21 Essential Digital Marketing Tips For Small Businesses
Small businesses are companies and organizations that have very few employees, require much less capital but enhanced skillsets to grow their business.
They help local communities by providing several products and services. Small businesses are great for entrepreneurs who can have huge returns on investment with decreased cost of running the business.
Today we are going to discuss some essential Digital Marketing Tips For Small Businesses. Big business houses have always had the resources and funding to expand and capture customer bases efficiently. As a result, small businesses were suffering.
This is before Digital proliferation globally. Then, small business houses were waning consistently and many were on the verge of closing down. Digital Marketing has given various small businesses of different sectors a new lease of life.
In the current situation, small businesses not only thrive but are here to stay and transform the corporate structure of the economy. The fabric of the economy today comprises plenty of small business organizations.
Small businesses get countless benefits from implementing digital marketing tactics, techniques, and strategies. One major advantage is that they help small businesses reach out to people despite geographical barriers through different digital channels.
To achieve proficiency, small business owners can take up a reputed online Digital Marketing Course.
Any business product or service-based that has less than 15 employees, no advanced equipment, or cutting edge machinery comes in the category of small businesses.
Retail shops, small medical stores, food joints, bakeries, lean consultancy firms, small digital agencies, real estate services are some examples of small businesses.
However, small businesses as the name suggest do not automatically imply that their profits also remain small. Whatever the size of the business, with proper planning and strategy, small businesses that have moved to the digital space have had very positive Returns on Investment (ROI).
With the help of digital marketing and technology available, small businesses have prospered in India. Moreover, they have a lot of potential for the coming years. According to NASSCOM startups in India have seen a 108% growth in funding as per 2018 reports.
Among other industries, freelancing, ebooks, consultancy, domain services, education services, career guidance, headhunters, cybersecurity, franchisees are some good examples of small businesses that are constantly growing in India’s growing economy today.
Today more and more people are setting up small businesses leveraging the advantages of online marketing. Managing a small business can be a tedious process. Since manpower is less, you have demanding work and heavy responsibility to shoulder.
Yet there is no dearth of small businesses globally. Moreover, they have increased the number to a great extent. Have you ever wondered why?
Let’s delineate some of the features that prove that small businesses have great benefits. They give you an edge over your contemporaries.
Believe it or not, sometimes setting up a small business is more advantageous than looking after a big business with huge capital and employees.
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The advantages of small businesses are as follows
Since the work of small business enterprises revolves around their specific enhanced skill set you are the thought leader in your domain. Customers who need your products or services are aware that you provide quality work.
You understand your area of work perfectly well. The expertise of a small business is what sets it apart from others. They instill a sense of confidence that their customers will get maximum value by investing in the brand.
2. Customer Relation
You are a small business house, therefore, you have better chances of knowing your customers. Interacting with them, being able to solve their problems is a great feat in itself.
You can address their grievances, rectify where you are going wrong, and stop yourself from doing the same mistake again.
Moreover, the element of personalization is much more in small businesses. You can delve deeper into customer’s preferences and behavior patterns and customize the content according to that.
For small businesses, it is comparatively easier to make changes based on current trends and requirements. It helps to maneuver around roadblocks and respond to changing times.
Free example, you have to make changes in your social media strategy. It makes sense to incorporate more videos than written content or vice versa.
You can always do that without having to go through the whole rigorous process of having to consult higher authorities, going through an entire chain of people who may or may not greenlight your new idea.
You have more flexibility in working and more job satisfaction. The precise reason why there are numerous startups today with people leaving their high profile jobs and starting their own businesses. Being your own boss allows you to work at your own pace, innovate and improvise.
Since you provide specialized services, your focus doesn’t waver. You understand your customers better than many of the big business houses. The reason is, you can invest more time and effort in trying to read their behavioral patterns. You can study the reasons behind their decisions through the tools available online.
Moreover, a small business facilitates smoother operations and better understanding with your employees. You can have friendly interactions with them, brainstorm, and run your business efficiently.
5. More Value to customer
The main purpose of any business is to provide maximum value to potential and existing customers. it is the heart, the essence of any successful business. Prioritizing your customers involves disseminating valued information.
Now there might be a lot of recondite information that is not easy for your clients to understand. For example, a lot of technical aspects, the jargon of particular products are complicated.
Customers may have difficulty in the comprehension of such material. Since you strive to provide better service than your contemporaries, you can work on simplifying these abstruse terms, present them to your customers for better understanding.
In this way, you provide the greatest value to them breaking down complex staff into simpler terms so that it is easy for them to decipher.
To reach their greatest potential, small business enterprises need the help of Digital Marketing. It helps them optimize all the aspects that are important to the business.
