In this post, we’ll explore a variety of digital marketing tools and techniques that your small business can use to push your business success forward. Do you need help understanding digital marketing? Read on!
Every business needs a marketing strategy in order to succeed. If you’ve been getting by without putting too much thought into your marketing, then just think about what you could achieve if you really put your mind to it. Whether you decide to brush up on your knowledge by taking a course or partner with an agency like Fastfwd, your business will thank you with an increase in traffic, conversions and revenue.
Why Do Small Businesses Need Digital Marketing?
It’s easy to think that digital marketing is best left to the experts – or the juggernauts in your industry. However, even fledgling businesses need to establish themselves online effectively, and continue to manage their digital presence in order to drive traffic to their website, build their brand and of course, convert those clicks into sales! But how can they achieve this? Let’s take a closer look.
What kind of digital marketing is right for your business?
Did you know that there is more than one type of digital marketing out there? Lots of small business owners get confused when first starting out because it can be hard to decide on the approach that will work best for their business. While you don’t need to use every type of marketing to grow your venture, it’s never a good idea to focus on just one either. Having more marketing channels means you can reach a wide range of potential customers in different ways, just make sure you can handle everything you take on.
If you’ve been thinking of branching out but aren’t sure where to start, this blog will give you plenty to choose from. You’ll be able to weigh up your options and make an informed decision about the kinds of channels you’re most excited to explore.
More and more businesses are turning to social media as a low-cost way of marketing their businesses. You don’t need to pay to create an account on the most popular social platforms, making it perfect for those on a budget. It’s a really great way to give your business more of a personality and allows you to connect with customers on a personal level. The key to being successful on social media is producing quality content your audience is actually interested in. But remember not all platforms are created alike.
Creating quality content on your social media platforms is what will help drive more traffic to your website and encourage those potential customers to convert. Social media also plays an important role in establishing relationships with your potential clients, engaging with them in the comments sections, answering questions and actively responding to feedback. The more your small business embraces social media as a digital marketing tool, the more engaging and trustworthy your enterprise will appear to your target audience, giving you a competitive advantage.
However, make sure you research the platforms you’re using carefully and determine whether they’re better suited to short-form content, text posts or videos. While social media is incredibly low cost, you do have the option of paying for adverts on various platforms too, extending your reach and targeting specific demographics at a manageable cost.
One of the simplest examples of social media marketing at its best was small-time online florist, Bloom and Wild, who grew their online presence and followers thanks to a range of carefully planned and executed seasonal promotions that aligned with other social media tactics, such as running competitions, highlighting individual customer stories and showcasing other brands across their social media channels. A culmination of clever messaging, timing and engaging content increased their social following and their revenue.
If your customers can’t find your website through Google then you’re putting yourself at a serious disadvantage. This is where SEO comes in. Some basic things you can do when getting started with SEO include keyword research, optimising your web pages and starting a blog. When you get more comfortable you can start to think about link building. This involved using internal links to connect different pages on your website as well as external links that connect your website to others on the web. One of the most effective SEO tactics is backlinking, which involves getting other websites to link to your pages. Some strategies for securing good quality backlinks include networking and guest posting.
Like social media, a good SEO strategy takes time to build, so don’t be disheartened if you aren’t seeing results right away. It can take months for your blog efforts to start ranking in search results, so be patient and keep going. Make sure you keep reviewing the results of your strategy so that you can tweak anything that isn’t working. The best way to do this is by using analytics software.
E-mail has been around for an incredibly long time. Almost all your customers will have an e-mail address no matter how old they are, making it an effective way to market your products and services to them. E-mail is arguably even more personal than social media, as it allows you to reach customers on an individual basis. If the customers that are subscribed to your newsletter also have an account on your website you’ll be able to collect data on their shopping habits. This helps you to personalise your marketing approach even further while also addressing issues like abandoned carts.
While influencers aren’t for every industry, they can be a big help when it comes to driving sales. With influencers, it’s important to find one that has an audience similar to your own and has a high level of engagement. You could consider paying them to promote a product as a one-off or partner with them on a long-term basis. These days, influencers are working across a wide range of social media platforms, including Instagram, YouTube and TikTok, so you’ll be able to find one to suit your business needs. If you don’t know where to start when it comes to choosing an influencer, then think about reaching out to an agency that specialises in pairing up companies with the best influencer for the job.
It’s not just big brands that work with influencers to advertise their products, even small businesses can work with micro-influencers and smaller digital creators to extend their reach and create more leads. This is because of their higher engagement rates and the authenticity of their followers. American toiletry creator, Tom’s of Maine successfully used micro-influencers to encourage health-conscious followers to post their own stories and content around their products, resulting in an impressive reach that saw their followers and revenue increase.
Not unlike SEO, PPC adverts appear on Google search results pages, but instead of driving traffic organically, PPC adverts require monetary investment on your part. The benefit of PPC is that you will only have to pay when someone actually clicks on your advert and lands on your website, which can make it cheaper than many other types of advertising. However, if you’re targeting the wrong audience with your adverts then you won’t be getting very many sales. Even if lots of web users are clicking on your advert, if they’re the wrong group of people, they won’t find what they’re looking for, leading them to move on without engaging with your content or converting. PPC is an incredibly valuable tool, but make sure you’ve thought your strategy through carefully before jumping in.
Stimulating interest in your brand, your business and your products is where content marketing comes into play. By carefully developing well structured, engaging and immersive content that aligns with the search intent of your audience and target market, small business owners will be able to develop a content marketing strategy that not only encourages conversions and increases revenue but also helps you to retain those clients, effectively building a strong and loyal customer base that you can utilise to drive your business success forward. There are multiple types of content marketing that small businesses should consider, including:
- Blog posts
- Video content
- Email/newsletter campaigns
If you’re an online retailer, hoping to extend your reach and find additional ways to target your chosen audience, then affiliate marketing is another digital marketing practice that you could benefit from. In this digital marketing model, bloggers and other content creators will advertise and discuss your products for you on their platforms, and when their followers make a purchase, you’ll pay the content producer a small commission. This is a great way to take advantage of established audiences made up of your target demographic, and because your chosen blogger or content creator already has that following all the hard work has already been done for you.
Of course, it’s important that you choose content creators and bloggers who align with your products or services in order to achieve maximum results.
Get started with digital marketing today
While it will take some time to research your audience and devise a marketing strategy, there’s no time to start like the present. Digital marketing won’t give you results overnight, so the sooner you start the sooner you can start to reap the rewards. Don’t forget, there are even more types of digital marketing than those that are mentioned in this blog, such as content marketing and mobile marketing. Do a bit of research to feel more confident in moving forward with your plan.