Launching your own small business is one of the greatest feelings of self-actualization an ambitious person can have in this highly dense global business industry. It means you coalesced your resources together, brainstormed on an idea, and put down and action plan to create a profitable entity.
It would be painful to see all that effort go to waste, by your business not taking off, your operations being mired by debts, and you finally have to close shop. Yes, you are a new business, a small one at that, but the experience does not necessarily have to be like that of a toddler trying to play rugby in a team full of hormonal teens in their prime years.
Because that is actually what you will be; a small inexperienced and probably less funded startup. Going up into competition with big corporations with deep pockets and a lot of experience in the industry.
Digital Marketing Has Leveled the Playing Field
Luckily, we live in a digital information age, where information flows as fast as the speed of light. Everyone has been given a voice thanks to the internet, social media, and affordable mobile internet-enabled devices.
For a startup trying to make headway into the industry, getting your voice out there and being noticed is no longer at the mercy of the big corporations. In the old days, big corporations would introduce bottlenecks and speed bumps in the way of small startup businesses trying to enter the market and become their competition.
However, with digital marketing, making headway into the market has become easy for everyone. The only limitations you will face are mostly the limitations you impose on yourself.
Digital Marketing Tips for Small Businesses
That said, we are going to look at crucial digital marketing tips recommended for small businesses just starting in the industry. They are as follows:
- Provide Rich User Experience Across Your Digital Assets
In the old days, successful business rode on the back of quality customer service. A customer who experiences excellent service at a particular establishment, will by word of mouth, be your greatest marketer.
In this digital age, although quality customer experience is demanded, many businesses don’t have walk-in customers and sell their products online. So they focus more on good user experience across their digital assets (website, mobile app, and social media accounts)
“High-quality services are expected rather than appreciated.”
As a new player in the market, your best shot of stealing the customers of your more-established competitor is by ensuring your digital assets do the following:
- Your website should have a fast loading speed. The menu navigation should be intuitive, and if you could integrate a chatbot, all the better. The website design should be simple but built with the latest cutting-edge standards.
- The website content should be highly engaging to your visitor. The web pages copy written in the tone your visitors readily identify with and is relevant to them. Include a FAQs section that promptly addresses common concerns facing your target customers.
- Understand the buyer journey and serve them intuitive content that helps them understand how your product or service could be of help to them.
When a new customer comes across any of your digital assets, they need to get relevant information first and fast. The richer the experience, the more likely they will return and recommend you to their family and friends.
2. Engaging Content – With Unique and Fresh Approach
It cannot be overemphasized. You need a great content marketing strategy if you are want to get a lot of attention online. You simply have to stand out above the rest and make the audience want to stop and pay attention.
You can only achieve that if your content is unique, fresh, and engaging. Remember, it is the content that communicates your brand’s message to your target audience. The trick lies in getting them to consume (read, listen, or watch) that content.
Once they consume it, your message is driven home; you have communicated about your product and why they should buy it.
3. Social Media Presence
Social media has revolutionized how people socialize. It has brought friends and family half-way around the world as close as a tap of an icon on our smartphones. People are spending a lot of time on social media, talking to friends and families.
There are a lot of eyeballs on social media platforms than there used to be on traditional media like TVs, radios, and print media. Yet, you need to present yourself in front of those eyeballs, be seen, and understood.
Naturally, you will have to follow the eyeballs, and being present on social media is a no-brainer. However, being present is the first step in a long journey that entails posting engaging content, being informative rather than hard-selling your product, listening to your customers’ needs and addressing them promptly.
4. Video Marketing Gets More Traction
It takes a lot of brain effort for someone to read through blocks of text and understand the message than to simply watch a video demonstration of the same. That is why video posts on social media and websites get more traction than simple plain text.
Videos are proving to be powerful tools for communicating extensively. To test this fact, open your browser history and look at how many times you visited YouTube and Wikipedia when looking for information. For the majority, YouTube hits are more than Wikipedia.
The good news is, these days, producing a video does not necessarily have to be an expensive and tedious process. The average smartphone has a snapper that can take high definition videos, and with little to no editing, the video can be posted online.
5. Search Engine Optimization
Much of the above-shared tips are for customers you already have access to, it cannot be relied upon for customers unaware of your existence. For such customers, the search engine is your best tool.
