We’ve all heard the phrase “new year, new me!” – but what about “new year, new opportunity to grow my business”? We love the sound of that! If you are looking to grow your business, generate leads and increase brand awareness, we will take you through how to start digital marketing for your small business.
What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing is also commonly known as online marketing or internet marketing – and it’s exactly what you think it is. It describes all marketing activity that you can do online through a variety of digital channels, as well as all the assets that come with that. With many consumers spending their time on the internet, this is a great way to help your brand get noticed by a whole new audience that you may not have reached via traditional marketing efforts such as print, television and radio.
The best part? It works for any type of business, small or large, and it just depends on what resources you can afford to invest. So, before we jump into how to start digital marketing, let’s have a look at a few of the most used online media channels you can use to get your brand in front of the right audience.
Reaching your customers via email to make them aware of your brand, any marketing promotions or to give them more information on your product or service. Having a monthly newsletter, automated by platforms such as MailChimp, may be a beneficial way to reach your audience on a regular basis. The best way to build an email list is to simply ask people to subscribe and in exchange, they will receive great content, whether news, blogs or other content from your brand. Where do you find these people? Social media of course.
Social Media Marketing
Makes use of all social media platforms and networks to market your business. In recent years, this method has proved as one of the most successful ways to get your brand found, as you can choose your audience according to the platforms they use and alter your marketing message accordingly. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter, Google+ are all examples of social media networks you can market on. For everything you need to know on social media management click here.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
This helps you increase and improve the volume and value of traffic to your website via search engines. A good way to improve your ranking on these search engines is through blogging and relevant keyword research.
PPC (Pay Per Click) Advertising
This is when you use your marketing efforts for paid advertising and every time someone clicks on your ad, you are charged. This is a way to pay to drive traffic instead of doing it organically for a faster turnaround time and to generate good results. There are a variety of paid advertising types you can use, and you can read all about them here.
Now that you have a good idea of the kind of channels you can use let’s get into our top steps on how to start digital marketing for your small business.
What is it you want to achieve?
Think about your ultimate goal through your digital marketing effort. Is it to improve brand awareness? Drive traffic to the website? Increase conversions?
All these goals can be supported through various organic and paid digital marketing strategies. Your strategy will be dependent on your goal and it’s advisable to try both paid and organic to see what really works for your business before deciding which areas you should be focusing on.
If you want to build brand awareness, then social media marketing is a good place to start. Likewise, if you want to improve sales on a particular product or service, then PPC might be a better option.
If you are planning to use a paid digital marketing strategy, you‘ll need to monitor your budget and results from data very carefully to make sure you are getting a good return on investment. If you’re spending a lot on paid advertising without seeing sufficient growth, not reaching your ultimate goal, it would be best to revise your strategy.
Who are you trying to reach?
Define your audience and create at least one buyer persona for your different channels. The way people invest their time and where they spend their money has changed a lot in recent years, which is why it’s imperative to understand who you are marketing to. If you don’t do this then you risk your entire digital marketing strategy falling flat and being completely ineffective.
Decide whether you are marketing your product or service to a B2C (business to customer) or B2B (business to business) audience. This will play a huge role in exactly what online media platforms you should be using for your digital marketing.
If you are targeting a B2C audience, it’s much easier to get your message in front of the right audience to get them into the sales funnel quickly. Social media and paid ads are a suitable way of achieving this. B2B customers are a very specific niche and require a more careful digital marketing approach. However, the reward is often much larger in the long run. Using PPC and email marketing to target your B2B customers will be a lot more worthwhile than other channels.
Are you mobile friendly?
Mobile internet use has been climbing since the invention of the smartphone and there is no denying that we are now in the mobile era. With more than half of the world using their mobile as a source of web traffic, it’s a no-brainer that your digital marketing needs to be mobile user friendly. Brands are having no choice but to optimise their digital channels for mobile to make sure that they remain top of mind as soon as their audience hits that unlock button on their phones.
It’s better to assume that you will be seen on somebody’s smartphone than on their desktop, so make sure your content can handle that. Optimise for mobile by getting rid of those sidebars that take up an entire screen, break up long chunks of text, alter your copy to fit your images where necessary, and most importantly make sure that you have a fully responsive website that will look great on any device
Ready to try but lacking confidence?
If you’re eager to get stuck in but not yet confident in doing so, consider outsourcing your marketing to help you get up on your feet. We’re not talking about recruiting an expensive, in-house, contract bound team. We’re talking about looking at the options of working with a flexible, highly experienced virtual marketing team who can help you with all aspects of your digital marketing and who can make suggestions when you need them. After all, two brains are better than one, right?
Your virtual marketing team will come in with fresh eyes and formulate a winning strategy, track your results, respond to any queries and can help you automate your marketing so that you can sit back and watch your business grow.
If your small business is not making use of digital marketing, you are missing out on a whole world of potential customers. Follow our simple tips on how to start digital marketing or speak to us on how we can help.