How can a Small Business make the most out of Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing for small businesses can be very effective and doesn’t need to break your budget.
It is worthwhile learning a few tips and tricks so that you can do some of your own work. Rather than having to hire external resources which are going to eat up your budget.
In years gone by before the internet came along, marketing was a completely different animal. Generally being more costly to do than some of the current methods.
But the basics of brand development, communication techniques, design and effective writing are worth perfecting, so you can translate all of these skills into a digital context.
In this day and age, your website is your most effective selling tool – it is your shop window. (Whether or not it is an e-commerce site).
If you are building and running your own website rather than using a web developer, you need to learn the techniques of how to make it into the best marketing resource you can. One which is appealing to site visitors, uploads quickly, provides clear and concise information about what your company does, and answers people’s concerns and addresses pain points. So it is coming from the angle of the user, not always the company.
For this, you need to fully understand your target audience/s and what their concerns are.
Providing free information to people on your website to gain their trust is a great way of bringing more people to your website and building a loyal following, and this can be done by blogging and providing free information downloads (preferably gated in order to collect user data), so that people can read about your services, opinions and commentary in more detail.
You need to pay attention to SEO/SEM so that you can maximise organic site traffic, so keep your meta tags up to date, work on getting backlinks (especially via PR features and links with authority sites), and try to keep up to date with the latest Google algorithms. Also use video on your website, as this is a key traffic builder.
You can also increase your website engagement by keeping your social media channels up to date and include not only stories about what is happening in your company, but also lots of relevant stories from the wider world – this way you are more about enhancing user experience than just talking about internal matters which often do not interest your prospects.
A great way to build up your audience and develop some thought leadership in your industry is by conducting an ongoing and regular series of blogs.
Digital marketing in a small company can be done very successfully by managing your content in-house, as long as you learn about the basics yourself, such as how to write and post-effective blogs – that’s the subject for a whole blog post on its own, but there are so many resources out there to help you it just takes a bit of reading – and some practice.
There are also lots of online experts you can research for doing digital marketing – I follow Neil Patel, Brian Dean, Jon Morrow and a host of others whose opinions are trustworthy and informed.
The main thing is to keep going – persevere with learning the skills and you will become more successful over time. Or hire an external writer to do the work for you, but that’s an extra cost that a small business sometimes can’t sustain.
Data and CRM
This is another majorly important area for small businesses to understand – or any size of business. Your database of prospects and customers is your lifeline and your goldmine.
If you have prospects you have built up you can sell to them much more cost-effectively than finding new ones – it costs around 10 times more to find a new prospect than it does to sell to an existing customer.
Keep your data GDPR compliant and make sure you have permissions to contact people by email, phone, text ext. Then get a decent CRM system in place and plan a strategy for email marketing based on their communication preferences.
Don’t bombard people with too many emails, but at the same time don’t leave it too long before contacting them – there is a balance to be achieved, and only you know your business and your customers and prospects.
Sometimes you have to experiment – with frequency, content and offers. Test and learn is the key to this and most marketing activities – as long as you only test one thing at once you can amass some great insights which you can use for all of your marketing activities.
To sum up…
The world of digital marketing can be a minefield, but by doing your own online research into current trends and practices you can gain enough knowledge to develop your own digital marketing strategy, upskill yourself as much as possible, and make your business work. There are plenty of human resources available to help with some of the tasks you may struggle with, just keep an eye on your budget!
Author: Angela Knox
Angela Knox is a Marketing Consultant whose aim is to use her experience to assist SME’s and their owners to develop their business and marketing strategies. With more than 30 years’ experience which spans a wide range of business sectors and activities, particularly financial services, she utilises well tried and tested techniques which work for companies of all sizes.
From working within a company environment and also as a Consultant, Angela has developed a wide range of business and marketing skills. Using these skills, she has advised many companies on all aspects of strategic and operational marketing activity, both digital and traditional.
From Blue Chip companies to SME’s, Angela has developed a tailored approach for each company she has worked with as a marketing consultant, from working as part of a team and independently on a project.