As the world progresses into a digital era, digital marketing strategies are a vital aspect of the overall marketing strategy for any business regardless of whether or not it’s doing business activities online.
As a small business, before you get started, it is important to know and identify the consumers you are targeting and get a rough idea as to where they spend their time online so that you can tailor your marketing efforts towards their needs and location. After this, you will need to set up a budget, as this will be another important factor when deciding on which digital marketing strategies you wish to use. Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with multiple different strategies and measure the results carefully to determine which work best in order to increase efficiency whilest saving important resources.
Why Digital Marketing Strategies are Important
Before we jump into exactly which digital marketing strategies small businesses should use, let’s briefly look at why this is important and what the major benefits are:
- Obtain a sense of direction and focus – Having clear digital strategies to achieve goals, allows you to measure whether or not you are going in the right direction and if you are able to execute those goals in an efficient and timely manner.
- Online value proposition – These strategies will help you differentiate your business from the competition to encourage interaction with current and potential consumers. They will also help keep your consumers interested in your business through online content and will boost click-through rates.
- Get to know your consumers better – With the right marketing strategies, you are able to get a good grip on your consumer’s behavior. Knowing your consumers well allows you to deliver better insights and make more focused decisions.
- Better budget planning – Having multiple digital marketing strategies to start out allows you to see which resources are worth your money and will help you further plan more effective digital marketing needs in order to adapt to the market and consumer needs.
- Better optimization through KPIs – The right digital marketing strategies that are measured by KPIs will further give your business a sense of direction to constantly optimize and create a better environment for future improvements as you move forward.
With that being said, let’s now dive into the main digital marketing strategies you want to be focusing on as a small business in today’s digital world.
Creating Appropriate Content (Content Marketing)
Content marketing is what attracts consumers in the first place. To simply put it: without content, there is no digital marketing. Content marketing revolves around giving potential consumers information about the products or services that you sell along with general information. Potential consumers that are well informed about your products or services are more likely to stick around, as proper content has the ability to create a positive experience that will want them to come back for more while reinforcing a positive brand perception.
While content marketing in the past was achieved through traditional methods such as printed brochures and magazines, today, most of the strategy relies on delivering relevant and valuable information regarding your company through digital channels such as a website and social media platforms that constantly advise and help attract potential consumers.
Search Engine Marketing
This is likely to be the most critical step of the digital marketing plan for small businesses. It’s what gives smaller companies the opportunity to compete with larger companies online by being more visible and appearing at the top of search engine results. Because almost all consumers these days use search engines (predominately google), to find products online, it is extremely important that your business places high in the search results for words that relate to the products you are selling and the words those consumers are searching for.
This can be achieved through efficient SEO (Search Engine Optimization), which is what helps your website rank high on search engine results pages. The methods used to attain efficient SEO results are often through keyword research and volume, internal link building, and optimizing content in order to produce high-quality information that is relevant. Using appropriate hashtags and keywords gives your target market a higher chance of finding your content higher up on the search engine results.
Email marketing is yet another crucial form of digital marketing for a small business that helps promote products and services through electronic newsletters, promotions, and updates that are sent via email. The list of consumers who receive these emails consists of people who are genuinely interested in the idea and products of your business, as they have chosen to opt themselves into this email list to receive those updates and promotions.
A great way to encourage consumers or even other businesses to get on this list is to offer important future updates or potential sales on products as a reward for signing up. As this list expands over time, it becomes more valuable and can really drive the success of small businesses’ digital marketing strategies.
Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing is a must in today’s day and age, as almost everyone is on some type of social media platform. Interacting with consumers on social media is an important strategy for small businesses that will allow them to build brand awareness and connect with their consumers. In fact, small businesses might actually have an advantage on social media platforms when compared to some of the larger companies out there, and here’s why:
- Small businesses are community and individual-focused – As smaller businesses are much more involved in their communities and with their first few consumers, this leads to a greater connection with consumers. Additionally, small businesses are more likely to respond to comments and can also better handle individual comments from consumers as there is only a small number to begin with, which can also help foster new relationships.
- Less expensive advertising – Again, since smaller businesses have fewer consumers to begin with, this allows for more control. Starting out on a handful of social media networks rather than all can greatly allow businesses to reduce much-needed costs when starting out. They can also easily target specific advertisements to reach certain people around a smaller radius, without needing to expand outside the customer base.
- Personal customer attention and customization – Furthermore, due to the smaller amount of consumers when starting out, they have the opportunity to really get to know their consumers and make their experience with the business personal by customizing their products or services that specifically tailor towards their exact needs and wants.
Pay-Per-Click is a marketing technique that is ongoing and running online where businesses usually only pay if the ads have been clicked on by the user. These can include side ads on websites, promotional ads that play before videos, or ads that even show up in mobile applications or while browsing.
The main benefit of Pay-Per-Click for small businesses is that the business usually only pays for results and those specific ads can be targeted towards a specific group region or geographical location if need be, which can be very useful when starting out with a small customer base.
To summarize everything we just talked about, digital marketing strategies for small businesses are vital in today’s day and age where the world is continuing to slowly progress into a digital world. They create new and unique opportunities that will allow you to get to know your consumers very well and form close long-term relationships. All of these digital marketing efforts can be combined to create important and effective strategies that will almost always provide you with a competitive advantage over your rivals.
Written by: Verley Zelfman | Digital Marketing Analyst at the International Institute of Digital Marketing™
For more details and blogs, visit: https://thedigitalmarketinginstitute.org/