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Our Blog January 16, 2023

A Complete Guide to Digital Marketing for Small Businesses

Writen by 5pixls

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If you have recently launched or are currently operating a small business, you’re probably looking for ways to attract more customers and grow. In this regard, digital marketing is likely to be your first choice, and for good reason.

Firstly, there are a few things you should consider:

  • Create a website if you haven’t already: Building a website should be one of your top priorities. It may sound daunting, but in today’s world, there are numerous ways to quickly create a website without any coding knowledge. Platforms like Squarespace, Wix, WordPress, or Shopify (for eCommerce businesses) can help you get started.
  • Set up Google Analytics: Adding Google Analytics to your website is crucial for tracking and analyzing website traffic. Platforms like Squarespace and Shopify offer easy integration, while WordPress users can use plugins like MonsterInsights. If you have a web developer, they can assist in adding Google Analytics to your website.
  • Set up goals: Define goals or eCommerce tracking within Google Analytics to measure the performance of your website. This will allow you to track leads, transactions, and determine the effectiveness of different marketing channels.

Implementing digital marketing strategies without proper tracking can make it challenging to determine what’s working. With tracking in place, you can identify the most effective channels and allocate your budget accordingly.

Before diving into digital marketing, assess whether you can handle it on your own or if you need assistance. This decision will depend on your time availability, budget, and expertise. If you have limited time, consider which channels you can effectively manage and if you have the capacity to learn new skills or platforms.

Budget is often a significant factor. Determine your monthly marketing budget and consider how much you can allocate to different channels. You may need to experiment with different channels to identify the ones that yield the best results for your business.

Expertise is another important consideration. While there are plenty of guides and resources available, you may eventually need professional help. Hiring a digital marketing agency or a freelancer can provide you with the expertise needed to optimize your campaigns, but be sure to consider the associated costs.

Now, let’s explore the best digital marketing channels for small businesses:

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

  • Cost: Medium to High
  • Time: Medium to High
  • Expertise: High
  • Results: Long-term
  • Impact: High

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a vital channel for small businesses, although it can take time to yield significant results depending on your industry. SEO involves optimizing your website to rank higher on search engine result pages for relevant keywords. You may consider hiring an SEO agency to handle this, as it requires expertise and can have a substantial impact on your business.

When building or updating your website, focus on structuring it effectively, creating relevant pages, and highlighting your key products or services. Analyze your competitors’ content marketing strategies and website structure to stay competitive.

Additionally, setting up a Google Business Profile is essential, especially for local businesses. It’s free and can help your business appear in local map packs when people search for local suppliers. Add images, encourage reviews, and list all the services you offer on your profile.

Google Business Profile

Setting up your Google Business Profile is highly beneficial, particularly for local businesses such as plumbers, chiropractors, and other brick-and-mortar establishments. It’s a free and relatively straightforward process.

Once your profile is established, you have the potential to appear in local map packs when individuals are searching for local service providers. Enhance your profile by including images, acquiring reviews, and ensuring that you list all the services you provide.

2. PPC:

  • Cost: Low to Medium
  • Time: Short-term
  • Expertise: Medium to High
  • Results: Short and Long-term
  • Impact: High

Google Ads remains an effective tool for small businesses, and arguably one of the best channels to begin with. Unlike SEO, it allows for immediate visibility in search engines for your targeted keywords. Moreover, you have the flexibility to customize your ads to appear in specific areas or on particular devices, ensuring optimal budget utilization.

To get started, sign up for Google AdWords. If you’re creating a new account, you may be prompted to set up a Google Ads Express account. You can keep this as a test if you prefer Google to handle most of the operations, or you can switch to expert mode and have more control over your campaigns.

However, managing campaigns effectively requires time and expertise. While there are numerous resources available to assist you in setting up campaigns, you may consider seeking help from a PPC consultant or agency to ensure efficient management.

If you have conducted thorough keyword research, you can create targeted campaigns based on relevant clusters. Taking the chiropractor example mentioned earlier, you can even bid on terms like “chiropractor London” to maximize your exposure on Google Search and generate traffic through multiple channels.

3. Social media marketing

Cost: Low – Medium

Time: Medium – Long Term

Expertise: Low – Medium

Results: Medium

Impact: Low

Organic Social media can be challenging, particularly in the beginning, but it’s an area where you should try to take the reins yourself. While it may not immediately generate thousands of sales, having a presence is essential to showcase your authenticity.

