Digital Marketing has completely changed the way companies compete for the audience’s attention in the last few years. With the pandemic happening, the stakes are even higher because everyone is now online.
US eCommerce sales grew by 20% in 2020, and digital ad spend for 2021 will reach $389B. This is why investing in online marketing will bring a lot of benefits for small business owners. Yes, it is affordable than traditional marketing, but the important part is it helps you build a relationship with customers and boost conversions.
Using digital marketing to promote your business will give you a much better chance of success, but what strategies should you consider? What is cost-effective, and what works? We’ve listed down seven online marketing strategies you can apply for your small business.
Strengthen Your Small Business Brand Identity
Often, small business owners focus on selling and marketing but usually forget that their company is a business and a brand. Foregoing branding means that the messages sent out can produce undesired outcomes, getting more questions than conversions.
We may be competing with big brands that have enormous resources and loyal customers, which is why we must figure out how to stand out. Brand identity expands beyond a creative logo; it combines how the brand looks, feels, and speaks to audiences. It influences how customers view the business.
So, where do we start? Research. We can’t create a unique identity if we don’t understand ourselves, our story, audience, and how we want to be portrayed. This requires time and deep thinking, so take a deep breath and be patient.
Know Who You’re Selling To
When in the process of identifying who you are as a brand, you’ll go through the process of defining a target persona. If I asked you to visualize your ideal customer? What would your answer be?
These are some of the questions you might want to ask yourselves when defining your target persona:
- What type of person is going to buy my service or product?
- Where are they located?
- How do they communicate?
- What are their interests?
- What are the problems I am solving through my service or product?
Knowing these things will help us, business owners, develop a more targeted and effective marketing strategy.
Build A Strong Presence On Social Media
How much time do we spend on social media?
We know that more and more individuals spend lots of time on their phones, just like us. That is why social media is the best platform to directly connect with the audience and build brand awareness and loyalty.
For small businesses, social media is an effective platform because it is free and because it is a great strategy to use for lead generation. Once you give content and resources that provide value to prospects and customers, they will be more likely to interact with the business.
Every successful strategy starts with a good plan, so before diving right in, set goals and objectives that follow the SMART framework. Instead of increasing page or post likes, aim to gain customers and increase conversion rate. You must be strategic and ensure that you are sharing the right content with the right people. LinkedIn won’t be my platform if I am looking for a clothing boutique online, just saying.
Utilize Search Engine Optimization
SEO has so many branches, and this might seem like a big task that only businesses with extensive resources can do, but there are areas that small business owners can utilize.
Local SEO is a must, especially for businesses with a physical address, whether a notary public office, retail store or dental clinic. There is only one goal: to get our companies on top of searches related to our business location. So, if I have a “dental clinic in South Hamptons” when users search for this term, we want our business to be listed on the top.
If keywords are integral to our SEO strategy, then on-page optimization is necessary. You can have the right keywords, but it won’t deliver results without optimizing your web pages. So, what are the basics of on-page SEO?
- Title Tags
- Meta Descriptions
- URL Optimization
- Image optimization
- Page Load Speed
- Keyword Density
Create High-Quality Content For Your Audience
How do we get our keywords across the website? Content!
Every website now has a blog section containing resources related to the business’s products and services. But it’s not just content for the sake of it. All the information you’ll have to provide should be unique, helpful, and relevant.
For example, a dental clinic can write valuable content such as “Effective Solutions To Keep Bacteria Away From Your Teeth”. W.” would this qualify as valuable? That’s because it directly addresses the dilemma of a person with tooth problems.
But remember, content doesn’t only mean articles. It can range from infographics, eBooeBooksdeo tutorials, and more.
Reach Customers Wherever They Are
Now that we have produced high-quality content, how can we promote it to reach the right audience?
Most businesses opt to advertise on Google because they want to reach the widest audience possible. But, if your key demographic uses Facebook often, you can choose it to promote your content, services, or product. As I mentioned earlier, I won’t be looking for clothes on LinkedIn, so if you’re running ads on the wrong channel, you wouldn’t be getting a return on your investment.
Google and Facebook provide valuable data to improve our ad’s performance and accurately target prospects or leads for future campaigns. We can view the date and time our ads get the most response or the device the users use the most when they interact with our ad.
These automatically-generated reports will help small business owners make a more insightful business decision, especially if we don’t have the budget to hire experts who can dedicate a lot of time monitoring and gathering data and metrics for us.
Connect With Customers Through Email Marketing
Thanks to emails, we can do business from anywhere in the world. According to HubSpot’s Email Marketing stats for 2021, 64% of small businesses utilize email marketing to reach their customers. So, who is to say it doesn’t work?
With 306 billion emails received and delivered every day, we can say that email marketing provides businesses with immense opportunities to engage with new and current audiences. If utilized correctly, email can play an essential role in building long-term and profitable relationships with customers.
Email also helps us understand our audience more because it is the closest thing we can get to communicate with our customers directly. It can also generate a lot of return for minimal investment and helps us retain customers.
Why Is Online Marketing Important For Small Businesses?
The group of potential customers we can find online is much larger than the group we can attract using traditional marketing or locally. There are various areas of Digital Marketing we could explore even when the budget is tight.
We can reach a global marketplace and interact with prospects while learning what they are looking for, their pain points, and what solutions we can offer them? In this way, we can build a relationship with our customers and become their trusted partners.
Is Online/Digital Marketing The Future?
