Are you a small business owner trying to grow your business to the next level? Have you heard that you need to take your business online if you want to grow?
If so, then this article is for you. Don’t worry if the world of digital marketing for small business seems overwhelming right now. We’ve got you covered, so keep reading to learn all about how you can harness the internet to grow your customer list and boost your sales every day.
What Is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is the strategy your company uses to find new clients and customers online. Before digital marketing, you might have spent a small fortune running television commercials. And before that, your grandfather would have taken out an ad in the newspaper in order to reach his customers.
However, today’s savvy marketer knows that people are online in record numbers in today’s fast-paced, internet-focused society. Today’s marketer knows that she needs to first build a relationship with her clients before asking for the sale.
Digital marketing is a journey that you guide your future customers along towards the final goal. And you can do just that through online marketing.
Why Is Digital Marketing Important for Small Business Owners?
As a small business owner, you can reap the benefits of digital marketing without the same giant budget as your larger competitors. You have the advantage of being closer to your customers so you can build engagement with them online.
Building engagement with your customers should be your number one priority when creating your marketing strategy. Today’s consumers are more discerning and demanding when it comes to being sold to, or not being sold to.
You can’t afford to turn off potential customers by asking for the sale too early in the marketing process. You need to create content that shows your potential clients that you are the expert in your industry and that they can trust you.
Some benefits of digital marketing for small businesses include:
- targets your ideal customer
- builds your reputation and brand while establishing authority
- higher conversion rates
- agile and adaptable
As you can see digital marketing makes sense for small business owners. It allows you to compete on the same playing field as the larger national brands. In fact, it gives you an advantage because you can connect with your audience in a way the bigger companies never will be able to.
How to Create a Digital Marketing Plan for Small Business
Before you can create your plan, you must first start with your goal. After all, if you don’t know where you’re going you risk ending up in the wrong place. And this is the problem many small business owners face when they tackle digital marketing.
Many small business owners hear that they need to be online so they create a website and post randomly on Facebook. Then wonder why they aren’t seeing results. It’s because you didn’t have a plan or know your end goal.
The primary end goal for digital marketing isn’t to increase your sales, that is a lag outcome that will eventually happen because of your digital marketing strategy.
However, it isn’t the primary goal of what you should be tracking. You also shouldn’t be tracking your followers, likes, or subscribers. Unless you’re an influencer these metrics don’t put money in your pocket at the end of the day.
For you and your small business, you need to be focusing on increasing lead generation through your top of the funnel content. And then guiding those new leads towards the sale with your bottom of the funnel content. Let’s talk about the details of those different kinds of content in the next section.
Top Digital Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses
Digital marketing is an umbrella term encompassing all the ways you can reach your audience online. Here we’ll focus on the four main tenets you should incorporate into your marketing strategy immediately.
1. Content Marketing
Content marketing is the distribution of information to your audience. It can happen in several different formats and can lead to several different goals. Not every article you write will lead to a sale and not every video you shoot will lead to more subscribers.
However, overall, you should have dozens of content pieces that drive your audience toward your desired results. This will mean having articles that purely inform your audience about your subject matter and establish you as an authority.
Additionally, you will also need to create articles or videos that showcase your product or services with the intent of persuading your viewers to become customers. Content marketing can be in various formats such as in the written form like this article, or in video or audio with a podcast. You will need to determine how your ideal target audience likes to consume content and then create that format for them.
2. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is more top of funnel content creation. Unfortunately, too many business owners continually push for the sale in their social media posts. But this shouldn’t be the goal of your posts every day.
Your goal is to attract new clients. And this can be done several different ways based on the platforms you choose to focus on in your business. If you’re on Instagram, you need to create short videos showcasing the behind the scenes moments your customers crave. If you’re on Facebook focus on short posts or pictures that are sharable and of viral quality.
People want to connect with the brands they support. They want their purchasing dollars to go towards companies they know and like. Give this connection to them via your social media posts. Then use your social media platform to guide your audience to your website and email list.
3. Local SEO Marketing
Local SEO marketing is also where you attract new clients, as opposed to making a quick sale. If you don’t have a Google my business profile yet, then this needs to be at the top of your priority list.
And if you have a basic profile with only your NAP information (name, address, phone number), then you also need to prioritize optimizing your GMB profile.
The concepts for local internet marketing for small business isn’t complicated, but it can become overwhelming quickly. You are sitting on a goldmine with your Google profile so don’t neglect it. And encourage your previous customers and clients to leave reviews. This will help future prospects as they search for your services or products.
4. Email Marketing
Overall, email marketing is where more of your sales will come in. Email marketing has a much higher ROI than other forms of marketing. But first, you have to get your customers onto your email list and that is why the other forms of marketing are also so important.
Your emails are where you guide your new clients along their buyers’ journey. If you haven’t mapped this out before, this could be why you aren’t seeing the sales you should be from your email marketing.
Your nurture sequence when new prospects join your email list is where you build up the know, like, and trust factor. This is where you build a relationship that will foster each client and increase your conversions.
Many might tell you email marketing is dead, but this is still the one platform in your digital marketing toolbox in which you own the information on it. You can (and should) back up your email list regularly so that if anything happens you can continue to boost sales and cultivate a relationship with your clients.
Unfortunately, if anything happens to your favourite social media platforms, or they change the algorithm, you can lose your entire customer base overnight. And this is the foundation on which you want to build your business strategy. So use the other platforms to build your audience, but continually guide them towards your email list.
How to Get It All Done While Running Your Business
You can’t do it all alone. There are too many working pieces to the puzzle of digital marketing strategy. You have a business to run, you can’t be posting to social media all day long.
To get everything done and stay in front of your ideal clients online you need to work with the best digital marketing agency for small businesses on the sunshine coast. So, if you’ve been reading this article wondering how you can find the time to build and implement your digital marketing strategy, then maybe you should consider outsourcing it.
Digital marketing isn’t the wave of the future. It’s the norm of the current marketplace, and you can’t afford to sit on the sidelines any longer.
Your Guide to Digital Marketing
Now you know what digital marketing is and how you can incorporate it into your business. Digital marketing for small business doesn’t have to be confusing, you too can use the power of the internet to reach your customers and grow your customer list.
There are several digital marketing agencies for small businesses out there. But you want to work with someone who understands you and can help you grow the business you’ve always wanted. That’s what we do here at Lee Paton Digital.
If you have further questions about how our digital marketing agency can help your small business, then reach out to us today. We help business owners like you every day to reach their customers online and grow their business. We can help you too to scale your business to the level you’ve always dreamed about.