Many customers tend to check social media profiles before making a purchase, especially if they haven’t interacted with your brand before. Organic social media provides an opportunity to exhibit your brand’s personality and engage with potential customers.

There are a multitude of social media platforms to choose from for organic social media efforts, including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and more. However, it’s important to determine which platforms are necessary for your business.

Factors such as your available time, budget, expertise, and understanding of your target audience’s preferred platforms come into play here.

  • Facebook, being the most widely used social media platform globally, is a great choice for small businesses to create a Facebook page and connect with their customers. It is often the platform potential customers turn to in order to verify your legitimacy and gather social proof.
  • Instagram suits businesses in the fashion, beauty, travel, and food industries well, as it is a visually-oriented platform with integrated shopping features.
  • Twitter’s conversational and real-time nature makes it ideal for businesses to engage in conversations with customers and create content that can potentially go viral.
  • TikTok, known for its level playing field, emphasis on creativity, and potential for virality, offers great opportunities for businesses with creative video ideas (and the ability to create them).
  • Pinterest, a positive and highly visual platform, enables businesses to share beautiful product visuals and reach new audiences actively searching for similar products and services.
  • YouTube serves as an effective platform for promoting products, services, and driving traffic to your business’s website.

Therefore, before creating numerous social media profiles that may end up being inactive, it’s crucial to analyze where your target audience spends their time and make a dedicated commitment to the platforms with the most potential.

Some other digital marketing channels

Email Marketing

Building your email database should be a priority as it provides valuable first-party data for nurturing customer loyalty and driving repeat purchases. This is particularly crucial for eCommerce businesses.

Numerous tools are available to assist you in growing your email list and effectively reaching targeted customer segments. Platforms like MailChimp, MailMunch, and SendInBlue offer affordable and user-friendly email marketing software options.

Managing and implementing email marketing strategies is a channel that you can confidently handle yourself.

Influencer

Influencer marketing has become ubiquitous, and although you don’t need to collaborate with celebrities like Kim Kardashian (definitely avoid that), there are smaller influencers who can effectively expose your brand to a relevant audience.

If you choose to partner with a social media agency, they can assist you in identifying suitable influencers who can promote your brand through various means.

Some other digital marketing tips to consider

Establishing Your Brand

Consistency in your small business marketing strategies is crucial, and it all begins with your brand.

From the outset, determine the type of brand image and reputation you desire. Remember the initial motivation behind your idea, whether it was to solve a problem or provide a better solution, and ensure that reflects in your branding and marketing efforts.

Infuse your core brand values into everything you do. For instance, if you opt for influencer collaborations, ensure that they genuinely represent your brand in a positive manner and reinforce your brand values.

Social Proof

This aspect should be a top priority from day one. Building trust in your business is essential, especially when engaging with individuals who may be unfamiliar with your brand due to the digital marketing activities mentioned earlier. Why should they choose you?

This is where social proof plays a crucial role. Social proof can take the form of reviews, a Trustpilot page, testimonials, video testimonials, reviews on your Google Business Profile, user-generated content (UGC), or star ratings on your product pages.

Essentially, it encompasses any form of evidence that someone has previously purchased your product or service and had a positive experience.

It’s important to consistently cultivate as much social proof as possible over time.

Marketing Tools: 

Google Analytics:

Google Analytics is a powerful web analytics tool that provides insights into website traffic, user behavior, and conversions. It helps businesses track and measure their online marketing efforts, understand audience demographics, and make data-driven decisions to optimize their digital strategies.

SEMrush:

SEMrush is an all-in-one digital marketing toolkit that offers a range of features, including keyword research, competitor analysis, backlink analysis, rank tracking, and social media management. It provides valuable insights to optimize SEO, PPC campaigns, content marketing, and social media strategies.

Hootsuite:

Hootsuite is a social media management platform that allows businesses to schedule and publish content across multiple social media platforms, monitor conversations, engage with audiences, and analyze performance. It streamlines social media marketing efforts and enables businesses to maintain an active online presence.

Mailchimp:

Mailchimp is an email marketing platform that simplifies the process of creating, sending, and managing email campaigns. It provides customizable templates, segmentation tools, automation features, and detailed analytics to help businesses effectively engage with their email subscribers and drive conversions.

