Why Small Businesses Need A Digital Marketing Strategy
Digital marketing is so much more than a simple online “presence.” It is more than a few social media posts here and there or a handful of subscribers on an email list. Partially set up channels will limit traffic and visibility on social and search platforms. Does this sound like a weakness your business might be facing?
It doesn’t have to be a weak spot, and Triple Crown Creative can help turn your online presence into a measurable strength. The digital marketing revolution has created massive opportunity, especially for the small business owner. Never before has there been a time when a one or two-person shop could compete directly with huge corporations with multi-million dollar advertising budgets. But that is exactly what happens in the world of online marketing every day, and we can help you become relevant and recognized in your target market.
Customer and keyword research tools make it simpler than ever to understand who your customers are and what exactly they are looking for. There are now dozens of ways to target audiences using unique qualifiers that can make for much better conversion rates. Increased conversion rates lead to more traffic at your site and unique configurable goals for gaining from that increased visibility.
Social media channels continue to grow, and people increasingly communicate exclusively through these channels. It is important that your business be involved in the social media communities most relevant to your business. Certain programs can help you to schedule social media content posts in advance but be careful that you are still attentive. Customers and prospects will expect you to respond in a timely manner according to what you promote.
The following is a list of 6 essential digital marketing tools that help you to build your digital presence and reach a large and well-targeted audience as a small business.
Digital Marketing is more than a few social media posts here and there or a handful of subscribers on an email list.
1.) Small Businesses Need A Quality Email Marketing Provider
Email marketing programs allow you to build strong relationships with your prospects and customers. A good program should make it simple to manage email lists, develop campaigns, and track each campaign’s stats. A large amount of data can be derived from email marketing, and a talented agency can deliver reports and expertise to show you what can be leveraged on your behalf.
There are dozens of email marketing providers out there. Most offer similar features – or at least nearly all offer the essential features and tracking statistics that can be utilized.
It can be useful to browse through these options with your mind open to what features would be essential to your specific business. What features do you already have integrated elsewhere? Which feature can you do without? By recognizing exactly what you don’t need, you’ll be better equipped to determine what services you will actually use in your business. Paying for features or services you don’t need can cripple your marketing budget before you know it.
The cost per month will typically depend on the size of your lists and how you use the platform. Some providers offer free plans or free trials on paid plans to get you hooked. Other services might use the trial to hope that you will forget to cancel and be locked into longer recurring contracts. Working with the right solution and email cadence is an area where a skilled agency can multiply your returns.
2.) Social Media Scheduling Software Can Benefit a Small Business
We live in a world dominated by social media.
Therefore, it is absolutely essential that your business actively participate in those networks where your prospects and customers spend a lot of time.
Managing your business’s presence on all of the platforms that are relevant to your niche can become burdensome. This is where social media management software or a boutique agency can come in handy.
Social media management software allows you to do things like:
- schedule social media posts on various platforms in advance,
- reply to messages with canned responses,
- make comments from one centralized location.
Spending hours of your time going between different platforms, commenting, responding, and developing new content – instead, you can manage all of your social media accounts from one centralized place. Setting up a full suite of these applications can be a great time to pull in an expert who is experienced in automation.
3.) Capitalizing on Google Analytics for Success in Your Small Business
Do you want to know a ton about the visitors to your website, where they are coming from, and what browser they’re using to get there?
Google Analytics can tell you all sorts of interesting and relevant details about your audience when configured correctly. Find out where most of your traffic is coming in – and focus more of your efforts on this or similar kinds of marketing to help build your audience. You can also see what isn’t working, and make updates to your content to maneuver your messaging.
Find out how long your visitors are spending on each of your site pages. What is working? What isn’t? These are valuable insights into how you should be focusing your time and efforts in developing new content that is proven to be interesting and engaging to your audience.
Understand whether most people are viewing your website from a computer or a mobile device. Is a significant portion of your traffic coming from one type? Make sure your website is optimized for these types of customers. If you forget to target any specific audience, you can be assured that they won’t be repeat visitors the next time they research a purchase or service.
