spark.like | 10 digital marketing tips for small businesses
As a small business owner, it’s quite demanding to focus on growing your business while excelling at marketing. No matter how small or new your business is, you cannot overlook the fact that the group of potential customers you can find online is much larger than the group of people than you’re likely to attract locally.
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10 digital marketing tips for small businesses

As a small business owner, it’s quite demanding to focus on growing your business while excelling at marketing. No wonder you feel stretched in your capacity to cope with the many hats you have to wear to run your business.


Small business owners often regard digital marketing and social media as challenging, time consuming and costly. They are competing for attention against big and small brands and often feel they cannot catch-up with their competitors. As a result, they end up putting it off or going about it in a random manner which results in overwhelm and brings little return on investment (ROI).


No matter how small or new your business is, you cannot overlook the fact that the group of potential customers you can find online is much larger than the group of people than you’re likely to attract locally. Digital marketing gives you the kind of visibility and reach that traditional marketing is not able to. You can reach more customers for less money while being able to interact with your prospects and learn exactly what they are looking for. An effective digital marketing strategy can help your business reach an enormous audience in a way that is both cost-effective and measurable.


Digital marketing is a fast-paced and ever-changing world that is hard to keep up with. From email marketing, social media, content creation, branding, and strategy, there’s so much you need to consider. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and not know where to begin. We’ve put together 10 effective digital marketing tips that can help you take your small business to the next level.


We have focused on the things that work and that you can either put in place on your own or should be able to outsource within your budget.


1_ Be clear about your goals


As a small business owner, you must be clear about your digital marketing goals and how you plan to measure them. Knowing your goals will maximize the outcomes and minimize the effort involved in achieving them.


You must know exactly who your ideal customers are – the ones who are willing and able to buy from you – and be very clear about how you intend to be targeting them. Your time, resources, and budget are not unlimited, so you have to be very strategic about how you use them.


Typical types of digital marketing goals you could consider:

  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Achieving a specific sales target
  • Improving your ROI (Return on investment)
  • Driving people to increase in-store sales
  • Reaching specific new markets
  • Grow your fan base
  • Increase website traffic


2_ Your website


People shouldn’t land on your website and have to navigate through complex menus and dated design, to figure out who you are and what you are selling. Make sure your website has a clean and modern design, its content is up-to-date, is easy to navigate, fast to load and is mobile-friendly. There are over 3.7 billion unique mobile internet users and 70% of internet traffic comes from mobile phones. You just can’t afford for your website not to be mobile friendly.


Creative navigation with hidden menus that leave people wondering where to click, is the quickest way to put off a potential client. Your contact details, opening hours, information about who you are, what you sell and how to contact you, should be one to two clicks away.


3_ Local matters


Over 60% of users use their mobile devices to search for the local services and Google accounts for over 80% of searches worldwide. If you’re running a local business, make sure you claim your listings on Google My Business as soon as you can. Many people turn to the Google My Business results to learn more about the company they are looking for. Make sure you keep your business’ information up-to-date, including contact details, URL, location, and photos.


Google My Business is free and will ensure that nearby potential customers can find you while searching online for what you’re selling. If you don’t have a well-optimized page you might be missing out on a lot of potential customers.


4_ Show off your personality


Like people, brands and companies also have a personality. Cut through the noise and the clutter and show off your brand’s personality. If you look the same as everyone else, you will not stand out and get noticed! Is your brand personality formal or informal? Is it quirky or helpful?


Be likeable and approachable and tell your unique brand story. Don’t be afraid to show who you are, and don’t copy your competitors. Consumers don’t like copycats and will see through that.


5_ Focus on one main social media channel


As a small business owner you’re not likely to have the team or budget to be everywhere on social, so focus on one main channel and do it consistently. Using all the channels could be a big waste of time and effort.


How do you choose which social channel to focus on? The answer is straightforward, you should focus on the social media platform where your customers are most active in.


