Digital Marketing for Small Businesses

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Small businesses are seeing more competition than ever before. In order to compete, small business owners must be innovative with their marketing strategies to ensure they are attracting customers in the right way. Digital marketing is a very powerful form of marketing for small businesses as it offers them millions of customers at once.

Are you a small business owner? Are you feeling overwhelmed by technology and new digital platforms that are constantly in flux? No worries. In this guide, we’ll take you through easy ways to get started from making the most out of search engines to buying your very first online Ads. We’ll ensure you grasp the steps you need to build confidence in what you’ll be testing and investing in a way that is right for you and your brand.

Learning never exhausts the mind.” “For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” “Learning is not attained by chance; it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.” “The beautiful thing about learning is that nobody can take it away from you.”

The Inside Story

The information that you’ll gain from this guide will offer you inbound marketing skills that will equip you with tactics that you’ll use to attract, convert, close, and amuse your site visitors.

Digital platforms have become the fastest and most effective way to market and publish content in today’s world.

Digital platforms are great because they allow you to reach a wide array of consumers through multiple channels at very little cost.

The goal of creating a digital platform is for your readers to be inspired to make changes in their lives. The content you share should help them take action.

No matter what type of content you create or the industry you’re in, there’s always room for inspiration and growth. Digital platforms enable you to reach your audience on a personal level, with the right type of content at the right time.

Your audience expects a great experience with your brand at every touchpoint. If you have the ability to give a great experience at every touchpoint, you’ll turn visitors into leads and more leads to customers.

Always keep in mind that your blog or site is at the heart of any digital marketing strategy and that you’re optimizing for these when planning your digital marketing tactics.

We hope at the end o this guide you’ll acquire what you need to get going.

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is the process of using digital tools and platforms to promote a product or service. It can include social media, email, mobile devices, websites, and many other channels. It’s important for small businesses to use digital marketing strategies to reach people whenever they are.

Best digital marketers know which channels their audience uses and have a clear picture of how each asset supports their overarching goals.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a strategic approach focused on attracting customers through content and interactions that are relevant and valuable. By creating content that educates potential customers about your product or services, you move them along the buyer’s journey.

Once they’re familiar with your brand, through consistent interactions with your inbound marketing-driven messages, they’ll be more likely to engage further with your online or offline because they have developed trust with your expertise. This leads them to ultimately take the next step towards becoming a customer.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is all about creating and curating content that will prove valuable to your targeted audience. It’s one of the most effective ways to attract and grow a significant, loyal following online.

Buyer’s Journey

The buyers’ journey is an effective model for a range of marketing strategies. Marketing in today’s world is not just about how to get people to purchase your product or services, but how to make the buying process as effortless and enjoyable as possible.

Plan Your Strategy

If you’re just getting started, the most important thing is to invest in your business. The only way to do that is to be clear about what your business is and where it’s going. Think of it as a “vision statement” for your small business, but you need not worry if you feel like you need more help fleshing out the details; there are plenty of tools out there to help you get started.

small business

Reasons Why You’ll Want to Create Digital Marketing Efforts.

Marketing is your small business’s voice to the world. It tells the world who you’re and what you believe in. It’s about how you want to be viewed by others. No longer is it just about advertising but rather spreading your message globally.

You should create a digital marketing campaign to:

Better communication

Understanding your audience

Engaging with customers

Increasing sales & brand awareness

Analyzing competition

Increasing traffic for your site

Steps for Setting Your Strategy

Most startups fail due to improper planning. Listed below are some steps that can be followed for effective startup strategy planning.

Identify a market gap and do proper research on your targeted audience, competitors, and business idea validation.

Create a business plan with a clear business model, identify how you will earn money from your startup, set goals, create marketing strategies and outline the key milestones you need to achieve in order to succeed.

Understand who your audience is and what they want. This will make it easy to deliver messages relevant enough to resonate with your target audience.

As a business, you need to know who you’re and what you want to be. In order to know the best way to promote your business, you must first identify your brand ad your audience.

Have you ever noticed that the people who have the most trouble with their businesses are the ones who refuse to watch their competition?

One of the best ways to improve your small business is to simply watch your competition.

An hour of planning can save you 10 hours of doing.” “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” “There are dreamers and there are planners; the planners make their dreams come true.” “The more the plans fail the more the planner’s plan.”

