Running a small business often includes managing the digital marketing. Whether you have hired a marketer to do this, or you work on this yourself – we’ve put together some digital marketing efforts to best utilise your time, but bring the best results.
So what is digital marketing?
Digital marketing is the practice of reaching out to potential and current customers online. It includes all marketing efforts that are used to reach these people, including social media, email, Google ads, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), blogs, online brochures, videos and connecting with other websites.
1. Find and use keywords in everything
Keywords are words that describe your business. You want to identify the words or phrases that people associate your business and services with. What would they be searching into Google to come across your website or Google Business?
There are some great tools like Google Search Console and Google Keyword Planner that analyse the search phrases used to navigate to your site or landing page. Make the best list possible for your business and ensure that you’ve included everything associated with your business. Adjectives, descriptors, services, localities etc. Keep this list handy!
The trick to ensuring these keywords are used to your advantage is to use some of these when you publish articles, blogs, posts and on corresponding website pages. Be sure not to overuse any keywords as sometimes this can look spammy and Google’s site crawlers will pick up on this.
2. Start a blog
Blogs are a great way to create written and visual content that is relevant at the point in time, offer variety but can be also used as an education tool. With solid and resourceful content, your clientele will gravitate to your content to assist them with queries. It is also a great place to share case studies and testimonials of work completed.
3. Social media
Social media is a fantastic way to update your followers on current events, promotions and day to day activities to ensure you stay front of mind. Limit your social channels to around two, and focus on the ones that your followers are most active on. Posting to other platforms for the sake of it can be a waste of time, especially if it’s reaching the wrong audience.
Organic and paid growth
Using social media in a day to day context doesn’t need to include paid advertising campaigns. Growing your audience organically ensures quality over quantity and tells you that your content is engaging and meaningful to people.
In saying that however, paid advertising is a great way to expand your reach at certain times of the year as long as you have identified your target markets accurately. If you haven’t considered the end user in your campaigns, you may just be throwing advertising budget down the drain.
Select imagery and content carefully
Imagery is an important of social media – specifically image and content creation. The movement of stock images has passed and is not personal. Try organising a local photographer to create imagery that speaks to your brand.
By maintaining consistency and sharing a variety of content that fits your brand, followers will engage with it.
Think about timing and scheduling
A great way to effectively manage your social media time is to schedule posts in advance. You will find that you spend more time posting separately, rather than working with a social calendar and bulk scheduling. It also allows you to curate what your feeds will look like to followers and be more consistent. These scheduling tools will give posting time advice. This advice is specific to your followers online activity to increase reach and engagement.
4. Email marketing
Email list building often gets overlooked by small businesses even though any experienced marketer will send you down this road first. A responsive email list will be your most valuable marketing asset, even more beneficial than your social media channels.
Email lists drive repeat sales, allow you to build solid relationships with your customers and potential customers, and keep you connected with your customers. They allow you to target your audience with specialized offers and give value to the people on the other end.
As outdated as email may seem compared to social media marketing, it’s still one of the most successful marketing tools in the playbook. Marketing experts use this channel across the board. It’s been proven to work. In fact, the conversion rate (that’s the number of people who do what you’re asking them to do) for emails is three times bigger than for social media campaigns.
Here’s how you can get started with email marketing:
- Use the Contact Us form on your website to start collecting email addresses. Send a monthly newsletter. As with any other form of marketing, give your customers valuable information in an easy-to-read format.
- Send emails to let customers and prospects know about any sales, offers or specials.
Digital marketing is a key brand-building tool
Digital marketing doesn’t have to be daunting – it can be an exercise to truly understand your business and what you wish to earn from it. Not everything is about a sale, so use digital marketing to build relationships with your audience.
Think small to begin with, then once you gain traction and feel more comfortable with what you’re doing, implement another marketing strategy or digital marketing effort.