If your market is B2B Linkedin is probably your best bet. if you are targeting moms who live in a specific area, aged 24-44, then Facebook or Instagram are better choices. You’ll find the demographics on each platform, and you should use it to decide which one is best for your business.


6_ Be social


People don’t just go onto social networks to buy stuff or read your news, they go online to interact with other people and to be social. To be successful on social media, you can’t use it as a broadcast platform. You’ll need to engage with your followers, ask relevant questions, and respond to comments as quickly as you can.


Make sure you create relevant content, post consistently and stick around after you post to engage with your followers to build a sense of community. Your followers need to feel that there is a real person behind the posts and it also shows that customer care is a priority for you.


7_ The rule of 7


The fact that people briefly come in contact with your business, doesn’t mean that they will engage, or that they will even consciously register that contact. There’s an old marketing rule that still holds true; it’s the “rule of 7”. It states that your prospect requires seven touchpoints with you before they’ll take action. By action, we mean to engage with your brand and ultimately buy your product or service. You can debate the number of touchpoints, but the fact remains that your prospect will not act on the first encounter they have with you.


The key takeaway is that it takes more than one post, one ad campaign or email to get noticed. Make sure you leverage your social and email marketing to build a strong connection with your target audience in a consistent manner.


8_ Reviews


Many people will refer to the 1-5-star ratings and reviews they find about your business on Google My Business, Facebook, TripAdvisor, Yelp or any other platforms where your business has been reviewed. Having a low rating is damaging to your reputation as a well-established business and will put off potential customers.


Displaying reviews can increase the chances of a prospect turning into a client by 270%. Customer reviews are powerful social signals that directly impact your revenue. As a local business, you need to make this a top priority in your digital marketing strategy.


9_ Build an Email List


Despite the news, people still open and read emails, and email marketing is an easy way to repeatedly reach out to your prospects and clients. Campaign Monitor reports that businesses can expect a return on investment of $44 for every $1 spent on email marketing.


So, make sure you have a way to capture your prospect’s email on your website, even if you have to offer an incentive to draw them in, it will pay out in the end.


Don’t just send a boring monthly newsletter to everyone. Make sure you segment your email list and send each segment, offers, and messages that speak to their needs. MailChimp is an easy to use email marketing platform and is free to use for up to 2,000 email subscribers. It allows you to segment your list as much as you want, so you have no excuse not to try it.


10_ Create and share more videos


People watch a billion hours of video every day on YouTube, and Facebook gets over 8 billion average daily video views. But it’s not just Facebook and YouTube, videos are picking up speed across every social media platform.


People love to be entertained and videos feel more authentic while being easier to consume than written content. Live streaming also continues to grow in popularity. From the moment you start your live streaming on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube, your followers will receive a notification to join in. In case they miss it, you can archive the video for later viewing.


Videos offer a powerful way to engage and grow your audience, humanizing your brand, and can be more effective in driving sales than text-based content.


There are many ways video can fit in your marketing strategy: vlogs, announcements, tutorials, product demos, customer testimonials, recorded Q&As, ads, and live streams. These are a few of the ways even small businesses can leverage video as part of their digital marketing.


Video production used to be expensive, but nowadays smartphone cameras offer good enough quality to start producing content or for streaming your lives. And there are plenty of easy to use video editing apps that you can use. If you’re not using video in 2019 to meet your marketing goals, it’s definitely time you start.


Approach your digital marketing efforts as training for a marathon. You don’t start running the whole 42 Km in your first training session, but with every consistent effort, you will get closer to the end goal while strengthening your overall performance.


The secret to your digital marketing success as a small business lies in getting the right message to the right people at the right time, so, get creative but keep it simple, keep focused on the right audience, the best platforms, and the results will come.


Testing and measuring the results is the key to a successful outcome. You may get it wrong for a while, but eventually, you will get it right! And if you need help with it, make sure you reach out to us, we are happy to help you.