Digital Marketing for Small Businesses
The digital revolution has well and truly arrived. Society is increasingly digitally orientated and people are accessing more information online than ever. This means having a digital marketing strategy for your small business is critical.
Ensuring your brand is easily discoverable through search engines should be a priority to help people find you and your contact details – even and especially if they are already your customers.
Although that doesn’t necessarily mean that you require a website, it will definitely help.
Website marketing for small businesses:
A simple website can provide excellent marketing for a small business and be built for as little as $1000 – provided you supply content and information to you web developer.
Initial optimisation (SEO) of your site to help it be found by people searching for your business name and key services should only cost an extra couple of hundred.
For most websites – unless you have no plans to scale or market yourself – if your developer suggests anything but WordPress, alarm bells should ring. Globally, there is no better system for managing your website without requiring specialist knowledge, while retaining scalability.
Even their competitor, Wix, uses WordPress for their blog so there’s clearly no comparison. Demand WordPress.
If you already have a website, you should ensure it is optimised for consumption on mobiles and tablets. Test it with this Google tool.
If it isn’t optimised, you can expect that the Google gods will punish you. And if it was built in the last five years, ask your developer why it isn’t optimised and sack them.
With more than 60 per cent of searches now performed on mobile devices, your site will suffer if it isn’t catering for that.
Secondly, information and content should be easily accessible.
The services you offer, your contact details, opening hours and, ideally, some testimonials and examples of your work is essential marketing for small business and will help break down digital barriers.
You may also wish to set up a blog which, given you have WordPress, is easy marketing for small business. It will help your site be found by search engines and, if it is delivering information of value, drive brand recall, engagement and enquiries.
Don’t put only commercial or business information on your blog. It’s there for customers, not for you, should include content of value to them. However, occasionally it’s OK to include some commercial messaging.
Facebook and social media:
If you don’t have a website, social media is your next best bet for being found online.
Creating a free Google My Business account and including contact details, address, opening hours and photos will help your business to rank in local and map search results.
Other social media channels, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, provide free profiles and easy-to-implement marketing for small businesses.
Facebook, in particular, is beginning to challenge Google as a local search engine and savvy small business owners can reap the benefits.
It is easier than ever for potential customers to interact with small businesses on Facebook, with pages now including much of the same functionality as a full website thanks to Facebook Actions.
Other features, such as recommendations and featured events, also benefit local businesses significantly.
Social media can be an excellent method of driving content and attracting customers, however not every channel will be relevant.
They also require ongoing management, so don’t establish a social site and forget about it. This is about as inviting as an empty restaurant.
For more info, check out this detailed information about successfully managing Facebook.
It has never been easier to email your clients the latest information, insight and advice thanks to free and powerful email clients like MailChimp. With quality content you should be getting open rates of at least 30 per cent or higher.
That said, don’t just send your newsletter to every person you have ever dealt with. Australian privacy laws prohibit content that is considered spam.
Video and Graphical Content:
The digital revolution has seen the delivery of information reduced to small chunks of content often found in social media feeds. As a result, video and graphical content is winning.
That doesn’t mean Red Bull production standards but it does mean providing relevant information or entertainment to your audience.
Whatever your views on the collection of personal information online, it means highly targeted advertising and marketing opportunities for small business. Social media allows targeting on everything from a specific age, sex and location, to beliefs, values and political persuasion.
However advertising – whether in the local paper, on Facebook or search engines, will not provide decent returns unless the rest of your brand’s digital presence is up to scratch. So start there and work your way up.
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Print Content Considerations