Digital Marketing For Small Business: Understanding the Basics

Written by Vojtěch Šplinar
Online Marketing

Digital marketing has become necessary for large companies competing for customers. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember its relevance even when starting or having a small business. Long gone are the times when a small advertisement in newspapers was enough to let the world know about your services.

Perhaps you’ve reached the point like countless other business owners. Asking what else can be done to improve your business and get more happy customers through your door. Your potential customers are already more likely than not looking up products and services online, but it’s not just that. People are generally spending so much time on the internet that it’s much easier to find potential new customers with the right digital marketing strategy.

What Is Digital Marketing?

There are few definitions around what digital marketing is. To put it simply, we can say it’s an effort of businesses to get closer to their customers online and better understand them.

The concept adds a lot of value to the products and increases sales through digital marketing campaigns using media channels, such as search marketing and online advertising. It is a way of thinking and putting the customer at the center of all online activities.

What Are the Benefits?

The main benefit of digital marketing for small businesses is that a targeted audience can be easily reached cost-effectively and worldwide.

When starting a business, the budget for advertising might be limited. Still, the use of extensive online marketing options is possible even under such conditions. It’s all about knowing how to use the internet and the right tools to grab people’s attention.

The next amazing thing is that you can measure your campaign’s effectiveness and obtain detailed insights about customers and their online behavior using web analytics. It allows you to really target your potential clients.

While advertising on TV or a magazine is shown to people who may not give a damn, online marketing is a way to reach customers who are already interested in what you offer.

Categories of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing can be divided into a few categories, so let’s go over the main ones.

The first one to mention is social media marketing. It is essential for businesses to be present on the leading social media platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, because that’s where your customers’ attention is.

Another category is search engine optimization (SEO), a process in which the marketers try to get a business higher in Google search results. Also known as SERP, which stands for Search Engine Results Pages. A potential client is more likely to look at a website on the first page of results than to endlessly scroll through another ten pages.

A category closely connected to SEO is Pay-per-click (PPC) that consists of paid advertisements, usually seen while browsing the internet or even while playing a YouTube video.

Content marketing focuses more on the customer. Using storytelling, video, images, and other media to gain more attention and provide value. You can also ask visitors for their email addresses to build more trustworthy relationships with them through content.

This brings us to another very effective strategy, which is email marketing. Essentially, this means creating an email with interesting and relevant content that makes it more likely to be open and can get you new clients. Such an email needs to be written appropriately and be valuable to the recipient. It should be inviting but not looking like a scam.

Mobile marketing focuses on getting attention through smartphones or tablets. For example, you might reach out to a potential customer while they are attending an event (e.g., conference, concert, festival, etc.).

It All Starts with Your Website

Having a website is an excellent digital marketing strategy because it leads your customers to one place via all the other channels. And that place, your website, can give visitors a clear idea about your brand, what kind of services you offer, and basically anything you wish to share with them.

Most people look online for information to make sure they’re buying something worth their money. It’s vital to have your own page to provide that kind of information and advertise your products and services in the most representative way possible.

Search Engine Optimization

An essential part of digital marketing and a vital part of having a website is search engine optimization. It improves your website so that its visibility increases for relevant searches.

Remember the part about SERP? Suppose your search results’ visibility is high enough. In that case, it is almost effortless to consistently attract new visitors and attention to your brand. People might be searching for something that is just loosely connected to your business. Yet, with proper search engine optimization, they can see your website and what you offer.

Social Media

Getting attention to your business is narrowly connected to social media marketing which is another beneficial aspect. All kinds of customers are already interacting with brands through social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. It’s a cool and practical thing these days!

This form of online marketing involves creating and sharing exciting and engaging content on the platforms to make sure you appeal and speak the correct language to the right audience. Social media can also offer a better way to connect with your client as you can respond to their comments or gather more feedback.

It’s one of the most cost-efficient methods because it’s free to create a social media platform profile. If you want to pay for an ad to boost your audience, it’s relatively cheap compared to other advertisements.

Copywriting

While trying to get people interested in what you have to offer, everything you say should really capture their interest. That’s precisely what copywriting is for. It’s not just about writing an ad; it’s about writing a good ad! Copywriting is all the headlines you see on advertisements and the description you see below any product.

Nowadays, with so many ads everywhere, it is hard to create something unique and out of the ordinary. To achieve that, you must focus on more than just writing about having a new product. The use of marketing methods and psychology tactics is essential in this part.

Content Marketing

Another strategy in digital marketing is content. The word content consists of everything that needs to be done to reach the targeted audience. It is the process of planning, creating, and eventually publishing unique, engaging, and valuable content. Via this practice, you can tell your customers what’s special about your brand, its products, and why they should be interested.

It can be a video, a blog post, or any other informative and entertaining format. Creating exciting content connected to your product might mean people will start telling others about it, effectively getting you more attention and clients.

The best content is not just about selling. It’s about providing a lasting impact and value, attracting a loyal audience that then can become a happy customer.

Paid Advertising

To get your content out there and to the right people, you can use several tactics to do that. One of them is paid advertising which requires buying a couple of ad spots to best reach people online. These kinds of advertisements can be seen anywhere, let it be search results, YouTube videos, or another website in the form of a banner.

There are various types of bidding when it comes to paid ads. There is CPM (Cost-Per-Mille) which is handy for building brand awareness. It basically means that you pay for the ad’s place because it’s positioned in an area of visibility, and it could possibly get you new clients.

Another one is CPC (Cost-Per-Click), and this one only requires payment when someone actually clicks on your ad. It’s good to use for generating traffic to your website and for conversion-based goals.

But the world of paid advertising is vast and offers countless possibilities.

Conclusion

It’s certainly not an exaggeration to say that being online is a requirement nowadays. No business, no matter how small or large, can get around without it anymore. Starting a new business is difficult and time-consuming on its own, so proper marketing is often lacking. Setting up a site or business listing with the contact info and an email address is not enough to make people interested in your services.

Digital marketing might seem like a vast world that can get quickly overwhelming. However, I hope this overview gave you a bit of clarity and insight. Should you have any questions or would like to get help with your own marketing activities, feel free to reach out to us. It’s always a good thing to use the support of someone who knows how to approach this topic, lift some weight off your shoulders, and get to know your brand inside out so your business can grow better.

Updated March 22, 2021

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