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Small Business Digital Marketing Tips

Small Business Digital Marketing Tips

Small business digital marketing is an opportunity entrepreneurs cannot ignore. With fewer staff and limited budgets, small businesses need to get more with less. You don’t have to become a digital geek to get the benefits. Here are some easy and cost-effective tactics anyone can try:

1. Create Content

You are an expert in your line of work, and content is the way to demonstrate that. Think of the questions your customers typically ask, and then write an article that answers the question.

River Pools, a small company in Virginia that install backyard swimming pools was going broke during the 2008 recession. The owner started a blog to answer questions about pools. His website grew from 255 pages to almost 1000 pages. Visitors to the site went from 2000 a year to 500,000. In 2007, it took 230 sales appointments to sell 70 pools. With rich content, by 2013 he made 120 sales appointments and sold 95 pools. In 2009, when his blog was just starting, the average customer read 5 pages of content. By 2013, the average customer read a whopping 105 pages of the site.

Relevant content brings in site visitors, really helps with search engine optimization, gives you great topics for engaging on social media, establishes you as a trusted resource, and can develop real leads.

Create content as digital marketing for your small business

2. Crank on SEO—Search Engine Optimization

SEO doesn’t have to cost a lot and it isn’t rocket science, so you really don’t need to pay an expert. It does take consistent effort and some thoughtful writing.

  • Begin by thinking of what people who might want your product would use to search for you. Brainstorm as many words and phrases, even whole sentences and questions.
  • Run these words through a keyword analyzer. SEMrush is a good one, but new (and free) options for checking keyword traffic are coming to market every day. Look for words that bring you significant, relevant traffic, but that aren’t being used by too many competitors.
  • When you decide what keywords to use, build your pages around them. Use the keyword in the URL, the page metadescription, in the title of the page, in the first sentence, in subheadings, in file names of images, and lightly salted through the copy. Use variations of the keyword, too.
  • Too many keywords? Don’t try to use them all on one page. Create individual pages that are optimized for each keyword—better lots of pages then one page with lots of keywords.

Most small businesses don’t make the time and effort to do this, so even if you do an okay job, you can win.

3. Reach Out to Customers and Potential Customers with Email

It’s an old small business digital marketing technique, but it still works. They key is to focus on the “wantedness” of your emails. Don’t be a spammer or sender of junk mail. People are not eager to find their inboxes full of advertising. Use email to be helpful to your customers and potential customers. Choose topics that are interesting and useful to them; don’t use email to promote your product.

  • Pay attention to email construction. People read emails in their previewers and decide to delete or open. Make sure you have a grabber of a subject line and that the initial lines of text give the reader real value.
  • Don’t worry too much about fancy design. Nothing says “mass marketing email” faster than images and logos. A simple text email that looks like you typed it yourself can perform better.
  • Put a call to action at the top, considering offering a link in the preview pane of the email. If you put it at the bottom, a lot of people will never see it.
  • Don’t guess; test. Try at least two versions of each email to see which one works best. Don’t rely on your own intuition. You can’t guess what a customer would do. Send your test emails to several groups of 50 to 100 people. See how many get opened and how many generate clicks. Go with the winner.
  • Be mindful of the law. You can only send emails to people who give you permission to send email. Don’t buy big lists. Size does not matter. What matters is finding people that are interested in your products or service. It is better to have 100 good people on a list than 1000 random recipients.

4. Use Social Media

Social media is a good place to connect to your customers. Don’t think of it as a billboard for advertising. Consider it more like a garden party with customers as invited guests. Start with just one social media platform, since it is hard to really engage across all of them.

Figure out where your customers spend time and use that platform. Be social. Start conversations, answer questions, invite customers to share experiences. Avoid constantly promoting your company. Most of your social media posts will never be seen.

That is the reality of the medium today. To get your content in front of customers, you will have to pay to boost it or sponsor it. The good thing is that it is not expensive and you can truly fine tune exactly who sees your message.

Social Media for Digital Marketing


One last key: Be sure to follow up on any leads with maximum speed. If someone asks a question on social media, respond in an hour.

If someone clicks on an email, get right on it. If someone fills out a form on your website, call them right back. Marketers call it the “golden hour.” If you don’t respond right away, your potential customer may have forgotten that they were interested—or worse, will have already given their business to your faster competitor.

Make sure the effort you are putting in to attracting customers is matched with equal or greater effort in responding. That effort, not technical expertise or a big budget is what is going to pay off in the end.

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