There are endless online channels and digital opportunities for marketing out there, which can be both an opportunity and a threat to small businesses. Knowing where to focus your time and resources for digital marketing can be a big challenge.
Here are the five areas of digital marketing we recommend you focus on as a small business.
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is all about improving your website content – and any digital content you produce – to make sure it ranks highly in search engines such as Google. This means that your website and digital content will appear high on results pages when users search for key words and key phrases that relate to your business or industry.
It is often valuable to work with an SEO company to optimize your website and digital content. Working with experts on SEO means your existing content will work as hard as it possibly can for your business.
The first thing most people do when they’re interested in a new product or service is to use a search engine. SEO is all about gaining website visitors from your target audience. It ensures all the keywords and key phrases that relate to your business are incorporated into the content on your website, giving you the best chance of appearing high in search engine results. Ultimately, it enables you to get more website visitors who are already interested in what you offer.
2. Social Media Marketing
Using social media as a method of digital marketing is attractive to many small business owners because you can start off at a very low cost. All of the most popular social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube) ensure it is free to create a profile. This means that new business owners can get a feel for each platform, how it works and how their target customers interact, before investing in paid social media marketing.
When creating social media profiles and campaign assets, it is valuable to work with a website design agency to ensure your brand is optimally reflected on these channels. Creating a bank of social media images and assets is something small businesses find helpful for the efficient ongoing management of their channels too.
The aim of using social media as part of a digital marketing strategy is to increase brand awareness and convert users into customers. Engaging with users in a genuine way works better than taking a corporate approach on social media. This means creating social media content that is relatable and eye catching. All channels have options to pay to either boost existing posts, or create paid-for campaigns. This can help social media content travel further in order to reach yet more target customers.
3. Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
An effective and targeted form of digital marketing, PPC is when advertisers bid on keywords in search engines. Each keyword has a different monetary value, depending on how many competitors there are for the keyword. As an advertiser, you bid on certain keywords and design basic adverts with the content you want to relay to users. These adverts appear at the top of organic search results. However, you only pay when a user clicks on your advert.
Many small businesses find that PPC is a good accompaniment to an SEO strategy, particularly if you are still working on improving your organic rankings through SEO. It ensures that one way or another, your website and digital content is appearing in search engine results. And since these are targeted users who are already searching for a topic that is relevant to your business, you can rest assured you are reaching good quality prospective customers.
4. Content Marketing
A digital marketing tactic that has gained popularity in recent years, content marketing is a way of reaching customers by demonstrating expertise in a subject. Instead of being purely sales related copy, content marketing is informational copy. The idea is to engage with potential customers to relay some interesting information that relates to your company’s area of expertise.
Content marketing is typically achieved through blogs or vlogs. By sharing interesting or useful information through content marketing, a business builds brand awareness and trust in the company. As a result, individuals are more likely to give that company their business. They are also more likely to become loyal, repeat customers and brand ambassadors, because they have bought into the idea of the brand as a whole.
5. Email Marketing
Another cost-effective digital marketing approach, email marketing involves emailing existing customers and engaging new ones. Since most companies have e-newsletters or email marketing campaigns, it is important for a business to be very targeted in their email marketing strategy.
Including discount codes or special offers for subscribers only is a good way to gain genuine engagement with e-newsletter subscribers. Finding the optimum frequency of emailing also helps to retain interest in the content.