Buffer:

Buffer is a social media scheduling and publishing tool that allows businesses to plan, create, and schedule content for various social media platforms. It offers features like content curation, team collaboration, analytics, and integration with other marketing tools, making it easier to manage social media marketing campaigns.

Canva:

Canva is a user-friendly graphic design tool that enables businesses to create visually appealing graphics, social media posts, presentations, and other marketing materials. It offers pre-designed templates, a wide range of fonts and graphics, and intuitive editing features, making it accessible even for non-designers.

Moz:

Moz is an SEO software suite that provides tools for keyword research, website optimization, backlink analysis, and rank tracking. It helps businesses improve their search engine visibility, optimize on-page elements, and monitor their organic search performance.

Google Ads:

Google Ads is an advertising platform that allows businesses to create and manage pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns across the Google search network and display network. It provides targeting options, bidding strategies, and performance metrics to help businesses reach their target audience and drive relevant traffic to their website.

Ahrefs:

Ahrefs is an SEO toolset that offers features such as keyword research, competitor analysis, backlink analysis, content analysis, and rank tracking. It provides valuable insights to improve organic search rankings, identify content opportunities, and monitor competitors’ strategies.

Sprout Social:

Sprout Social is a comprehensive social media management platform that helps businesses streamline their social media marketing efforts. It offers features like scheduling and publishing content, social listening, audience engagement, and analytics. It enables businesses to effectively manage their social media presence and measure the impact of their social media activities.

These digital marketing tools provide businesses with the necessary capabilities to analyze data, optimize campaigns, engage with audiences, and enhance their overall online marketing strategies.

Are you seeking professional assistance to enhance your digital marketing strategies?

5pixls is a leading digital marketing company that offers affordable SEO packages and PPC management packages with flexible, rolling monthly contracts. With our services, you are never bound by unnecessary commitments.

We understand the significance of digital marketing for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as the challenges of managing the day-to-day operations. That’s why our goal is to simplify the complexities of digital marketing for you.

Contact us today to discover how 5pixls can elevate your online presence. We are excited to hear from you and help your business thrive in the digital realm.

Digital marketing strategy for small business FAQs & Answer

Q: What is a digital marketing strategy for small businesses?

A: A digital marketing strategy for small businesses refers to a plan of action that outlines how a small business can effectively utilize various digital channels and tactics to reach and engage their target audience, build brand awareness, drive website traffic, generate leads, and ultimately increase sales and revenue.

Q: Why is digital marketing important for small businesses?

A: Digital marketing is important for small businesses because it provides a cost-effective way to reach a wide audience and compete with larger competitors. It allows small businesses to target specific demographics, track their marketing efforts, measure ROI, and build an online presence that can attract and engage customers.

Q: How much does digital marketing cost for small businesses?

A: The cost of digital marketing for small businesses can vary depending on factors such as the scope of the strategy, the chosen channels and tactics, and the level of competition in your industry. Small businesses can start with a modest budget and gradually increase it as they see positive results. It’s important to allocate funds strategically and focus on channels that offer the best return on investment for your specific business objectives.

Q: How long does it take to see results from digital marketing efforts?

A: The timeline for seeing results from digital marketing efforts can vary depending on several factors, including the specific tactics implemented, the competitiveness of the industry, and the consistency of marketing efforts. Some tactics, like pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, can yield immediate results by driving traffic to your website. However, other tactics, such as search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing, require time to build authority, organic visibility, and audience engagement. It’s important to approach digital marketing as a long-term strategy and have realistic expectations regarding the timeline for results.

Q: How can small businesses measure the success of their digital marketing efforts?

A: Small businesses can measure the success of their digital marketing efforts by tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with their goals. Some common metrics to consider include website traffic, conversion rates, lead generation, social media engagement, email open rates, and return on investment (ROI). Utilizing analytics tools, such as Google Analytics or social media insights, can provide valuable data for measuring and analyzing the impact of digital marketing activities. Regular monitoring and analysis of these metrics allow small businesses to make data-driven decisions, identify areas for improvement, and optimize their marketing strategies.

Digital marketing has provided small businesses with the opportunity to easily and instantly reach their target audience, provided they have the necessary budget. In this guide, I will outline a simple approach to digital marketing for small businesses, along with key considerations and channels that you can utilize.

It’s important to note that the significance of each channel may vary depending on the type of business you run, and I will highlight those variations as well.

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