A lot of people have confidence that the internet is a treasure trove for all information. However, it is the search engine that will navigate to the specific sites having the particular information they need.
As a small business just starting out, you can be sure there is a customer out there in need of your service. They don’t know you exist. It is upon you to make yourself friendly to the search engine, in order for the search engine to present your business at the top of the result page.
Hence the term Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which essentially means making it easy and quick for search engine crawl bots to scan your website. Then present it at the top of the search result page for a given keyword. The higher your rank on SEO ratings, the more eyeballs your website gets, and the more profitable your business becomes.
6. Mobile-Friendly and Mobile Ready
You walk around with more computing power inside your pocket than it took to land the first man on the moon. Think about that the next time you are using your smartphone, and then reflect on how much it has replaced the desktop computer and even tablets.
People nowadays consume content (watch, listen, read) on their smartphones than they do on the traditional desktop computers. It goes without saying; they communicate more on their smartphone than on computers; because a phone is first and foremost a communication device.
As a business trying to market your products, it is critical that you serve your content in a mobile-friendly manner. For instance, your website should be intuitive enough to load well on the comparatively smaller smartphone displays.
A user visiting your website via a smartphone should have as equally as good experience as someone visiting through a desktop computer. That calls for using the latest cutting-edge intuitive website designs.
7. Consistency and Reliability
The message of your brand should be consistent across all your digital assets (website, mobile apps, and social media accounts) and real-life assets (shop branding, product branding).
That same consistency should be seen in how you post content on your website (blog page) and social media. If you post three times this week, next week should also have three posts and the same for the following weeks, just like clockwork.
Also, be consistent in the time of day that you are posting, if you post in the afternoon, maintain that schedule. However, don’t fall into the pitfall of over posting. Posting too much will make your brand come off as spammy and you will quickly lose the interest of your audience.
For instance, collective social media wisdom dictates that you should post between 5-7 times per week on Facebook. It would help if you did some research into proper social media posting ethos.
8. Make Landing Pages – Compelling, Engaging, Highly-Converting
Getting your target customer to click through a paid advertisement or social media post is the first step. Getting them to take the desired action is the main reward for your endeavors. Marketing experts believe a click-through should lead to a landing page dedicated to selling the product.
Therefore, you should invest your time and money in creating an effective landing page that will convert the visitors into customers. It is imperative that you deliver a good user experience to the customer on your landing page as it is their first point of contact with your brand.
Don’t fall into the pitfalls of using templates and auto-piloting the system. Take deliberate steps geared towards convincing the customer to take the desired action.
9. Apply the 80/20 Pareto’s Principle
You use time and money to create these digital assets, and naturally, you want to drum up support for yourself all the time. Guess what, that might be your greatest undoing!
The 80/20 rule on social media says that 20% of your efforts should be selling yourself. The remaining 80% should be on sharing useful tips that the customer needs. That doesn’t necessarily mean talking about your product.
When it comes to sales, the 80/20 rule still applies. It says that 80% of your revenue will come from 20% of your customers. On social media, 80% of traction will come from 20% of the posts you put on social media.
Once you identify the 20%, be sure to put in a good amount of your efforts to that bracket. At the same time, do not neglect the remaining portions.
10. Brand Yourself as an Employer
As your business picks up, you will need an extra pair of hands (and then some) to manage the affairs of running the business effectively. Hiring talent can be a painful and expensive process. Yet, roping in the right talent will boost business tenfold.
Therefore, it is imperative that you brand yourself as the best place to work. Little things like having a team page, and a company blog where your staff share experiences and tips can go a long way in creating a good employer image.
As a manager, people skills will be very important. That entails how employees feel motivated and valued at the organization. You don’t necessarily have to pay them very high wages and salary, but you could inspire them and make their work environment happy.
Their productivity will skyrocket, which will mean more business for you, and you can afford to pay them better than before. It is a win-win situation, and your brand gets recognized as the best employer.
The above ten tips are just some of the ways a small business can make headway into a competitive market. We have highlighted more tips on our earlier post, so be sure to check those out.
Also, as we have mentioned numerous times, the dynamics in digital marketing change frequently, and we will ensure to keep you informed on the latest trends. So be sure to check our future postings as we endeavor to bring you market-relevant tips on how to become a rock star digital marketer.
Article provided by, The Digital Marketing Recruiter – a recruiting firm focused exclusively on filling digital marketing positions throughout the USA
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