for Small Businesses
Today’s consumers do their research. Before making the decision to patronize a business, buyers turn to search engines like Google and Bing to find information about products and services. The content on your website matters. In order for your page to rank highly on searches, you need to make sure you are following Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practices. This means including relevant words and phrases on your page that a potential customer may enter into a search engine. Remember-- short phrases perform the best.
Create a landing page on your website where potential customers can enter in their email address in exchange for messages about offers and events at your business. In doing so, you gain a way to directly contact your client base, and the number of subscribers you receive can be an important metric to measure your brand’s awareness. Take this a step further and set up auto-responders from your company’s general email address. These will automatically send emails to your subscribers, thanking them for their interest, and let them know that you value them as a patron of your business.
No matter the size of your business, it is vitally important to be aware and stay on top of public opinion about your brand. A great way to keep up to date on the conversations surrounding your business is to set up Google Alerts that notify you when your brand is mentioned in publications across the entire world.
One of the best ways to draw people into your establishment is to let them know when you are hosting an event. By creating pages for each of your public and promotional events on your Facebook page, you not only have a way to track interest in your events, but also give your customers a platform to interact with your business and ask questions about upcoming events and promotions. There are a number of free websites like Eventbrite that allow you to submit listings for your various events, and reach even more potential customers.
Social media is invaluable to businesses these days. It is cost effective, and directly reaches your target audiences, and best of all, it brings your brand to life. Many businesses have already created social media accounts across multiple platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even YouTube. Think about it, by creating social media accounts for your business, you personify your brand, and are able to interact with the consumer in a manner that traditional advertising cannot touch. A well-rounded social media strategy includes defining which platforms your business will participate in, and how each platform will be used. For instance, Twitter is a great tool to post press updates about your business, while Instagram is perfect for showcasing your products and brand lifestyle due to its heavily visual focus.
While the bulk of social media platforms are free to use, most, if not all of them have options to pay to “boost” posts of your choosing, thus reaching a larger audience. These site’s algorithms change on a constant basis, making it almost impossible to build a substantial following with organic posting alone. By paying to promote certain posts on your business’s profiles, you increase brand awareness, gain more likes and follows for your page, and are given specific metrics to track which posts perform the best.
Check out the competition. Looking at what other similar brands are doing will give you a good idea of current trends and inspiration for your own marketing initiatives. In doing so, you will gain valuable insight into the competition, and learn where you rank in your industry.
Word of mouth is extremely important to the success of your business. Websites like Yelp, Google Business, and TripAdvisor, allow consumers a way to research and learn about businesses directly from the experience of their peers. This is a key step in developing your digital marketing strategy because, due to the nature of these sites, any user can create a page for your business. By taking the steps to create these pages first, you can better control the conversation surrounding your business, and respond to comments about customer experiences.
If you are unfamiliar with content marketing, you could be missing out on great promotional territory for your brand. Content marketing does not directly promote a business, but provides valuable information on topics related to brand initiatives. For example, if your company builds doll houses, you could write a blog post about the benefit of children playing with traditional toys as opposed to using electronic devices for entertainment. By leveraging content marketing, you start a conversation with your consumer audience, and highlight the values of your brand.
Building a digital marketing plan for your business is a creative and exciting process. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different social platforms and features to find what is most effective in reaching the consumer and drawing them into your business. Things like Facebook Live, and Instagram TV are new features that have unlimited potential to create a unique and compelling message about your brand. By telling your business’s story in a different way, you set yourself apart from the competition and leave a lasting impression on current and potential customers.