Many small businesses have already invested in digital marketing to keep up with the trends and boost sales. And this is extremely important in pandemic times when lots of purchases are made online. Besides, 9 of 10 entrepreneurs consider having a website and doing digital marketing as the best way of business growth.
While it might have been easier for bigger companies to run digital marketing, small businesses have more competition and challenges to overcome. Luckily, with the help of the right tools and strategy, you have all the chances to stand out in the competition and create a well-recognized brand.
Let’s explore 5 digital marketing strategies that you must try out now and 3 extra approaches that will help your business.
Why you should think of digital marketing for your business
Digital marketing is widely used to boost brand awareness and create a pipeline of leads who will become loyal customers. When you run a small local business, getting your brand name out on the market might be rather challenging. Due to the lack of budgeting or poor visibility, your company might never find its niche unless you get acquainted with digital marketing.
Digital marketing is a game-changer in building a brand name on a tight budget, with a small team and a lack of professional direction. Your customers are already online, surfing the Internet to find the desired product.
You just need to showcase what you have by utilizing digital marketing tools. Whether you just set up a Shopify store or started selling something on Instagram, you need to learn how to tell the world about your brand. And modern marketing approaches are here to help you.
Digital marketing strategies your small business needs right now
If you have little experience in digital marketing, all the existing tools and tactics might seem complicated.
I’ll go through each of the essential strategies for small businesses, describing the details and their importance for you.
Social media marketing
Why you need it: social media advertising and marketing are an easy and fast way to present your business to the target audience, build a loyal customer base, and stay in touch with people.
Social media is great for showcasing your brand. You can start by creating a page and building your audience by telling them about what you offer, why it is unique (or not, but still handy), and what value you can bring into people’s lives.
In the current reality, advertising in social media has become easier like never before. Platforms like Instagram and Facebook embrace the importance of helping small businesses and get them out into the big world. They allow you to set targets based on people’s interests, location, age, behaviour, gender to track consumers who will be interested in your product.
However, it is vital to use social media marketing in the right way. Social media is foremost for establishing relationships with consumers and not just blindly selling to them. You have to be creative and valuable for subscribers. For example, check these awesome ideas for Instagram reels and try them out. Or you can prepare a series of how-to posts, think of viral challenges to participate in.
Social media advertising can bring people to your page, but you need to make them stay. Use social media to engage with consumers, listen to them and start a conversation. People nowadays value personalized communication and stick with those brands that can provide value and have a consumer-oriented approach.
Search Engine Optimization
Why you need it: with SEO, you’ll catch more qualitative traffic to your website, build the authority and visibility of your brand, and increase conversions.
Search Engine Optimization ensures your brand is searchable on Google (and other search engines) and visible for new customers looking for the desired product. SEO is bringing leads and consistent organic traffic, which is the most valuable one. The faster you optimize your website, the more potential customers you get.
Among other activities, SEO includes keyword research, on-page/off-page tactics, technical SEO, and link building. It might be challenging to get acquainted with SEO approaches. You’d probably need an SEO specialist or the help of a digital marketing agency to boost the practices. You can find more information on choosing a suitable agency for your business in this article.
However, you can handle some of the mentioned activities without much expertise. Read blogs of trusted niche players like Ahrefs, follow tips of marketing gurus like Neil Patel, check ‘how-to’ tutorials, take basic courses, and you’ll be able to start with basic SEO activities.
Why you need it: email marketing is a non-expensive activity to keep your customers informed about sales and your brand, share highly personalized offers, and motivate them to do new purchases.
If you have an established website and a good amount of traffic, people should probably be coming to check you out. However, not everyone is ready to buy when they first see your online store. They need to get to know you more or receive something interesting from your side to make a purchase and to keep doing it in the future. It’s where email marketing does its magic. Furthermore, it’s not hard anymore to set up email hostings, protocols as there are plenty of different tutorials that will help you to do so in a few clicks.
Email marketing practices work well when you have enough information about customers and use it ethically. Always have the customer’s consent to receive emails from you. If done correctly, you need to segment your email list and offer each group of customers coupons for free delivery, discounts, etc.
You can use an email newsletter service to send marketing emails and stay in touch with people. Alternatively, you should experiment with cart abandonment emails, birthday emails, and other types – it’ll help you engage your customers and choose you over competitors.
Why you need it: local marketing impacts your brand reputation greatly; it’s an awesome way to increase the number of loyal customers.
