Digital marketing isn’t just for bigger businesses with larger budgets to work with and devote to online interactions and engagements. In fact, online marketing is something that can work just as well for smaller businesses. If you’re a small business owner and you’re looking to tap into the growing customer base that routinely checks for business info online, continue reading to discover 10 digital marketing tips for small businesses.
1. Really Know Your Target Audience
Before diving into any of our other digital marketing tips below, be sure you have a solid understanding of your target audience. A simple way to do this is to ask yourself who’s likely to need or want your products or services. And in some instances, your digital customers may not be the same ones who come to your physical location. If, for example, you ship nationwide but you’re also based locally, it would be beneficial to focus your digital marketing efforts on a broader audience.
Your target audience can also be identified by:
• Looking at your current customer data
• Sending out email surveys to better understand what matters most to your customers
• Using tools like Facebook Insights and Google Analytics to gather more customer data
• Clearly defining your niche or market
2. Check Out the Competition
Odds are good there are other small businesses targeting the same customers. This is why one of our digital marketing tips is to take a look at what your competitors are already doing online. Fortunately, there are many convenient competitor analysis tools you can use to do this, including Social Blade, Phlanx, SEMRush, Ahrefs, and Feedly.
As for what to look for when checking up on your competitors’ digital marketing efforts, pay attention to:
• Keywords used
• How content is presented online
• Brand awareness – e.g., how much of your target awareness is actually aware of your competitors
• Strengths and weaknesses with their online content
Use the results from this online marketing research to find ways to stand out differently digitally from your competitors. For instance, you might produce more content that addresses customer concerns your competitors aren’t addressing.
3. Cover the Basics of On-Page SEO
Let the search engines know what you are actually about. If you don’t let them know, they won’t send clients your way. If your website isn’t giving visitors a pleasant user experience, they’ll likely bounce and check out your competitors. Therefore, the next thing on this list of digital marketing tips for small businesses is on-page SEO, which refers to how well your website is optimized for search engines and human visitors.
With on-page SEO for your small business website, keep these digital marketing tips in mind:
• Strategically pepper keywords specific to your target audience throughout the content
• Use short, descriptive headlines
• Include alt-text to describe your images
• Link internally to help with navigation
• Use unique meta descriptions for each webpage
• Make sure your site is appealing to mobile visitors
4. Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
Many digital marketing tips for small businesses include a mention of Google My Business. The reason for this is because GMB listings help local or smaller businesses show up prominently on results pages.
Assuming you’ve already claimed your Google My Business listing, make your GMB listing a more effective online marketing tool by:
• Confirming your business info is correct and fully listed
• Including customer reviews since potential customers tend to trust reviews
• Categorizing your business appropriately
• Adding a description for your business to give searchers a better idea of what you do or offer
• Including photos or images to personalize your business
• Localizing your listing with geo-specific references if you’re targeting specific geographic areas
• Setting your service areas if you serve multiple areas
5. Embrace Local SEO
Nearly half of all searches have local intent, and many local searches involve smaller businesses. So, it’s often beneficial for small businesses to embrace local SEO. In addition to what’s already been covered so far, local SEO for small businesses can be more impactful by:
• Optimizing for voice search since many local searches are done by voice rather than typing
• Making local references in your website, blog, and social media content
• Using Google’s Keyword Planner to filter keywords based on location to further localize your content
• Including location pages on your website if your business has more than one local location
• Taking advantage of online business directories
• Making sure your NAP (business name, address, and phone number) info and hours of operation are up-to-date and consistent
6. Get Social – Digitally Speaking
Social media is on this list of digital marketing tips because it’s an immediate way to connect with your target audience, and it’s a cost-effective way for small businesses to achieve this goal. Plus, you don’t need a huge budget to reap the rewards of social media activity. For example, you could see positive results with social media engagement that involves:
• Geo-targeted posts
• Links to relevant website or blog content
• Updates on sales, specials, and other info likely to generate interest
• Live-streamed events
• Engaging posts that inspire conversation and sharing
It’s just as important to select the right social platforms for your small business. While Facebook is what “everybody” uses, for instance, there may be other platforms your audience is more active on.
7. Dive into Email Marketing
There are nearly 4 billion daily email users, and it’s a form of digital communication even more accessible today via mobile devices. Make email marketing work for your small business by:
• Email segmenting by meaningful categories like interests, location, and buying habits
• Alerting subscribers to special offers, new products/services, and other “insider” info
• Re-marketing to target people who’ve already engaged with your business online
8. Present Visual Content
Videos, according to one estimate, get more than a thousand per cent more shares online than both text and images combined. For small businesses, video content can include everything from videos presented and archived on a YouTube channel to customer unboxings and video product/service demos. Even things like company tours can keep your online audience engaged.
9. Consider Digital Ads
A more direct way to reach your intended audience online in a way that’s less time-consuming is with digital ads. These are highly focused ads that can be customized and used to steer traffic back to your site. Ad extensions may also be used to encourage phone calls to your business. Digital advertising online can include:
• Paid social campaigns
• Video advertising
• Native advertising
• Mobile advertising
10. Actively Blog
It’s not uncommon for small businesses to offer products or services similar to what’s offered by competitors. What this means is it will likely be difficult to rank for page one with terms like “plumber in Miami” or “New York City pizza.” What you can do instead is boost your online recognition and reputation – factors Google also considers – by posting more in-depth, relevant blog content. Blogging can also establish your credibility in your niche, field, or industry. Just remember to optimize your blog content so it will be steered towards your target audience.
Call us today at +1-781-652-1996, write us [email protected], or use our contact page to reach out to us and we will be happy to schedule a meeting with you, carry out an audit of your digital marketing efforts and offer recommendations.