digital-marketing-and-small-businesses

Building a profitable online marketing strategy for a small business is a challenging task that demands innovation, creativity and a clear vision. Most of the small businesses don’t use digital channels as effectively as they could. It happens mainly due to the limited resources and lack of awareness about digital marketing channels. We will walk you through the preliminary steps essential to building a highly effective online marketing strategy for your small business.

Define your goals

First and the most important step is to define your goals and strategize your budget. You have to be clear about what is important and what is insignificant to your business. Is your end goal to maximize local exposure? Or, you might rather be looking to promote your brand and improve conversion? Whatever your objectives are, being a small business owner, you have to make an optimum use of your limited budget. If you are looking to achieve a number of objectives, prioritize them in accordance with your immediate needs.

Build a brand to stand out

Does your small company have a brand identity? Having a brand identity means your business has certain, enduring values and it stands for something. What comes in your mind when you think about Apple? What is it that makes Apple so unique in the mobile and computer industry? It is not just their logo or the brand name consumers are so obsessed with, it is the promise to deliver great products that has made Apple one of the most successful and profitable brands in the world. You have the same opportunity as Apple once had when it was just a small start-up company with no brand identity whatsoever.

It is your business core values, beliefs, and purpose that blend together to lay the foundation of your brand. In order to be successful and achieve fast growth, you have to offer the world something that could differentiate you from the rest of the competition and keeps customers coming back. Following are some questions that will help you streamline your way to build a remarkable brand:

  • What, essentially, is your business about?
  • What is it that your customers like or dislike the most about your company?
  • Why should your prospects choose you when they have other companies offering the same products and services you do?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • What are your competitive advantages? (the areas where your competitors are not doing well.)

Your objective should be to locate the holes in your industry and capitalize on them. Once you have developed an understanding of your business, competitors, and customers, it’s time to go ahead and start building a great brand.

Also read: Understanding the basics of branding

Analyze your presence on the web

Most of the small companies do have some kind of web presence in form of a website or a social media page. It is absolutely essential for you to analyze your website in terms of user-experience and utility. First, your website should be user-friendly and visually appealing. Second, the content on your website should explain your products and services in a way it is easy to understand. A website loses its significance if its visitors do not get what they are looking for, or the information on a site is too vague to be useful. Third, use the language your target audience is likely to use in order to gain relevant traffic. Figure out the keywords your audience are possibly using in search engines (when they search your products) and then incorporate those terms in your content the way they don’t affect the readability and quality of your content. Take every page on your site as an opportunity to build a strong argument advocating why visitors should buy from you.

Do not go for everything

A small business cannot afford to use a number of marketing tools, techniques and platforms. And it is not wise to go after every possible trick and tool even when you can afford to do so. A considerable approach would be to go after options that promise a high return on investment. You need to decide what is worth your money, time, and resources before giving different options a try.

1. Content

Unique and valuable content is the most powerful weapon a small business can use to achieve its online marketing goals. It is the only way you can please your audience as well as the search engines. Generic content would make it difficult, if not impossible, for you to rank against big competitors. Take content as a chance to offer solutions that your competitors have failed to provide.

Related: 5 ways to create remarkable content for your brand

2. Go social

Social media provides a great opportunity for small companies to engage their audience and build brand reputation. Before utilizing any social media channel, make sure that your brand and website are fully developed. Again, you need quality content in order to sustain an effective social media marketing campaign. Once you have the content, post them on carefully selected channels. It is not necessary that every social media platform is relevant to your industry. Be there where your audience is found.

3. Local marketing

The potential to make new customers via local search is huge. This is why it is recommended to incorporate local search marketing in your overall online marketing strategy. Do not miss out on local buyers; make sure that your website shows up whenever a local customer tries to find products or services related to yours on the internet.

Build network

There are plenty of opportunities for small business to go out and share their opinion and expertise with a relevant audience, both online and offline. For example, hosting a niche event or having your share of voice in a trade-show can certainly build your credibility. Networking and sharing your ideas can play a crucial role in boosting your growth as a start up. It would be great if you can find influencers in your industry and make them share your content with their audience.

You can convert your small company into a large corporation by building great products and following the right marketing techniques. Online marketing is powerful and has become inevitable for modern businesses whether small or large. Therefore, make a good use of your limited marketing budget and present your brand to the online world in the best possible way.