How to Get Started with Digital Marketing for Your Small Business
How to Get Started with Digital Marketing for Your Small Business
Are you a small business owner? Do you know that as a small business owner you need to be in a position to attract new customers, and one of the best ways to achieve this is by kickstarting digital marketing campaigns?
Digital Marketing is more than setting up a website and signing up for Facebook. For many small business owners, digital marketing can feel like diving into the unknown, especially if you don’t spend most of your time online.
Don’t let this worry you. Nobody starts off an expert and nobody has all the answers when they begin.
Digital marketing is an umbrella term that encompasses all online marketing efforts including social media, email, Google search, and websites. The best digital marketers have a clear picture of how each asset contributes to achieving your business goals.
If you’re new to digital marketing here is a quick guide to get you started with the basics.
Setting Your Digital Marketing Strategy
It’s important to have a plan for your digital marketing efforts that sets out your budget, timescales and goals. It will help you stay focused and allow you to measure your return on investment which is important in evaluating your success.
Set a measurable goal
Before launching any digital marketing campaign, you must first determine the end goals for your business. With a set of goals to work on, it will be easier to weigh where to invest your time and resources. Here are a few questions that can help you define your specific goals:
Are you interested in boosting your brand awareness so that the products and the services you offer are more widely known?
Do you want your digital marketing campaign to reach more people who’ve never purchased from you and turn them into regular customers?
Are you interested in getting existing customers to spend more? Do you want them to try a different kind of product?
For example, an android app developer might set this achievable goal: “I want to obtain 20 new clients from my business website in 2 months.”
Simply this new goal will spark several questions.
How do I optimize my website to boost conversion?
How can I expand my online boundaries?
How do I relate to potential customers and turn them into regular clients?
These questions and their answers will form the basis of your plan.
Clearly defined goals act as a benchmark to measure your success against it. If you discover little progress has been made towards a given goal in the timescales you set out, it’s likely you need to rethink your strategy in that area.
Know Your Audience
Knowing your audience is a vital ingredient in any digital marketing campaign. If you have little knowledge of who you’re trying to reach, you’ll struggle to deliver a message relevant enough to engage them.
Before you commence any communication with your customers or prospects online, it’s important to learn more about the audience. For example, who are the type of people who would benefit from the products and services that you offer? Creating a detailed buyer persona can significantly help you identify your audience and give you a clear picture of your ideal customers.
For instance, if you own a children’s bookstore, then you might have two target audiences: Parents who will buy these books and the children who will read them.
It is important to know your target audience demographics, their goals, what influences their purchases, how they prefer interacting with you or your competitors and what problems you solve for them.
Once you know who your target audience is, it’ll be easier to understand how to best communicate with them and which channels to use.
Digital Marketing Techniques
Now that you’ve got your plan and you know your audience, it’s time to get going. One aspect of digital marketing campaigns where people often fail is measuring their impact and success.
Identify the campaigns that deliver the best results and know the techniques that work best for your brand. When you start off there might be some trial and error involved and that’s OK as long as you are learning from it and not focusing a large part of your budget in the wrong areas.
Here are some digital marketing techniques you can implement for your business.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
One of the proven ways to reach potential customers is to make sure your website appears in the search results when your prospects are searching for solutions to their problems.
Optimizing your website increases search engine rankings of your site when people search for phrases related to your market. You can hire an SEO specialist to optimize your website which gives you a chance to compete with the “giants” in your industry.
You shouldn’t just optimize your site for rankings alone, but you should also consider adding your business location on Google maps.
Adding location and address information will make it easier for your prospects to visit your establishment whenever possible. You should also your contact details.
Keep in touch with prospective and loyal customers via email. You can build connections via:
Newsletters to boost your brand awareness and drive more traffic to your website.
Offer exclusive offers to make your regular customer feel special with a gift, special offer or
Seasonal emails and reminders to notify your customers if a subscription is ending.
The most effective way to build a list of subscribers is making sure that your blog, paid and social media campaigns are driving your traffic to a landing page that’s optimized to collect lead information. This will form the basis of your Email list.
If you own a business, a skillfully carried out social media marketing strategy can significantly contribute to your business growth and improve your company’s valuation
Your presence on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook is a great way to engage with your customers and boost brand awareness among potential customers at a low cost. Discount codes, contests, and helpful tips are a great way to encourage your followers to interact with your business on social media.
To expand your reach, you might consider promoted posts and paid advertising options that are relevant to your business.
Be sure to engage with all customer feedback, even the negative. Increasingly customers are using social media as a way to contact customer service or to complain. Ensure complaints are dealt with and questions answered. This is important in maintaining your reputation as a company, as well as providing your customers with personal interaction.
The relationship between a brand and its customers is a huge part of the brand’s success. Consumers ultimately decide if a brand fits in their lives and trust plays a vital role in that decision making.
Even though social media is great for establishing your brand’s credibility, business blogging is an easy and low cost way to build on that credibility.
Creating content that helps your customers improve their day or their lives (at the same time remaining relevant to your brand/industry) is a way to build a trustworthy brand. It’ll show your customers that you’re interested in more than making a sale — in other words, you value those who use your products/services.
Ready to go
Getting started with digital marketing isn’t as hard as you might initially think. Keep it simple when starting out and make use of a combination of marketing techniques while constantly measuring what is working.
Set clear, achievable goals and the rest will follow. Think of your overall marketing strategy as an ecosystem and with all methods and campaigns working together and contributing to success.
About Jock Purtle: Jock is the Founder and CEO of Digital Exits, an online brokerage service that specializes in appraising, and buying/selling businesses. He also enjoys helping other entrepreneurs establish their businesses online. Connect with Jock on LinkedIn and Twitter.