Small Businesses are up against a formidable opponent when they try to tackle the Digital Marketing spectrum. It can be hard to figure out where to even begin. We’ve listed out a few tips to help you on your way. Remember: you can always reach out for help whenever you need it.
1.) Understand the basics
This is the most fundamental concept to marketing your business in the digital space. In order to achieve success you should probably know a little bit about how it all works, right? You don’t need to get down in the weeds and understand how to do everything on your own. There are people for that.
You should, however, do some basic research on what exactly everything is. Here are a few links to make your digital marketing journey a little easier:
- What is Online Digital Marketing?
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) [VIDEO]
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM) [VIDEO]
- Social Media Marketing [VIDEO]
2.) Leverage Social Media
As of January 2014 a staggering 74% of all internet users use some form of Social Media. Your brand should be utilizing the social channels (services) that make sense to you. Take a look at Facebook for Businesses, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn and Instagram.
Each of these channels (services) has a different marketing demographic. You’ll have to decide which works best for your company. For instance, a B2B company may find greater success on LinkedIn than they may on Facebook. LinkedIn users are there primarily for business connections whereas Facebook users are more often than not, there just for leisure.
3.) Create a business page on LinkedIn and Facebook
In order to establish legitimacy in your brand, you should create a LinkedIn and Facebook page for your company. Some great business leads and contacts can come from these sources. It may take some time to build an audience (which you can accelerate through Pay-per-click (PPC)) but don’t be discouraged.
4.) Post to social media regularly
Facebook now has algorithms that rewards brands who post more regularly. In order to get your message your there your brand must not only be engaging but do it regularly. Think about in the way you think of Celebrities — when they stay out of the news you wonder: Are they still around? The same premise applies to your digital marketing efforts.
5.) Explain what you do visually
Attention spans for adult populations are continuously declining. The easiest way to grab the attention of your users is to communicate your ideas visually. Videos, flowcharts and infographics are a great way to push creative content out there.
6.) Market your message with a Blog
Continuously posting what you have to say with a company blog is a good way to get your message out there. While most people may not read the entire article, Content Marketing will still help you rank higher on Google, Bing and Yahoo!.
It’s also important to separate your message out so it can be quickly consumed. You’ve got about 3-10 seconds to grab the user’s attention. If you fail, you’ll lose that lead.
7.) Start marketing using email
One of the most basic digital marketing forms (and one of the oldest) is Email Marketing. Allowing your users to opt-in to your marketing message gives you yet another way to grab their attention.
Companies who offer discounts in exchange for emails are often most successful and hold the highest click-through rates. If you’re curious to see how others in your industry perform check out MailChimp’s email marketing benchmarks.
For a few services to get you started:
8.) Try optimizing for search engines
If you had the opportunity to watch the video in the first step you should have a good understanding of what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can do for your business. While organic search marketing is slowly fading out and moving more to the Pay-per Click (PPC) model, it’s still a good idea to have your website properly configured for search engines to crawl. It’s an art, really, and will definitely require an expert to help most businesses get set up.
9.) Measure your traffic, pivot and re-deploy
If you don’t have Google Analytics set up on your website — you should get it set up immediately. This free tool developed by Google will give you the ability to see almost anything you would need to know about your site including: the number of visitors to your site, the amount of time they spent on your site, what device they used, what state and locality they visited from and even (under advanced tracking) their gender.
Using this information you can quickly figure out what’s working and what’s not. If you have a page that’s not performing as expected, Google Analytics can help you to figure out why it isn’t which will allow you to pivot (make changes) and the re-deploy it to your website.
10.) See what your competition is up to
The best way to figure out how to dominate a space is to simply look around you. Take a look at your competitors successes and failures and use them to make smarter, more informed, decisions. This is vital to any successful digital marketing plan and is usually part of the first step.
11.) Form strategic partnerships
As a small business you may need to form partnerships with other agencies (like nDigit) to help you execute portions of your strategic plan. These partnerships can make your life a lot easier and in the long run cost you a lot less than hiring a full-time employee or trying to figure everything out on your own.
12.) Announce your company with a press release
For about $200 to $300 your company can issue a press release with a company like PR Web. These press releases help small and mid-size businesses to gain more exposure than they normally would. The small boost for search doesn’t hurt either.
Did you find these tips helpful? Have a few more you think we should add? Have any other questions? Let us know below!