Utilize Digital Marketing To Grow Your SMB
Every company should be utilizing digital marketing techniques. If you’re a small business owner, your ability to stand out and compete with other organizations can largely depend on your ability to utilize strong digital marketing tactics. The issue for many business leaders is an ability to determine which of the many digital marketing strategies deserves your resources and attention. You can’t just utilize every tactic, as they each require time and energy to incorporate into your processes.
So where should you start?
Your Website (aka Your Digital Homebase)
Your website is your company’s own little home on the massive digital marketplace and should be both strong and representative of what your organization has to offer. This site represents your brand and is more than just a place for people to read your mission statement or find your contact information.
If your site isn’t user friendly and easy to navigate, you will lose potential customers. If a visitor has a poor experience online, they will consciously or unconsciously view this as representative of your brand’s lack of attention to customer experience. Your site should be simple and clean. Don’t congest it with noise or unnecessary features that ultimately cloud the experience.
It’s honestly astounding the number of websites or digital profiles we’ve seen that bury contact information. Your phone number, address, and business hours should be the easiest thing to find on your site. This information is critical, as it provides the next point of contact for a potential customer.
The digital landscape is changing every day, and you should be changing along with it. Some organizations spend time establishing their digital presence, and then set processes only to repeat them into nonexistence. Digital marketing is made for testing, as you have a lot to gain from exploring new ways to reach your customers and fulfill their needs.
Content, Content, Content
Every business should be creating some degree of content on the internet. Blogs, Explainer Videos, Live Streams, and Podcasts can all play a role in expanding your reach and engaging current and future customers. There are so many options when it comes to content marketing and improving your SEO. Play with different methods, see what yields responses from your customers, and see what comes natural to your team.
If you are producing a lot of content, you are ultimately being tagged in more places and providing evidence that you are a thought leader or influencer within your space.
Despite the internet being a global phenomenon, there are still excellent ways to focus on your community at a local level. Sites like “google my business” can ensure that you show up on local search directories. Additionally, if you are working with Facebook ads or other social media advertisements, there are ways to specifically target local customers. These tactics will help you market directly to prospects that are nearby as they search online for products or services that you sell.
One of the original forms of digital marketing is still a powerful one, as email allows you to connect with current or future customers. Essentially everyone that is online has an email address and checks it with some degree of frequency. This is why it is an extremely valuable form of marketing. Some of your options include marketing emails, newsletters, or special “email only” discounts.
Engage on Social Media
The common use for social media is to mindlessly post substance-less content or pester your audience with promotions. This isn’t the most effective use for social media, as it can actually be perceived in a negative light. Companies that see the most success on social media are more thoughtful and engaging with their actions.
Digital Marketing Is Constantly Changing
The only consistent in the digital marketing world is change. Platforms are consistently tweaking their algorithms, policies and goals on a week to week basis. If you're not staying on top of changing trends in the market, you could find yourself over-leveraged on one platform. Many times the platform that a business rides to success is the platform that contributes to the eventual demise of that same business. Here are some really good resources to get you started:
Moz Blog - Moz is a company that has built its entire business around monitoring changes in the Google search algorithm. They are the go-to resource for all Google changes.
Hubspot - Hubspot is an marketing automation company that invests a lot of their resources into adding value for their customers and potential customers. They have a wide range of content ranging from overcoming sales objections to landing page checklists.
Marketing Trends Podcast - This is a great podcast that is funded by Salesforce Pardot (a CRM and marketing automation tool). They interview industry leaders to get a sense of trends in the marketing landscape. A great resource for marketers and the C-Level alike.
It can be very effective to gauge your audience’s interests and needs, and tailor content to these needs. We would also recommend that you work towards actively engaging your customers by showing them that you are listening to their thoughts and in some situations inspiring a dialog. This process helps establish trust and ultimately builds brand loyalty, which is extremely valuable for smaller and medium sized organizations.
There are plenty of low cost or free options that exist digitally for SMBs to market themselves. These options should be mindfully incorporated into marketing processes, as they are immensely valuable to a company’s ability to remain competitive. If you’d like to explore these options in more detail, as well as what the future holds for digital marketing practices, contact us at 630-769-8700 or fill out the contact form below.