If you’re looking for the definitive guide to understanding and mastering digital marketing for small businesses, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll cover everything from high-level concepts like analytics and SEO to in-depth strategy advice.
The Best Digital Marketing Strategy For Small Businesses
So, you’re ready to enter the world of digital marketing and understand what works and what doesn’t. Maybe you’ve spent some time on social media, testing different types of content and learning from what others have done. Or perhaps you’ve built a small website and are looking to grow your audience organically.
Either way, you’ve arrived at the right place. We’re going to run down the best digital marketing strategy for small businesses, based on the most recent research available.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of getting your website to show up high in search results for relevant keywords and phrases. If someone enters a search query on Google, Bing, or another search engine and ends up on your website, you’ve successfully executed an SEO campaign. Your next step is to analyse the results and find ways to improve your strategy.
SEO is relatively simple and easy to understand, but it’s crucial to keep things in perspective. Your website’s SEO will only determine how high your website shows up in organic search results for relevant keywords. It doesn’t dictate whether or not you’ll actually make a sale. In fact, SEO is only one part of a digital marketing strategy;
- Website optimization
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
To get started with SEO, you’ll need to take a few steps. First, identify the main keywords and phrases your customers are using when they’re searching online. You can use free tools like Google Keyword Planner or Wordstream to easily find the keyphrases that people are using to find your products or services. You can also review your web pages to see what keywords and phrases people are using to find content related to your business. Once you know what keywords and phrases your customers are using, you can start to enter those phrases into the text of your website, social media posts, and even emails you send out.
2. Local SEO
While SEO works for any business, local SEO takes it one step further by specifically targeting local customers. In other words, when a potential customer is searching for a product or service in your area, your business will show up on their radar.
To get started with local SEO, you’ll need to take a few steps. First, identify the main keywords and phrases your potential customers are using when they’re searching online for a local product or service. You can use free tools like Google Keyword Planner or Wordstream to easily find the keyphrases that people are using to find your products or services in your area. Once you know what keywords and phrases your potential customers are using, you can start to enter those phrases into the text of your website, social media posts, and even emails you send out.
3. Content Marketing
In the past, companies had to rely on advertisers to spread the word about their products. Today, with content marketing, businesses can use content to attract, engage, and convert potential customers into actual paying customers.
Content marketing is all about creating and publishing content to attract, engage, and inspire potential customers. Some of the commonly used and most effective content marketing strategies include the following:
i. Video content
Videos are quickly becoming one of the most popular types of content on the internet. According to HubSpot Blogs research, videos get about 27% of all social media interactions. In 2019, businesses should put the video content on their websites, social media platforms, and even email marketing campaigns.
Videos allow businesses to connect with their audience, show them how the product or service works in real life, and convince them to try out the product or service.
ii. Long-form content
The attention span of internet users has dramatically decreased. In 2019, people are more often than not, searching for quick and dirty answers. For instance, when someone searches for ‘airbrush tattoo’ on Google, they’ll immediately see a series of blog articles that appear to satisfy their need for an answer. However, if that person continues down the rabbit hole and explores the other articles on the site, they’ll eventually discover that the author of that blog post spent the last eight years educating and helping others understand what an airbrush tattoo is and how it’s done. While the short-form content strategy may have worked in the past, in the digital age, people are more inclined to stick around for the long haul, reading through multiple blog posts to learn about a product or service.
iii. Case studies
In business school, we’re often taught to look at customer surveys and anecdotes to understand how people interact with our products and services. In 2019, customers are more often than not, researching businesses before they make a purchase. According to HubSpot Blogs research, customer case studies get about 7% of all social media interactions. When a potential customer is investigating your business, they’ll want to know more about your approach, your customers, and the industry.
A case study is simply a piece of content that describes a real-life situation. When done correctly, case studies can be extremely helpful in convincing potential customers to try out your product or service. Some of the things potential customers are looking for include
- An inside look at the business
- Real-life examples of the product or service in action
- A detailed description of the steps your company took to arrive at the point of sale
When creating case studies, take your time. Choose your topics carefully and make sure that you’ve covered all the important aspects of your business. For instance, if you’re writing about a life sciences company, ensure that you’ve included all the important details about the biology of the products you sell.
iv. How-to guides
How-to guides are basically step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish a specific task. However, the key to a how-to guide is not just the steps you take, it’s also about the order in which you take them. A well-executed how-to guide can appear to be an encyclopedia of knowledge, satisfying the informational needs of the reader while also encouraging them to try out the product or service for themselves.
According to HubSpot Blogs research, how-to guides get about 5% of all social media interactions. In other words, customers are using these articles to learn how to use a product or service, how it works, and most importantly, what to expect from it. When someone is researching your product or service, they’ll want to know everything there is to know about it, including the pros and cons.
v. Product demos
A product demo is simply a short video or an interactive example of a product or service. To keep things simple, let’s say you’re selling clothing online and you’ve decided to use a product demo to demonstrate how a specific piece of clothing looks like when worn.
From a photography point of view, a product demo can also be a great opportunity to showcase your product in a way that would be impractical to do in real life. For example, maybe you’re showcasing a dress and the location you would wear it to isn’t practical. The photographer of the video can actually be in the same location, wearing the same dress.
According to HubSpot Blogs research, product demos get about 4% of all social media interactions. As with most content types, videos allow businesses to connect with their audience, show them how the product or service works in real life, and convince them to try out the product or service.