If you’ve started a small business, you’ve likely experienced the highs and lows of being an entrepreneur. Of course, there are many stressful aspects, including choosing a business structure, taxes, insurance, and countless others.
One of the most challenging tasks is figuring out how to generate demand for your product or service. However, if you have a sound plan, it can be one of the most rewarding parts of running your business. In addition, your business will find the most cost-effective marketing strategies through digital marketing.
If you’re not familiar with online marketing, you’re in luck. In 2022, it’s never been easier to learn and implement the same game plan that industry professionals are using to generate new business growth. This article will review 11 essential digital marketing tips that your business can start using immediately. These tips will help you build a firm foundation for your digital marketing business strategy.
Determine Your Audience
It’s easy to forget that digital marketing aims to reach specific audiences. While you might target small businesses, your customers could be individuals or families. It’s important to remember who you’re trying to reach when planning your digital marketing strategy.
For example, if you’re trying to reach business owners, you probably shouldn’t focus too heavily on marketing to consumers. Instead, it would be best if you tried to build relationships with local business owners and work towards building trust and credibility with them.
When creating demand for your product or service, always consider who your audience is.
Some questions to determine your target audience are:
- Does your audience prefer videos or text?
- Which social media networks do they use?
- What type of searches do they make on search engines?
Think about these questions when deciding on your marketing strategies.
Research Your Competitors
One of the best ways to stand out from your competition is to understand who they are and what they’re doing. It’s easy to look at other businesses and assume that they’re doing everything you are. However, if you dig deeper into their business model, you might notice that they’re missing certain vital elements that you can include to give your business an advantage.
For example, if you’re a local coffee shop, you probably wouldn’t expect to compete against national chains like Starbucks. But if you know they are missing a service that you can offer; you can position yourself as a viable alternative. An example of this would be morning coffee delivery to businesses in local neighborhoods.
This tactic applies to many industries, from auto shops to real estate. When you know what your competitors are doing, you can figure out where they’re falling short and then focus your efforts on improving those areas.
Website basics include everything from creating a professional logo to ensuring that your website has a clean design. These elements are essential to helping visitors understand who you are and what you offer.
One of the most common mistakes small businesses make when building their online presence is forgetting to set up their essential website elements correctly. These include having a straightforward navigation menu, a contact form, and an about us page.
It’s also important to remember that your website needs to be mobile-friendly. In other words, it must look good on smartphones and tablets. Over 50% of website traffic comes from mobile devices. The last thing you want is for someone to visit your site on their phone and then leave without taking action.
Getting the basics right with your website can help visitors quickly learn about your services and become customers.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of improving the visibility of a website or web page in search engines. The goal is to optimize a website to appear higher on search results pages on Google, Bing, and other search engines. It involves both on-page and off-page activities.
On-Page SEO includes optimizing your website structure, content, and code. On-page elements like title tags, meta descriptions, and header tags help provide information to Google and other search engines.
Off-Page SEO focuses on building backlinks from other websites. These backlinks are essential to increasing the ranking of a website in search results.
There are many ways to approach SEO. Some methods focus on link building, while others focus on content creation. Whatever method you choose, it’s important to remember that SEO takes time and effort. But if you put in the work now, you’ll reap the rewards later.
Create a Google My Business Listing
Google My Business is a free tool that allows businesses to create listings for themselves online. It’s a great place to put your business name, address, phone number, hours of operation, photos, and other details.
You need to sign up for a Google account and enter your business information into the form to get started. Once you’ve done that, Google informs you that your listing is active with a confirmation email.
After that, it’s time to add reviews. Customers love seeing positive feedback from others who have used your services. Google rewards businesses that receive these reviews with improved placement on crucial local search terms and includes star ratings that make your listing stand out.
Build a Social Media Presence
Social media has become a powerful tool for small businesses to connect with customers and build brand awareness. However, many small business owners aren’t taking full advantage of these platforms.
One reason is that most small businesses don’t have the resources necessary to create a powerful presence on social media. Another reason is that they don’t understand how to use social media to grow their business effectively. With new social media platforms launching every year that cater to different audiences, it is difficult for most business owners to keep up. In addition, learning the best business practices for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and TikTok can be time-consuming.
To avoid falling behind your competition, consider hiring someone who knows how to use social media for marketing your business. Hiring a professional can help you develop the best strategy for your company. In addition, hiring a pro who understands social media allows you to stay focused on running your business.
Create Engaging Blog Content
One of the best ways to attract visitors to your website is blogging. When you write about topics that interest your target market, you’ll naturally attract more attention from potential customers.