Here are 21 Digital Marketing Tips for Small Businesses that help them to develop and expand their business in the online space. Following these steps can yield great traction for any small business.
1. Optimize your website
Your website is not just your brand identity. It is your connection with the thousands of potential customers in the world of the web. It is also the primary element for access to your business for your prospective consumers.
Since the majority of internet users, almost 85% of them use mobile for browsing you have to make sure that your website is optimized for mobile as well as tablets.
Google algorithms also place importance on mobile responsive designs and such websites rank higher on search engines. Therefore, you should make sure that your site is optimized for mobile and tablet devices.
2. Invest in content strategy
“Content is king” is a saying not for nothing. It is a sure-shot way of increasing the overall performance of your website.
Content marketing involves thorough planning of content, taking into account a buyer’s persona, tastes, and preferences. You have to evaluate the performance of your content consistently and close any loopholes in your content strategy.
Your content should be a mix of text, images, infographics ( they are an extremely popular format of content). Optimize your content for keywords and publish educational, insightful, informative, content that compels the user to take notice of your brand. You should have a creative slug to draw the consumers in.
Having a strong SEO strategy is important in content marketing. Small business owners should put a lot of emphasis on keyword research.
Google Keyword Planner tool, Ubersuggest is extremely important. Your content based on relevant keywords can help you get SERP rankings very quickly. It also helps you to score more against your competitors provided you have quality content with relevant keywords.
3. Build an aesthetic Contact page
Your contact page and your website should be aesthetic. The contact page especially should house all the relevant information vital to your brand’s operation. Use a good plugin from the several plugins available.
For example, it should have your address, a valid contact number, and an email address. In the case of separate inquiry branches, like sales, marketing, the career they should have specific contact information. There should not be any discrepancy. A customer should be able to connect with you after visiting your contact page.
4. Explore Paid and Display Ads
Search Engine Optimization can be very fruitful but takes time to bring your brand to the fore. Therefore, a judicious combination of Search Engine Optimization and Paid Marketing can help you achieve the desired result in a very short period.
Explore the various paid marketing options social media ads, pay per click, cost per click options. Invest in display advertising.
By targeting the right keywords you can easily come to the notice of your prospective consumers through paid advertising and reap the efforts of a paid campaign.
Digital marketing has innumerable benefits to your small business. It helps to create a brand reputation, helps to explore a wide range of customer base, provides a lot of advertising opportunities like video display, searches display.
5. Use Email Marketing
A lot of times, the efficacy of emails has been questioned. But over the years results have dispelled the notion that email marketing is redundant.
Since mobile devices have come into more and more lives, the email open rates have increased manifold. According to research, approximately 65% of emails are opened today. Mobile responsive E-Mail templates are hugely responsible for the increase.
Small businesses must create a relevant email list for lead generation. A lot of times, emails are more efficient than social media channels to connect with as has been proven by studies.
Creating personalized emails through the use of using different email marketing tools to connect with subscribers, target, existing customers is important.
Contests, quizzes, giveaways, and coupons can be distributed through emails. A compelling email copy proves to be a great impetus for your customers to take notice of your brand and even turn brand advocates for your business.
The characteristics of small businesses are such that they have fewer employees working in the organization. Therefore, it is essential to automate most of the work through several efficient digital tools. Marketing automation tools help you to do specific jobs more accurately and with greater swiftness.
Automation tools also enable you to use auto-responders that connect with audiences informing them of customized products according to their preferences. Buffer, SEMRUSH, Hootsuite are some automation tools that help work efficiently for small businesses.
6. Use Social Media and discussion forums like Quora, Reddit, Yahoo Answers
Having an active social media presence is mandatory for small businesses to create a place for themselves in the digital space. However, inundating subscribers, followers, and potential leads with promotional advertising content can only take you so far.
What you need is a strong plan of action to engage with your consumers, provide impactful content to your focus groups so that they get the best value from your business.
Social Media can be a great tool to consolidate your position in your specific market. However, what you need to focus on is creating an interactive equation with your consumers in social media to build trust. Since you are accessible on social media 24×7, it will install faith in your consumers that your efforts are genuine.
Instagram, Twitter, Facebook can be great propagators of your business. They provide plenty of tools for small businesses or startups to get noticed and stay in your consumer’s minds.
7. Create a Compact, Professional Business Page on LinkedIn
Linkedin can be vital to your brand’s success. Today most of the corporate organizations & companies from various sectors are present on LinkedIn. They explore LinkedIn for business-to-business transactions, business-to-consumer transactions, and to hire people for relevant job positions.
You will have to think smart and discern the demands in your niche sector. Creating a compact, professional business page on LinkedIn will help you get noticed by your prospective customers.
Optimize your page with all the relevant details, create your profile adding information about your business and the people running it. Provide proof of your ingenuity and authenticity.
