The online world is rich with opportunities for large and small businesses alike. Whilst navigating its ample waters for the first time may seem daunting, digital marketing is one of the best ways to spread word of your small business and connect with new customers as well as maintaining likes with your already existing customers. If you are looking at getting started with digital marketing as a small business for the first time, here is our whistle-stop guide to what is out there and how you can use these digital marketing platforms to promote your small business and connect with a whole new audience online.
What is Digital Marketing?
If your small business is just getting started online, you may be asking, how is digital marketing different to traditional marketing? Or even, what is digital marketing? Digital marketing is the use of digital technologies, such as the internet, to promote your brand or business. Digital marketing is different from traditional marketing in that, apart from simply being online, digital marketing campaigns allow you to reach a much broader audience but also, a lot more relevant audience. Whilst traditional marketing methods such as billboards have you shouting one message to lots of different people hoping that it will generate relevant leads, digital marketing allows you to tailor many different messages to individual people. In effect, to personalise the marketing journey using learned behaviours and relevant statistics and reach people who are actually interested in your product or service.
Why Should I Get My Small Business Online?
One of the shortest and simplest answers to that question is because by not being online, you are missing out on an entire globe-full of people who could be using your service or buying your products. When searching for a new service or product, a high percentage of buyers will either find the product online or use it to inform their purchasing decision. COVID-19 has seen a massive increase in online shopping and with many physical shops remaining closed to the public for the foreseeable future, this is only set to increase.
By providing information on your products and services online and using digital marketing to promote those goods and services. You will be able to access customers actively looking for those things in a way that traditional marketing, for example in the case of billboards and flyers, simply can’t. Getting your small business online allows you to target your customers and optimise the amount of money you spend on marketing to reach the people you want to reach most.
What Digital Marketing Platforms are Available for Small Businesses Like Mine?
When getting started with digital marketing for the first time, it is understandable to be a bit overwhelmed by the amount of choices out there in the digital world. The great news is, if you already have a functioning website for your small business, you are already part of the way there. Here are some of the main areas of digital marketing available to small businesses and how they can help you to connect to your audiences and create online sales and leads for your small business.
Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses
When taking your first steps into the online marketing world, one of the most accessible tools is social media. Social media marketing is key to engaging with current and future customers and is often seen as a more approachable way for your customers to interact with your business. Around half of the global population use some sort of social media and by advertising and engaging with customers on this platform, you are accessing a large, dedicated audience and forming a brand identity that will be visible to anyone searching for your business or service online.
Word-of-mouth endorsements are key to generating leads for your small business and social media is an excellent way to get your customers to share your business with friends and connections online. As a familiar platform, it is also a great way to get started with digital marketing as a small business and a fantastic way to send traffic to your website and share sales and company updates to a wide audience. Why not take a look at our top tips for social media marketing to get started?
PPC or Pay Per Click Advertising
One of the biggest tools in digital marketing used by individuals and digital marketing agencies alike is PPC or pay per click advertising. Pay per click advertising for small businesses is a fantastic, cost-effective way to target potential customers online who are actively searching for a product or service that matches yours. Using the Google Adwords or Bing Ads platforms, pay per click advertising allows small businesses like you to target audiences that are relevant to their business and only pay when a user clicks through on the ad to your website. This makes it a great way to increase conversions on your website as they will only target people who are actively looking to purchase or engage with what your website is offering. If you are looking for help getting started with PPC, why not take a look at our pay per click management page.
Search Engine Optimisation or SEO for Small Businesses
If you are looking for a way to get seen online, SEO or search engine marketing is the perfect way for your company to appear organically (not through paid sources) in the search engine results page. Optimising your website for SEO as a small business is a fantastic way to get your website seen by those who are searching the web for similar services. As a small business, local shoppers may be key to keeping your business thriving so optimising your website for local SEO is a key way to promote your small business online. This can be done through on-page SEO and off-page SEO, each of which involve ways to optimise your business’s website for search engines in order to be found online. Our basic SEO checklist contains lots of suggestions you can complete from home for teams still working remotely or those starting SEO for the first time.
On the vein of SEO for small businesses sits content marketing. Primarily focussed on attracting organic traffic, content marketing aims to attract, engage and delight your customers. Creating a steady stream of content marketing as a small business can create brand recognition with customers learning about your product and reinforcing your place as an expert in your field. As a small business, one of the best ways to incorporate content marketing into your digital marketing strategy is to create a company blog. No matter what industry you are in, whether that be travel or even manufacturing, a well-maintained, search engine optimised blog can attract a large amount of organic traffic to your website. Take a look at why now is the best time to create a business blog for more. These visiting users often then convert into paying customers so content marketing is a brilliant way to add value to your website and online marketing efforts.
How to Get Started With Digital Marketing for Your Small Business
When getting started with digital marketing there really is no time like the present. Countless people search the web for products or services like yours every single day. If you are not using digital marketing as a small business that is a large chuck of potential customers slipping away. If you have seen a slump in sales during the COVID-19 pandemic, digital marketing and advertising online could be the perfect way to gain new customers and attract old customers back again. Creating a loyal following online is the perfect way to sustain the income of your business no matter what the world throws at you. If you are looking at taking your first steps into digital marketing, our A-Z of digital marketing terms is a great place to start.
If you are ready for help getting started with your business’s digital marketing, why not get in touch with the team here at SEM Consultants? With several years of experience, we are experts in all things digital and one of the most trusted digital marketing agencies in the Birmingham area. We have worked with a number of small businesses to help them get seen online and have proven results in getting companies the conversions and customers they are looking for.
Get in touch on 0121 552 6500 to talk to a member of the team about what we can do to help your business get online and seen. Or, contact us online for more.