Digital Marketing Basics That Every Small Business Should Do
February 16, 2015
As a small business, there are many ways to boost your brand or products and services. Whether or not you've got a winning idea or first class service, marketing is an essential tool to communicate value to your audience and potential customers. In today's world of technology, the game has changed and as a small business owner, you need to to adapt to the world's rules of business. Below are 5 of the digital marketing basics that every small business should do to stay competitive.
Have Your Own Website With An Original Domain
First and foremost, your business, whether you're selling a service or product, should have a website with its own domain name. This means that you need to spend a little money on this essential tool called a URL. Coming up with a unique URL can be a difficult task since there are already millions of URLS that are already taken. Take some time and think of a compelling, appropriate URL. Many companies choose their company name for their domain name, however, many companies use keywords as their domain names. For example, a company can choose their domain name as www.bostonmarketingfirm.com. If it's possible for you to obtain a URL using keywords, I suggest doing that because search engines will favor them.
There are many people on the internet that go out and buy unused domain names and then charge a premium for people that want to use them in the future. You will notice often that there is a button or link that says something like "Buy this domain here". You can pay them to get that domain, however there are still plenty of URLS that are unused.
In today's age of digital shelf space, you want to have a beautiful website because it is one of the first things that people look for. Consumers are much more trusting in a company, brand or store, that has a website with its own unique domain name.
Use Social Media
If you're not already on Social Media, start today! Theres no reason not to create a free Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest account. As a small business owner, this is a free way to communicate value to your clients. Your goal is to engage people on Social Media. You can easily do this by posting fun images of your business or product, post promotions or discounts, post links that your audience may find interesting. There is a plethora of content that you can think of to connect and engage your audience. The name of the game is to create content that you think your fans on facbeook would be interested in. If you're new to social media and dont know where to start, check out this article on how to gain more social media followers.
"Facebook added 10.8 million adults in the 25 to 34 demographic, a growth of 32.6 percent. In the 35 to 54-year-old demographic, Facebook experienced a 41.4 percent growth, adding 16.4 million new users.
The biggest growth came among adults over the age of 55. Facebook added 12.4 million new users from this age range, a massive 80.4 percent growth."
Bottomline is: Get on social media and learn how to use it! It is a free, essential tool that you can use to connect with your audience. Use social media to drive traffic to your website.
Do SEO For Your Website
Search Engine Optimization is a core component of digital marketing. Just think about what you do every time you want to learn about something - a new product, the news, historical facts, the best italian restaurants in town. You turn to a search engine like Google, Yahoo, Bing, just to name a few of the most used search engines.
This is why you must start optimizing your website to gain organic traffic. This means, when you search for certain products like leather gloves, you enter in your search engine "buy leather gloves" and a leather glove store will come up on the first page. Users rarely look to 2nd and 3rd pages so you want to spend your time optimizing your website so your website lands on the first page of SERPs (search engine results pages).
SEO is very competitive, however. It is an ongoing process that needs to be continually optimized to stay on the first page. Google and other search engines use algorithms to determine what websites and pages should show up on the first page. Their algorithms are like rules that have certain criterion for what should be shown and what should not be shown on the first page of SERPs. These algorithms constantly change, therefore you need to stay up-to-date on how to play by these rules. Once you get into a good position on SERPs, you want to stay in that position.
Check out my other blog post on how to do your own SEO if you created your own website for your business. I cannot stress enough how important it is to either do your own SEO or pay someone to get your business to show up on SERPs.
Create Email Marketing Campaigns
Email marketing is another great way to connect with your audience. Your business should strive to collect email addresses, but in a non-spammy way. Email marketing is important because it tells you that people are interested in your business and want to hear more about what your service or product can do for them. Dont know where to start? There are free services like MailChimp where you can build your own email newsletter for free.
You may be thinking to yourself "well, how do I get people to give me their email addresses?" Easy! Give them an incentive to want to give their email address to you. If you've got something that they like, give them a little sample or discount in return for their email address. There are entire conferences, seminars, webinars and more on email marketing and how to use it. As a small business owner, it is important that you utilize these tools to continue to communicate value to your potential clients and already existing customers.
Start building your email newsletter today at www.mailchimp.com and start getting people to sign up for your email list.
If you've got a marketing budget that you can work with, Google adwords are a great way to drive traffic to your website. Google Ads are the listings that are not organic. They are the ads on SERPs that are sectioned off either on the very top or the right side of the page. In order to get onto these SERPs you do have to pay a little money. Set up a Google Adwords account and start thinking of keywords that you believe your customers would use to find your product.
For example, if you've got a chinese food restaurant in Worcester, MA, your keywords want to include something along the lines of "Chinese Food Restaurant Worcester" or "Best Chinese Food Worcester". Step into the shoes of your customer and try to think of the words that your customers are putting into their search engines.
Once you've got your keywords, you need to set a certain bid price to beat out your competitors. It is essentially an auction for shelf space on SERPs. The person with the highest bid will get the top spot on SERPs. The price depends on the competition of the keywords that you're using. Again, if you've got a budget for marketing, Google Ads are a great way to drive traffic, however if you're on a tight budget, you may want to think of other ways.
These are just 5 of the basic digital marketing tools that small businesses should be doing. If you do them well, and continue to update these tools, your business should succeed. If you've got the budget for marketing you can also pay someone or a firm to control all aspects of your marketing. Man With A Plan Marketing and Consulting services works with companies to relieve the stresses, pains and saves time of doing the digital marketing while small business owners can focus on other work.