Digital is the way of the future when it comes to small business marketing. If you own a small business, marketing experts recommend setting your sights on crafting impactful digital marketing campaigns to improve your engagement rates and bottom lines. This advice is relevant, regardless of whether your business is online or if you have a physical store.
It might not seem obvious that land-based businesses should focus on digital marketing strategies just as much as their eCommerce counterparts do. However, most physical businesses’ target audiences have online presences themselves. This makes the internet a valuable meeting ground and a potential sales and engagement tool.
Here are 5 essential things you should know about digital marketing for your small business.
Mobile is King
Your target audience has already shifted to browsing on their smartphones and tablets. More than half of all internet users now exclusively use mobile devices for all their online activities, ranging from communication to online shopping. Your digital marketing strategy should take the age of mobile into account. It’s recommended that you design or revamp your website to be mobile-friendly and responsive on devices with smaller screens.
Google search results now often penalize websites that still prioritize PC visitors. If this happens to you, it could significantly limit your audience and your website’s traffic. Websites that are slow to load and are clunky on mobile devices tend to frustrate visitors. More often than not, this frustration leads to clicking away in search of alternatives.
You can assess the loading speed of your mobile website using Think with Google. The tech giant’s free web speed testing tool helps you gauge how and where you can improve.
Consider a Dedicated App or Social Media Presence
There’s an app for everything nowadays, and there’s a good reason behind this. More companies than ever before are using apps to reach and engage their audiences in a familiar way. Plus, customers are increasingly gravitating away from traditional web browsers and towards custom-built mobile apps.
If your small business’s budget doesn’t allow for a personalized app, ensure that you have a strong and consistent social media presence across popular platforms like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Snapchat. These platforms are best suited to B2C business models. If you have a B2B business, platforms like LinkedIn or Twitter might suit the nature of your offerings and clientele better.
You may have already heard of impulse shopping. Micro-moments are a digital alternative that have arisen because of the increased accessibility of businesses online.
In this era of instant gratification, you have just a few seconds to engage potential customers and fulfill their needs with your products. This means that your website needs to be operational 24/7/365 to achieve this goal successfully.
Consider implementing an AI-powered chatbot on your site to engage your visitors before they click away. A study by Drift, Salesforce, and SurveyMonkey found that 69% of modern customers prefer turning to chatbots for quick sales-related communication.
Brand Management is a Must
Digital marketing and brand management go hand in hand, but the brand management game has changed since the days of business cards and pamphlets. While having a printer to create this type of marketing material is still a crucial business tool, there are many more elements at play.
Nowadays, small businesses need to consider everything as part of their brand management approaches—from their logos, websites, and customer service protocols, to their social media and customer communication strategies.
Your company’s reputation rests on its ability to manage its branding, ensure customer loyalty, and manage crises and poor reviews effectively. Your customers need to know that you’re willing to go the extra mile to predict and fulfill their needs in a way that aligns with their core values and budget requirements.
Another way to manage your brand, boost your company’s reputation, and drive website traffic is to establish a dedicated blog. Creating and posting meaningful blog content on your site adds value for your customers and establishes you as an expert in your industry. It’s a particularly helpful approach for businesses in highly competitive industries, especially if you use search engine optimization (SEO) tactics to rank your page highly on search engines like Google.
Video and Live Streaming Media
Video media is one of the latest and most successful developments in the world of digital marketing. Statistics show that 97% of marketers surveyed have said that video has helped increase their customers’ understanding of their products and services. Furthermore, 76% have said that video media helped them increase their sales.
Small businesses can take part in the trend by creating and sharing meaningful videos and streams on YouTube, Twitch, Periscope, and TikTok.
Most customers want to know what goes on behind the scenes of their favorite companies, and videos give you the perfect medium through which to share your business’s inner workings. Videos provide a great platform where you can market your products, demonstrate their quality and efficacy, and engage your customers in a truly interactive way.
Professional-quality video content creation may not be within your budget, but that doesn’t mean your business has to miss out on its benefits. You can team up with a local video freelancer or agency, or even an influencer with their own video gear to create your visual media.
Move With The Times
Digital marketing is a must-have strategy for every business today, regardless of whether you operate in the online or brick and mortar space. Anyone who is anyone nowadays has a strong digital presence, and creating impactful internet-based advertising campaigns is a great way to get noticed by your target audience and boost your sales figures.
If you’re new to the digital marketing game, consider hiring an online expert to help you craft an airtight strategy that includes powerful approaches like video media creation, social media marketing, and a dedicated blog.
These tools will allow you to remain competitive and claim your share of the growing digital marketplace, even as a small or growing business.
Author Bio: Alisa Taylor, editor at large and content monster, shares awesome vibes and magic words wherever she drops her ink. Her strongest areas are business, graphic design and education, but she’s always looking to refresh knowledge and widen expertise. She loves taking her dogs for long walks in the woods, and after that, she spends her breaks on gaming and reading.