The field of digital marketing is constantly changing as new technologies become available and consumers come to expect more from the brands they do business with. It’s a problem that tests businesses of all types, especially those on the smaller end of the spectrum.
Thankfully, with a solid foundation, it is very much possible to rise to the challenges posed by the changing tides of the online world. From the tools you’ll need to get started to the techniques that will secure your long-term success, this guide includes all you need to know to create a quality digital marketing campaign for your small business.
The tools you’ll need
You can’t build a strong strategy without a few essential tools in your arsenal. For starters, every small business needs a website that spells out their mission statement and shows off what they sell. You should also have an employee handbook that will help new hires understand your mission and values, and help protect your business against claims such as workers compensation and harassment and discrimination. Ideally, crucial contact information including an email address and phone number will be signposted, too.
Your web presence should also include several social media accounts on platforms that appeal to your target demographics. In addition, a strong Google listing could help you reach 48% of all consumers who use the search engine to decide what brands to buy from.
What you need to know
Every facet of your digital marketing strategy, from your web presence to the products you promote, has to be geared towards your customers. At the end of the day, while your business may be your passion project, how you market it has to come down to what your buyers want. As such, you’ll need to take the time to get to know them.
There are several ways to do this, with analytics being the most obvious and easy to maintain. You should also consider sending out surveys and conducting market research to get direct input from the people you serve.
Creating a realistic plan
As harsh as it sounds, you won’t get very far if you don’t have a solid plan in place. Budgeting in particular is crucial because it sets the stage for what is and isn’t achievable. As a rough guideline, most small businesses will allocate between 7% and 8% of their revenue to marketing, using that money to drive progress towards their KPIs.
These KPIs or key performance indicators are similarly important. They’re targets that help you to measure your success. They could be related to how many leads you convert through an email newsletter or the ROI of a particular campaign. Just make sure they’re related to how your business operates.
There are several different approaches you can take to digital marketing. Find the one that makes the most sense for your business and put it into practice.
Create content that is optimized for search. Doing so will allow you to expand your reach. If you ensure that the content in question is authoritative and gives value back to your consumers, you can further maximize the success of this common approach to digital marketing.
Email marketing is among the cheapest digital marketing channels there is and one of the most effective. The ROI for an email marketing campaign can reach the dizzying heights of 4,400% if you pitch it right.
Social media marketing
Many of the most engaged online users are those that spend their time on social media engaging with posts that spark their interest. Make the most of this engagement goldmine by creating a consistent social media presence and building a loyal following.
Ensuring the success of your marketing strategy
Marketing is a necessity in this day and age. Without it, your small business will struggle to ever get off the ground, even if you can offer exceptional products and fantastic customer service. So, neglect the marketing side of things and you could find yourself barrelling towards tough times or even company liquidation.
The good news is that establishing a strong digital marketing strategy doesn’t have to be too complicated. With the right approach, you can set down strong roots and grow in whatever direction is demanded by digital upgrades and new trends.
Luke Fitzpatrick has been published in Forbes, The Next Web, and Influencive. He is a guest lecturer at the University of Sydney, lecturing in Cross-Cultural Management and the Pre-MBA Program. Connect with him on LinkedIn.