Starting a small business might seem a lot easier than building a big one from scratch. Small businesses require fewer investments and are much easier to handle. However, when it comes to marketing promotion, things can be very different.
Years ago, promoting a small business was as easy as it could be—all you needed to do was to advertise in some local newspapers. The situation is different these days. The world goes digital very quickly and offline promotion slowly becomes less effective than a digital promotion.
What’s even worse is that it could be harder for small businesses to promote themselves online. Such businesses usually don’t have many employees, especially at the beginning, and there’s a limit to what those employees can handle. Digital marketing requires a lot of specific knowledge and a lot of time. So the owner of a small business has to either hire a special employee for that (which can often affect the budget in a bad way) or put a lot of time and effort into mastering this new knowledge and learning how to adapt to such changes.
However, there’s still a way to handle this effectively even if the resources are limited. All you need to do is to learn what to focus on in order to make this right. Here are 7 useful digital marketing tips we advise to remember.
1. Learn how to re-use old content
There are two types of content—temporary and evergreen. However, many small business owners seem to forget about this, publishing content once and never revisiting it again after posting.
This does apply well to some cases: if your content is related to the news, recent updates, and so on—shortly speaking, if it is important and informative now, but won’t be after a couple of months.
But there’s other content, too—the type that will always be valuable (or at least will be valuable during the next year or two). In this case, it’s good to re-use such content, tailoring it to recent changes on the market. The clients who are with you since the time you used it first, can read it to refresh their knowledge about a subject. And the ones who followed you only recently will find this information useful too.
What’s also important is that re-using such content could also help you get more shares (if it was appreciated and shared once) and won’t require too much work from you or your content writers.
2. Use local search ads
For years, advertising in local newspapers was the only way for small businesses to build a client base. These days, however, you can still advertise locally—by using search ads instead of newspaper ads.
Such ads work the best because they attract customers from your area, helping to boost both leads and sales. They also ensure that your business website will be shown as one of the first if a potential client decides to search for relevant products or goods in your area.
Moreover, such ads are shown not only on a desktop browser but on a mobile browser too. They also appear in mobile search results and in Google Maps app when clients conduct the search nearby.
You can pay for such ads on a CPC (cost-per-click) basis. This means that you’ll pay only when people click on your ads. Such approach allows investing money more wisely as well as setting a maximum budget to ensure that you won’t spend more than you can afford.
3. Craft the best follow-up emails possible
Email marketing can be a tricky thing for many. There are so many different emails you can write and not all of them might seem necessary to spend time on at the moment. However, even if you cannot afford spending hours on writing email templates for each and every case, there’s at least one type of emails you need to focus on—follow-up emails.
Such emails express gratitude for purchase, making your customers more satisfied. They also often suggest a couple of products the customers might also like, a request to write a review of a product, and so on. If you work to make them as good as possible, you’ll be able to increase positive feedback and improve marketing without actually wasting much time.
4. Don’t forget about keywords and title tags
Many small business owners know how important it is to use keywords and title tags while creating content for the web. However, not all of them have a clear understanding of how it can work. Using any keywords is not enough. Using the most popular ones is not enough too and can actually harm your business.
Instead, try to pick keywords and title tags that work the best in your area, are popular, and unique enough at the same time. Choosing them on your own can be hard, but luckily there’s plenty of apps and tools to help you. Consider using one of the most popular SEO tools: Moz, SEMruch, or Ahrefs.
5. Keep an eye on your competitors
You might not be the most experienced small business owner in the area now—however, this could be a perk too. Sometimes, your competitors are far more experienced than you and this means you can actually learn something valuable from them.
Sometimes, they aren’t as experienced, but this still doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check up on them. It’s always important to know what your competitors are doing, how they are developing, which strategies they are implementing, and so on. Knowing this could help you come up with some bright ideas or adjust your own strategies so your business would differ from theirs.
The best way to monitor your competitors is to watch them on Twitter. Most of the interactions there are public, so it will be easy for you to check how they communicate with their clients, partners, etc.
6. Automate what can be automated
Many small businesses aren’t able to hire many employees, just like we’ve already mentioned above. However, this still shouldn’t affect your business.
These days there are plenty of ways to automate various stages of the digital marketing process, from email deliveries to chatbots. It’s always good to use such things when possible, saving both time and money.
Of course, you still should consider this carefully. Some stages of the whole marketing process simply cannot be automated well enough and some can be automated easily. Use your resources wisely and consider all the options carefully so you won’t have your employees doing something automated tools can do.
7. Always use custom landing pages
These days we have plenty of layouts and templates that one can use to create a website or a landing page. However, it would be better for your business to order a custom landing page or to design it yourself instead of using a template.
Of course, this will be much harder and might require some extra money from you. However, this will guarantee that any landing page you order will indeed serve a certain purpose. Moreover, it’s even better if you can afford to order different landing page designs. This way you’ll have various pages working at the same time—this could actually help you drive more traffic and evaluate your marketing strategies better.
So if you have an opportunity, consider investing into landing page creation. This will pay off in the future.
While it might take some time to master the whole digital marketing thing and to learn about the latest trends as well as the most effective strategies, doing so will definitely benefit your business and will help you build a strong client base. So keep learning, trying, and analyzing the results, and don’t get discouraged no matter what!