Why Digital Marketing Matters to Small Businesses
Digital marketing can help many small businesses grow. Small business owners face serious competition, and it becomes imperative that you remain visible and distinguish yourself from your competitors. Digital marketing can help you do it.
You and I both know that people are online all the time. As a business, you have to meet your target audience where they are. Where do your clients start their search for a company like yours? There is about a 93% chance that Google is the very first place for many individuals will start. This begs the question of where do you rank on Google’s search results pages (SERPs)?
With digital marketing, you can start to show up on the first page of the SERPs. The best part is basic digital marketing doesn't cost a lot of money. You may advertise on Google for a few bucks and reach a large number of individuals in and around your area. Those few dollars spent can go a long way toward the long-term profitability of your business.
Where to Start Your Digital Marketing Efforts
In the beginning, digital marketing might be overwhelming, frightening, and even a little perplexing. Often many people may ask themselves:
- I have no idea what I'm doing. What's the first thing I should do?
- Are any of my messages getting through?
- How do I know I'm reaching the right people?
While those are legitimate questions, here is the good news. Basic digital marketing isn't rocket surgery. With a little patience and guidance, you can learn the best marketing tactics for your small businesses and how to experiment the correct way.
These tactics can get your digital marketing campaign up and running in no time. Here are six tactics that work well for North Carolina small businesses.
Find and Use Keywords in Everything
Keywords are words and phrases that describes your business and what users will use to find you in search engines such as Google, Bing, or Duck Duck Go. When you are just getting started with digital marketing for small businesses, you need to identify these keywords. For example, if you’re a plumber, keywords might be “plumber,” “leaky faucet.” and “clogged pipe.”
You will then want to take some time with a keyword planner, like these:
- Semrush Keyword Magic Tool
- Google Search Console
- Google Ads Keyword Planner
- Google Trends
- Ahrefs Keyword Generator
- Moz Keyword Explorer
- Rank Tracker
- Keyword Surfer
- Keyword Sheeter
Every time you do any form of digital marketing, use some of the keywords from your compiled list. When you write a blog, you will want to use the keywords within the text. If you make changes to your website, use the keywords. When making a video, use the keywords as part of your description and your narrative.
Now you might think that you should stuff the keywords in. However, leave the stuffing to the Thanksgiving turkey.
Here is an example using the keywords “turkey recipe”:
Are you looking for turkey recipes? If you’re looking for a great turkey recipe, look no further. Our Thanksgiving turkey recipe website is the best place to find a new family favorite turkey recipe. Feel free to check out our list of turkey recipes from our turkey recipe selection below.
Pretty ridiculous, right? That’s not even the worst keyword stuffing out there.
The bottom line is that Google dislikes black hat tactics like SEO keyword stuffing because those methods focus on trying to gain the system rather than a great user experience. You will want to use them naturally and only as much as you need to, but do use them and use them often.
Use Social Media Organically
Most individuals use social media on a regular basis in their personal life. In this way, it makes sense that it should also play a significant part in your small business. As a client service tool, it's an excellent method to broaden your reach.
Almost everyone has a social media account. Your potential clients will perceive you as irrelevant or lacking credibility if you do not have a presence on social media. If clients locate your competitors on social media, they may be more likely to turn to them for their needs than you.
The secret to success on social media is consistency. Find out where your target audience is, then share your material with them, be a part of their life, offer information, be helpful, and occasionally promote. Sharing content will result in organic growth and the development of a long-term relationship with your audience. When your followers interact with your content, their friends see it, and your network expands.
Organic social media may appear to be a drop in the bucket. Still, it has significant return on investment potential if you regularly work to distribute information and connect with your audience.
Here are a few things to consider when creating your social media channels:
- Choose the social media sites your potential clients are using. Pick a few channels and focus on them first. You may think that you need to be on every single social media channel that exists, but you don't. I recommend that you stake your digital claim but don't feel like you have to be active on Twitter if your audience doesn't use Twitter.
- Don't reinvent the wheel, but take advantage of social media analytics. The major social media channels can show you data as to how your content is doing. If you find something that works well, repurpose and reuse it.
- Find and interact with key influencers in your field. People with a more prominent social media presence will eventually begin to share your content. However, you may need to undertake some connection building first. Share their material while you wait for them to friend or follow you.
- Use a social media tool such as Hootsuite, Buffer, Social Champ or SocialOomph, to pre-schedule your post. The good thing is most of these offer a freemium model, so you can try it before you subscribe.
- Set aside some time to prepare your social media posts for the week, and then use one of these apps to schedule them. This will make it appear that you are posting throughout the week, but the job is done all at once so that you can focus on other things, such as running your North Carolina business.
