7 Must Have Ingredients for Small Business Digital Marketing Success – Part 1
Digital marketing isn’t optional. It’s now a requirement for every business wanting to stay in business. It’s what fuels businesses that are thriving as opposed to just struggling to stay alive.
The statistics tell us that 84% of businesses have a content marketing strategy. That means 16% don’t. If you’re one of the people who has put off digital marketing or have done it haphazardly, there’s no time like right now to get serious about it.
With that in mind, let’s go over what every small business – including yours – needs and which digital marketing strategies we recommend.
What is Digital Marketing?
Some small business owners don’t understand what digital marketing is. That’s a big part of the problem. So let’s start with the definition.
Digital marketing is the sum of any efforts you make to promote your business online. It may include:
- Email marketing
- Search engine advertising (Pay Per Click)
- Social media posting
- Social media advertising
- Business listings
- Video marketing
The key to making the most of digital marketing is choosing the strategies that are most likely to deliver the results you want.
Ingredient #1 – Target Local Keywords
The first thing you need to recognize is that in the world of digital marketing, everything is local. Even if you do business everywhere, if you try to compete for the same keywords used by big corporate spender with huge marketing budgets, you’re going to lose. You’ll get far better results by focusing on local.
Local keywords should be a combination of industry-specific words that identify what your business does and local words that let people know where you are. For example, a dentist in Minneapolis might target words such as:
- Minneapolis dental practice
- Twin Cities dentistry
- Emergency dental care Minneapolis
You get the idea.
You want the words you target to be specific to both your business and your location. Google prioritizes local search already and optimizing your website and ads for local keywords will give you the best possible chance of connecting with people in your area.
Ingredient #2 – Claim Your Local Listings
A big part of digital marketing is creating a consistent online presence. A person who finds you on Yelp should have access to the same basic information about your business as someone who searches for you on Google or someone who navigates directly to your website thanks to a referral from a friend.
Local listings such as Google My Business, Yelp, Angie’s List, and others act as online directories that some people use to find whatever they are looking for. Those directories are there to help people find the businesses they need. What they also do is get you search authority. If a lot of different directories like these list you, you get improved chances of showing up higher in search results.
So if you haven’t already done so, you should claim every listing possible for your business. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to update and standardize all information to create a seamless presence.
Ingredient #3 – Use Social Media Wisely
Social media should be part of your digital marketing strategy. As of 2020, 3.8 billion people worldwide use social media. Your customers use social media.
The trick, of course, is to know which social media options your customers prefer. B2B companies should focus on LinkedIn. Any company with a visual or aspirational product would do well to invest in Instagram and Pinterest marketing. Most small businesses can benefit from having a Facebook presence.
Once you’ve decided which social media accounts to create, you still need to use them wisely. That means using both organic posts and advertising to connect with your target audience. Small businesses can focus on local customers by using carefully-chosen hashtags and participating in community events such as Throwback Thursday.
Checked out part 2 of this article for another four ingredients. Don’t miss out.