Digital Marketing for Small Businesses
How small businesses can benefit and grow with digital marketing.
The opportunities for digital marketing are endless and so are the benefits. The internet has changed the landscape of marketing since it first launched in the early 1990s. People are now more connected than ever and the data available to businesses is often overwhelming. It’s now possible to track every move on your website, from where your visitors came from, exactly what they looked at and when they left your website. This knowledge also extends to who you’re talking to. Age, gender, location and interests are now easily accessible in targeting an audience for your brand.
But what does this mean for your small business? It’s great that so much data is available but how can I use it to my advantage and compete with the big brands with bigger budgets, teams and resources?
Such a large digital marketing landscape can have small businesses wondering where they turn to. Which digital channel is best for you as a business owner with a small team? With so many digital marketing options available, it’s impossible for a small businesses to be able to utilise all of them, and there’s no reason why you should. It is widely accepted that there are four main types of digital marketing that bring the highest reward and we’ll explore those now.
Types of digital marketing for small businesses
Also known as Pay Per Click, this marketing channel allows terms such as your brand name or product type, to be placed at the top of search engine pages for a fee. The search engine you choose will most likely be Google and their PPC platform is called Google Ads. You only pay for visitors that click on your advert and through to your website. This is extremely attractive to advertisers as you’re attracting visitors that are looking for you! Many different advertisers are bidding on terms at any one time so you are competing with others that are relevant to your market. PPC can be a great tool for small businesses as you can see exactly where your money is going and your return on investment. Specific keyword targeting and sensible bidding means that PPC can be profitable for small business owners.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is how your website ranks in Google (or other search engines) compared to other websites. Search engines are always finding new ways to rank websites with their content so it’s essential that small businesses keep on top of this. The downside of small business SEO is that this type of digital marketing takes time. You need to research the words you are using on your website, make sure that pages and images are labelled correctly so that Google can easily index them. It also takes time for the results to show, an SEO strategy takes months instead of days or weeks to implement and see the return. The benefits of SEO for small businesses is that the cost is relatively low. While it takes a long time to implement, there is no bidding involved with others so you don’t need to directly compete with others in this way.
Social media marketing for small businesses can be a great tool to watch your audience grow. As well as having a social media page to speak to your customers, it’s also possible to advertise on social channels such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to attract more followers and clicks to your website. Social platforms have become a big part of everyday life and so it’s a great opportunity to get in front of a very wide audience and attract them to your brand. There are many social media marketing strategies for small businesses available and the Green Shoot team would be happy to get you started.
Despite what many may think, 73% of consumers state that email is their preferred contact option (Source: https://dma.org.uk/uploads/misc/maketers-view-and-channel.pdf). Email marketing for small business is a fantastic way to speak directly with your customers and people who are interested in your brand. If a visitor to your website has given you their email then they are interested in your services which is a great sign. Email marketing isn’t just about sending the same email to everyone in your database. The benefits of email marketing for small businesses is that it’s an opportunity to segment your audience according to their preferences, customer journey stage, and add value to their experience with exclusive offers. Small businesses should create a calendar to plan what they want to say to their email database and consider how often they send marketing emails.
Digital marketing advice for small businesses
Digital marketing doesn’t have to be a daunting process for small businesses. You can start with using just one or two digital marketing channels with small budgets and build on this once you see the results and what works for you. There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to digital marketing campaigns. What works for your competitors may not work for you so it’s important to check, test and optimise to make sure you are getting the best results possible out of your budget.
To give you a headstart, we created the Green Shoot Comprehensive Digital Marketing Glossary. It helps you understand the most important technical terms in digital marketing so you can make informed decisions.