Creating a smart digital marketing strategy is an important finishing touch on a small business. Once your business is organized just how you envisioned, your team is strong, and you’re ready to put your product out into the world for customers and clients to find and use, you need to ask yourself how people are going to find it.
The simple answer is “online”. But which tools are most important and effective for getting the word out? And how can you best use those tools together?
This guide will give you a brief overview of the most useful tools to help you create a digital marketing strategy for your small business and how they work together to put eyes on your website and your products.
Digital Marketing Tool #1: Email Marketing
Have no doubt: email is the best bang for your buck out there in the world of digital marketing and should be a cornerstone of your strategy. Think about it. Most of your potential customers carry an email-capable device with them all day, every day. Properly using email means putting your message into their pockets.
And that’s not all. Simple tools like MailChimp make email marketing not only inexpensive, but also attractive and simple. MailChimp and many of its competitors also allow you to automate the emails you’re sending, meaning that once you’ve created the content you want your customers to receive, you can focus on other parts of your business or digital marketing strategy.
Digital Marketing Tool #2: Facebook
Facebook has over 2 billion active users every month. And most of those users are sharing incredibly useful advertising data with the company. Their browsing histories, interests, travel destinations, friend groups… all of that data can be leveraged to make sure that your ads are reaching the perfect group of people.
Email marketing puts your messages in the pocket of the people who’ve already given you their email addresses. Facebook Ads put those messages in front of massive audiences who are likely to already be interested.
But ads aren’t the only effective way to use Facebook as a small business owner. Creating a public-facing page for your business will allow you to interact with customers on a personal level. They might post on your page after a particularly great experience, which you could then share, comment on, or otherwise use as a marketing opportunity. Remember how important story can be to a smart marketing strategy. Every time you put a personal touch on an online interaction, you’re creating a human element for your clients and users.
Digital Marketing Tool #3: Google
Google has two great tools for a small business owner looking for a targeted digital marketing strategy.
- Google My Business is a marketing tool which allows your business to show up when people search for a particular type of business in a defined area. If you run a dog-walking company, you could use Google My Business to ensure that anyone who searches for “dog walking company” in your immediate vicinity will see the name of your business at the very top of their results. In addition, My Business allows you to incorporate important information about your business right on the first page: pictures, reviews, hours of operation, and more. That means that in one quick search, your potential customers will have all the information they need to make a purchase.
- Google Ads incorporates digital ads on the search engine itself, YouTube, and more. It’s a one-stop shop for placing your ads on Google results pages, the sides or top of websites, or even on a YouTube video. And Google offers incredible analytics and analysis. You can determine how well particular ads and locations are doing at sending you customers.
Digital Marketing Tool #4: Pay-Per-Click
Google Ads is just one form of a digital marketing tactic known as pay-per-click, or PPC. If, in our previous example, you’re using a PPC model to market your dog-walking business, your ad could appear each time someone in your area searches for “dog walking” on Google. And each time they click a link to your website, you would have to pay.
You’re paying for Google’s ability to put eyes on your website. You’ve already built an attractive website where users can easily purchase your service. And because the customer has searched for your business’s service on Google, you know they’re in need. So paying a small fee to increase the likelihood that a nearby customer in need of your service will click through to your website is well worth the cost.
Digital Marketing Tool #5: Guest Posting
One final tactic you may want to consider for your digital marketing strategy is guest posting. That means that you’d write a post for another person or company’s website or blog.
Why would you do that?
First, you’d make sure to guest post on an established site in your niche. That makes sure that the people reading your guest post is being read by people who already have an interest in the content you’re creating. If you’re looking to guest post about your dog-walking business, you could find a blog about dogs, dog walking, outdoor pet-based exercise, or some other related topic.
Once you’re writing, make sure to link back to your website several times.
Posting on a more established site will get eyes on your writing, but linking back to your site will get eyes on your product. If you do your job well, the readers of your guest post will become frequent visitors to your site or blog, and hopefully become long-time customers.
Digital Marketing Tool #6: Content
But above everything, remember no matter where you’re writing – in the emails you send, on your Facebook page, in a guest post, in your Google Ads – you must have outstanding content. Marketing strategy is meaningless if your website – and the information on the website – isn’t attractive and helpful.
None of the digital marketing strategies outlined here will be effective at all if you’re not creating the best possible content. You want to write emails that people can’t wait to open. You want people to stop scrolling through their Facebook pages because of the writing and photography you’ve put there.
Make sure you understand the importance of sound Search Engine Optimization (or SEO). Make sure you’re not letting typos or other errors slip by. And if you can use everything in unison, your small business will have a remarkably effective digital marketing strategy.
Using Your Tools: Effective Digital Marketing Strategy
1. Know what you want, and who you want.
Nearly every tool and strategy you’ve read about in this guide is best utilized when you know exactly where your customers are, who they are, and what they want. So before you begin advertising, make sure you understand this information. Otherwise, any money and time you spend on devising a digital marketing strategy will go to waste.
2. Be specific.
When you automate emails or write guest posts, remember that you need to be specific. That means sending something more targeted than a vague email describing your product or service. It may mean telling customers about a particularly great success story. Or it may just mean making sure that you’re targeting a particular niche of potential customers and writing to them, not the entire world.
3. Write great content.
Because if they come to your site and immediately leave, nothing else matters. Take care to provide great writing, attractive visuals, and a simple purchasing experience.
He has consulted some of the top brokerages, media companies and financial exchanges in the area of finance, online marketing and content management including: The New York Board of Trade, Chicago Board Options Exchange, International Business Times, Briefing.com, Bloomberg and Bridge Information Systems and 401kTV.
He continues to be a regular market analyst and writer for ForexTV.com. He holds a Series 3 and Series 34 CFTC registration and formerly was a Commodities Trading Advisor (CTA).He was also a licensed Property & Casualty; Life, Accident & Health Insurance Producer in New York State.
In addition to writing about the financial markets, Mr. Kelly writes extensively about small business marketing and finance.
Mr. Kelly attended Boston College where he studied English Literature and Economics, and also attended the University of Siena, Italy where he studied studio art.
Mr. Kelly has been a decades-long community volunteer, he established the community assistance foundation, Kelly's Heroes. He has also been a coach of Youth Lacrosse for over 10 years. Prior to volunteering in youth sports, Mr. Kelly was involved in the Inner City Scholarship program administered by the Archdiocese of New York.
Mr, Kelly was Sr. VP Global Marketing for Bridge Information Systems, the world’s second largest financial market data vendor. Prior to Bridge, Mr. Kelly was a team leader of Media at Bloomberg Financial Markets.
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