To create exciting blog content, you need to focus on providing value to your readers. Write about topics relevant to your industry and provide helpful tips and tricks that your audience will love. Blogs are an excellent place to share valuable information that interests your readers.
Also, remember to include visuals whenever possible. Images add personality to your blog posts, making them more appealing to readers. For example, have photos of products or services you offer or showcase local landmarks that resonate with your audience. The more visually appealing your blog posts are, the more likely people will read them, learn about your brand, and potentially reach out to use your services.
Use Email Marketing to Connect With Customers
Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to connect with customers. It allows you to reach out to them directly and build relationships with them over time.
To create successful email campaigns, you must understand your audience. Once you know this, you can craft messages that speak to them specifically. Include a call-to-action in every message, so your subscribers know what they need to do next. For example, a call-to-action can ask viewers to sign up for a webinar, use a new limited-time coupon, or shop at an upcoming sale.
It’s also important to remember that emails aren’t just for sending promotional messages. You can use them to send out announcements, answer questions, and provide helpful tips and tricks. The possibilities are endless!
Start Using Video Marketing
Video marketing has become increasingly popular over the past few years from the popularity of smartphones, YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. So it’s no surprise that businesses realize their potential. Video marketing is now considered one of the most effective forms of digital marketing.
There are many reasons video marketing works so well for small business owners, including:
- Videos are easy to create and distribute.
- Videos are highly shareable.
- Videos provide a unique opportunity to connect with customers on a personal level.
Pay Per Click Advertising
Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is a type of online advertising where advertisers pay each time someone clicks on their ad. It’s a very cost-effective form of digital marketing, but it requires a bit of work upfront.
Before you begin, you’ll need to decide whether you want to advertise on Google, Facebook, Bing, or another platform. Each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, so choose wisely. Once you’ve decided on a platform, you’ll need to create ads and track performance.
Ads are usually on search results pages for specific keywords or displayed next to web page content. When someone clicks on your ad, it’ll direct them to a landing page where they can learn more about your business. Then, they can either purchase your product or service or sign up for your email list or other conversion points.
To maximize your PPC efforts, consider targeting specific keywords and ad groups. These allow you to reach different audiences based on specific criteria. For example, you could target shoe-related keywords and ad groups if you sell shoes. In addition, if your business is local, it’s highly recommended you target your city and its surrounding areas.
It’s also essential to monitor your campaign closely. Make sure that you’re reaching your goals and spending enough money to get the best return on investment.
Lead generation is finding potential customers interested in your products or services. It’s a very effective method of increasing sales and growing your business.
There are many ways to generate leads, including paid advertising, cold calling, and networking events. The key to lead generation is identifying the best methods for reaching your specific audience.
For example, if you sell products online, you might create an eCommerce store. You can offer visitors special deals and discounts if they sign up for your email list. These visitors have now become leads that you can send marketing emails for the foreseeable future.
Alternatively, you could sign up for local and industry-specific business directories if you run a service-based business. These directories are a clever, cost-effective way to find people in your area looking for your services. When looking for directories, go to Google and search for phrases your ideal customer would search. You’ll likely find local and industry-specific directories at the top of the search results. Again, these are worthwhile options to pursue lead generation opportunities.
Some examples of local and industry directories are:
- TripAdvisor – The world’s largest travel site, helping millions of travelers find the perfect vacation spot, restaurant, or hotel each month.
- Houzz – The world’s largest online network for homeowners looking to build their dream home. Houzz connects consumers with local contractors. When a consumer needs their roof repaired and a roofing contractor is looking to grow their business in the same town, Houzz makes the connection.
- CarGurus – An online business directory where consumers can find local businesses, including car dealerships, repair shops, service centers, etc. Consumers can search by city or state, type of business, category, price range, and location.
- Yelp – The world’s largest business review site, with over 100 million reviews covering more than 20 million businesses across the globe.
Regardless of what type of business you own, lead generation is vital to its success.
Digital marketing is essential if you have a small business. However, if you haven’t started using digital marketing yet, now is the perfect time to begin. Of course, there are many ways to go about it, but the tips mentioned in this article will help you build a solid platform to generate more demand for your products and services. These tips are pillars of any successful online presence, and they should form the foundation of your digital marketing strategy in 2022.
About the Author: Jamie Cohen is a professional content writer passionate about digital marketing and entrepreneurship. Jamie has been building online businesses for over the last decade. But, life isn’t all about internet marketing for Jamie. Instead, taking trips to the dog parks with his two Boston Terriers occupies most of his time.