Effective digital marketing strategies are the only way to grow your small business in today’s competitive marketplace. When running a small business, you have limited time, staff, and money. Therefore, you need easily employed, highly effective strategies to expand your brand reach and customer base.
The post-covid world is highly digitized. B2B and B2C customers search for and purchase the products and tools they need online. But, without utilizing powerful digital marketing strategies, you’ll miss out on one of the easiest ways to grow your small business.
We’re not going to cover the basics of a digital marketing strategy, such as writing goals and developing your customer personas. We’ve covered that in previous articles.
First Some Stats On Digital Marketing
The latest stats from the Search Engine Journal prove why you need digital marketing strategies to grow your business.
- The average internet user has 8-6 social media accounts
- 3.2 billion photos and 720,000 hours of video are shared on social media platforms every day
- The average user spends 145 minutes per day on social media
- As of the third quarter of 2020, 10M brands were advertising on Facebook, up from 7M in the same quarter the previous year
- Instagram users spend, on average, 30 minutes every day on the platform
- Facebook users spend 34 minutes every day checking feeds, reacting to notifications, and responding to messages
- 49% of Facebook users log onto the platform several times per day.
And we haven’t even touched on other digital platforms such as TikTok and Twitter. You can’t skip digital channels if you want to reach your target audience.
So, let’s dive in and talk about seven ways to use digital marketing to grow your small business.
Your Brand Story
Consumer distrust of brands, especially advertisements, is at an all-time high. Telling your brand story is one of the most effective ways to build trust, increase engagement and turn your customers into brand ambassadors.
Brand storytelling is customer-centric marketing—less about your product and more about who you are. Focus on how your product or service is helping to improve the world or address the needs of consumers.
Put your brand story on your website and social media profiles. Then, incorporate it into every piece of content you create.
Don’t be afraid to shine the spotlight on you and your team.
Share real-life examples of how your product or service has helped your customers. The best way to do this is with user-generated content.
Google My Business
One of the best and free digital marketing strategies is to list your small business on Google my Business. Your listing strengthens your digital presence, drawing customers to your website and digital profiles.
According to Google, people visit 1.5 billion destinations every month related to their Google searches.
- “Near me” mobile searches grew by 136% year-over-year.
- 76% of people who search on their smartphones for something nearby visit a business within a day.
A Google My Business listing should be one of your top digital marketing strategies. It’s almost like a second website for your business.
Routinely post content such as updates, unique offerings, special events, news that might interest your target audience, and photos and videos.
A GMB listing also strengthens your credibility, enhancing the trust factor between your small business and your customers.
Digital Marketing Automation
As a small business owner, you have a full plate of responsibilities. Digital automation saves you time and money, makes your marketing efforts more efficient, and frees you to focus on the other aspects of running your business.
High-tech automation tools are available for all elements of your digital marketing campaign, including
- email marketing
- ad campaigns
- lead generation
- funnel nurturing
- social media management
- content publishing, and
- referral marketing.
Here are some examples,
Constant Contact is one of the best-known email marketing automation tools for small businesses just starting to automate. It’s easy to use and affordable.
HubSpot automates more than email, but it’s not as in-depth as Marketo or Eloqua. Instead, HubSpot is an inbound marketing tool designed to help you move your leads through the funnel. It’s also affordable, easy to use, and offers several tools to help with essential digital marketing strategies.
MobileMonkey is an Instagram automation tool that enables users to automatically reply to posts, comments, and stories and engage in direct messaging.
BuzzBuilder Pro is beneficial for solopreneurs, small business owners, or your marketing team. BuzzBuilder Pro empowers you to automate many successful digital marketing strategies, including finding prospects, nurturing leads, email marketing, website form building, tracking and analytics, and social media marketing.
Personalized Email Marketing
As we’ve written about in previous articles, email marketing is not dead! On the contrary, email marketing continues to be one of the most powerful digital marketing strategies today, especially as social media algorithms continue to throw up challenges. Of course, even with automation and the best content strategy, you can’t be sure that your audience will see what you publish. However, emails go directly to your customers’ inboxes.
Personalization is critical for successful email marketing campaigns.
Email marketing offers one of the best ways to personalize messages that result in customer acquisition and retention. With personalized emails, your customers will feel that they’re important to you, that you care about their preferences, needs, issues, and desires. Automated drip email campaigns, for example, can help you with nurturing leads through the entire buyer journey.
Personalized emails strengthen your relationship with your customers, build brand trust and loyalty, and increase sales.
Include Virtual Events In Your Digital Marketing Strategies
In previous articles, we’ve focused on the power of virtual events to expand your market reach and build excitement within your brand community. During the pandemic, virtual events became a lifeline for small businesses struggling to stay afloat during shutdowns. We’ve moved on from the pandemic, and consumers are visiting physical locations once again. However, interest in virtual events has not waned, and according to all predictions, it will only grow. Therefore, digital event marketing should be among your top digital marketing strategies.
Digital event marketing includes
- Online conferences
- Live events, such as sales, shows, and discussions
You’ll not only develop excitement among your current customer base, but you’ll generate quality leads and grow your organic reach. Virtual events allow you to interact with your consumers, learning about the challenges they face directly from them. Take advantage of polls and surveys to identify preferences, which you can use in your marketing messages.
Influencer marketing ranks among the most powerful digital marketing strategies to grow your small business.
The Search Engine Journal stats say that content shared on Instagram by influencers had a
- 2x higher click-through rate
- 7% higher sales conversion rate and
- 37% lower cost per incremental purchase than traditional creative ads.
Find influencers working in your niche and location and begin a conversation with them. Look for influencers with a strong track record who can authentically endorse your brand, increase engagement and generate quality leads.
Research indicates that Gen Zers don’t trust traditional influencers to give their honest opinion about the service or product they’re promoting. Suppose this is your target audience, or your audience is broad. In that case, you should consider working with nano and micro-influencers who will be more relevant to your customers.
Remember—an influencer is someone who can convince others to do something.
Word Of Mouth Marketing
One of the most effective digital marketing strategies to grow your business is to leverage your satisfied customers. Grow your brand ambassadors and ask them to refer your business to their network of family and friends.
Word-of-mouth still works, and it’s one of the most authentic ways to market your business.
- Create brand communities on your website or a social media platform.
- Invite your customers to become active participants in your brand communities.
- Encourage moderated discussions.
- Preview new product or service offerings and solicit feedback.
- Provide incentives, such as discounts, early notice of sales, or coupons.
One of the best ways to turn your customers into brand ambassadors is to ensure their issues are addressed as soon as possible. So, use your social listening tools to track what’s being said about your brand. Then, respond as quickly as possible.
The world is hyper-digitized, but that doesn’t mean you should skip traditional marketing channels. Of course, your digital marketing strategies need to match your goals and objectives, budget, and target audience. But, conventional marketing methods such as flyers, posters, brochures, signage are also helpful depending on your business model.
The main points are that the e-commerce ecosystem is competitive. There are trillions of pieces of content published on the internet every day. However, your consumer audience use digital channels to find products and services. So, you need digital marketing strategies that will boost your digital presence to the top.
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