10 Ideas for Your Small Business Digital Marketing Strategy

10 Ideas for Your Small Business Digital Marketing Strategy

Digital marketing is a pivotal part of most modern business success. While it may be a powerful marketing tool, creating an effective digital marketing strategy can feel overwhelming.

Here are a 10 ideas to help you pull together an effective strategy for your online marketing activities.


1. Assess and Strategize First

Before you start spending money, you need to slow down and consider what your marketing strategy is in the first place. For many SMBs (small- and medium-sized businesses), their marketing is a patchwork effort to tap into as many digital marketing services as possible — and that includes quite a few options. Digital marketing agency Hennessey Digital defines digital marketing services as an “umbrella category” that includes, among other things:

  • Website development;
  • Social media marketing;
  • PPC (pay-per-click) advertising;
  • SEO (search engine optimization).

The ability to use these various online options can create a diverse, affordable, and scalable marketing strategy. In other words, they’re accessible to small and large businesses alike. However, the diversity of options can also create a bit of a problem. With so many choices, it can become easy to overstretch your marketing budget.

This is why, before you spend a penny, you should create a clear and comprehensive digital marketing strategy. This should select what online channels will help you reach your audience, how you should spend your time and resources in those areas, and what metrics can help you gauge your effectiveness.

This may seem like a lot of preparatory work. But, it’s an essential first step in creating a quality digital marketing strategy. Without setting the stage beforehand, you can end up frittering away your marketing funds with little to nothing to show for your effort.


2. Use Your Website as an Online Content Hub

Content marketing is an integral part of most digital marketing strategies. The concept revolves around consistently creating content that is relevant to your audience, provides genuine value, and helps to set your brand up as an authority in your field. When done well, content marketing can help you attract new customers and retain existing clients, as well.

If you want to have a powerful digital marketing strategy, it should be built on content marketing. This isn’t an easy task, but it is one that requires upfront investment and can continue to reward you far into the future.

One of the best forms of content marketing is a blog on your website. A company blog can serve as an online database for your customers. It allows you to demonstrate your experience and knowledge in your industry. It also helps you resonate with your audience members’ pain points and show why you are a legitimate solution that they should consider. 

On top of that, high-performing website content can be shared on social media (the online equivalent of word-of-mouth marketing.) It can also help your website rank higher in organic search engine results.

Much like a good digital marketing strategy, building a company blog or similar website resources can feel like a lot of work. However, the number of benefits that it can yield makes a blog well worth the effort.


3. Leverage Influencers

Digital marketing can feel very lonely at times. It’s easy to feel compartmentalized into your tiny corner of the internet. However, there are a couple of ways that you can tap into an army of online partners to help promote your brand.

This army is made up of influencers. Influencer marketing consists of getting influential online personalities to partner with and promote your brand. 

This form of digital marketing taps into the loyalty and trust that influencers have with their followers. It also is easy to scale depending on your needs. For instance, you can spend thousands of dollars going after a larger influencer with millions of followers. If you’re working with a smaller budget, you can pursue a network of smaller nano-influencers — those who have audiences of 10,000 followers or less.

Don’t let the numbers fool you, either. Nano-influencer marketing has proven to be an effective way to promote a brand. For instance, nano-influencer accounts on Instagram with less than 5,000 followers tend to boast an engagement rate of between 5.3% and 7.2%. The percentage drops to a measly 1.1% for the largest influencer accounts on the platform.


4. Research Your Target Audience Online

As a successful small business, you may feel that you already understand your audience. However, if you want to be effective online, you should be willing to invest in some additional customer research. 

Take some time to investigate how your core customer demographic engages with the online world. For example, Pew Research reports that:

  • Significantly more women than men use Facebook;
  • Over half of college graduates have a presence on LinkedIn;
  • 71% of those between the ages of 18 and 29 use Instagram.

There is an infinite procession of statistics available for every conceivable demographic. Even if you can’t find enough specific information online about your particular crowd, try asking them directly. Request feedback about where your customers congregate online and what topics or resources they might be interested in seeing you create.

In addition, consider if your audience is in a specific geographic area. If that is the case, you will want to target your online efforts to focus on those regions.


5. Set and Track Metrics

Marketing is never a perfect science. On the contrary, with so many digital marketing options, it’s common to find tremendous success with one strategy and miserable failure with another.

This is why you need to create KPIs (key performance indicators) to help guide your efforts. By identifying and setting KPIs, you can assess if your marketing is providing the desired results.

With so much of the modern world revolving around the internet, it’s important that you invest in a solid digital marketing strategy. This starts with assessing your needs and resisting the temptation to spread yourself across too many online marketing areas at once.

From there, you want to consider critical factors like audience research, content marketing, influencers, and metrics. If you can build your strategy with these elements in mind, you’ll be able to create an effective digital marketing strategy that is uniquely suited to your organization’s promotional needs.


