How Can Small Businesses Use Digital Marketing to Their Advantage

In the last few years, digital marketing has changed how businesses fight for the attention of their audiences. And still, almost half of all small businesses in the States don’t have a website. Are you one of them?

If you want to stay competitive in today’s digitalized world, you simply need to have a digital marketing strategy, regardless of whether you’re doing business online or not.

When it comes to small businesses, there are 5 main areas of digital marketing that are of interest.

1-  Devise a Smart Content Marketing Strategy

It’s always a great idea to use content to promote your business. Creating useful, relevant, and compelling content is how your brand can build authority, personality, identity, and establish itself as an expert in the industry.

Content marketing includes creating and sharing articles, posts, videos, news, etc. But content marketing isn’t just about sharing information; it’s also about presentation and timing. Therefore, you should take into consideration what you write, as well as how you write it, and when you post it.

The best route for small companies is to start a blog. You can use your company blog to share tips, ebooks, how-to guides, and anything useful that could entice a lead to consider your products or services. Try to publish about two or three blog posts per week and use social media to boost your content’s reach.

But more important than the form of your content and frequency of posting is the content itself. You should always strive to create unique, high-quality content that offers reliable and helpful information. This will help you establish authority and credibility and, as a result, help your brand stick to the audience’s mind. Customers will remember you and even if they aren’t buying anything now, they’ll take you into consideration in the future.

2-  Have Patience with SEO

The good thing about SEO is that it brings constant visibility to your brand and, most importantly, it isn’t paid! It may sound strange but today, no paid advertisement is as strong as having your website, content, or products displayed among the top search engine results.

Ranking well in SERPs is a great way of attracting traffic while at the same time building trust. Because, if your site is on Google’s page one, it must be worth something, right?

The set of tactics that help your company rank better in search engines is called SEO. SEO’s goal is to make search engines recognize relevance and value in your website and, as a result, show your company among the top results when people search for specific keywords.

However, even though SEO isn’t paid, it does require a substantial amount of time and effort. With SEO, you can’t expect results overnight, so you have to be patient. As a small business, you should start with a keyword strategy. SEO is all about user intent, link building, and content creation – and all of these revolve around the words and phrases that your target audience is most likely to search.

3-  Don’t Forget About Email Marketing

Invented in the 1970s, email remains one of the most used means of communication and one of the most efficient digital marketing tactics. It involves planning and sending out engaging and informative content with an aim to deepen the relationship between a brand and a lead.

The best thing about email marketing is that it can be completely automated. It is true that it requires some planning upfront but with a good automation tool, you won’t need to have somebody dedicated to sending and responding to emails on a daily basis. In fact, according to  Statista, 50% of small and medium-sized businesses use marketing automation software to send email drip campaigns.

A great automation tool will handle various aspects of your email marketing campaigns, including mail merge with Google spreadsheets, tracking opens and clicks, sending follow-ups, and provide valuable analytics to help you figure out what’s working and what isn’t. The greatest thing about this is that it is now available as an extension to your browser, further simplifying your job.

4-  Social Media Marketing Is Non-Negotiable

Social media can be used to boost visibility but also to build and strengthen relationships by personifying your brand. That being said, creating accounts on all major social platforms isn’t enough. You need to be constantly active, answering people’s questions and participating in discussions.

If possible, have someone that will be dedicated to managing social media for your brand as social networks demand following trends and constant activity. If you don’t have the budget to pull this off, at least consider investing in a tool that automates social media interaction.

5-  Pay Attention to Local Search

Google my Business is a great choice for companies that have physical locations. Add your website, contact info, as well as details about your offering. But bear in mind – when it comes to Google my Business, the main focus should be on user-generated content: user photos, ratings, and opinions. When customers post these on Maps, they’re included in your GMB profile and available to people who are searching for something in the area.

Ask your customers to add their ratings and photos via social media or on your site. You can even offer something in exchange, like a free drink when they visit your cafe next time. This way, you’ll build an attractive profile for people in the area.

Final Thoughts

The 5 areas of digital marketing mentioned above are a must for any small business that wants to build a solid online presence. Come up with a digital marketing plan where you will combine these ideas with your other marketing efforts.