other techniques since you can fit more content in an email. It is important to know that most people open emails through their phones, so mobile optimization is key.
Email marketing can also give you a strong return on investment. For every dollar spent on email marketing, you can expect an average of $42 back (DMA 2019). To get started with email marketing you’re going to need a servicer that provides email automation. Shop around for one that matches your business goals and budget. Then, plan out an email campaign and appropriate emails to send to your target audience/existing customers.
Social Media Marketing
It is no secret how much social media has taken over our lives. The average person spends 2.5 hours a day on social media networks. Why not use some of that time to check out your brand?
As a business, you want to attract attention to your content while actively engaging with your consumer base. Use social media networks that you know your target audience is using, whether it is Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Keep your content interesting and use hashtags that are relevant to your business to get visitors to your page.
Other methods of social media marketing include influencer marketing, where you offer an incentive to an influencer for them to display your product or service to their followers. This is a great way to garner attention if their followers match your target audience. There is also paid social media marketing, where you can display an ad to users that share interests related to your business.
Content marketing shifts the focus from your brand to your audience. Simply put, it is about the content that you put out. The goal here is to use your content to attract an audience that would be interested. Examples of these can include:
- Blog articles
- How-to videos on YouTube
Content marketing builds trust with your target audience by associating your brand with credibility. Customers are more likely to remember your brand name when looking for products if they have already consumed content from you.
The best part is that it is very affordable, even free depending on the kind of content you put out. You can also use content marketing as a way to make yourself visible on search engines such as Google or Bing, (which I will discuss in a moment). If you don’t know where to begin check out courses and guides to help you get started.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
How many times have you come across a new brand or purchased a new product by simply searching for something on google? The reality is that many businesses rely on search engines to attract new customers to their business. Search engine optimization is the process of improving your site to increase visibility when people search for products or services that are related to your business.
Search engines work by using bots to crawl all over the internet to collect information from different pages and put it in an index. The index then uses an algorithm to rank content to be displayed through several different factors. It looks for keyword matches, relevance, and website optimization while avoiding spam and websites with too many links.
As a business, your goal is to be as visible as possible in these search engines. Search engine optimization is generally free for a business as it deals with non-paid, organic searches. Use keyword research tools when designing your website and creating your content. Make sure your website is optimized for all devices. Implement images and videos when necessary. Search engine optimization is crucial to your business’s digital marketing effort, therefore you must ensure that you are up-to-date and well informed on the topic.
With these four techniques, you can ensure your business has an online presence. Because they are affordable, you should look to implement them in your marketing strategy if you haven’t done so, and improve on them if you already use these techniques.
About the Author
Abdulahi Dibbasey is a digital marketing analyst at IIDM.