What you’ll learn about digital marketing for small businesses:
- Digital marketing is an important tool for small businesses
- Digital marketing strategies come in many shapes and sizes — choose the right ones for your business
- We’re taking a look at four strategies that are ideal for small businesses
- Search engine optimization
- Social media marketing
- Content marketing
- Email marketing
Our mobile devices serve so many different functions. All at once they’re a dictionary, camera, game console, source of social interactions and inspiration, and, yes, a phone. More and more, people rely on the internet and their mobile devices to get the answers they need—and that’s something small businesses should keep in mind as they build their digital marketing presence.
Digital marketing is particularly important for small businesses because it helps you share more of your brand, attract new customers, and increase sales as a result. That said, digital marketing can take a number of different forms. Some will be right for you, some won’t. Some will fit into your marketing budget, some won’t. As you take a look at the four strategies we’ve outlined below, take a moment to think about whether they make sense for your business. Let’s dig in.
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
When was the last time you went to the second page of Google search results? If a prospect searches for the product or service you offer, having your website pop up on the first page of results can drastically increase your chances of capturing their attention. This is where building an SEO strategy can come in handy.
Start by choosing keywords that you feel you should rank for. For instance, if you’re running a boutique jewelry store in Vancouver, you could focus on ranking for long-tail keywords such as “boutique jewelry Vancouver” or “local jewelry store Vancouver.” This would require a bit of digging into what already ranks for this keyword and whether there’s a lot of competition for that particular term.
Then, optimize your website copy and any other existing content to cover those keywords. Remember, be careful about how you include your keywords—it needs to feel natural to anyone reading the content. People will likely be turned off by copy that doesn’t flow well, and keyword stuffing can actually do more harm than good when it comes to SEO.
If you have a bit more budget to invest, you can also run a paid search campaign. This is when you purchase search engine ads that show up on the first page of your chosen search terms.
2. Social Media Marketing
Today, social media plays an important role in helping people make shopping decisions. Whether it’s because they get inspiration from an influencer or engage with an ad on their feed, people intuitively transition from a social media platform to an ecommerce site.
Small businesses can take advantage of these platforms by building a social media marketing strategy. Getting this right requires publishing engaging content on your social media profile, building your audience and engaging with them actively, and running targeted ad campaigns to bring more eyeballs to your brand.
The primary considerations for your social media strategy are:
- The social media platform. Are you trying to talk to teenagers that spend most of their time on TikTok? Or is your customer persona a seasoned professional that’s more likely to check LinkedIn?
- The type of content. Whether you’re posting on your profile or putting out a targeted ad, your content needs to reflect your brand voice in a way that feels consistent and authentic.
- The available budget. The size and length of your ad campaigns will be dependent on how much you can spend on them.
- Organic growth. If you don’t have a lot of budget for creating sponsored content on your platform of choice, you’ll need to find strategies to engage your audience in a more organic way.
3. Content Marketing
You’ve heard us talk about content marketing before. This approach is focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant information that helps educate your audience and drive to a profitable transaction. Spanning across the marketing funnel, content marketing uses various materials—such as blog posts or videos—to engage customers at various stages of their path to purchase.
Our top 10 content marketing tactics include:
- Creating a content strategy and calendar that will guide your content
- Building content pillars or topic areas that can help categorize your content
- Identifying your audience or personas, and making sure your content answers their questions
- Implementing A/B testing where possible to see what’s working, and what isn’t
- Showcasing your values in your content
- Giving your customers a peek behind the scenes—whether that’s with a video of your manufacturing process or a blog post on how your business came to be
- Taking your time to produce high-quality content—your audience will thank you
- Featuring your users and customers in your content
- Advertising your content so that you can get as many people to see it as possible
- Being open to sounding funny or human
Start small and choose the methods that make the most sense for your business. Then, if your business or customer base grows, or you introduce another product to market, you can opt to introduce other tactics to keep your audience engaged.
4. Email Marketing
Another way you can keep your audience close is by building a presence in their inboxes. Email continues to be a very effective tool for sharing business updates, promotions, events, and other pertinent information. However, every time you send an email to your subscribers, you’re competing with hundreds of other subject lines begging them to read their copy and click that all-important call-to-action (CTA) button.
Once you’ve given customers a way to sign up for your emails, and you’ve built a solid list of recipients, keep these best practices in mind:
- Write captivating subject lines and preview text. These are two of the most important elements of your email. After all, if your readers don’t open it, what’s inside won’t really matter.
- Make sure the design is consistent with your brand — and appeals to the right audience. While a business executive looking for an enterprise solution might not appreciate a playful or beautifully crafted email, it might be just the ticket for an apparel customer.
- Keep your email short, but informative. People have limited attention spans, and they’re unlikely to read a long body of text in an email.
- Test and track performance. If you’ve found an email automation platform that works for you, make the most of it by using its analytical functions to inform how you write your next email.
These four digital marketing strategies are bound to help your small business capture the attention of your target audience—and keep it, too. Need help implementing any of them? Get in touch. We’d love to share what we’ve learned.