8. Use SMS marketing
Just as in the case of Email Marketing, SMS marketing is very much relevant and can increase your chances of expanding your consumer base considerably.
There are several tools that you can use to create marketing campaigns that integrate several marketing channels. These help you to customize your content according to the channels.
SMS open rates are more than email open rates. So you can deduce how effective SMS marketing can be, provided you have a catchy headline to reel your consumers in.
SMS marketing provides advantages like creating customized SMS for individuals, gathering feedback, sending targeted promotional messages. It is one of the best ways to appraise your consumer of changes and modifications in your business if required.
“According to Simple Textin, there is a 98% open rate 45% response rate and 17% big through rate of text messages.”
If you can leverage the benefits of SMS marketing well, you can become an authority leader in your sector.
9.Connect with audiences
Do not leave any avenue that helps you to build a bond with your customers. Whether they are social media channels, discussion forums like Quora, Reddit, Yahoo answers, network rigorously.
All the channels can be immensely beneficial for you to create the required rapport with your customers, keeping the faith in your brand going. All of these can be a great platform for you to inform, educate, and chat with them. You can also solve their queries through live chats, a popular feature available on digital platforms.
Build social media pages like the Facebook page, Instagram page for your subscribers and customers so that they can interact among themselves and you. This proves to be a healthy strategy for having an edge over your competitors and building brand advocacy.
As marketers all around the globe have reiterated, blogging can help your business drive qualified traffic to your websites.
Successful blogging requires a vigorously thought-out strategy on how to go about it. Create a schedule for your blog. Write down the article titles for at least 60 days. Choose relevant long-tail keywords.
Publish a blog at least four to five times a week to generate leads. Blogging is an element that you cannot leave out. Also, the impact of sharing your blog articles on the different online platforms is requisite for your sales funnel.
Before you publish your blog, make sure that you share it on all the platforms. Mainly, on channels that your prospective customers visit the most.
Go to discussion forums like Quora and participate. Answer questions around your blog topics. You can link your article on these discussion platforms for better results. Make sure that you follow the rules and regulations laid down by these discussion panels.
11. Collaborate with other businesses.
Small businesses can always tie up with E-Commerce giants like Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, and classified online advertisement websites like Craigslist, Quickr, OLX, eBay. This gives them the required visibility and exposure.
Moreover, collaborating with e-commerce businesses like Amazon, Flipkart, etc bolsters your reputation to a great degree. If you can provide genuine products and services through this medium, your business will skyrocket and you will very soon become a leader in your niche market.
Collaborating with complementary businesses can be great for your brand. Example: Book stores within the cafeteria can be great for both businesses. A gym can work with an apparel store to provide the customers with offers discounts coupons etc. A musician can sign up with a PR agency to get better offers.
12. Use affiliate, referral, Influencer marketing
Affiliate marketing programs
They give your business the required boost for you to be visible to a whole lot of new customers. Through affiliate marketing, you encourage bloggers, YouTubers, bussing writers, and other internet celebrities to link your website to their posts. Every time anyone purchases from your site your affiliate marketer gets a percentage of sales.
Referral programs are very similar to affiliate programs. You must have seen promotions like:
“Invite three of your friends to try a certain product or service and you get a certain price or an incentive” this is the core of referral programs.
What it does is, your customer gets five more people into the equation and these 5 people can then again turn into your customers for referral programs. Customer referral programs are very successful provided they are genuine.
Influencers help to create cognizance of your product to their followers and subscribers. Most of the time influencers can help you to build a relationship with their followers on social media channels.
Affiliate Marketing and Influencer Marketing can work hand in hand to give you the best results.
A small business relies on visibility and exposure to the product or service. No matter how unique you are, if you are unable to reach your prospective customers, then the whole purpose of your business is moot.
Even if you have extremely high-quality products and services, you need networking to survive. Referrals, influencer, and affiliate programs can propel your business towards great success.
13. Re-targeting and Re-marketing
Re-targeting and Re-marketing can be extremely helpful for small businesses. Though people confuse retargeting with remarketing, considering them the same, there is a slight difference in their approach.
Both can be e a boon for small businesses whether it is B2B business or B2C business.
Retargeting takes the form of paid ads being shown to existing customers as well as prospective customers. Remarketing is focused on emails and mobile marketing to the visitors of your site.
You can do it by accumulating the information provided by the visitors of your site on your web pages. Create a prospective list of potential customers.
Then promote your product directly to these people. Facebook Twitter, Instagram, can also be great places for you to remarket your product.
14. Contribution in Guest Blogs
Awareness about your brand is also largely dependent on the backlinks you get from top websites to your site. How do you achieve that? The simple answer is by creating buzz, contributing as a guest blogger.
