Digital marketing advice for small business owners
Posted in The virtual assistant blog
While there is an abundance of digital marketing advice for small businesses available online, it can sometimes be a case of information overload. Digital marketing for small business involves many different strategies, all with varying levels of complexity – there’s a lot to learn. This article tries to help simplify the process, helping you understand what digital marketing services are available and explain how to streamline the use of digital marketing with virtual assistance.
Step 1 — Identify the goals of your website and how well it meets them
The first step to successfully using digital marketing for small business is to identify the goals of your website. For most online businesses, their primary goal is to inform visitors about their products and services, then to convert those visitors into customers.
Some businesses may be targeting people of a specific demographic — customers who are a certain age, gender, speak a specific language, have a certain education level or live in a certain geographic location. Your website must be set up to accommodate the demographic you are targeting.
Think about your website as a central pillar in your online digital marketing campaign, which must be designed to meet the goals your business has established for it. Does it effectively inform visitors about your products or services? Do visitors from that specific demographic you are targeting enjoy using the website? Is the content on the website useful, informative and comprehensive? Has the website been optimised for search engines?
Some digital marketing services are useful for tracking how well your website currently meets its goals. You can install a website analytics package to discover how long users are staying on your website, how much content they are reading and how well they match the demographic you are targeting. The key is to make sure your website is performing well before investing heavily in digital marketing.
Step 2 — Research your competitors
Simply visit Google and search for a term relating to your business. Compare your website to other leading businesses — do they have better content? What are the digital marketing solutions they are integrating with their website, i.e. newsletters, social media, blogs or videos? Are they better at targeting the demographic that matches the product or service on offer? Learn as much as you can from these market leaders.
Step 3 — Start blogging, now!
Blogs are a very useful digital marketing tool for small businesses. By continually adding high quality and unique content to your website’s blog, your business can gain a number of advantages, including:
- Website visitors continually return to read your useful and authoritative content
- A great blog establishes your business as a “thought leader” in your sector
- A constant stream of fresh, high-quality content can improve your rankings in search engines and increase the traffic to your website
- The content can be promoted via your social networks and other digital marketing avenues
Step 4 — Use social media to promote your site and content
Social media is an important part of digital marketing for small business. It is cheap to implement and has a range of benefits including:
- A strong improvement in customer engagement
- Increased brand awareness for your business
- A larger web presence for your business
- It can be used to provide additional support for customers
- It will drive traffic to your website
Because there are so many social media platforms available, it is best to choose 3 or 4 initially and post content to those. Some of the most popular social networks including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr.
Step 5 — Choose the right social channel for your business
If you plan to advertise, then you should really consider having a presence on Facebook. These days, Facebook’s power is less about reaching customers organically, but more about getting access to their extremely powerful ads platform. Using this you can target your customers with adverts based on almost anything you could imagine – demographics, buying habits, life events and interests, to name a few.
If you have specific products to sell, consider Pinterest. Using Pinterest, you can share images related to your business niche, including images of your products. Pinterest also includes “buy now” functionality, which makes it extremely simple for a visitor to the site to see an image of your product and buy it immediately.
Twitter is very powerful if you want an easy way to promote your blogs and to grow an audience organically (i.e. without paying for it). It’s very community driven, and there are lots of opportunities to engage in Twitter chats and other community based activities that can help your business gain visibility.
If you’re in a B2B industry, then you’ll certainly want a presence on Linkedin. Here you can setup a company page, but also use your personal profile to network with potential customers, publish your blog content, and grow your personal network of affiliates and suppliers.
Step 6 — Email marketing
Email marketing is another important type of digital marketing for small business. Businesses can gather the email addresses of customers and potential customers, then periodically email them high quality content and updates about the business. It dramatically increases customer engagement and reminds customers of your products or services. You can integrate email marketing with a range of other digital marketing techniques including online competitions, membership schemes, and a variety of email sign-up tactics on your website.
Step 7 — Explore Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising
Pay Per Click advertising is a useful digital marketing technique for obtaining new customers. You simply choose which keywords and regions you wish to target, then your advertisement is placed on a third-party website or search engine results. You simply pay the provider for every click you receive.
Google Adwords is the leading provider of PPC. It is integrated with Google Analytics, which allows you to precisely track the return on investment you receive and the demographics of visitors arriving via PPC. Other high quality providers of PPC include Facebook, Bing and Twitter.
Step 8 — Webinars
A webinar is an online seminar that allows you to share your knowledge, gain more customers and increase your brand authority in the online space. They are very interactive and attendees can ask you questions during or after your webinar. It is a great form of content that can work in conjunction with other digital marketing strategies including social media, email newsletters and PPC. Just make sure your webinar is professionally presented and well organised.
Step 9 — Distribute press releases
Press releases can be shared with hundreds of websites online and are a useful way to promote a new product or service. A small business can obtain a large amount of brand exposure by using a cleverly worded press release, and they can be integrated with other components of your digital marketing strategy.
Step 10 — Local business directories
This is a particularly important digital marketing strategy for businesses that aim to serve the local community. Local business directories are listings of businesses in a particular geographical area. Most of these directories will list your business for free and give your business more exposure online.
Step 11 — Use video to promote your business
Video is a very useful marketing tool, enabling businesses to create promotional, informative, or educational content for the general public. A well made video can increase a businesses brand exposure, authority and increase the amount of traffic coming into a website. Videos can be uploaded to websites like YouTube and Vimeo, where they can attract hundreds or thousands of views.
Digital Marketing with Virtual Assistance
Combining digital marketing with virtual assistance allows your business to perform these tasks efficiently and cost-effectively. By outsourcing digital marketing activities to an experienced professional, you can implement your digital marketing strategy quickly and efficiently.
Thank you for reading “Digital Marketing Advice for Small Business Owners”, we hope you found it useful! If you would like to learn more about virtual assistant marketing support for small businesses, call us on 0800 994 9016 or click here to request a free consultation.
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