Small business owners often have no idea how to access that market, nor where to start allocating a budget. But ignoring it is not an option. And the good news is, it does not require a huge investment!
What Is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is advertising delivered through digital channels such as search engines, websites, social media, email, and mobile apps. Each channel gives your business the chance to get in front of the right audience.
Traditional advertising encompasses channels such as TV, billboards, print magazines or newspapers, signage and brochures. Digital marketing, on the other hand, uses a completely different set of tools.
It’s an approach that can combine both organic and paid marketing methods to target and drive more traffic and increase conversions.
Effective SEO practices are vital here. SEO helps your entire site or a specific web page rank more highly on search engine results. Thus, it increases your company’s visibility on the Web.
Why Digital Marketing For Small Businesses Is Important
Technology has created a vast marketplace with a myriad of channels to reach your target audience. Even if you’re not doing business online, you need a solid digital marketing plan to get your message out.
Those who don’t will be left out of the enormous growth opportunities that digital technology provides.
Here are three top statistics for why you need digital marketing campaigns:
At the start of 2021, due to increased availability, Australia had a total of 22.82 million Internet subscribers. (DataReportal) By 2019, active internet users between 35 and 44 spent over 150 hours online. (Statista) According to the latest figures, 20.50 million Australians use social media (DataReportal)
So, the market is there, but is it worth it? When it comes to the best ROI for marketing campaigns, digital marketing comes out on top. It allows business owners to target the right audiences affordably and measurably.
Benefits Of Digital Marketing For Small Businesses
With millions of people online, you are guaranteed that someone is looking for what you offer, be it a product or service. With a strategic digital marketing plan, you can get your business right in front of them within a short space of time.
There are dozens of free or paid-for digital tools across the Web and on social platforms that you can use. These can give you advanced audience targeting options to ensure you reach the right audience for your small business.
Once you’ve ‘hooked’ a potential client, you can start developing a relationship with them. Learn more about them and their preferences, and consistently deliver on their expectations.
Through these actions you can:
- increase your brand’s visibility
- boost its reputation
- increase lead conversion
- retain customers
6 Digital Marketing Tips For Small Businesses
1. Invest in content marketing
Content marketing is focused on consistently creating and distributing relevant and valuable content around your business. The goal is to attract and retain users who will become customers.
It encompasses various formats including blog posts, podcasts, social media content, video content, quizzes, white papers, demos, guides, reports and free trials or consultations.
This content must be SEO-optimised to increase the chances of it being found. It’s one of the most efficient ways to provide value to prospective customers and increase your brand awareness.
You can also use content to nudge leads down your sales funnel and convert them into customers. As such, it is one of the most effective and important organic digital marketing strategies for small businesses.
8 Ways to create content that attracts customers:
Choose quality over quantity. It is far better to produce one highly researched and well-written piece of content per month than posting more low-quality articles.
All content is strategic. So, research the important search terms that you want high rankings for and plan content accordingly.
Create a content calendar to ensure you have time to plan and execute each piece of content.
When you have great content to share, repurpose it in different formats to share on different platforms.
Tell real-life stories that are relevant to your business. Stories can make an emotional connection, build trust or provide a motivation to do something.
Add a CTA (all to action). This will elicit a response and help you build your customer base.
Newsletters are still a valuable tool of communication to build strong direct relationships with audiences. Use it thoughtfully to make the most out of each send.
Pay attention to visuals. For instance, images, graphics and videos break up text and make information easier to read.
2. Reach a global marketplace
A staggering 4.66 billion people in the world are internet users. With courier and distribution services amping up across the globe, ensuring more competitive pricing for shipping your product to foreign lands, there is no reason not to go global if you can.
Prepare for content localisation and make use of translation services and software to access different cultures. Implement international SEO to make your e-commerce business more accessible to foreign markets and help your new audience find you faster.
If you plan to venture into global e-commerce, you may need professional assistance in setting up an online store. In 2020, more than two billion people purchased goods or services online while e-retail sales surpassed 4.2 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide. Don’t be left out!
3. Tools for digital marketing for small businesses
Many platforms and tools are either free to use or require little investment. For example:
Social media. Draw up a social media content calendar and post content that informs and engages. Use social media management tools, such as Hootsuite, to curate content and schedule posts while managing team members and measuring ROI. Before you start, evaluate which social media platforms are most suitable to your product, service and the audience you want to reach.
Google My Business (GMB) is an essential tool that helps you promote your online presence as a business on Google search and Maps. GMB lets you track and keep up to date with how and where people are searching for your business. It helps you improve your local SEO and is an effective marketing tool for businesses just starting out.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). The basic difference is that with SEO, you organise and optimise your content so that search engines organically place your website higher up in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). With SEM, you pay Google (for example) to match your website with a user’s intent when searching so it appears higher up in search results.
4. Collect contact details with lead magnets
Lead magnets are free digital products or services that you give away in exchange for contact details, for example. They can include samples, white papers, subscriptions, e-newsletters or free trials and consultations. They are a great way to create sales leads and convert browsers to buyers.
Keep in mind that some lead magnets take time and money to create. These include white papers, guides and webinars. Freebies, consultations and access to private groups or your newsletter, on the other hand, are quick to create and can be just as effective.
5. Create personal relationships to achieve brand loyalty
When you engage with your audience, you can build a personal relationship that few bricks-and-mortar businesses can do. In a competitive world, businesses with high-quality customer service are always going to stand out.
Through chatbots, social media and other automation services, you can connect with your customers in real-time. It fosters trust and builds your brand as one that cares about its customers and their experiences.
6. Track responses to your marketing efforts immediately
Many digital platforms and content management systems have built-in analytics features or you can integrate Google Analytics.
These provide holistic insight into all aspects of your campaign performance. You can see results as they happen and tweak your content or marketing efforts on the go.
Analysis of your digital marketing will include:
- Reviewing your current marketing strategy, audience and goals
- Finding out which channels and content are working and which are not
- Seeing what your competitors are doing and who they are targeting
- Keeping track of your target audience’s behaviour when engaging with your channels
Rebuilding and adjusting your digital marketing strategy based on your findings
Last Word On Digital Marketing For Small Businesses
There’s a lot small business owners or teams can do to get a foot into the digital sphere without blowing the whole marketing budget.
What’s important is that you create a digital marketing plan, execute it and measure it. And you need to do this over and over again. Businesses that give up on digital marketing become stale and fade away in Google’s backwaters.
If you need a team of professionals who are ready to help you launch your digital marketing campaigns, no matter how big or small, don’t hesitate to contact us today.