Marketing your small business online is no small task. There are many elements that come into play to create an effective strategy. Consider some important best practices in 10 of those major areas of digital marketing.
Create a content calendar for upcoming campaign themes and individual content topics. Yet, to maintain flexibility and relevance, never plan more than a few months ahead.
Try to educate, problem-solve, entertain or otherwise impact readers with each piece of content.
When online, readers are often on-the-go. Not to mention that they have alternative websites at their fingertips and eyes that can be easily strained. So, your content needs to be uncluttered and easy to skim for relevant info.
Save time and drive home key messages by repurposing your content. Turn case studies into videos, blog posts into social media posts, and so on.
Share your content several times over weeks and months to reach more people. Also, do so on your site, blog, social media, newsletter, etc.
A hefty percentage of people now watch videos without sound. Subtitles can help them get the message without having to change their behaviors.
Attention spans are shorter than ever. Get to the point within the first few seconds or, at least, intrigue viewers. Otherwise, they won’t be viewers for much longer.
Remember: Not all topics are relevant or interesting to your audience. This includes subjects related to your industry.
Record meetings, product releases, and other events even when you’re not working on a video. You’ll have the footage on hand whenever you need it!
As with content, this will reduce time investment and emphasize main points. Turn longer Youtube videos into short clips for other platforms, old footage into new campaign material, etc.
Concentrate on the platforms your audience uses most. Your efforts to grow your following and promote engagement will have the greatest impact there.
Posting regularly lends itself to your credibility. It also goes a long way in attracting and retaining followers.
Only share things that are relevant, helpful or entertaining to your audience. Avoid the boring, useless or potentially offensive.
Review social media analytics, data, and insights. If you learn to track your progress and identify problem areas now, it will be easier as your business grows.
Can you think of a non-competitive business that complements what you do or offer? Engage with them on social media. You’ll increase your business’ exposure and perhaps open the way for a partnership.
Related eBook: Social Media Pocket Guide
If the basket drops or your partnership ends, you’re left to start back at square one. While working with one influencer, it doesn’t hurt to build relationships with others.
What can you give in return for an influencer’s support? Are you willing to promote their endeavors and business too? People will be much more likely to back you if you do the same for them.
Reaching more people is of no benefit if those people have little interest in your business. Choose an influencer closely connected with what you do. This gives you access to an interested audience, although a bit smaller.
The influencer you choose will represent your brand in front of the masses. Do their values align with yours? Do they have a similar mission or passion? Will they reflect well on your brand? If you answered “no” to any of the above, choose someone else.
Some partnerships are not worth continuing. To avoid wasting time and resources, or even a damaged reputation, consider your results before and after your influencer. If things are not better with influencer backing, a change is in order.
Before you invest time, energy, and even money into ads, you need to know who you’re trying to reach.
Focus your efforts on those in your target audience who are most likely to become customers. This will limit paid advertising costs, yielding a higher ROI.
Your messages should be clear, direct, and persuasive. Images should be eye-catching and original. Additionally, your ads should be mobile-friendly.
Display ads crafted specifically for previous visitors to your site. You’ll get more inquiries and purchases.
Whether you’re advertising via your website, email or some other means, track views, clicks, conversions, and such.
Related: Online Advertising eBook
Ensure mobile-friendliness, fast loading speeds, easy navigation, and attractive aesthetics.
Clearly convey who you are, what you stand for, what sets your brand apart from others, and what you do or offer.
Don’t just give information about your offerings. Spell out the pain points you heal and the benefits prospects will gain.
Use a variety of offers to get as many leads as possible. This way, you can follow up and nurture interest even after they’ve left your site.
Create a sitemap, detailed meta descriptions, meaningful URLs, image alt text, and so on. Also, make appropriate use of keywords.
Related eBook: The 5-Step Guide to Writing Killer Website Content
Conduct keyword research to identify local and/or long-tail keywords you could optimize and rank for.
Blogging can increase your business’ exposure, especially if you use keywords skillfully. In turn, rankings improve, bringing more exposure.
Improve individual pages with keywords, meta descriptions, and descriptive image titles, alt text, and descriptions.
Increased activity surrounding your brand can improve the results of indexing. Additionally, links from social media to your site can do the same.
Link between pages on your site, to and from social media, various online directories, and partnering businesses.
Related: Social Media Pocket Guide
It should be simple both to join your email list and to unsubscribe from it. Otherwise, people will become frustrated with negative consequences for you.
Set the expectation for exactly what people will get from your emails.
Use each subscribers name and write like you’re sending that email to them and them only.
If your goal is to get people to click a link, give them several opportunities to take that action.
You’ll need to provide different info for leads in the awareness, consideration, and decisions stages. So segment your email list and send the appropriate emails based on those three stages.
Related eBook: Email Marketing for Business Owners
Don’t count on customers visiting your review channels on their own. Include direct links on your website, in your emails, and so forth.
Your customers should have no doubt that you value their opinions. That should be clearly conveyed in your messaging.
Most people will need a nudge and won’t write reviews of their own accord. Asking could be the difference between few reviews and plenty.
Show your appreciation to happy customers by responding to their kind, enthusiastic comments. Show your concern and professionalism by reaching out to apologize to and mend ties with those who aren’t so satisfied.
Related eBook: Five-Star Reviews
Take control of any listings not created by you.
Make sure that all your business info is correct and in a consistent format across all listings.
Besides the usual contact info, make sure to add a description, business category, photos of your location, and so on.
You don’t only want to be on major directories. You’ll also want to be listed on those specific to your industry or area.
If you have two (or more) locations, create separate listings for each one. Each listing should direct to a page on your site with information specific to that location.
Related: Business Listings eBook (free download)
These tips and best practices to execute each aspect of your digital marketing strategy expertly. In turn, your entire strategy—whatever it includes—will be much more effective.