Small business owners have to learn to utilize many tools in order to ensure success, whether that be using accounting software, an Amazon repricer, or Instagram. Ultimately, marketing is a big part of running a small business. And digital marketing offers a number of advantages over other forms of marketing, such as print advertising and TV commercials. For one thing, it’s far less expensive to run an effective digital marketing campaign than it is to run an equivalent print or TV campaign. Digital marketing also offers the opportunity to target your customers more directly through ad placement and content strategies, so you can more effectively reach the kinds of consumers who would be interested in your products or services. If you’re thinking about growing your small business through digital marketing, here are eight tips that will help you get started.
Creating content takes time
You can’t just create a blog post or social media update and expect the world to beat a path to your door. It takes time to generate quality content and even more time to get people to see it. But it’s worth it because quality content is one of the best ways to attract new customers and grow your business. To ensure you create content consistently it is recommended to develop an editorial calendar. For example, if you publish a new blog post every week on Monday mornings at 10 am EST, consider using that time slot as well for Facebook posts. With this strategy, you’ll be publishing at times when your audience might be checking their feeds or reading other posts from their favorite websites. You should also conduct research on best practices. A good place to start is by examining what others in your industry are doing with digital marketing campaigns and analyzing their success rates. For example, what sort of ads are they running? What type of content are they promoting? Who are they targeting? And how often do they share updates?
Define what success looks like
For small businesses, success with digital marketing can mean a number of things. Perhaps you want to increase brand awareness, generate more leads, or drive more sales. Whatever your goals may be, it’s important to have a plan in place to track and measure your progress. And remember to not let perfection and procrastination get in the way of your success. The point is not about being perfect, but about taking action. It might seem daunting at first, but creating a solid strategy will provide some guidance on where to start and what to do next.
Set realistic goals
Before you launch a digital marketing campaign, it’s important to set realistic goals. Otherwise, you’ll only be disappointed with your results. Consider what you want to achieve with your campaign and set attainable goals. For example, if you’re a new business, you might want to increase brand awareness or drive traffic to your website. If you’re an established company, you may want to increase customer engagement or generate leads. Once you have specific goals in mind, research which digital marketing channels will help meet those objectives.
Share, share, share
As a small business, it’s important to know where you stand in the digital marketing landscape. Make sure you are continuously sharing your content on social media but also talking about it publicly. Moreover, use communication to your advantage to grow effectively.
Call in reinforcements (family, friends, etc.)
When you’re first starting out, it’s important to have a support system in place to help you with the inevitable ups and downs. Family and friends can be a great source of emotional and sometimes financial support. If you have a partner, make sure they are on board with your plans and are prepared to help out where needed. You may also want to reach out to an old classmate or two who has experience launching a small business. Not only will they offer some good advice, but they may even give you access to any necessary contacts that could come in handy down the line.
Start with one channel and master it before moving on to the next
Do your research and understand which digital marketing channels will work best for your business and your budget. Start with one channel and master it before moving on to the next. Create quality content that is relevant to your target audience and aligns with your brand voice. Make sure your website is optimized for search engine ranking and mobile-friendly. Use social media to build relationships with potential and current customers, as well as other businesses in your industry. Utilize email marketing to stay top-of-mind with your target audience and drive traffic back to your website or blog. Measure, track, and analyze your results so you can continue to improve your digital marketing strategy over time.
Don’t be afraid to experiment
Keep tabs on your competition. Know what they’re doing, and how well it’s working for them. This will give you a good starting point for benchmarking your own results. Set some baseline metrics, and track your progress against them regularly. This could be things like website traffic, social media engagement, or even sales figures. Use tools like Google Analytics to help you track progress and understand where your traffic is coming from. The more you experiment the better you will understand what is and is not working for you.
Know where you stand by benchmarking results and tracking progress regularly
Before you launch a digital marketing campaign for your small business, it’s important to know where you stand. That way, you can benchmark your results and track progress over time. To understand that, begin by being clear about what you offer. I.e. when targeting potential customers through digital channels, make sure that the message is clear about what your company offers in order to avoid any confusion.
About the Author
Chase Morgan is an SEO and content creating enthusiast and spends his time learning about the ins and outs of SEO implementation. Aside from writing about SEO, Chase also enjoys gardening and volunteering at the local shelter.