Internet usage levels have soared to an all-time high during the past few years. As more and more people jump on the online shopping and marketing bandwagon, offline marketing has lost some of its effectiveness and sparkle.
The concept of marketing has always revolved around interacting and connecting with the right audience at the right place and at the right time. Considering the current situation, this means you need to communicate with them through a medium where they are already spending time – the internet.
Many established businesses have marketing wrapped around their fingers, mainly due to the abundance of their resources. However, small businesses often struggle to put themselves out there. As a small business owner, you have multiple responsibilities to handle – from planning strategies to running day-to-day operations.
There’s a lot you need to do. Managing this constant flow of work can be a pretty challenging task. Due to this immense pressure, an essential mission that usually gets tossed aside, is marketing.
So, if you’re a small business owner on a time crunch, your best bet is to focus your marketing efforts where they can create a considerable impact – the digital space. While it might not be possible or feasible to compete in all aspects of the digital landscape, you can still focus your efforts in areas where a small business like yourself can flourish.
Here is a complete digital marketing guide for small businesses to help them achieve new heights of success.
What Is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is advertising through digital channels or media such as social media platforms, mobile applications, emails, search engines, websites, web applications, etc., connecting with current or prospective customers.
The simplest way to understand the concept of digital marketing is to consider it as any type of product or service marketing that involves digital devices.
Advertising channels like blogging, email, social media or pay-per-click marketing are some of the most popular digital sources as they help introduce more and more people to your company.
Digital Marketing Assets
Digital marketing is an elaborate concept that has numerous tools and assets. You can use multiple online marketing tools to expand your audience and spread your brand’s message. Not only small but also large businesses fail to realize the number of digital marketing assets they have at their disposal.
Here are some digital marketing assets that help you create brand awareness and communicate with your audience:
- Your official website
- Branding assets, including brand logo, icon, tagline, acronym, etc.
- Images such as product photoshoots, infographics, etc
- Video content such as videos ads and product demos
- Written content, including articles, eBooks, blog posts, testimonials, reviews, product descriptions, etc.
- Social media pages and accounts on networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
This list covers many of the popular digital marketing tools and assets. However, this list isn’t absolute or complete. Due to the constant innovation and changes, many marketers are continually mustering up new ways to communicate with their customers and potential audience.
Techniques to Include In Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Paid Search Advertising
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
Social Media Marketing
Paid Social Media Advertising
Even though they may have witnessed it firsthand, many people aren’t aware of the term ‘native advertising.’ Have you ever scrolled down to the bottom of an article or blog just to find a list of more suggested articles? Well, then you have come across native advertising. This concept technically falls under the broad spectrum of content marketing. This is because it uses content in order to attract more clicks from the audience.
Another highly effective form of marketing that is especially recommended for businesses that are starting out is affiliate marketing. This concept entails paying someone else to promote and marketing your products and services on their website. If the website is well-trusted by the audience, it can present an excellent opportunity for you to showcase your new products.
Email marketing is perhaps, one of the oldest forms of online or digital marketing. Even in present times, this digital marketing strategy is used in full force. The main purpose of using email marketing is to get your message across through the audience by highlighting special deals, promoting events, etc. Moreover, email marketing is free to a certain extent depending on your subscriber count.
There are different types of digital marketing tactics for small businesses to use. You can choose the tactics that you want to use based on your target audience and business requirements. Among the different techniques available, content marketing is easily the most popular. Utilizing content marketing for your digital marketing strategy helps you communicate with your customers in a cost-effective manner and can deliver a wide-scale impact.
Besides selecting which techniques you should use, you also need to ask yourself whether you should outsource your digital marketing efforts. While some companies opt for external digital marketing
Digital Marketing Content That Small Businesses Can Use as Part of Their Digital Marketing Strategy
Content marketing, as mentioned before, is extremely important to reach out to the audience. The type of digital content small businesses or any other commercial uses highly depends on the needs of the audience during various stages of the buyer’s journey.
Developing buyer personas is an essential part of your digital marketing strategy.
This will give you an idea of the ultimate goal and challenges an audience faces when dealing with your business. The objective of your digital content development should be to help your audience meet their goals while overcoming their hurdles.
After developing a buyer’s persona, the next step for you is to decide when your audience will most likely be ready to consume the digital content. This depends on where they are in the buyer’s journey. For this, you can rely on ‘content mapping.’
A content map helps you deliver the right content to the right people and at the right time. Content mapping has two primary purposes.
The first purpose is to highlight and outline the characteristics and traits of the intended audience, while the second objective is to see how close the buyer is to making their final purchase.
Through a content map, you can map out content ideas that target the audience at different stages of the buyer’s journey.
Here are some digital content suggestions in relation to the buyer’s journey stage for small businesses.
At this stage, potential customers are searching for a specific product. This offers small businesses a chance to make their mark and establish themselves in front of their customer. For this purpose, your digital marketing strategy can include the following types of digital content:
Blog posts are a great way to generate organic traffic to your website. By utilizing SEO and keyword strategy in an efficient way, you can direct your potential audience to your site when they search for something on a search engine.
Another excellent content option is to create short and innovative videos that grab the audience’s attention. You can post these videos on various social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
At this stage, your potential customers are weighing and comparing different brands and businesses to see which one provides them the most value.
Here are a few content ideas for small businesses to adopt during the consideration stage.
A research report is a high-value content choice that is a fantastic way to generate more leads. Research reports also work well during the awareness stage as they are mostly picked up by the media or press.
During the consideration stage, businesses should try their best to provide their audience with detailed information about their brand and its products. Webinars are a great content option to do just that. They are an in-depth and interactive form of video content that provides a more comprehensive outlook to businesses compared to a blog post or short video.
The final stage of the buyer’s journey is the decision stage. At this point, the buyer is making their final decision regarding which business they are going to buy the product or service they desire.
Here are a few content options that you, as a small business, can produce at this stage.
Small businesses can include case studies on their website to influence those audience members who are all prepped to make a purchasing decision. This will definitely help impact their choice positively.
If case studies don’t seem like the appropriate option for your business, including short testimonials and reviews on your website is always a good idea. Provide your existing customers with a platform where they can share their personal experience with your products and services. Positive reviews and testimonials will definitely help give your potential clients a final push towards opting for your products or services.
As a small business operating in 2020, it is imperative for you to focus on building an effective and efficient digital marketing strategy. Depending on your business and audience, your digital marketing strategy can include techniques that are mentioned above. The digital world presents companies with a whole world of opportunities and an easy way to interact with existing and potential customers. Content marketing has proven to be the most effective strategy so far. So use this digital marketing guide for small businesses to kick-start your online marketing journey, spark ideas and achieve new heights of success.