Start a Blog
A blog will help prospects find you. If you should create informational, helpful content on your website, then share it to the social channels. The content you share will make you look like the industry expert that you are, giving you a leg up on the competition. You should always appear to be more knowledgeable and in control than your competitors. With solid, helpful, and valuable content, your prospective clients will learn to trust you, and they share that trust with their family and friends. Therefore, your brand becomes more than just a service provider. You become a trusted advisor, which will transfer into loyal clients and more sales.
Essentially there are five big subjects that move every buying decision in every industry, they are:
- “Best of” Lists
- Social Proof
Make and Share a Video
Video has lately emerged as a powerful force in digital marketing. People still want to know who they are dealing with on the other end of the phone or screen. This makes video is an excellent approach to introduce your organization to new clients. A branded video can convey information, promote conversions, and foster trust among your target audience. It's cab also be more enjoyable than reading text. Video does not have to be costly or complicated.
Here’s how to get started:
- Learn how to use your smartphone's camera. The majority of smartphone cameras are excellent as a first camera for recording marketing videos.
- Buy an inexpensive lapel mic such as this one: MAONO Omnidirectional Condenser Clip-on Lapel Mic.
Optimize Your Website
As a small business, it is an absolute must to find out how to reach your prospective clients so you can turn them into clients. This means your prospects need to be able to look at your website both on a computer and on a mobile device.
Delivering a fantastic experience on a desktop or laptop will ensure your prospects will stay on your site, look around and take the action you want them to take. Therefore, you need to make sure that your website is user-friendly in order to connect to your target audience.
Your website must also be mobile-friendly or responsive. The site needs to be quick and efficient in every possible way. When people come to your site from a mobile device, chances are they might be on the go, your site needs to load fast, and they should be able to easily access the most important information without "hunting."
Your website isn't about the design as much as it's about the ease of use, the experience, and the speed of it. The design is only a small piece and takes a back seat to the bigger picture.
You should take the time to check your site by going through it page by page. Do you have relevant keywords in the content? No, then now is a perfect time to update it.
Here are a few tips to help you with your website SEO:
- Create an account with Google and set up your Google Search Console by registering your domain name and following the instructions. Google will provide you with tips on what needs to be fixed.
- Remember to include the page title, metadata, and any other information Google requests while generating your content. Add explanations to your images via the alt text. While images are great for users, Google's bots can only read text, not images (for now).
- Use keywords phrases rather than single keywords. Each page on your site should be dedicated to a single topic, including associated keywords and phrases. However, don't abuse the phrases, as Google can penalize you for stuffing your pages. The bottom line is you want to make it sound natural.
Build and Utilize an Email List
Email list building is frequently disregarded by many small businesses, despite the fact that every expert marketer will tell you that it is one of your best marketing assets. A good, responsive email list is even more valuable than your social media outlets.
Email newsletters can help create repeat sales, allow you to develop strong relationships with your current and future prospects, and keep you in touch with them. They let you target your audience with unique offers while also providing value to those on the receiving end.
Email marketing, as archaic as it may appear in comparison to social media marketing, is one of the most effective marketing strategies in the toolbox. It is used by marketing experts across the board and in every industry. It has been demonstrated to be effective, as the conversion rate for emails is often up to three times higher than for social media campaigns.
Here are a few of tips to get started with email marketing:
- Use your website's contact form to start collecting email addresses.
- Send a monthly newsletter to anyone who has filled out that form. But you will want to be sure, as with any other form of marketing, to give your prospects and clients valuable information in an easy-to-read format.
- Use the email newsletter to let clients and prospects know about special offers and sales or remind them of routine maintenance they should perform or have you perform.
Digital Marketing Is a Key Brand-Building Tool
Digital marketing shouldn’t be difficult. It's important to remember that it's not always about the sale. Building a relationship with your target audience and becoming their go-to source for what they need that your small business offers is what digital marketing is all about. Sales will come as a result of their trust in you.
Once a prospect trusts you and becomes a client, they'll come back. And they'll send their friends and family to you, too.
The bottom line is:
- Keep your marketing simple.
- Keep your marketing personal.
- Keep your marketing real.
Prospects want real, solid information; they don't want to get the runaround.
When it comes to digital marketing for small businesses in North Carolina, you will want to start with baby steps. Get acquainted with one type of marketing before moving on to the next. Digital marketing takes time, but the rewards can be great if you put in the effort, and the ROI can be far more than you anticipated.
If you would like to talk to us about helping with your digital marketing, reach out to us today!