According to Clutch’s 2018 Small Business Survey, nearly 50 percent of small businesses spend less than $10,000 on digital marketing. Because they have modest or non-existent budgets for this purpose, small businesses usually try to handle everything in-house, which may be overwhelming for them. Furthermore, a huge chunk of small businesses is missing a key marketing opportunity, by failing to realize the importance of content marketing.
While they do use both websites and social media platforms, it seems like small businesses are merely at the beginning of the road toward successfully mastering them. They may see the need for investment, but not the right places to invest.
In digital marketing, the number of zeroes is not what determines the successfulness of your strategy. It is how you allocate your money. Here are some of the best digital marketing strategies small businesses should invest in.
Quality content marketing
Content marketing as a concept is very accepted among large companies, but it seems that small businesses still haven’t grasped the usefulness of this tool when it comes to business growth. Small businesses need to realize that users can smell an ad regardless of its fancy wrap, and since most of the online buyers are a younger audience, they need to realize that nearly 90 percent of millennials don’t trust traditional ads.
Quality content is the way to their hearts and, therefore, their wallets. Content speaks of your credibility, it ranks well in search and builds trust in your audience. Hiring freelance content writers or training your own employees in this skill, is a very worthy investment.
Organic social media reach
For small businesses, paying for social media promotion can be overwhelming, considering their limited budgets. However, a clever combination of organic reach and paid ads can be the way to go. In fact, organic social media is plummeting because users are in search for engaging content and not sales pitches.
We could say that social media has its own search engine optimization (SEO) which puts its focus on positive user experience. Some of the ways to make Facebook and other platforms work for you is to focus on the platform more relevant for your target demographics, ask the audience for their opinion, analyze your shared content, take a hint from your competitors, post evergreen content, target the audience for every post, post during slow hours, post images and videos, and balance the useful and promotional content.
Email marketing is the forefather of all digital marketing and the descendant of door-to-door marketing. As such, it is ever-present in the small business promotion, even though many marketing mages tried to bury it.
E-mail is more of a direct way to communicate with users, and it is a better approach than social media for sharing promotional content. Information about exclusive offers is often shared via email, both by corporate giants and small enterprises. So, do you still think investing in email marketing isn’t something your business needs?
Search engine optimization
Search engine optimization for small businesses is nothing like the approach for large businesses. For small businesses struggling for attention, it is imperative to provide your customers with everything they might ask for online. Here are six things to get you started:
- Design a fast and mobile-friendly website.
- Create a blog that positions you as the authority in your industry.
- Optimize your website with good titles and navigations.
- Consider local SEO practices.
- Links are connected with good SEO results.
- Provide with portfolios, case studies, testimonials, and reviews.
AdWords and paid social media ads
Regardless of the size of the business, Google AdWords and paid social media ads, play a vital role in digital marketing. For effective Google advertising, the key is to set aside a budget, find the right keywords, create a call-to-action, optimize the landing page, operate the search term report, and track your results. For social media platforms, it is a similar process, that relies mostly on targeting the right demographics and creating engaging content.
Local business communities
There are approximately 30 million small businesses in the U.S. and millions more around the globe. You are not alone and joining local business groups can give you the chance to meet like-minded people from your niche and wider. This helps you extend your network, form partnership, learn new ideas and hear success stories.
Partnering with other businesses
Partnership marketing is an often overlooked digital marketing strategy which includes creating a mutually beneficial campaign by combining the resources of the businesses involved. This makes marketing partnership cost-effective. It also nurtures long-term positive relationships. However, the marketing partner shouldn’t be a direct competitor, but it should have similar audience and interests (e.g., juice production + snacks business).
Your business is obviously not H&M and you can’t afford to pay David Beckham to do an ad for you, nor it is UNICEF, so Beckham won’t be part of your global campaign for free. However, a small business can still have someone relevant to their community or line of work speak for their benefit. Depending on the goals of your campaign, and your budget, you can hire an influential spokesperson relevant to your work. This will generate attention and consequently leads.
Free consultations and webinars
When you choose the right topic, a webinar can drive a large batch of new subscribers to your address. It is also used to build credibility. It is more engaging than your everyday video. Webinars work very well in, so don’t get your hopes up until you try this approach out first.
Similarly, free consultations attract a lot of people and set you up to close a significant percentage of leads. When giving free consultation try to provide as much value as you can. This will ensure you with credibility and trust in your niche.
People like getting things for free – there is no mystery in that. Still, a successful giveaway is a combination of choosing the right product and the adequate strategy. Customization is something that always works because it creates a more personal bond with your customers. You can include the idea of corporate responsibility and improve your reputation by asking customers to pay for customized products, and giving the money you earn to charity. Whatever you choose, make sure it is creative and engaging.
New advertising solutions and effective technologies
Small businesses shouldn’t ignore the perks of modern technology, particularly because, due to the increased competition, tech upgrades are becoming available even for the ones with shallow pockets. Some of the most convenient advertising solutions currently available are tools that scan a page’s content in real-time to deliver relevant ads, an ad unit that displays the most valuable keywords directly associated with the content of a page, and units that improve engagement and increase performance.
The old but gold rule says that “if you want to earn money, you have to spend money”. Of course, no one said how much money do you have to spend. These strategies do not require too many funds out of your pockets, but, if you use them well, they can bring you a significant return on investment.
It is vital for the small businesses to realize that the era of digital marketing consumes and ruins the ones who do not obey to its rule and who do not keep track with the rapid changes on the way. So, seize the moment before the moment seizes you.
Although web design is Catherine’s first passion, business management, success and business growth in this digital age are topics she is quite interested in lately. Catherine has been researching and learning for some time now, and she is always happy to share her knowledge and inspire others by writing some quality content.