See what browsers your visitors are using. Again, if a significant portion of your visitors are using a certain browser, you’ll want to make sure you are testing your site’s functionality in this browser on a regular basis. Browsers evolve and tweak constantly, which can go unnoticed if you aren’t tracking constantly to see what is in use.
4.) Small Businesses and the Use of Google Keyword Planning
Understanding the keywords most important to your business and your niche is all about knowing your customers. What are they searching for? Why are they searching for it? What content gives them exactly what they desire?
Using the keyword planner feature in Google Ads allows you to access historical data about keyword popularity, and also allows you to see traffic estimates for those keywords.
This tool in combination with other agency keyword planning tools can provide a wealth of information about which keywords you should be targeting and how difficult it will be to rank your content in search engines for those keywords. Thinking like a customer and providing a strategy can be a quick way to raise your visitor count greatly.
Additionally, effort spent browsing google suggestions, auto-complete, and related searches results are great free resources that will help you to determine where your digital marketing efforts need to be as you continue to develop new content. Make time to use these tools effectively in your research phase.
5.) CMS With Easy & Effective SEO Tools for Small Businesses
A quality Content Management System (CMS) is the place where all of your business’s content (pages, website, blogs, products, etc.) is kept and managed.
Something like WordPress and a good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plugin is a good place to start. This is an easy to learn and intuitive CMS and the plugins in the marketplace provide all of the essential tools you’ll need to fine-tune every last element on your site.
Depending on your business’s individual needs, various kinds of content management systems are available. Each of these systems provides certain value to certain types of businesses – depending on whether you need a traditional web page, more of an e-commerce “store-front,” or something simple like a basic landing page funnel.
Regardless of which CMS you choose, it is important that you are able to effectively optimize the content for search engines. How your site returns and ranks is key to beating out your competition in visibility.
Ideally your CMS should have options to fine-tune every SEO-relevant aspect on each page. It should automatically generate meta tags. An XML sitemap should be uploaded to Google and Bing. Also, it should help to avoid common SEO problems like duplicate content issues. Find a partner with expertise in modifying your SEO to match what your customers are searching for before they purchase.
6.) Outsourcing Tools for the Small Business Budget
These services can range from programming and development to graphic design to writing to content management and marketing consulting – practically the entire gamut of digital marketing specialties.
Outsourcing online can help you save time and money and focus your attention on the aspects of your business that require your attention most. The hard part comes with selecting and vetting a skilled freelancer who will not take advantage of you.
Some of the “weeding through” process can be a little tiring – like any hiring process, it can be hard to find someone who understands your vision. But in the end, it is possible to find valuable partners who are able to supplement your skills and help you to develop better and more profitable digital marketing campaigns.
Other Small Business Digital Marketing Considerations – Social Media Advertising
There are some other things to consider when determining what you’ll need in your specific digital marketing toolbox.
Are you looking to grow organically or through advertising? If you want to use advertising, many social media platforms increasingly look to be promising areas of investment as more people spend more time on these platforms every day.
Those social media networks that contain most of your audience would be the ideal place to start, for a fee. Keep in mind that many of the same SEO tools and techniques you use to target your content can also be used effectively in researching and understanding a target audience for social media ads.
For some small business owners, it is just too much hassle to take on all of the extra work involved in creating and following through with an effective digital marketing strategy.
Or, maybe as an entrepreneur you like working on some aspects, but you’d like to leave some of the more complex tasks to seasoned professionals. Either way, the right digital marketing agency can save your company a lot of precious time and money.
Digital Marketing Agencies as a Solution for Small Businesses
Trying to manage and operate your business while simultaneously acting as the digital marketing director is often just not a choice for a busy CEO.
They can also help to provide a “fresh set of eyes” to look at your marketing strategy and content from an independent and outside perspective. This sort of assessment can help to give you clarity as to why something just isn’t working.
Oftentimes these agencies can be as involved as you’d like: whether you’re just looking to get some help developing your digital marketing plan – or, if you’d like a start-to-finish, full-service solution to all of your digital marketing problems.
A good agency will be able to relieve you of the stress of trying to manage it all yourself, and they can help make sure your digital marketing strategy is solid and on a path to success. Contact Triple Crown Creative today if you have any questions on how your digital marketing and online presence can be taken to the next level and help your business grow.