6. Utilize Email Marketing Effectively

Email marketing remains a powerful tool in your digital arsenal, offering a direct line of communication with your customers. Here’s how you can maximize its effectiveness:

  • Building a Mailing List: Start by encouraging website visitors, social media followers, and in-store customers to sign up for your mailing list. Offer incentives like exclusive discounts, eBooks, or early access to sales to entice sign-ups.
  • Segmentation and Personalization: Once you have a mailing list, segment it based on demographics, purchase history, and customer behavior. Personalization increases engagement by delivering relevant content to each subscriber.
  • Crafting Engaging Content: Your emails should be informative, engaging, and reflective of your brand’s voice. Include compelling subject lines, visually appealing templates, and clear calls-to-action (CTAs).
  • Regular Newsletters and Updates: Keep your subscribers engaged with regular newsletters. Share updates about your products/services, industry insights, tips, and company news.
  • Automation and Scheduling: Automate welcome emails, birthday messages, and other event-triggered emails. Schedule your regular newsletters to maintain consistency.
  • Tracking and Analytics: Use email analytics to track open rates, click-through rates, and conversions. Continuously refine your strategy based on this data.


7. Implement Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is vital for increasing your website’s visibility and attracting organic traffic. Here’s a breakdown of effective SEO strategies:

  • Keyword Research: Use tools like Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush to find relevant keywords with high search volume and low competition. Focus on long-tail keywords that are specific to your niche.
  • On-Page SEO: Optimize your website’s content and structure for search engines. Include keywords in titles, meta descriptions, headers, and throughout the content. Ensure your site is mobile-friendly and has fast loading times.
  • Quality Content: Publish high-quality, informative, and engaging content regularly. Blogs, infographics, and videos can help boost your SEO efforts.
  • Backlink Building: Acquire high-quality backlinks from reputable sites. Guest blogging, influencer collaborations, and creating shareable content can help build your backlink profile.
  • Local SEO: For local businesses, optimize for local search by claiming your Google My Business listing, getting listed in local directories, and including local keywords in your content.


8. Explore Video Marketing

Video marketing can significantly boost engagement and conversions. Here’s how to use it effectively:

  • Understanding Your Audience: Know what type of content resonates with your audience. Educational tutorials, product demonstrations, customer testimonials, and behind-the-scenes footage are popular formats.
  • Quality Production: Invest in decent production quality. Clear audio, good lighting, and professional editing can make a significant difference.
  • Platform-Specific Content: Tailor your videos for different platforms. For instance, shorter videos for Instagram stories, longer formats for YouTube, and live sessions for Facebook.
  • Optimize for Search: Include relevant keywords in your video titles, descriptions, and tags. Transcribe your videos to improve accessibility and SEO.
  • Call-to-Action: Always include a clear CTA in your videos, guiding viewers on what to do next, whether it’s visiting your website, signing up, or watching another video.


9. Leverage Local SEO and Google My Business

For local businesses, local SEO is crucial. Here’s how to optimize your local presence:

  • Google My Business Optimization: Claim and verify your Google My Business listing. Provide accurate and updated information, including business hours, contact details, and a link to your website.
  • Encourage Reviews: Ask your satisfied customers to leave positive reviews on your Google My Business profile. Respond to all reviews, both positive and negative, professionally.
  • Local Keywords: Include location-based keywords in your website content, meta descriptions, and titles.
  • Local Link Building: Get listed in local directories and participate in local community events for backlinks and increased local visibility.
  • Mobile Optimization: Ensure your website is mobile-friendly, as many local searches are done on mobile devices.


10. Utilize Retargeting Strategies

Retargeting can help convert visitors who didn’t make a purchase on their first visit. Here’s how to implement it:

  • Tracking Visitor Behavior: Use tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel to track your website visitors’ behavior and preferences.
  • Customized Ads: Based on the collected data, create personalized retargeting ads that address the visitors’ interests or the items they viewed on your site.
  • Segment Your Audience: Segment your retargeting lists based on visitor behavior, such as those who abandoned carts, visited a specific product page, or engaged with your content.
  • A/B Testing: Experiment with different ad formats, messaging, and visuals to see what resonates best with your audience. A/B testing is a powerful tool to fine-tune your advertising campaigns and maximize their impact.
  • Influencer Partnerships: Collaborate with influencers who align with your brand values and have a genuine connection with their followers. Influencer partnerships can significantly amplify your reach and lend credibility to your products or services.
  • Interactive Content: Engage your audience with interactive content like quizzes, polls, or interactive videos. This type of content not only captivates but also provides valuable insights into your audience’s preferences.
  • Data-Driven Decision Making: Harness the power of data to inform your marketing decisions. Analyzing customer data can reveal patterns and preferences that help tailor your marketing strategies effectively.


Source: 10 Ideas for Your Small Business Digital Marketing Strategy Small Business Trends (January 12, 2024) Larry Alton