Since we are in the middle of a digital revolution, we should understand the importance of implementing a proper digital marketing strategy for our small businesses. Usually, large companies have entire departments who are in charge of their marketing campaigns, while for small companies, digital marketing might seem very intimidating, especially when it comes to choosing which marketing tactics to use.
The primary goal of every marketing strategy should be to grow an existing customer base and attract new customers. It is a set of actions that will bring the business the most exposure without wasting too much time and money.
Small businesses should not try to implement a lot of strategies at once, but only those that can work for them. A few examples of cost-effective digital marketing are using social media advertising, content marketing, SEO, and email marketing, to name a few. Let’s dive into some of them in more detail.
1. Content Marketing and SEO
Content marketing is all about creating and publishing relevant, interesting and consistent content to attract the right audience, that will also bring value to your business. Content is not limited to blog articles, it also encompasses videos, product descriptions, podcasts, etc. This content can be publish on your own website, or on different other platforms. Content marketing usually yield long-term results, unlike for example paid advertising. The initial ROI is small, but in the long-term, it brings exceptional growth in customers.
Content creation is not an easy task and it requires a few conditions to be met.:
- Quality and fresh content that will engage your customers and prospects to talk about your business and share your story with their friends.
- Useful and practical content that will give answers to your users and will help in improving your brand image.
- Content that is optimized for search engines, can help you in ranking higher in Google search results.
All of this may seem difficult to achieve, but with a bit of self-education, you can easily master producing quality content yourself.
2. Social Media
In today’s digitally cramped era, having a social media presence is a must. Since there are lots of social media platforms out there, smaller business should concentrate on the ones that their customers are using the most.
Social media platforms are very effective customer support tools, because they provide the ability to respond to any kinds of problems or questions regarding the product or service you offer.
Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all have free analytics tools to show you how your posts and pages are performing. This option helps you, in the long run, to increase your organic reach for free and then you can invest in advertising on the same platform.
For example, Facebook ads allow you to target a certain group of people based on many different preferences, like location, likes, age, and so on. Creating an ad on Facebook is pretty easy. Think of a creative headline, an interesting description, add a link and a picture that describes your brand best. You don’t even have to spend a fortune to pop up in front of the right eyes.
These days, almost most people will read reviews or recommendation from others who have had experience with your product before making a purchase. It is of paramount importance to ask your existing customers for feedback, so you can create strong social proof which will attract an even bigger audience. Having a larger number of followers, comments and likes will increase your brand’s visibility.
3. Offline Marketing
Digital marketing may be big in today’s world, but we should not forget that offline engagement with your prospects has a special and unique value to a brand. There are many creative offline strategies that can be used with little investment.
Direct mail is a quite effective technique. You can mail out useful newsletters, coupons, product samples, business cards, invitation to stop by your store or anything that can promote your brand the best. People have gotten used to using email, so why not surprise them with snail mail!
Another way of getting people’s attention is by putting up posters and billboards. You can invest in different banners and use them both on the premises, and when you go to exhibits or meetups. Don’t forget that not all of your target audience is online – and you do need to remain in touch with the real world as well.
Radio, print media and TV are also not dead – though might be a bit costly to advertise in. Why not try hosting local events, reaching out to your neighbors or asking your employees to spread the word? Anything goes, as long as it is effective.
Before choosing a marketing strategy, make sure you are familiar with your target audience and the way they like to be marketed to. Only then can you choose a tactic that will have the best ROI, and start exploring the best way to implement it.