Most small businesses are not utilizing digital marketing to its full potential. This can be due to the lack of knowledge or simply because they don’t have the time and resources. But, if you want your business to succeed in today’s economy it is crucial that you implement a comprehensive digital marketing strategy.
Our article will help walk through some of the basics of digital marketing that any small business should know about!
Why Small Business Digital Marketing Fails
The digital world in which we live today can be overwhelming. Many businesses are still trying to catch up on social media, while others are only just now getting into online marketing. With so many places to spend your money and little direction, it’s easy for small business owners to get lost when developing a digital marketing strategy. The truth is, there’s no one way to approach digital marketing. However, if you want your business to stand out in a crowd of competitors with larger budgets, then keep reading.
As a small business owner, it’s likely that you have a limited budget for digital marketing. However, you still need to understand how your customers engage with your brand and how they use social media. Use free tools like Google Analytics to track engagement from multiple sources so you can create a comprehensive customer profile. Once you have data from other sites, compile them into a document so you can start to look for patterns in their behavior.
Once you’ve established who your customers are, then you can create a digital marketing strategy that speaks to them. In order to do so, you need to take into account what they’re looking for on social media and where they spend their time online. If you want to really connect with your customers on a personal level, consider going out in public and asking questions about their wants and needs as a small business owner.
Once you have an idea of what your audience wants, you can create content that will resonate with them. Of course, just creating content isn’t enough. Make sure you’re posting at times when your audience is online so they see your posts when they’re looking for information. Don’t spam social media channels by posting at odd hours or too frequently.
The bottom line? If you want to stand out from your competitors in a digital world, then you have to know who your audience is and what they’re looking for. That way, you can tailor your message and craft content that will be seen by people who care about what you have to say. Doing so will make all of your small business digital marketing efforts more effective.
What To Do Differently
The goal of digital marketing isn’t to attract as many people as possible. Instead, it’s to attract qualified prospects who are most likely to become customers. Using tools like Google Analytics, you can track which sources are sending you traffic and how much conversion potential your website has for different audiences. Then, you can make decisions based on what your analytics say rather than what traditional marketing wisdom dictates.
If you’re relying on standard digital marketing tactics like PPC ads to attract visitors, your time may be better spent elsewhere. Instead, try tapping into niche communities where your audience already hangs out. For example, use Reddit to engage with people who are interested in your industry or social media sites like Instagram or Pinterest for visual businesses. The more effort you put into reaching prospects where they already spend their time online, the faster you’ll see results.
Finally, don’t get too bogged down in one tactic. If a strategy isn’t working for you, scrap it and try something else instead of forcing yourself to stay on track. For example, if you decide to pay for PPC ads, but your conversion rate from ad clicks to website visits is less than 1%, move on before you waste any more money. You can take that budget and spread it across different channels until you find something that resonates with your target audience.
Use these tips to stop running bad digital marketing campaigns and start getting more out of your website traffic. Digital marketing isn’t complicated. The problem is that so many businesses get lost in the weeds and never actually see results because they don’t understand their target audience or how to reach them. Understanding what you do well and where you can improve will set you on a path toward success, no matter what industry your business operates in.
Before even looking at what your target audience likes, it’s important to find out what they are searching for. Fortunately, there are many great tools that can do that for you. One of our favorites is Ubersuggest, which allows you to type in any keyword and then show you how many people search for it each month. We used Ubersuggest to look up small business digital marketing and found that more than 1 million people search for those two words each month! Not bad at all.
Of course, you’ll need to drill down further than that if you want to get specific. For example, by drilling down just for small business digital marketing we see that more than 15,000 people search for that exact phrase each month. And then by drilling down even further just for small business digital marketing tips we see there are almost 1,000 searches per month. Even if your audience isn’t looking for that exact phrasing, it’s still a great idea to research what terms they do use—and include some of those in your content too.
Remember, just because someone isn’t searching for your exact phrase doesn’t mean they won’t find you if you give them valuable content. And with so many people searching for small business digital marketing, it makes sense to create some content around those terms and phrases—even if your audience isn’t looking for that precise phrase. Don’t worry about using keywords that aren’t exact matches either.
First Things First
There’s a common misconception that digital marketing takes less time and money than other forms of marketing. Unfortunately, that simply isn’t true. To do digital marketing right—i.e., to make it worth your while—you need to invest in high-quality content (both written and visual), social media content calendars, paid ads, search engine optimization, and more. On top of all that, you also need to measure these efforts constantly so you can continue improving upon what works and avoid wasting time on efforts that don’t. For example, it might be tempting to start with Facebook or Google Ads because they have lower entry costs compared to blogs or SEO campaigns—but doing so means you’ll miss out on some great opportunities for outreach down the line.
When done right, digital marketing will always take time and money—two things small businesses tend to be short on. But it’s not impossible to strike a balance: As long as you start planning early and measure regularly, you can get everything dialed into work for your business.
For example, begin by setting aside an hour or two per week for blogging. Once that becomes routine, then add another hour or two per week for SEO-based content creation. Next, set aside an hour per day for social media postings.
Once you’ve begun engaging with your audience, spend another hour or two per week creating compelling images for Instagram. Then, once you’ve got your content calendar up and running, work on improving Google’s understanding of your website. This can be done through basic steps like adding keywords to your site and switching out keyword-heavy terms for longer phrases that better explain what you do. Once that becomes routine, look into optimizing posts for search engines with tools like Google Keyword Planner.
When it comes to digital marketing, small businesses often fall into one of two traps: either they plan too much or they plan too little.
The best way for any company—large or small—to capitalize on all that digital marketing has to offer isn’t by ignoring short-term results but by focusing on long-term outcomes instead. By planning out your campaign, identifying your goals, and setting up benchmarks along the way, you can stay focused on actually building a sustainable business online. Ultimately, there’s no best type of plan: Instead, it’s about finding a system that works well enough for you and sticking with it!
That said, if you’re starting from scratch then a three-pronged approach might be helpful:
- Start connecting with customers as early as possible by running contests and promotions through social media.
- Invest in high-quality content before worrying about anything else
- Create an effective tracking system so you can accurately evaluate how your campaign performs over time.
The digital landscape for small businesses has changed significantly over recent years. As online marketing has become more and more crowded, it’s become increasingly difficult to attract and convert visitors into leads and paying customers. The good news: by taking a systematic approach to content-driven digital marketing for your small business, you can boost your online visibility and increase conversion rates. And that’s why what you need isn’t another social media or PPC tool—it’s an effective digital marketing strategy! We’ve listed some steps you can take right now to start doing better with your digital marketing for your small business. Be sure to keep these tips in mind as you begin each new campaign. Of course, if you need digital marketing help, you can always reach out to us.