The days when small businesses could simply hang a window sign and wait for customers to enter the store are long gone. Fast forward to 2021 and you will realize that consumers research your products or services before they even leave their homes. After all, recent studies show that 81% of consumers go online before heading out to the store.
What does it tell you?
The answer is easy: It takes a comprehensive digital marketing strategy to raise brand awareness and help potential customers to discover your business. While it does look like a clear and straightforward idea, the actual realization is not that simple at all.
If you want to design a high-quality digital marketing plan, you need to analyze the market and align the strategy with your brand building guidelines. We will show you how to do it in five basic steps.
1. Conduct Market Research
What is the first thing a football coach does before the game? That’s right - he analyzes the opponent to prepare the best strategy for his team. The same goes for digital marketing because you first need to conduct market research in order to find the right promotion plan for your small business.
Your research should go two ways:
- Audience analysis: Who is your typical customer? Is it a 50-year-old man or a teenage girl? What are their purchasing habits, content interests, personal beliefs, and expectations? Learn as much as you can about the average consumer as it makes digital marketing a lot easier.
- Competitor analysis: Who are your fiercest competitors? What are their strengths and weaknesses? If you can figure it out, you can also come up with a promotion plan that makes you stand out.
If you research the market properly, you will have more than enough data to set the stage for effective marketing activities.
2. Prepare an Omnichannel Communication Plan
We already discussed why a website is the branding fortress of your small business, but it can only get you so far in an attempt to maximize visibility. Your brand needs an omnichannel communication plan with multiple audience interaction platforms. Here are the most important communication channels for small businesses:
- Email newsletter: It allows you to maintain regular communication with loyal customers.
- Social networks: The likes of Instagram and LinkedIn are mandatory if you plan to keep the audience engaged 365 days a year.
- Advertising: Sometimes you need a surefire way to approach potential customers, so don’t forget to advertise if your goal is to promote a new product or a valuable piece of content.
Another thing you should keep in mind is that your company doesn’t have to waste time on every single communication platform out there.
For example, you might be running a B2B company and targeting senior managers and high-level decision-makers. In this case, LinkedIn and Twitter are where you can find them quickly, while Instagram and TikTok may as well be neglected.
3. Publish Outstanding Content
You know how marketers say that content is the king? Well, that’s because content creation costs 62% less and generates three times as many leads as traditional marketing. This practically means that you must publish outstanding content consistently on every communication platform.
What makes a great piece of content? No matter what it is – a video, an article, a social media post – the goal is to create content that fulfills the following criteria:
- Informative: Give users the information they are looking for.
- Stylish: Respect the style of your brand and build a unique voice.
- Reliable: Support your statements with quotes, facts, and statistics.
- Attractive: Make the post visually appealing.
4. Target Qualified Leads with Advertising
We already mentioned advertising as one of the crucial channels of communication, but now it’s time to delve deeper into the subject. Ads augment digital marketing because they enable business owners to target consumers very precisely.
You can use a whole range of parameters to define the ideal customer and then place ads to this group of users exclusively. Here’s how Facebook does it:
- Core audiences: The first option is to reach out to customers who share the same demographic features.
- Custom audiences: The second option is to find and address Facebook users who already learned about your company through mobile apps, websites, etc.
- Lookalike audiences: There is also the option of targeting users who resemble your current clients.
Other advertising platforms give you similar targeting abilities, but the bottom line is that small businesses can now approach verified leads very quickly.
5. Don’t Forget Local SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is extremely important because you want people to find your website easily, but we want to focus on a highly specific aspect of the process. According to the report, 97% of consumers use search engines to discover a local business.
They usually end up visiting a nearby store, so we strongly recommend creating your account on Google My Business. It’s a free tool that you can use to showcase relevant information about your store or office, including the address, phone numbers, and images.
Why difference does it make?
This is the only way to make Google show your company in relevant “near me” searches. It helps customers to discover your business, find the path to it, or identify the simplest way to get in touch with you.
Digital Marketing Seems Overwhelming? Let Us Help You!
Small business owners need to invest in digital marketing, but keep in mind that the tricks we discussed above are just the beginning. It takes a lot more work to take your strategy to perfection, so it’s natural to ask for professional help if you don’t have time or resources to handle digital marketing alone.
Big Site Media is glad to offer you an all-around digital marketing service: From major steps like strategic planning to micro-actions such as social media management. We will help you with every aspect of online presence and communication, so do not hesitate to get in touch!