If you’re establishing a new small business or you want to grow your existing business, you want to attract new customers, but traditional advertising is expensive. Digital marketing and social media marketing can be free, and you don’t need to be an expert or have a big budget to get your business noticed, just follow our guide to successful digital marketing for small business.
Understand your customers
Ask yourself what you know about your target customers, where they live, what their lifestyles are and their interests. When you narrow down where your prospects are likely to hang out on the web and on social networks, you can create a digital marketing strategy to target them.
Blogging is a free and powerful way to get your business noticed online. It’s easily accessible and you don’t need to be a star writer. You can find ideas by doing research on social media, search engines or question and answer websites to see what your customers are looking for, check other industry blogs to find hot topics and give your opinion on industry news or data from surveys and polls.
You can also build an audience by contributing to other popular blogs and websites. Guest blogging will generate inbound links to your website, build brand awareness, help associate your business with the prestige of popular blogs and drive leads, website traffic and social media buzz.
Target your customers on social media
A study by the Internet Advertising Bureau UK found that almost 80% of consumers would buy more often because of a brand’s presence on social media. Networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn allow you to get straight to your target customers, but remember that social media marketing is about people and relationships. Your prospects want engaging conversations that chime with their interests and lifestyles, not advertisements.
Email marketing turns leads into sales
Email is an easy way to stay in touch with prospective customers and convert qualified leads into sales. To build your email marketing list, you need to first win their trust and consent to be contacted. Offering a free download of an eBook, podcast or a really useful information sheet – in exchange for an email address – is the perfect way to kick-start your opt-in email list and make sure your emails aren’t rejected as spam.
Convert online interest into sales calls
Online marketing opens the door, but there’s no better way of converting interest into a sale than getting your prospective customer on the phone, so you can explain the benefits of your product or service. Thankfully, these extra business calls don’t have to cost you a fortune. If you change your fixed-line phone system to a VoIP phone, you could save money on calls without any need for installation or a long-term contract.
Find out how a VoIP phone could benefit your business in our guide to VoIP for small business.
SEO gets you noticed
Getting your business as high as possible up the search listings will boost your search engine traffic, which means free digital marketing and potential sales. If you convince search engines that your website is the most relevant site for your targeted keywords, you’ll get a consistent flood of traffic. You can do basic SEO (search engine optimisation) yourself for free, but search engines are growing increasingly sophisticated, so consider the benefits of paying an SEO specialist.
Images say more than words
According to internet marketers HubSpot, Facebook posts with photos attached get 53% more likes than text-only posts. You can create lots of great content without reaching for the dictionary.
Infographics go viral
An eye-catching infographic has a much better chance of going viral than text content, which means a potential marketing bonanza for you. You don’t have to be a design wizard either. If you’ve got a good idea, there are several online services and apps that offer easy design templates for free or little cost.
YouTube videos will boost search rankings
Google gives YouTube videos automatic priority in search listings and it’s these days it’s easy to create low-cost but high-quality video. ‘How-to’ videos such as tutorials will give you quick wins in traffic and visibility and they’ll be popular on your social media channels. You could also consider vlogging – taking your blogging activity into video.