Get Your Small Business on the Map: 5 Digital Marketing Tips
Digital marketing is essential for reaching new customers, raising brand awareness, and maintaining sustainable growth in the modern age of technology. Studies show that people spend an average of eight hours and five minutes interacting with digital media per day. Therefore, if your small business hasn’t already created a digital marketing strategy, you could be missing out on meaningful engagement.
Whether you own a pet-care business, bookstore, or flower shop, these five tips will help put your small business on the digital map.
1. Understand your target audience
As a small business, it’s important to focus your marketing efforts and dollars on the audiences that are most likely to invest in your products or services.
Employ these strategies to identify your ideal customer and ensure that your digital marketing materials appeal to their interests:
- Perform prospect research. Prospect research, also known as market research, is the process of using your customer relationship management system (CRM) to identify potential customers who have the financial ability and interest to support your business. Research these prospects to determine which marketing channels, messaging, and branding would be best suited to solicit their support.
- Create customer personas. Personas can represent the different types of clients who may pass through your doors. For instance, if you own a dog grooming business, you could create customer personas for those with small dogs and those with large dogs. Then, tailor your communications according to each persona’s demographics, behaviors, and motivations.
- Send surveys. Solicit feedback about your clients’ communication preferences and ask how they came across your business. Adjust your digital marketing strategy according to these responses to make clients feel valued and drive better results.
Once you have a target audience in mind, start putting your ideas into action and building a strong digital presence for your organization.
2. Optimize your website
Your website should be central to your digital marketing efforts. Create landing pages with information about your products, services, and upcoming events. Then, link back to these resources across your other marketing channels.
To ensure these pages perform well and attract attention, you should:
- Prioritize mobile-friendliness. Potential customers who come across your website on their mobile devices shouldn’t have to struggle with load times and endless scrolling. Pay attention to design elements like layout, text size, image size, and navigation and make sure they automatically resize on all devices.
- Follow SEO best practices. The higher your business ranks in the search results, the more likely people are to visit your website and invest in your services. Publish relevant content that targets specific keyword phrases, such as “pet-care businesses near me” or “top pet-care businesses.”
- Leverage third-party integrations. Connect relevant software solutions to your website, such as recurring billing software, booking service, or CRM. Doing so will streamline your operations and enhance your offerings. For example, if you run a dog kennel, you could link your website to Gingr’s boarding software to allow customers to quickly and conveniently make reservations, sign required forms, pay invoices, and see pictures of their pets.
Your website should also be attractive and fully functional, meeting the needs of both you and your customers.
3. Leverage omnichannel marketing
Consider adopting an omnichannel approach to digital marketing to meet audience members where they are and provide a unified experience that drives results.
Here’s an example of how the process could work for a pet training business:
- A client uses Google to search for a pet trainer in their area and receives a paid ad from your small business.
- The client clicks through to your website and begins filling out the registration form. However, they abandon the page before pressing submit.
- Using the phone number that they provided during their last visit, you send an SMS message to remind them that their registration is incomplete.
- The client returns to your site to complete their registration and receives an automated confirmation email from your organization.
- You then use email marketing to invite them to explore your other services, events, and volunteer opportunities.
When done correctly, omnichannel marketing provides customers with a highly personalized experience that helps drive sales and produce a higher return on investment.
4. Collect digital marketing KPIs
When interpreted correctly, marketing key performance indicators (KPIs) can be used to improve campaigns and better understand customer engagement. Here are a few digital marketing metrics to start collecting:
- Website traffic and conversions
- Social media engagement
- Email open rates, click-through rates, and conversions
- SEO performance
As you collect and interpret this data, you should also establish a process for keeping it clean. “Clean” data that is accurate and relevant can lead to more effective lead
generation and personal outreach. To accomplish this, NPOinfo recommends adopting data hygiene practices, such as regularly checking that customer profiles are up-to-date.
5. Create training resources.
To maintain a successful marketing strategy of any kind, including a digital-based one, businesses need to create documentation. By putting your business’s approach to marketing down in writing, you can better train new staff, maintain knowledge through employee turnover, and standardize your marketing processes in general.
A few resources to create, include:
- A brand style guide. Once your business has solidified the essential aspects of your online brand, including your logo, color scheme, and writing style, create a style guide employees can reference. Style guides can also be shared with third-party services you may hire, such as graphic designers, to help maintain brand consistency.
- Training manuals and videos. If new employees need to have specific skills to get started with marketing, create appropriate training materials. For digital marketing, this might include guidelines for how to interact with different types of comments on social media or best practices for when and how to post video content.
- How-to guides for your software. Ensure your team knows how to use your marketing software and make updates to your website by writing down how to log in, make changes, and conduct general maintenance. Additionally, standardize your process for granting and removing employee permissions for your website and other software.
Keep in mind that the best way to build up a strong base of knowledge for your staff is to maintain a high employee retention rate. Offer competitive compensation, bonuses and gifts, and consider how you can cultivate a positive environment where employees feel supported and motivated to work.
By following these best practices, you’ll set yourself up for digital marketing success. Remember to continually track the performance of your outreach efforts and make improvements accordingly. Doing so will help drive a high ROI for your small business.