As a small business owner, you wear many hats. We get it. You don’t get to just work in your chosen industry. You’re also busy tackling tasks ranging from payroll to emptying trash cans to trying to create your own digital marketing strategy.
We’re not accountants and we’re probably not close enough to empty your trash cans. But let us try to help with some practical tips for getting that digital marketing strategy nailed down.
Any sports coach will tell you that the fundamentals matter more than almost anything else. Get those right and the game is half-won.
In digital marketing, the fundamentals are things like:
- Having a website.
- Making sure all your contact information is displayed and is correct.
- Ensuring that your site loads quickly and seamlessly on all screen sizes. (One study found that just a 3 second delay in page loading, increased your “bounce rate” — the number of visitors quickly leaving your site without any meaningful interaction — by 32%. A 10 second delay made the bounce rate jump by 123%.)
You don’t need to be fancy. You just need to get the basics done right, on both desktop and mobile devices. That will have a more positive impact on your business than almost anything else you can do.
Since long before digital marketing was even a thing, differentiation has been a foundational rule of building a successful business in any field. This hasn’t changed just because technology has.
Show how you’re different from your competitors.
In even the most commoditized fields, there are ways of setting yourself apart.
- Perhaps the product(s) you sell are in some way different.
- Aspects of your service, such as hours or installation options, may give you an edge.
- Is your distribution system especially fast and efficient? Or do you offer detailed order and shipment tracking?
- Do you have dedicated account managers or experienced customer service staff? Personal relationships have tremendous value and could be the thing that makes you stand out.
- If you’ve been in business for a particularly long time, then reputation may carry it for you.
- Having the best prices is another time-honored point of differentiation.
It’s possible to have more than one thing that sets you apart. Whatever it is for you and your business, build your digital marketing strategy tips around it and see how your business benefits from it.
Google My Business (GMB)
When you see business listings in places like Google Maps, those are powered by a service called Google My Business (GMB).
Making sure of the accuracy of the address, phone number, business hours, and other key information is vital to the health of your business. Not only will inaccurate information make it more difficult for customers to find you, but Google may penalize you as well.
Another place where GMB listings show up is on customer review sites like Yelp. Just another reason to ensure they are up to date. There is also a second benefit to including such customer review sites in your digital strategy: they offer social proof.
Before buying, many consumers will check online reviews to make sure they are making a wise buying decision. So encourage all your existing customers to leave reviews. This will help increase your social standing in the business community and drive more business your way.
Whether it’s on blogs or social media or elsewhere, make all the content you post visually appealing. That means including high quality images, videos, graphics, or other such elements.
The internet is a multimedia bonanza and users expect anyone posting content to make good use of this fact.
Beyond merely looking pretty and appealing to your users, such media can really help your business. It may be high quality photos showing off details of your products or a narrated video that walks users through setting up and getting the best use of a product.
You’d think it goes without saying, though evidence suggests otherwise: tailor all your content to your audience.
It’s tempting to want to write about your great service, or some industry award you’ve won, or the fantastic features of whatever product you’re selling. The problem is that your audience almost never cares about such things.
The real art of an effective digital marketing strategy is to find that small intersection between what you want to share with potential customers and what those customers actually care about and will be receptive to.
Find that, and your audience will not only be receptive, but willing to share your story with their social circle.
Be useful and practical. Tell stories. Try to elicit an emotional response. Above all, be real.
Email isn’t the flashy, sexy new thing like social media. However email is used by serious marketers because it gets results.
There are some legal and technical hurdles to getting it done right. There’s also plenty of help available. Once you get those considerations handled, email is great both for sending out highly targeted messages and tracking the results of your efforts.
A partner in your digital marketing success
Many small business owners want help figuring all this out and getting it done right. The Michael Tasner family of companies, including No Joke Marketing and Local Child Care Marketing, are here to help to make these digital marketing strategy tips happen. Whatever business or industry you are in, let the highly trained experts at our full-service agencies put your business on the fast track!