10 Online Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

If you’re reading this, I assume you’re either an entrepreneur or a marketer for a small business.

Or perhaps, you’re both. 😉 You’re in the right place. Let’s get to it.

1. Build a community.

This one isn’t as radical as it sounds. After all, you’re already there. You’ve got customers, right? You just need to figure out how to engage with them more effectively. What better way to do that than by gathering them into a community?

Whatever you want to call it – a Facebook group, a LinkedIn Group, or an Instagram account – start by simply having a place for your audience to connect.

This doesn’t mean you have to have a formal group with a name and an agenda. Just make sure you have a space where people can interact with one another. If you do decide to have a formal group, make sure you choose a name that isn’t already being used by another group or community.

2. Use social media.

Depending on your target audience, you can choose from a variety of platforms – some much more effective than others. For example, if your target audience is other small businesses, you might want to consider utilizing platforms like LinkedIn or Facebook to build and grow your community.

If, on the other hand, your target audience is already engaged with brands like yours, you might want to consider using platforms like Twitter or Instagram to spread the word about your business and engage with your audience.

3. Measure success.

One of the most difficult things for any business to do successfully is to measure the return on their investment in marketing. After all, it’s not easy to prove that a particular marketing campaign or strategy worked. That’s why it’s so important to measure the results of your efforts. We’ll get to this in more detail in a bit.

4. Identify the RIGHT audience.

This is more difficult than it sounds. As a marketer or entrepreneur for a small business, you need to figure out who your ideal customer is and what they want. Once you’ve got that, you can start to develop marketing strategies to reach them.

5. Test assumptions.

There are three basic assumptions that you have to test to verify the effectiveness of your strategy:

  • Your target audience is out there and interested in what you’ve got to offer.
  • There is a substantial amount of untapped demand for your product or service.
  • Your marketing strategy is going to work.

6. Measure progress.

With any business, it’s important to measure progress. You’ve got a finite amount of resources, and you need to know whether or not what you’re doing is making a difference. To start, you can measure the success of your strategy by looking at:

  • The strength of your brand
  • Your web traffic
  • The number of leads generated through online platforms like Google Ads or Facebook Ads
  • The number of visitors to your website (and how many of them converted into paying customers)

7. Adapt as needed.

The digital world is constantly changing. As a marketer or entrepreneur, you’ll need to continue adapting your strategy to stay on top of the game.

For example, if you notice that your target audience is expanding to include people outside of your typical niche, you might want to explore whether or not you should expand your marketing efforts to include more traditional forms of advertising.

8. Review and re-evaluate.

Once you’ve begun to see positive results from your marketing efforts, it’s time to review and re-evaluate. What works and what needs to be changed?

If you’ve done everything correctly up to this point, you should be able to measure the success of your strategy with the help of analytics tools like Google Analytics.

9. Continue iterating.

Once you’ve determined the effectiveness of your strategy, it’s time to continue iterating. What works, and what doesn’t? Build on what does and leave behind what doesn’t. Make adjustments as needed and re-evaluate periodically to see if your marketing efforts are still effective.

If you’ve done everything correctly up to this point, you should be able to track the results of your strategy in your Google Analytics dashboard. From there, you’ll be able to determine which strategies worked and which ones need to be changed. It’s not always easy, but it’s definitely worth it.

10. Use digital marketing for the rest of your business.

If you’re just getting started marketing your business online, you may wonder which platform to focus on. Should you invest in a PPC campaign or set up a blog? What about social media? There’s a lot to think about, so let’s go through each one individually.

Paid Search Advertising

Paid search advertising, otherwise known as PPC, is one of the most powerful and effective digital marketing tools available. With PPC, you can achieve very specific results for very relevant keywords. For example, if your products are pet supplies and you want to target people searching for “dog supplies”, you can create ads that appear when someone types “dog supplies” into the Google search bar.

Why should you consider PPC advertising? For one thing, you can test keywords and ads quickly and easily. Secondly, you can target a very specific audience – people who are looking for exactly what you offer. And last but not least, you can measure the results of your campaign with the help of Google Analytics.

Blogs

Blogs are one of the cornerstones of any digital marketing strategy. When people visit your site, you want them to leave with content that’s helpful and interesting. From my own experience, I’d say you hit the nail on the head with this one.

The most popular platforms for creating and sharing blogs are:

  • WordPress
  • Medium
  • Shopify
  • Shopify Blogs

Each of these platforms enables creators to easily set up a blog in minutes. Once you’ve got a blog set up, the next step is to populate it with content.

You can use a tool like Quick Blog to easily create and populate your blog. With Quick Blog, you can choose from a variety of blog topics, such as “How to Market Your Business Online” or “Digital Marketing Tips For Beginners”. Once you’ve chosen a topic, you can start to populate your blog with content in the form of blog posts, quotes, or videos.

Along with setting up a blog, one of the most important things you can do to grow your business is to develop an interesting and valuable “blogroll”. Your blogroll is a curated list of blogs and websites that you think are valuable and worth reading or watching. It can be a real boost to your readers’ experience if you include popular thought leaders in your blogroll. For example, if you’re running an eCommerce store and you want to include a blog as part of your digital marketing strategy, your blogroll might look something like this:

When you’ve got a great blog with a comprehensive blogroll, it’s time to sit back and watch the traffic roll in. While it can be difficult to measure the exact impact of a blog on your business, it’s easy enough to see which ones are performing well and which ones could use some improvement.

The most important thing you can do for your blog is to consistently add value. Create content that’s helpful and interesting to your target audience, and you’ll prove to them that you’re worth listening to.