Before the internet, businesses and marketers focused solely on getting new customers through the door. They relied on print ads, billboards, and shop displays to do this. But traditional marketing has taken a step back since the introduction of the internet.
These days, digital marketing is the most popular marketing technique for many businesses. Below, we discuss why digital marketing is important for all businesses.
Why Is Digital Marketing Important for Small Businesses?
As a small business owner, you already know that just waiting for customers to stumble across your business isn’t a sound marketing strategy. Instead, you should target your efforts where your customers already spend a lot of their time – online.
The number of potential online customers is huge. By using effective digital marketing strategies, you can promote your product or service to a wide audience. Digital marketing is also a great way to:
- Interact with clients and understand their wants and needs
- Keep marketing costs down
- Create brand loyalty
- Track the results of your marketing strategy in real-time
There are many digital marketing strategies small businesses can use to boost their audience and sales. Let’s look at some examples.
Best Digital Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses
Search Engine Optimisation
Appearing on the first page of the search results is important for all businesses with an online presence. Being on the first page means your business has good visibility within your industry. Through search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques like keyword research, internal link building, and mobile-optimised content, you can increase your website’s ranking in the search results.
If SEO isn’t your strength, you might consider outsourcing this service. A 2019 survey of 1,200 business owners reported that American small businesses spend around $500 (£370) per month on SEO services. While it isn’t cheap, effective SEO can bring in excellent returns in the long run. But you don’t need to be an expert to see these results. Just devote some time to learning the basics. From there, you’ll be able to boost your website’s search rankings without spending a penny.
Local Search Marketing
If attracting more customers to your physical store is your end goal, location-based marketing is the strategy you need. Location-based marketing not only optimises your website for search results, but it also integrates with the map function most search engines use. For example, on Google, you can list your business’ website, address, contact details, and opening hours, so your clients can easily visit your store.
Like SEO, you can outsource location-based marketing. According to StrategyBeam, it can cost anywhere between $500 (£370) and $4,000 (£2,950) a month. The cost depends on the services you need, your goals, your location, and the tactics used for your specific business.
Content marketing involves creating relevant articles and information on your website, for example in a blog. By offering useful information to your potential customers, you can increase the traffic to your site. If you also include a call to action (CTA) in your content, you’ll hopefully convert this traffic into sales.
You can easily manage the content marketing of your small business. But it’s also possible to outsource this task. Content writing is generally more cost-effective than other digital marketing strategies. It’s easy to find freelance content writers on sites like Fiverr and Upwork.
Content marketing is a highly effective digital marketing strategy. Perhaps because of this, it’s estimated that the most successful marketers spend up to 40% of their budget on content marketing.
Digital marketing is essential for small businesses to build their customer base. But it’s equally important for blogs as well.
Why Is Digital Marketing Important for Blogs?
Digital marketing is crucial for blogs to attract high-quality traffic and increase their number of readers. A successful blog depends on more than just great writing skills! Good content is a must for any successful blog. But you also need to understand what your audience is looking for and how to reach them and convert them into followers (and potential future customers).
The best thing about digital marketing for blogs is that you can easily manage it yourself if you’re willing to spend time learning about SEO and website management. By doing it yourself, you can keep your marketing costs down. Let’s take a look at some of the most effective digital marketing strategies for blogs.
Best Digital Marketing Strategies for Blogs
SEO and Keyword Research
For your blog to appear in the top results when readers search for content, you need to optimise your content for search engines. You can do this by creating SEO-friendly posts and updating existing ones to boost their ranking.
There are several ways to improve your SEO. These include researching the most relevant keywords to include in your content, creating unique headlines, optimising the URL, creating great meta descriptions, and using internal links.
Guest posting involves writing an article for someone else’s blog in your niche. You then have a link to your own content that readers of the post can click on. This strategy generates traffic to your site and increases your overall authority in the niche. In the end, both bloggers win from guest posting. The publisher gets quality content, and the writer gets exposure.
To do this, create a list of blogs in your niche that you would like to write for. Think about the style and content of the blogs so you can pitch article ideas that fit in with their content. If the blog accepts your pitch, write a great article and include a few links to your own blog posts. If you don’t write a high-quality post that provides their readers with value, they won’t post it. Even if you’re in the same niche, things resonate differently with different audiences. So, make sure it’s an article for their audience, not yours!
Bloggers often go straight to social media to promote their content. But email is still a powerful way to engage with readers. Email marketing has a bigger return on investment (ROI) than any other marketing channel. There’s a good reason for this.
Email is a more personal way to connect with your readers, increasing the chances that they’ll share your content. You can encourage readers to become email subscribers by offering curated newsletters, free incentives, or content upgrades that match the interests of the readers.
In addition to blogs, digital marketing is a key marketing strategy for e-commerce websites.
Why Is Digital Marketing Important to e-Commerce Websites?
As the name implies, e-commerce websites rely entirely on internet-based sales. Given that their customers are already internet users, digital marketing is the best medium to help this type of business grow.
It’s possible to manage the marketing for your e-commerce business by yourself if you have the time and are willing to learn the skills you need. If you want to outsource this, it’s recommended that you allocate 7-8% of your revenue to your marketing and advertising needs. Here are some of the strategies used by e-commerce websites.
Best Digital Marketing Strategies for e-Commerce Websites
Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing (SEM) uses paid ad campaigns linked to keywords. When a user searches for your chosen keywords, your paid ad can appear in a separate section of the search engine results page, usually at the top. A well-known platform for this type of digital marketing is Google Ads. However, this can become expensive. You essentially bid for the top spot for various keywords, and so your potential for success with SEM depends largely on your budget.
Social Media Marketing
It’s hard to find someone without a social media presence these days. So, it makes sense to advertise your business through different social media platforms. Social media advertising is a cost-effective way to reach many potential customers. By interacting with the platforms that your target audience is active on, you can see an increase in traffic and higher conversion rates. Once again, you need to provide valuable content that makes your followers want to engage with your website and buy things from you.
A pop-up is a window that opens temporarily when you click through a website. E-commerce businesses use pop-ups to promote new products or present additional offers like free shipping or a flash discount sale.
While pop-ups are not necessarily popular with customers, they are an effective digital marketing strategy for some businesses.
Other Digital Marketing Strategies
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is a type of digital marketing strategy where advertisers pay a fee to the search engine or social media platform every time someone clicks on their ad link. This is mainly used by online businesses who want to increase sales, generate leads, and promote brand awareness. This is another strategy that is budget-dependent.
Sponsored Posts and Influencer Outreach
You’ve no doubt already seen a sponsored post or brand partnership on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube. This is a digital marketing model where creators team up with popular brands or influencers to promote their brand.
It allows influencers to reach audiences that are likely to follow their recommendations. Businesses can generate huge amounts of traffic and boost sales using this type of marketing strategy, by paying a static fee or commission to the influencers or brands they pair up with. With this strategy, you need to be sure that the influencer’s audience will be interested in what you have to offer.
A Digital Marketing Strategy Is Important for All Businesses
Regardless of the type of business you’re running, a digital marketing strategy is essential. There are lots of different methods to choose from and you’ll likely need to use a combination of a few different ones.