Source: Neil Patel
An eloquent fact: 97% of people get to know about a brand from the Internet. That’s why another great way to market your business is through local events, webinars, and Google My Business (GMB).
For locals, webinars, social media live sessions are a fantastic opportunity to ask questions and get a deeper understanding of the brand’s value.
GMB, on the other hand, is one of the most potent strategies for targeting local clients. If you rank your brand in the Google My Business listing, it will be shown before the organic search results and drive quite a lot of traffic to your website.
Google My Business gets your Google profile, reviews, and Google Analytics data in one place giving your brand high visibility and extra credibility. The more citations and reviews you gather, the better it’s for your brand, and the higher it will appear in the GMB listing.
Local events are a fantastic way of advertising your brand. You can start from small networking events or local clubs. Word of mouth has always been a thing – use it. The more you tell about your brand, the more people will know about it and would get an opportunity to give it a try and recommend it to others.
Why you need it: co-marketing is about building a network that can bring you long-term benefits, cross-promotion opportunities, and brand awareness among relevant audiences.
Collaborating with other businesses can help you improve your brand’s visibility and get new clients on board. There are a lot of things to consider.
- sharing various types of cross-promotion materials
- collaboration on special offers
- mutual webinars and other educational events
- PR activities
- link building efforts
- content marketing partnerships
As an illustration, an online book store can send gift vouchers for the local coffee shop with every parcel; meanwhile, the coffee shop can place a stand with the recently published books. You can start a podcast series sharing insights about your field with a friendly company. You and a fellow brand can work together on blog articles and promote them eventually.
There’s actually no limit in terms of possibilities to collaborate. As soon as two companies can identify the audience crossover and have similar values to adhere to, the mutual benefit can bring more results than two brands can reach independently.
Digital marketing strategies are not finishing on the above-described ones. Those are still effective, and you have to do some of them for sure.
When you are ready to go further, there are a few things to try which have proved to be utterly practical.
You have probably noticed how often brands are working with influencers to showcase their products. And this is pretty effective, according to the Linqia report.
Some do it in an ideally organic way when people do not even consider it an advertisement and believe it to be honest advice from a local blogger. It happens when the influencer followers perfectly fit the product audience. For example, if you sell headphones, you need an influencer who is known for tech product reviews with a tech-savvy audience.
Once a review, mention, natural ad about your brand/product is out, you are likely to get more brand awareness, more new customers, and increased sales.
Diving into influencer marketing is a fast way to boost brand visibility and credibility, improve sales. However, choosing the wrong influencer will harm you drastically.
Loyalty programs exist to showcase to customers how much you appreciate them and value and encourage them to stick with you longer. Things like loyalty points, referral incentives, customer-rank programs, rewards for reviews are still working and will help you to improve CLV.
You can create a simple loyalty program that people can join once they complete their first purchase, after they have ordered for a certain amount of money, or grant free shipping for loyal customers.
Launching various loyalty programs, it’s critical to show customers the value they get from joining and emphasize the program’s uniqueness. It’s because customers are tired of an overwhelming number of similar loyalty programs that don’t resonate with them at all.
Active content marketing
Source: Neel Networks
It’s a well-known strategy. Yes, content marketing still works well. The only thing: it must be active. It’s not enough to share company news on the blog from time to time.
Unlike advertising, content marketing is a long-term strategy. It does not bring a bunch of new customers at once but works on their sustainable growth. To succeed in content marketing, you need to cover relevant topics, optimize all your articles for SEO and readers and be utterly consistent.
You should clearly understand that content marketing it’s not only about blog posting. Now, content marketing includes podcasts, interview series, ebooks, video, infographics, and other forms of visual content. This strategy works well combined with different techniques mentioned above, e.g., email marketing, SEO, co-marketing, etc.
However, content marketing is not a good fit for every field and might be pretty expensive. That’s why to think well before starting such activities, remembering that you should do it constantly, sharing valuable and engaging for the customer content.
Once you have created a brand, its growth is a matter of the digital marketing approaches you implement. Depending on the goals you pursue, the budget you have, and the people you are trying to reach, the above digital marketing strategies can help you become a well-recognized brand.
You have to evaluate which strategies will fit your needs. I hope this article will help you do that. By the way, share other techniques you tried and would recommend to Crowdfire readers.
With Crowdfire, you can find curated content, schedule your posts, engage with your audience, deep-dive into analytics and create custom reports. Try it for free.