Guest blogging is the method of posting informative, inspirational, and quality content on other popular blogs that have a wide range of visitors.
Remember guest blogging in your specific market can have great results on the overall success and performance of your business and website.
It generally takes time to build a reputation of being an authority figure in the market. Through consistent quality content published on other renowned sites, a diverse range of people takes notice of you.
Remember guest blogging doesn’t give you magical numerical figures in a short time. You have to persevere, be diligent, and consistent in creating articles of relevance.
15. Facebook Ads
Facebook can give you the most number of leads for your business. Advertising is an integral part of small businesses for creating a brand presence and goodwill in social media channels.
Facebook ad manager helps you to optimize your advertising strategy by segmenting your focus group. They then provide customized ads to people with specific preferences.
You can also test the efficacy of different ads and choose what’s best for you. Facebook ads help you device efficient targeting for your paid advertisements to reach the maximum number of people in the shortest time possible.
16. Concentrate on quality content
Small businesses have a misconception. Blogging gets you more qualified traffic. Though it is absolutely correct, there is a very important element to consider in all of this.
Small businesses should always prioritize quality over quantity of articles. If you create high-quality content your business gets its due credit.
But if you churn out articles after articles with low-quality content the brand reputation suffers in the long run. Yes, you have to be consistent in publishing articles in your blog.
But remember these articles have to be high grades to build your reputation and standing in your niche market among specific customer groups.
The reason why long-form content seems to be better in search engine rankings is that they provide more information than short-form content.
However, that is not true in cases where long-form content does not serve the purpose of the target consumers. You have to create focused content that provides value to your consumers. That is of utmost importance.
17. Encourage feedback and reviews
Merely aggressive promotion of a product in the online space isn’t enough. Small businesses constantly need to engage and stimulate conversations. This involves getting online reviews, feedback to get an idea of how your business is helping your focus customers.
For small business enterprises, reviews and ratings hold great importance. The first thing a prospective customer looks for in a product is its reviews online. Maintaining a high review is essential for a small business to maintain its reputation in the market.
However, it does not mean that you should be oblivious to negative remarks or brush them aside by not disclosing them.
What you need to do is address the queries and grievances of your customers efficiently. Change the negative to positive perception. Respond with alacrity so that the trust that you built is maintained and strengthened.
18. Build an online brand reputation
An outcome of the above points, if social media and digital channels are explored correctly, grievances are addressed, it can help create an extremely useful online brand reputation for your business.
It helps to ask your online customers to provide reviews for your product or service. Also from your end, share your achievements any acclamation, and accolades that you received for your brand.
19. Test your progress, analyze your weak points
Small businesses need to observe and monitor reports from Google Analytics to measure how well their website is faring. The report can provide insight into the weak and strong points.
They help to identify customers’ preferences, page views, recurrent visits, and many other important metrics. Entrepreneurs of small business enterprises cannot afford insouciance.
They have to be sincere, proactive, and always analyze the metrics for new developments, and modifications.
20. Use Google My business
Competition is rife in small business sectors. Therefore these businesses have to carry out local searches for demand to stay ahead of the competition.
Google my business is one such feature that comes of great help in small businesses. You can list yourself in Google my business so that the next time a consumer needs product in a specific market in your local area your business will pop up in suggestion.
It is great for the entire sales to funnel, starting from getting leads to converting them to customers.
Google my business also allows small businesses to highlight the positive points, and to introduce themselves by depicting how you are better than the rest of the business in your specific market.
You will appear on the search map in the event that a customer searches for a related product.
21. Video Marketing for Small Businesses
The appeal of video is known to everyone. It is also one of the major trends for 2020. A video is more compelling. It always has an element of interest and intrigue.
Therefore, small business owners should look to create video content for channels like YouTube. This has the potential of providing exposure to a whole new set of prospective clients.
Moreover, these online streaming platforms come with the benefit of monetizing your videos which helps in the revenue earning of your business.
Video always leads to a massive increase in conversions. You can imagine the kind of exposure your content will get on YouTube. However, you have to use a decent quality camera and create good content with digital tools to create an impact.
For example, if you are an SEO consultancy firm, you can post videos on SEO strategy. You can also inform your customers about the new developments, trends in the digital world today. Providing insight can build trust in your consumers.
There are so many aspects of digital marketing that can come in very handy for a startup or small business to incorporate into their organization.
Since manpower is less in small businesses, the presence of several digital marketing tools at your disposal makes work much easier to implement.
However, like all other areas of work, small businesses need to have patience and create quality content which is the pillar for any business.
Without proper products and services, you cannot create a positive impact and maintain the goodwill reputation of your brand in the future.
Shortcuts can never take you far. An honest astute strategy combined with the immense potential of digital marketing can help you gain expertise and become an authority in your area of business.
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