You know your small business digital marketing strategy is important. Without a plan, you’re doomed. But many SMB owners don’t know what must be included, versus what they can leave out. We’re not touting a one-size-fits-all approach here, but there are a few components of digital marketing that have to be on your docket in 2018 (and beyond).
Your Small Business Digital Marketing Strategy
Search Engine Optimization
You may be sick of hearing about SEO, but here’s the thing: if you’re not using it, your business will be invisible to potential customers (or even loyal customers trying to find you online).
First, think about it as a consumer. If you heard about a restaurant from a friend, but couldn’t find them anywhere online, what would your impression be of their reputation? Their credibility?
Now, think about it as a business owner in a crowded market. If someone can’t find you online, the keywords they are using to search will turn up all your competitors for them. That’s why it’s so important to know how to maximize SEO. It’s also critical to understand the tricks and analytics behind it: that way you know what’s going right, and where you’re off-course.]
You may be thinking: it’s all well and good for the big-timers to be at the top of the Google results, but they have the resources and infrastructure to handle heavy traffic. I’m trying to reach people in my neighborhood. Never fear, that’s where Local Search Marketing comes in.
Local Search Marketing (or Local SEO)
Local SEO uses the same basic principles for getting a brand to the top of Google’s Page One but integrates the Maps function so entrepreneurs can have a more targeted impact in their neighborhood.
Tools like Google My Business make it easy for you to get started with Local SEO. Your site, a click-to-call phone number, images, and more can appear with your search listing. Plus: it’s free!
Making sure a customer can find you is only one piece of the digital marketing puzzle. Your brand story and messaging have to hit home to turn a click into a customer.
Content Marketing encompasses all the ways that you use words (both ad copy and general content) to connect with, educate, and nurture your customers to help them make informed decisions along their buyer journey. And it’s not just about writing ads. In fact, if that’s all your doing, most people will lose interest— fast!
But if you can add real value to the time they spend engaging with your brand, people will chalk that up to expertise. It’ll boost your credibility. And your customers will be much more likely to trust someone who isn’t hitting them over the head with one sales pitch after another. There are innumerable possibilities out there, but some favorite ways many business share valuable contents include:
- Downloadable PDF Guides/How-Tos
- Newsletters with insights, stories, advice, etc. relevant to their field and industry
Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing is another piece to the puzzle when it comes to essential digital marketing strategies for your small business. Because you can optimize your content to get better news feed results (just like you can on Google), and because social platforms are known for relationship-building, social media marketing techniques tend to blend the best of SEO and Content Marketing.
While we do not recommend only focusing on social media marketing, it’s a great way to share your content from all your networking sites. You can use it to make your brand more personal, by liking and commenting on customer posts. And you can update it frequently, so your brand stays active and inviting online.
We left one key player off our list of content marketing channels (because we saved the best for last). While social media certainly has its place, Email Marketing is an absolute must as you build a killer digital marketing strategy for your small business.
As you can imagine, email is often the vehicle through which brand content is shared. But the most prized asset gained by effective email marketing is your email list. Why? Whether on your website or in-person, each person on that list gave their name, email address, and any other accompanying information to you. You own your list. And you can use it to your advantage in a variety of ways:
- Share informative, fun content
- Give people a heads-up on new offerings
- Thank a customer for an order
- Share offers, discounts, etc.
Email marketing is key to unlocking new customer insights and engaging customers with your brand, online or off.
As we wrap up our small business digital marketing rundown, there is one thing we can’t stress enough. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. All of these elements have to work together in one comprehensive digital marketing plan for you to achieve balance and reach your goals. Your small business digital marketing strategy is important, and with these tips, you should have no problem being successful.