How to Begin Marketing a Small Business Online
There are numerous ways a small business can market itself.
From promotions to branding, advertising, blogs, and social media, all of it is considered marketing in one form or another. But in today’s day and age, digital marketing is the best way to go as it provides the best ROI out there.
Digital marketing, however, should not be confused with online advertising. While the latter preoccupies itself mostly with advertisements over the internet, digital marketing makes use of a plethora of elements to market a business online.
And while both have their uses, it’s important to remember that there is an overabundance of ads currently in existence, which has given rise to a phenomenon is known as ad fatigue. And it is because of this ad fatigue that many consumers have become immune to adverts, even as far as using ad blockers to spare themselves from the many ads.
Know Your Audience
Before you can start formulating your online marketing strategy, you will first have to understand who your target audience is. This information should comprise elements such as age, gender, profession, location, whether they are the ones making the household’s decisions, as well as their wants, needs, and pain points. With this data, you can build a customer persona. As its name would suggest, a customer persona is a rough representation of your target audience. It stands to represent the average demographic, behavioral, and psychological characteristics of your most common buyers.
Making a Plan
Once you understand who your buyers are and what they want, it’s time to devise a plan of action. Nevertheless, there are numerous routes that you can take, and there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for all businesses out there. So, depending on your goals, you will have to create your plan.
Some of the most common goals for small businesses when they begin marketing themselves online is brand awareness. Another such intent could be to increase sales, have better customer retention, or expand their reach, among others. It doesn’t mean that someone can’t have more than one of these goals in mind, which is, indeed, the case.
Content, and by extension, content marketing sits at the foundation of most of your digital marketing strategies. In short, content marketing focuses on the creation and distribution of consistent, valuable, and relevant content as a means of attracting and retaining a target audience. Content marketing is a particularly useful tool if you want to increase your brand awareness and reputation, as well as to build long-lasting customer relationships.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO works excellent in combination with content marketing. Its purpose is to increase your website’s visibility and Google rankings via its organic results. In other words, SEO will help your well-researched and valuable content reach your intended audience and increase traffic to your website.
Social Media Marketing
Social media platforms are great places where you can make your brand known to the world. There are numerous ways how to use social media marketing, be it to promote your content, advertise your products, engage with customers, increase brand awareness, increase customer loyalty, etc.
As yet another form of content marketing, email marketing is an excellent way to get the word out about your other marketing initiatives and keep customers in the loop. Email marketing is a great tool for lead management and nurturing.
As a form of paid media, influencer marketing implies that you work with someone that has a following on social media and can promote your brand or products to their audience. When working with an influencer, the best strategy is to use someone whose audience already resonates with what you have to offer and fits into your customer persona. For this reason, micro influencers (those with a following between 1,000 and 100,000) are the best way to go, especially for small businesses.