If you’re a small business trying to get started in the world of Digital Marketing, it can be an intimidating place. Digital Marketing is now the number one placement of advertising spend in the US. In 2021 alone, businesses are predicted to spend over $350 billion on digital marketing.
So you want to get started… but where do you begin? In this guide we’re going to break it down into five simple steps that will see your business become a Digital Marketing pro.
1. Start with a robust strategy
It’s a word we hear all the time, but often don’t take seriously; however in digital marketing, having a clear, and measurable strategy for your business is key. You have the ability to target almost anyone you can think of, but one of the biggest mistakes we see small businesses make is not starting off by identifying WHO your audience is. Without this, you can have a slick website, pour money into social advertising and hire an SEO guru – but it won’t generate you the sales unless you are aiming these at the right people.
Start simple and look at your current customers and begin by creating personas of the different people you serve. What are their demographics, where are they based, what are they interested in and how have they found out about you in the past? The more information you can pull together, the more detailed and targeted your digital marketing will be.
2. Build a presence on Social Media
It is fair to say social media networks have transformed marketing. With 4.2 billion active users and the ability for small businesses to get in front of their potential customers – it is truly a space you can’t ignore.
However, with so many social media channels out there, and all of these varying in popularity by both gender and age, you need to make sure that the social channels you choose to be on, are the ones where your audience is. This means don’t start up a Facebook, Instagram, Tik-Tok and Pinterest account just because they’re popular – look at your data and match that to which channels your audience best matches.
As a means of best practice, when starting on social media you need to make sure that you are:
- Creating regular, unique content for your audience
- Using high quality images and videos which ensure a better user engagement
- Responding to your audience’s questions and comments to make them feel valued
- Investing a small budget into social advertising – it doesn’t have to be a lot, with a few hundred dollars and clear idea on your audience, you can see great results
3. Develop and nurture an Email Marketing list
Did someone tell you email marketing is dead? Sorry, but it’s bigger than ever. For every $1 spent on an email marketing campaign, companies achieve an average $44 in ROI – that is some of the best ROI out there!
Done right, It is more effective than socials for both sales and acquisition and with nurturing strategies, small businesses can ensure they receive maximum results for minimum spend.
To make sure you are getting the best results for your email marketing, ensure you are doing the following:
- Using a specialised Email Marketing product such as MailChimp (which starts with a free plan) or Campaign Monitor.
- Develop branded email templates that are easy to read and optimised for both mobile and desktop
- Using every opportunity to build your list – this means having sign up links on your website, social media channels and even a simple in house sign up form on an iPad for your foot-traffic
- Respect people’s privacy. As emails can reach someone anytime of day or night, think before you send. If you want a successful email campaign, think about the time you send your emails and the frequency you send these out. No one wants to be bombarded with emails, so try to keep them personalised and relevant.
4. Maximize your Website presence
Online visibility is extremely important for any business, big or small, in this current climate. Without a website, you have nowhere to direct people to that can tell them who you are and what you offer with the credibility of saying this in your own voice. Plus, the fact that there’s 24 hours a day ensures you are in fact enabling people to find you in their own time – not just limited to your opening hours.
Ok, but why is this so important? Well, 81% of shoppers research their product online before purchasing, and if you don’t have a web presence, you will not be able to be amongst the search results when your customers are looking for you.
Having a website doesn’t need to be expensive for a small business. The main things you need to be aware of are:
- Having a website that is clear, simple and easy to navigate
- Ensuing that the content tells people exactly what they need to know and they have a way of getting in contact for more information
- That your branding is on-point – this is your opportunity to visually build awareness or who you are when someone lands on your website
- Make sure you website is optimised for mobile
- Build your website with an SEO first strategy… read on to see how important this is.
Lastly, on our list of top things for small businesses in Digital Marketing – is SEO. Search Engine Optimization gives you the best chance to compete with larger businesses and be more visible in the search engine results. As 97% of people learn more about a local small business online than anywhere else, it’s important to know who your audience are and what they’re searching for so that you can be found.
With 3.5 billion searches a day on Google, you want to make sure you don’t get lost in the noise, but with the different complexities behind SEO, many small companies steer clear of this. Don’t. This can be the difference between the success and failure of your digital presence and the cost to implement this compared to digital advertising is extremely low.
Make sure you consider:
- Conduct thorough keyword research of your business, your industry and your customer base
- Create new content on your website regularly – something like a blog is a great tool to do this
- Build authority for your website with high quality backlinks
- Maximise your Google My Business page – as a small business, you should leverage every element to your advantage — images, videos, Q&A, reviews, and posts.
Despite the initial falloff impact of the COVID Pandemic, there was a 12.2% growth in spend for 2020, so digital marketing is not going away any time soon. Keeping your focus on growing and refining your digital presence is key for any small business and with positive results available for a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising, now is the time to jump in.
If you need help in getting your digital marketing off the ground, get in touch with us at Phaser Marketing today to see how we can help you.