10 Essential Digital Marketing Tips For Small Businesses
Updated: Nov 4
For many small businesses it's a challenge to balance daily operations, while also attempting to generate new growth. It's important for small businesses to remain focused on the core operations of the business, so marketing often falls to the bottom of the queue because the owner feels it's too complicated, time consuming, or expensive. However, we live in a technology-driven world, where even the most inexperienced business owners can take action to improve their digital marketing today!
Alternatively, a small business could outsource marketing to a local digital agency; but this often proves to be much more expensive than a small business can afford.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing, very simply, is the use of digital media and technology to reach consumers. This includes social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and twitter; search engines like Google or Bing; email, text, messaging apps like Facebook Messenger or What's App; or any other channel connected to the internet. Obviously the strategies and tactics deployed by more advanced marketers can be complicated; but for small businesses, digital marketing can be fairly simple. Here are 10 essential digital marketing tips that DNB Digital feels will help get your small business started in the right direction.
10 Essential Digital Marketing Tips For Small Businesses
1. Invest In Your Website
Several people have told me, "I don't need a website, I do all of my business through Facebook". While that may work for a time, there is simply no replacement for having a well designed website that is search engine optimized. A website is the "hub" of your digital marketing world; a place where you can create content, control your brand's message, manage clients, drive traffic, sell products or services, and track conversions. It's okay to start simple, on a limited budget; just ensure that your site is mobile friendly.
2. Register Your Business On Google My Business
There are still many small businesses that have not taken advantage of the reach that Google provides, and claimed their listing on Google My Business (GMB). According to Hubspot, Google has 70% search engine share, and that number climbs to 85% when you consider mobile only. With reach like that, it's easy to see why your business should be listed on GMB. These listings are free, provide some great additional features/functions, and have been shown to help with search rankings.
3. Get Listed On Other Online Directories
In addition to Google, there are a number of other beneficial online directories, including: Bing Places, Yahoo!, Yelp, Direct 411, MapQuest, Facebook, LinkedIn, and much more. Some website platforms offer this service, or you can look at third-party options.
4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Is Critical
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing both the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search results. It may sound simple enough, but there are many factors that contribute to a successful SEO strategy; including keywords and content, meta data, domain authority and trust levels, backlinks, and social metrics. To learn more about SEO, check out MOZ, or Search Engine Land. Both provide many great resources on the subject.
5. Establish A Presence on Social Media
According to Hootsuite, 3.48 billion people are using social media; and that number continues to grow annually. With nearly 50% of the world's population on social media, it is essential that small businesses establish a presence on at least one platform. First though, carefully consider your social media strategy. What do you plan to use the channel for? For example, an Instagram account is best suited for high-resolution images, quotes, and stories. If you're business isn't particularly visual, then Instagram may present a challenge. Alternatively, YouTube is a tremendous platform for how to videos, product reviews, or simply just entertainment. It's always important to ask yourself, "what are my marketing efforts attempting to achieve?".
6. Invest In Paid Social Media Marketing
Of course it's important to establish an organic following on social media. However, paid social media marketing offers a greater ability to filter your audience, control placements (mobile, desktop, news feed, marketplace, Facebook Audience Network, etc.), extend your reach, track conversions, and analyze results. If your business has an eCommerce store, you can import your entire product catalog into Facebook; and also setup Instagram Shopping.
7. Provide Valuable and Relevant Content
If you're trying to build a following on social media, it's important to provide answers to the questions people are asking. This can take place in the form of a blog, infographic, instructional video, or eBook. When you provide valuable content to your customers, they are simply more likely to engage with it, and share it with their friends; helping to further build your audience. Remember to include a call to action (CTA) with your content; whether it's asking customers to subscribe, claim an offer, or make a referral.
8. Invest in Paid Search Marketing
Paid search or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can be extremely effective when utilized properly. Google Ads, which includes the Google Search and Display Networks, is the most widely-used platform, although Bing appears to be taking a small share of the market as well. Google search or PPC campaigns offer an opportunity to reach potential customers when they are lower in the sales funnel, and therefore more likely to purchase your product or service. If your small business is more interested in brand awareness or customers at the top of the sales funnel, then Google Display (which includes YouTube) can be a great option.
9. Provide Convenient Communication Options
Text messaging and messaging apps like Facebook Messenger or What's App are becoming increasingly popular; so consider integrating these apps with your website. According to Facebook, 53% of customers are more likely to shop with a business if they can message them directly. Customers also want the ability to message a business when it is convenient for them, so consider basic automation for after-hours inquiries.
10. Customer Reviews Are Important
Approximately 90% of online users will search for online reviews before visiting a business; and that same percentage will trust those reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Customer reviews are extremely important, so make sure you are managing and responding to both positive and negative online reviews. Encourage your customers to complete an online review by visiting your Google My Business profile.
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