digital marketing tips

In this article:

Entrepreneurs and small business owners need to have a basic understanding of digital marketing for two reasons: First, because it’s essential for growing in today’s market, and second, because if you don’t have a basic understanding of it, you’re more likely to be taken advantage of by agencies that are more interested in your dollars than in your success.

This brief guide will give you an overview of the basic tools and tactics used for digital marketing that you can implement in your small business:

digital marketing tips

digital marketing tips

1. Email Marketing: The Personal Touch

You may be tired of getting ads in your inbox, but statistics show that email marketing works when it’s done right. Here are some of the key reasons companies continue to use email:

  1. Personalization and Segmentation: One of the standout advantages of email marketing is the ability to tailor messages for specific audiences.
  2. Cost-Effective: Email marketing is incredibly cost-efficient compared to traditional forms of marketing, such as TV or print ads.
  3. Direct and Immediate: Emails land directly in a user’s inbox, ensuring immediate delivery of your message.
  4. Measurable Results: With modern email marketing platforms, businesses can track open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates, among other metrics.
  5. Building and Maintaining Relationships: Regular newsletters or updates help businesses stay on top of their customers’ minds.
  6. Environmental Impact: Email marketing is a green alternative to paper-based campaigns.
  7. Enhanced Reach: While not everyone uses every social media platform, most online users have an active email address.
  8. Automation and Efficiency: From welcome emails and cart abandonment reminders to post-purchase feedback requests—much of email marketing can be automated.

Email marketing is tried, tested, and proven to be one of the most successful digital marketing channels. To be successful, blend personal touch with scalability to foster genuine customer relationships and build a brand community.

For instance, a local restaurant can harness these practices by sending out a weekly newsletter of their specials, creating a delightful anticipation for the upcoming week’s culinary adventures. While a bookstore might share monthly recommendations based on current events or seasons, thus reminding customers of the value they provide beyond just transactions.

Paid social media ads offer opportunities to reach and engage your audience on any budget. Paid ads can:

  • Be segmented based on demographics, interests, browsing history, and past purchases
  • Retarget audiences based on past online behavior
  • Be analyzed and optimized in real-time

To be effective with paid ads, be strategic about what keywords you want to target. For example, if you’re a local bike shop, you don’t want to target “Mountain Bikes” as a keyword—that’s too broad. Instead, focus on terms like “Cannondale mountain bikes near 98498.” And then, make sure you know enough about your customers that you can be confident your ad creative will pique their interest.

3. SEO (Search Engine Optimization): The Organic Magnet

SEO is the art of optimizing online content so that your business shows up as one of the top three search results on Google. SEO is about understanding intent—what are users truly searching for, and how can your business provide the answer they need?

A decade ago, SEO was about peppering content with keywords. If that’s your approach today, you probably aren’t showing up in the top search results. Search engine algorithms have changed and to rank well today you have to create genuine value for searchers. That means producing high-quality, relevant content that answers queries, solves problems, or fulfills needs. It’s a game of patience and consistency, proving your reputation as a trusted source.

SEO also encompasses the user experience. Fast-loading pages, mobile-optimized designs, and easy navigability aren’t just niceties—they’re necessities.

4. Social Media: Building Communities

Social media is a bridge that connects brands directly to your audience and offers opportunities to foster authentic conversations and cultivate genuine relationships. Social media can:

  • Humanize your brand by letting people see the people involved in your work, and offering behind-the-scenes looks at your operations
  • Build credibility through customer reviews
  • Provide real-time feedback and gauge customer sentiment
  • Utilize rich demographic and psychographic data for precise, tailored campaigns

If you’re a small business just starting out on social media, start with creating a few short 1 minute videos that explain your company’s Why, What, and How. These can be self shot on an iPhone and don’t need to be highly produced. Once you have these, put a dollar a day behind them as paid ads and see how they perform. If you get over 10% interaction on one, boost it with more ad spend. If you don’t get enough interaction, try different videos with a catchier “hook.”

5. Content Marketing: Offering Value

Content marketing, done right, can position your brand as an industry leader. Publishing content is not about overt selling or flashy promotions; it’s about storytelling. By delivering relevant, valuable, and consistent content, businesses can attract and retain a clearly defined audience, ultimately driving profitable actions.

The beauty of content marketing lies in its versatility. Whether it’s an insightful blog post, a gripping video, or an engaging infographic, the goal remains to inform, entertain, and inspire. This approach allows brands to position themselves as thought leaders in their respective industries, building trust and credibility among their audience.

In Conclusion

Whether you’re going to implement campaigns yourself or outsource to an agency, every small business owner needs to know something about digital marketing. In this article, we’ve given you a quick overview of the terms and categories, but you’ll want to go deeper if growth is your goal.

And of course, if you need financing to fund your growth—be sure to check out everything that Biz2Credit has to offer!

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