How to Market Your Small Business in Today’s Digital Space
Finding the right customers is a top challenge for every small business.
This issue is intrinsically connected with yet another challenge – spreading brand awareness.
Although it seems that it’s much easier for SMBs to get their message through and reach their target audience in today’s digital space, the truth is that many of them fail to unlock the full potential of available online marketing methods.
As a matter of fact, 1 in 5 SMBs don’t use digital marketing at all, while 50% allocate less than $300 a month for this strategy, which translates into a number of missed business opportunities.
Here’s how to cut through the digital marketing noise even if you’re on a shoestring budget, and avoid becoming another failure statistic.
Produce High-Quality Content
Prospecting –find the man with the problem, said Ben Friedman, and that’s exactly the approach that you should take when it comes to your content strategy.
By providing value to your potential customers and tackling their issues in your blog posts, e-books, infographics, videos, and other types of content, you practically promote your business without resorting to traditional hard sell tactics.
Many small business owners believe that creating relevant, helpful content is rocket science.
However, in reality, this process takes some basic writing skills, a lot of expertise in the subject matter, and a profound understanding of your audience and their needs
Great content is shareable and it will help you build loyalty with your existing customers as well as bring you a lot of fresh, qualified traffic.
Quality content has to be:
- Unique, so forget about borrowing from other sources without acknowledging it. Google’s algorithms will discover this fraud and your rankings will suffer.
- Actionable. Give your readers clear and practical advice that they can easily implement. Also, include calls-to-action which will encourage your audience to take the next step and subscribe, download, or sign up for your offer. This way they will become a part of your network, and you can start building a meaningful relationship with them.
- Informative, educational, and fun. Make sure that the points and advice from your content can be put to good use. Share your knowledge and jazz it up with some humor when possible. High-flown language and technical jargon can only alienate your prospects.
- Accurate in terms of the information and stats you provide, which means that you should double and triple-check everything you write about and use only relevant, trustworthy sources.
- Diverse in terms of content types, as well as audience segments. Given that infographics are liked and shared 3 times more than any other type of content on social media and that 64% of consumers decide to make a purchase after they watch a branded video, it’s clear that you should go beyond text if you want to engage your customers.
Polish Your Website
Having a functional, visually appealing, and mobile responsive website is a must if you want to create a positive first impression with your potential customers.
Don’t forget that nowadays most people will head to a company’s website when they want to read more about its products or services. It would be an understatement to say that they will be disappointed if the website is poorly designed and not regularly updated.
A polished website vouches for the credibility of your company, and if you optimize it for SEO and mobile, you can boost your rankings. As a result, your potential customers will be more likely to trust you.
Besides that, by having a website is crucial for small businesses because that way they will show up in local search results, and if we bear in mind that 72% of people who perform a local search end up visiting a store within 5 miles.
Another important role of a website is to showcase your products and services, explain their benefits, and even provide social proof through customer testimonials and reviews.
Even though there are platforms which allow you to build your own website for free, it’s much better to leave this important job to professionals. If you aren’t sure how to pick a company which will offer the best quality within your budget, check out reliable website directories where you can browse through portfolios of prestigious web design companies and find your match.
Set Up Your Social Media Profiles
After they check your website, your potential customers will do another background check by visiting your Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or LinkedIn profile, and if these are outdated, your business will come off as not particularly popular or successful.
So, start by creating and fine-tuning one or two social media channels. The trick is to pick the ones that your target audience prefers.
Apart from promoting your own content, you can also use your social media to connect with your followers, feel their pulse, and even use it for customer care and support. By keeping an eye on what people are saying about the type of products or services you sell, what they complain about, and what they praise most, you’ll get a lot of valuable, firsthand insights into your audience’s actual needs and preferences.
Finally, participating in various social media groups can help you establish your authority and become a thought leader in your niche, and this kind of reputation can bring tons of traffic to your website.
However, don’t rely only on organic traffic. Paid ads will help you penetrate a larger market and help you stay on your audience’s radar even when they aren’t on your website or social media profile.
Facebook Ads have powerful targeting options, which means that they will put your marketing messages in front of people interested in what you have to offer.
Keep up With the Latest Trends
Technological advancements have a huge impact on the digital space, which is why it’s constantly evolving.
AI, ML, AR, and other sophisticated technologies are taking over the world of marketing, and if you don’t keep pace with your competition, you’ll soon be outperformed.
Here’s what you should pay attention in the future:
- Chatbots are all the rage at the moment, so make sure that you implement one of these smart algorithms on your website and Facebook Messenger;
- Being compliant with GDPR and CASL is essential for companies operating within the EU and Canada respectively, and it’s crucial to adhere to these guidelines and avoid severe penalties;
- Voice searches will dominate, thanks to Alexa, Echo, and other digital assistants;
- Live streaming will peak as its interactive nature takes connecting with consumers to a whole new level.
All these strategies can be highly beneficial for your digital marketing efforts, and though they require a certain budget you won’t have to break the bank in order to make them work.
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