Digital Marketing Techniques to Use in Your Small Business

Digital marketing is a way to promote and market your business using digital channels. It’s one of the most effective ways to reach your audience.

With the growing use of digital devices and internet access, consumers are now exposed to new marketing tactics and advertising technologies that can help businesses expand their reach. These techniques help your content stand out from the clutter and increase of being found by more people searching for your products or services on search engines.

The key to digital marketing success is to create meaningful relationships with your customers through relevant and useful content at every stage of the customer journey.

Here are the digital marketing techniques that we’ll cover in-depth:

1 SEO

2 On-page SEO Audit

3 User Experience

4 Paid Search Ads

5 Display Advertising

6 Sponsored Social Posts

7 Email Marketing

8 Native Advertising

9 Customer advocacy marketing

Using Flywheel Effect to Your advantage

There are so many different ways to structure your life and work. Every method has its pros and cons.  But the first step is to choose a structure is identifying what you actually want out of your small business.

The flywheel effect is a concept, which is important as it is simple. It has been used in every area of life from exercise to business and more.

This strategy can help you create content that will make your business skyrocket Here’s how the flywheel effect works:

flywheel effect

Start with a small group of people interested in your content. This can be an email list, social media followers, or an actual group of friends.

Share your content with them and ask for their feedback and suggestions. The goal here is to get as much information as possible.

Digital Marketing Techniques

Attract: Earn your people’s attention, don’t force it. Attract visitors with useful content and eliminate barriers as they try to learn about your company.

• Blog

• Keywords

• SEO

• On-page SEO Audit

• Social Publishing

• Paid search ads

• Display Advertising

Engage: Form good relationships with your prospects. Don’t just treat them as deals. Enable buyers to engage with you on their preferred timeline and channels.

• Content

• User experience

• Email marketing

• Native advertising

• Sponsored social posts

Delight: Tie your success to your customers. Shift resources to be more effectively distributed throughout the entire customer experience.

• User experience

• Customer advocacy marketing

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Obtaining better rankings in search engines is an important part of marketing because the top search engine results get the most traffic.

With SEO, you’ll impact the visibility of your small business in search engine’s unpaid results often referred to as “natural”, “organic” or “earned” results.

The success of your business depends on the ability to reach and engage with potential customers.

Google accounts for nearly 90% of the searches on desktop, so if you want to go direct to the source, read their SEO guide to help the indexing of your site. This will happen automatically — Google’s ‘spiders’ continuously crawl, categorize, and rank all web content against a huge number of measurements.

to deliver the right information to users, search engines analyze two factors:

Relevancy between the search query and the content on a page. Search engines assess it by various factors like topics or keywords. Work to improve relevancy is called on-page SEO.

Authority is measured by a website’s popularity on the Internet. Google assumes that the more popular a page or resource is, the more valuable it is to readers. How does a website become more popular?

2. On-page SEO Audit

An On-page SEO audit will give you an idea of how SEO-friendly your website is overall. Here’s how you do it:

• Get a list of your pages

• Export all of your site pages to a spreadsheet, then sort them by the most frequently visited

• Once you’ve completed your keyword research, take your keyword categories and see which fit best by page. Add that category into a column alongside the page name

• Add another column for any keywords you’ve not currently got covered

This is where your content comes in. You’ll need to work in those keywords to your priority pages on, especially within your metadata. Metadata tells search engines what your content is about. Metadata includes things like your pages’:

• Titles

• Descriptions

• Headings & Content

• Images Titles & Alt Text

• URLs

3. User Experience

Your website is your chance to show off exactly what your brand is all about and connect with your customers on your home turf. Here’s where you want your customers to go for information, helpful content, and buy your products. Your conversion rate is the number of visitors to your site that ends up converting into leads through a form submission.

Thinking about user experience when you’re putting your site together means you can help visitors find which product is right for them, help them decide yours is the brand they want to buy from, or help them keep in touch — for example, by signing up for a newsletter.

So, check your site’s analytics and note how people are behaving on your site – where they click, which pages they spend the most time on. Your overall user experience probably needs improvement if you see a high bounce rate (people leave the site after clicking on only one page) or a low dwell time (if it’s less than 30 seconds, it’s likely visitors haven’t found what they’re looking for).

4. Paid Search Ads

Paid search advertising is a great way to reach your target audience, but you need to know the basics of the platform and how to optimize your campaigns.

