Digital marketing can be a great way to grow your small business. You can promote your products or services and get them in front of a large number of potential buyers. This can set you on your way to making the sales you need and to generating the revenue you require to grow even further.
It sounds nice, and it is nice, sure. But it’s not easy.
There is a lot of competition out there, especially if we talk about the digital marketing channels. Search engines? Packed with websites. Email marketing? Millions of brands are doing it already. Content marketing? There are more than 600 million blogs in existence.
To help you get a foothold in this situation, we’re going to discuss a few tips and pointers. Hopefully, by the end, you’ll be equipped with a better understanding of how to navigate your way to success amidst it all.
Digital Marketing for Small Businesses | Effective Strategies
- Creating and Optimizing Your Website
Creating and optimizing a website is, in a way, a technique of content marketing. That is why we’re mentioning it here in our “digital marketing” post.
Before we move on further, we should explain what we mean by this.
Content marketing is basically the method that involves creating and sharing/publishing different types of content. One channel of such sharing blogs while another such channel is e-books, etc.
In the same way, the various web pages on a website, i.e., the ones other than the blogs, are also a medium of content sharing. For example, if a company creates some content introducing itself and then publishes it on the main landing page, this act will come within the ambit of content marketing. And this step would obviously come after the website creation itself.
Coming back to the point now…
Other than the juxtaposition we’ve pulled with content marketing, creating and optimizing a website is also a direct way of digital marketing in that it gives a place for your customers and users, etc., to interact with your brand.
Moving on from the benefits and perks, let’s take a look at the steps that you can follow to actually create and optimize your website.
Creating a website itself isn’t a big deal nowadays. You can use an online platform like WordPress or Wix to make a standard website. We won’t chalk out the exact details about it, but here is a guide on Forbes that you can check out on creating a website for a small business.
The “optimization” thing is trickier, so here are the steps that you can follow for it:
- Firstly, make sure your website loads quickly. Cut down on the fancy hover effects and transitions to make your site load quicker. It’s an example…there’s other stuff you have to do for it as well. For example, you should:
- Compress and properly size your images
- Turn on browser caching
- Remove extra plugins
- Simultaneously with the first step, make sure that the UI/UX of your website is spot-on. The site design should be, other than being aesthetic, easy to use for the visitor. There are a lot of things that you have to do here, with some of the main being:
- Making all the buttons, functions, and menus large enough and easily visible to the users
- Picking an easily visible color theme for your site for improved user ease
- Arranging the interactable elements to be easily clickable, i.e., by not placing them too close to the navigation bar, etc.
- Along with all of this, you also have to be mindful of the SEO elements on your site. That includes being meticulous about making your pages’ meta titles the right length with the right keywords and doing the same with the meta descriptions, etc.
There is a ton of other stuff that you need to do during this process, but we’re not going to delve into all of those. Our purpose in mentioning and explaining website optimization above was to simply highlight its potential and importance as a digital marketing method as well as the rough steps that you can follow for it.
Let’s move on to the next strategy.
- Garner and Showcase User Testimonials
User testimonials and reviews are an important but slightly overlooked part of content marketing.
When a user is initially interested in a brand or a business, they look for ways to establish its legitimacy and reliability. One easy and straight way to do it is to read user reviews and testimonials.
Such reviews and testimonials – especially if they are found on third-party reviewing apps – can make your potential clients/customers easy by showing them what the brand is actually about…apart from what it all says on the website, etc.
Here are some tips that you can follow to properly garner and showcase user testimonials for your business.
- Make a testimonial section on your website where users can leave their thoughts about your products/services
- In said reviews, you should encourage the users to attach photos of said product/provided service so that it does not look like the reviews were generated or curated by the brand itself
- You should also create a profile for your brand on popular reviewing platforms like Yelp and G2, etc. You should then import these reviews to your site or leave links to them for your visitors
- In the same way, you should make a Google profile for your business and encourage people to leave reviews there. Having a Google Business Profile has many benefits. One of these benefits is that it gives you a place to showcase user testimonials and business ratings, etc.
- Start an Email Campaign
Email marketing is a popular digital marketing strategy that has a very positive ROI. Although it does not need much of an investment, to begin with, it does bring good results.
Thanks to the many online tools that exist for this purpose, email marketing is quite easily done. Tools like Mailchimp, for instance, allow you to make emails, create contact lists, send said emails, and get insights on how well they perform.
You can do more or less the same things with platforms like SendinBlue.
By using email marketing, you can directly let your users/customers know about any new product or service that you may have released. You can also use the same method to tell them about any new promotions or discounts in your store.
As we’ve done above, let’s outline some of the main steps/tips about email marketing that you should know:
- Before starting your emailing campaign, there are a couple of things you have to get down. These are what we’re going to dub the pre-campaign stuff. You essentially have to:
- Determine the people to whom you want to send the emails. This is the audience research phase – which is quite important since it can heavily decide the number and type of responses you get.
- Determine the type of messages that you want to send. There are a whole bunch of different ones, which is why deciding beforehand is important.
- Determine the schedule and routine you want to follow during your emailing campaign
- Take extra care to make your emails not look like spam or scam. Yep, both. This involves making your usernames look proper and legit, doing the same with your subject lines, and managing your emailing routine so as to not get flagged by the email clients.
- Make sure that your emails are attractive and catchy. Email marketing is all about snagging the attention of your customers/leads and retaining it. This can only be done if the emails themselves are engaging enough. You have to add color to your emails by including things like banner images, posters, etc.
- One important thing that you have to keep in mind when writing the emails is to keep things readable. The text in your message should be clear and comprehensible. This is actually something that you have to do in all types of marketing but it holds special application in email marketing since the sent messages typically majorly consist of written content.
If you don’t trust in your own ability to create clear and understandable content, you can always take the help of online tools. You can use an online paraphrase tool to reword your otherwise clunky message text and make it better.
Digital marketing is pretty vast. It’s a lot more than the three things that we’ve mentioned in the post above. But, when starting out, a small business cannot tackle all the different techniques and methods involved in digital marketing. They have to take baby steps and start with one method at a time.
That is what the purpose of our post was. If you don’t know where to get started, you can try out the steps/tips that we’ve mentioned above.