How To Perform Digital Marketing for Small Businesses
Small businesses have unique needs and widely-varying definitions of online success. Some focus on gaining customers, whilst others want to establish their business online. Digital marketing is the go-to solution for any small business wanting to make it big. Search engine optimisation, PPC advertising, social ads, and content generation are just some popular methods. Small businesses can be marketed online in many more online methods. Finding what approach works is quite crucial.
The average business owner does not possess comprehensive knowledge of digital marketing. Whilst that is understandable, it is important to get some clarity before making any marketing investments.
Take a look at the essential small business digital marketing steps and guidelines mentioned below.
The Basics of Digital Marketing for Small Businesses
1. Optimise your website - A website projects the identity of your business online. It acts as an important medium for creating awareness, connecting to customers, and converting potential leads. So, small business owners should focus on having a dynamic, SEO friendly and mobile responsive website.
A clean, clutter-free and stylish design can create positive impressions among visitors. Your website has to be easily accessible across all user devices and platforms. Focus on improving the layout, page speed, ease of navigation and readability.
2. Focus on online local listings - Local listings are important for restaurants, bars, service centres, retail outlets and every type of local business. Business owners should create local listings on Google My Business and Bing’s Places for Business. Doing so raises visibility and makes a business appear more prominently in search results.
Local listings with accurate business information also make your store/outlet/shop easier to find physically. They add to the convenience of local people and help in generating leads. You can gain more footfall and eventually, higher revenues.
3. Provide updated and correct information - Interested customers expect businesses to make correct contact and location information available. Your website and local listing should always have basic information like contact number, address, email and business hours. If any of these have recently changed, do not waste even an hour in updating them.
There is nothing more embarrassing than losing leads due to incorrect business information. Dissatisfied customers can rate your business poorly and/or leave reviews stating their disappointment. Keep in mind that a website should always have accurate and up-to-date information.
4. Test out different methods of marketing - The bulk of small businesses tend to have limited marketing budgets. It also means that they are limited in the kinds of marketing that can be tried. But if one method is failing, you should see the signs and try something different. For instance, a small business with good social media presence can try Facebook Ads if Google Ads are not effective.
There is always scope to rethink your digital marketing strategy and test out different methods. Evaluate paid ad campaign results, understand your customer base, and do not be afraid to try other approaches. Business owners should be proactive in adopting the most credible and result-driven marketing methods.
5. Power up your content marketing - Content marketing should be at the centre of your marketing efforts. Creating and sharing fresh content helps in gaining exposure for your business. More potential customers will take notice of what you have to say, and your business gains a greater buzz. Small business owners can create a blogger outreach, focus on keyword-optimised content, and dabble in influencer marketing.
Content can range from the conventional written text to more dynamic forms like videos, images and infographics. Combining them and creating a custom marketing strategy can be quite beneficial in reaching customers. It is important to keep creating fresh content to stay relevant and not be forgotten.
6. Adopt the right social marketing approach - Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are fantastic options to maximise one’s conversion potential. But most businesses fail to utilise them correctly by focussing only on expanding their follower base. Social media is about being social with your potential and existing customers. Each social channel should be used to share informative, useful and interactive content writing.
Do not go all out with product and service promotions on social media. Approach your viewer base in a friendly and helpful manner with engaging content, with a few promotions. Do not be pushy and you will raise your social conversion rates. Small businesses should answer customer queries even outside of business hours by configuring social message bots. The focus should always be on making things convenient for customers.
7. Email is still a great medium - Small businesses should focus on email as a high-value digital marketing medium. Email continues to be effective despite so many advanced marketing methods today. Business owners should create a few email campaign sets for different customer groups. Send out news regarding discounts, offers and events on a weekly or monthly basis.
Most people still check their email regularly and this is good news for businesses. Your email newsletter can contain links to your promotions, coupon codes, and even special offers for regular customers. Emails can help you raise return customers and breed all-important business loyalty.
8. Focus on online reviews - Reviews given by past customers act as guidance for potential customers. Ideally, the number of positive reviews should outweigh the negative or indifferent ones. Business owners should know that customers leaving positive reviews also tend to leave 4 or 5-star ratings. So, the focus of small businesses should be on obtaining as many positive reviews as possible.
Physical signage and emails to customers can contain messaging that encourages them to leave reviews. Small businesses should also try claiming review website listings of their business. Keep an eye on the reviews you get across the Internet. Be ready to reach out to customers who have left bad reviews.
The above-mentioned information can be utilised by small business owners aiming for digital marketing success. Approach a reputed digital marketing agency to discover result-driven strategies.