AdWords is a great tool for entrepreneurs who want to get their brand out there and get more business. AdWords give you the opportunity to place ads on Google, which are then seen by searchers looking for products and services like yours. As these potential customers click through the ads to your site, you pay nothing for that visit even if they don’t make a purchase.

With AdWords, you pay only when someone clicks on your ads. It sounds simple enough, but there are several strategies you can use to improve your campaign and bring in more traffic.

To get started:

Write your ad.

• Who’s your customer? You have one line to catch their attention and get them to click your link in a sea of similar-looking links.

• Set your maximum daily budget.

• Keep in mind that popular keywords cost more per click than less common terms (because other companies are bidding for them too).

• Use your platform’s conversion tracking.

• If an ad isn’t driving the traffic or sales, reword it, and test, test and test!

5. Display Advertising

Display advertising is a great way to promote your business especially if you’re looking to get your brand name out there in a subtle way.

Today, the industry has shifted and the ads are more sophisticated and interactive than ever before. They can be found on a variety of websites and can be found strategically next to content that complements them.

Most display advertisers will use a mix of banners and interstitials to target users with specific interests.

display advertising

To get started:

You can build, post, manage and track ads on Google Display Network, which also ranks your ad quality to determine how visible it is on the pages it appears.

• Pick good imagery – either your own or from your ad server – to win attention and clicks.

• Make it obvious where users can click on the ad, and what happens when they do. Does it take them to your homepage, or directly to a product page?

• Track your clicks and conversions. If you never get clicks from a particular site, you can exclude it; if a particular site and ad win you a lot of conversions, you might want to increase how much you spend on the ad.

6. Sponsored Social Posts

Social media is a great way to get your content in Infront of people, and sponsored posts are a great way to help you do that. There are two main types of sponsored posts:

Native ads: created by the social site and promoted posts, which are paid advertisements.

Here are the top social media channels laid out, but depending on your audience, they may be using more niche social networks.

Facebook

• Users: 2.2 billion

• Audience: Generation X and millennials

• Industry impact: B2C

• Best for: Brand awareness; advertising

Twitter

• Users: 335 billion

• Audience: Primarily millennials

• Industry impact: B2B and B2C

• Best for: Public relations; customer service

Instagram

• Users: One billion

• Audience: Primarily millennials

• Industry impact: B2C

• Best for: Natural-looking media, behind-the-scenes, and user-generated content; advertising

LinkedIn

• Users: 645 million

• Audience: Baby boomers, Generation X, and millennials

• Industry impact: B2B

• Best for: B2B relationships, business development, and employment marketing

YouTube

• Users: 1.9 billion

• Audience: Millennials, closely followed by Generation Z

• Industry impact: B2C

• Best for: Brand awareness; entertainment, and how-to videos

Snapchat

• Users: 300 million

Audience: Primarily Generation Z

• Industry impact: B2C

• Best for: Brand awareness; advertising

Pinterest

• Users: 250 million

• Audience: Primarily older millennials and younger baby boomers

• Industry impact: B2C

• Best for: Visual advertising; inspiration

To get started:

Choose the social network where your buyer personas are, and always optimize and test your content

• You may want to create a post around a new offer or simply word it to attract users to your page.

• Do a ‘dry run’ – try out your offer or call to action as an ordinary post and see what style and wording attract the most likes, shares, and comments before putting money behind them.

• Start with a simple image or video post and track how many clicks and follows you get, before moving into the more complex and expensive formats, like a multi-image carousel or canvas ads.

• Check out Canva’s post for no designers on creating beautiful social images.

7. Email Marketing

Email is still one of the most effective ways to reach and engage your audience, despite the rise of social media. The reason email marketing works so well, it’s because it’s personal. It allows you to establish a direct relationship with each customer, which is very important in business.

However, it’s not enough to simply send emails every once in a while. You have to carefully schedule and design your messages, and use analytics to see what’s working and what isn’t.  

There are tons of free email marketing software available online you can create a free account on MailChimp and signup for the service. They offer a great cheat sheet that clearly explains how to import contacts into their database, create an email newsletter template, and how send out your first email newsletter.

conclusion

There are many ways to market your small business online, and hopefully, this guide has provided you with some new ideas that you can use to promote your small business. If you need more help, with your digital marketing efforts, be sure to subscribe to our blog so that you don’t miss any of our upcoming news on digital marketing.

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