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.