Yes, we could say that it is the future. Online Marketing is no longer an option; it’s a necessity that sits on top of every business’ strategy. The data, ease-of-access, etc., all contributed to the success of this industry, and the future for Digital Marketing is definitely bright.
Leveraging various online marketing strategies we have mentioned above can help small businesses compete even with large corporations, bringing their brands in front of the right people.
Are you a small business owner who’s looking to increase your revenue?
Although there is a myriad of ways to do so, the digital age has introduced a rather hands-off technique in the form of SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
In this article, we will talk about SEO, its recent trends, and how it can help increase business revenue.
What is SEO and How Does it Work?
SEO is the process of improving your website’s visibility on search engines such as Google. Improving the visibility of your website will help attract more traffic and with that, the possibility of more prospects.
Google uses bots that go from site to site to collect information. This data is stored in an index which is sort of Google’s library. Google’s algorithm will then analyze the index for ranking factors and data to determine the order in a page should appear.
For example, if data from your webpage is compatible with Google’s algorithm, your page will be ranked higher. It is important to invest in a legitimate SEO expert to get the best results.
SEO for local businesses is usually less complex than larger ones. This is due to the small geographical area of most local businesses.
Let us take a look at the various implications of SEO and its importance to your local business.
Why is SEO Important for Your Business?
As mentioned above, the geographical area of local businesses is usually small. Interaction with the local marketplace is essential and a lack of visibility may be the deterring factor to your sales.
Our search engine results are dominated by “near me” intended questions and Google will direct these searches towards the nearest business available.
SEO strategies are tailor-made to help bring your website on top of these searches.
Here are some implications of SEO to help you better understand how it works.
Know Your Audience
Familiarizing yourself with your audience and what they want should be of utmost importance.
It gives you a better idea of what content to publish on your page. Keep in mind that Google ranks your website based on its data compatibility and that includes having the right content.
Having your webpage optimized will also help potential customers navigate through your website more efficiently.
Understanding your audience also includes getting to know their “lingo” or keywords and with that, let us move onto the next point.
Keywords are phrases or terms that people enter into search bars. Searching for the right keyword will direct customers to their designated webpage.
As a business owner, you’d want to capitalize on the possible keywords related to your business. This is where keyword research comes in.
Keyword research is an SEO strategy that helps determine what potential customers are searching for.
It begins by noting down all the possible keywords related to your business. SEO experts will then use keyword research tools to narrow down the right keywords for your website.
Understand the Google Algorithm
At the end of the day, Google controls all, and it’s best to acquaint yourself with its complex behavior.
The Google Algorithm is constantly changing and most of them aren’t publicly announced. It keeps us users on the guessing end to maintain order within the system.
Google’s main mission “to organize the world’s most useful information” is more like a subtle gesture to ensure users maintain their integrity. Adhere to their guidelines and you will be rewarded.
This mainly applies to business owners who look to optimize their webpage. Understanding the algorithm will teach you about the dos and don’ts of SEO.
“Content is king” as Bill Gates once said but what does it actually mean?
He used the phrase to describe the future as a marketplace for content and he was not wrong.
The SEO market is driven by content, making it the most influential factor on search engine rankings. Do note that great content is often the difference between good and bad visibility.
Your website’s content should be constructed around the wants and needs of your customers. Along with the use of keywords, your content also helps Google understand the nature of your business and your level of expertise.
Benefits of SEO
Now that you’ve got a better understanding of SEO and the way it works, let’s take a look at the benefits SEO can provide your business. As mentioned earlier on, bear in mind that to achieve the best results, is to invest in a legitimate SEO expert.
Builds Brand Awareness
First and foremost, having your page ranked higher on Google will give your business more recognition. This is due to the large number of traffic that roams around the first few pages.
Having a strong web presence will also help the credibility of your website. Potential customers are more likely to trust your business when they come across your website on the first page.
Turns Your Business Into a Worthy Competitor
It is important to bypass the competition within your market.
SEO strategies can equip your business with the necessities to give you the edge. There’s a possibility that other companies within your local market have already capitalized on SEO.
If your competitors have already obtained the “holy grail” then it’s about time for you to do the same!
Helps Generate More Customers
The main purpose of your website is to help your business stand out. An SEO-regulated website can help bring in more customers twice as fast.
Efficient and effective, SEO will help narrow down your target audience to customers who are actively seeking your product. It does so by directing traffic to your website.
User Friendly Websites
SEO is implemented to help improve user experience too. Nowadays, SEO tactics can help business owners refine the structure of their websites.
A well-structured, smooth-running website is the epitome of having a good user experience.
Customers want to browse through your website efficiently and effectively. It follows the simple equation of satisfying Google by providing high-quality information to your customers.
Q1. Is SEO Important for Your Business?
SEO is important as it helps your business rank higher on Google. The higher you rank in Google, the more potential customers you will generate. SEO also improves user experience by improving the structure of your website.
Q2. How Does SEO Work?
SEO is based on a number of strategies that can help improve the visibility of your website.
Q3. How Long Does SEO Take To Work on Google?
SEO will take as long as it takes due to the ever changing nature of Google’s algorithm. This could be weeks or even months. This is also based on the strategies you have implemented and the credibility of your SEO expert.
Q4. Is SEO affordable?
SEO isn’t always cheap especially if you’re looking to invest in a legitimate one. To get the best results possible, it is important to acquire the best services when it comes to SEO.