On paper, great marketing is simple. Combine content with reach and you’ll generate leads, keep existing customers engaged and help sway customer loyalty away from other companies towards yours. Actually putting that into practice can be more challenging, which is why we’ve created this guide to digital marketing for small businesses.
Create Brilliant Content
Compelling content is the foundation that pretty much every marketing campaign is built on.
Whether that’s a multi-million pound advert shot in a high tech studio or a series of photos that highlight why your product or service is so amazing, content is king. What form that takes depends entirely on your industry, but it might include a series of short promotional videos, an ad for local publications or a partnership with a social media influencer. One particularly popular form of regular marketing content is to publish blog articles. Blogs are relatively cheap, easily customised to suit your needs at the time and generally help your audience connect with you in a less formal way.
Become an Authority
Most of the best business blogs and articles centre around providing their readers with value, some that is essential in a modern marketing scheme. Barefaced attempts to peddle your service or business are discarded by pretty much everyone that isn’t immediately interested. Whilst that might sound alright, the end effect is that it kills your leads. Far better to kindle their curiosity and turn those with a passing interest into potential customers.
The easiest way for you to add value to your own content is to embrace your expertise. Putting modesty aside for a moment, you almost certainly know a lot about your business. Chances are, you know a lot about your industry as well. That information and first hand experience is valuable. People want to read about it, want to get your advice and your learn from you. Even if you’re just starting out, that’s an angle in and of itself.
Respect the Power of Search Engines
You can have the best content in the world, but if no one sees your site, it will largely go to waste. Ensuring that your site appears on the front page of search engines gets your content in front of potential customers; Google alone provides a mind-boggling 4,464,000,000 searches per day. What you choose to do to tap into this incredible power though, is up to you.
At the very least, you need to have a Google My Business Page. By creating this, you’ll ensure that everyone that searches for your business can quickly find key details like opening times, contact details and location. It’s an essential step for any small business to take to.
The next step for many small business owners is Paid Search, which allows you to buy listings that rank of the front page of search results. You allocate these a set budget and they only cost you money when a searcher clicks on them. It’s a quick way of getting traffic and interest to your business, though the effects tend to be quite short term.
Another way to ensure people see your content is through social media. The power of social media isn’t exactly a secret in the modern world. Consumers are now 71% more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals, a truly staggering number. So be sure to push out your content, as well as useful information, through the social media that best suits it. Instagram works well for visual content, Twitter for small updates and ad-hoc announcements, whilst Facebook is the king when it comes to community engagement. The latter two also have a lot of value as ways to engage with your community, so be sure to respond to comments whenever you can. This includes negative ones: unresolved complaints on your social media pages are definitely something avoid!
Ensure Your Website is Up to Scratch!
We frequently mention it but a good website is an essential investment for every small business. A remarkable 75% of consumers admit that they judge a business’ credibility based on their website design, and 79% said they would not return to purchase from a slow loading website. Something simple, clean and optimised for mobile ensures that once your brilliant content has them hooked, you’re not letting them slip off the line.