Digital Marketing for Small Businesses [Complete Guide + Template]

upqode | Aug 13th, 2020

Digital marketing for small businesses is essential to their growth and success. The goals and purpose of the business will guide you in identifying the type of digital marketing campaign to run. To start with, let me define what digital marketing is.

Digital marketing is any online method that can be used to promote a business. To reach out to your customers and clients, you need to have an online strategy in place. The most interesting thing about digital marketing is that it comes in various types.

If you’re a local business owner and not sure where to put your digital marketing efforts, then, this guide is for you. Here is a deeper review of everything you need to know to give your business website a good online presence. 

Digital Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

Online marketing is growing every day and most small businesses are using technology to reach their clients. There are so many ideas to choose from when it comes to small business marketing. Some of them are premium, while others are free. It all depends on your reason for implementation. Here is a more detailed explanation for each marketing channel.

1. SEO

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is optimizing content and websites to rank higher on search engines. There are three different ways to achieve SEO. These are On-page, Off-page and Technical SEO. Different agencies will offer SEO services at a cost-effective price.

On-page SEO is the most basic type of SEO. It makes it easier for a search engines to understand what a website is about. Examples include Meta descriptions, title tags, keywords research and optimization, header tags and ALT attributes. Also, responsiveness for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. 

Off-page SEO is any effort done outside your website to improve your ranking on search engines. Some of these efforts are creating backlinks, Guest blogging, Social media marketing and influencer marketing.

Technical SEO is a type of SEO that checks the on-site structure, mobile-friendliness and page speed. Technical SEO is very important for your website. Some agencies will offer both digital marketing and SEO services. 

The best tool to use in optimization is the Yoast plugin. It helps achieve the basic requirements to rank in search engines. Also, it acts as a guide to any requirements that have not yet been met and how to improve on each. Digital marketing for small businesses and local search are the strong pillars to get potential customers through inbound marketing.

Yoast SEO plugin screenshot

2. Content marketing

There is a common phrase that content is king. And yes, it is. Content marketing is a marketing tactic that consists of the creation and distribution of information. Content is dependent on your business. For instance, if you’re in the marketing business, your content needs to revolve around this topic.

Also, create content that your target customers relate to. Remember, content needs to communicate and provide value to your audience. For small businesses, quality content will attract customers, grow traffic and convert visitors into leads.

When it comes to websites, for instance, you need to organize WordPress content to enhance readability. You can publish content on blogs, social media, and infographics.

For an effective content marketing campaign, you’ll need proper keyword research, writing guidelines, and well-structured landing pages. 

3. Email List Marketing

Email marketing has improved over the years. There are tools and software that small businesses can use to create and send emails.

The purpose of email marketing is to attract, engage and convert your customers. For instance, you can inform your customers of your offers or new products using emails. It’s a faster and direct method of getting customers.

Email marketing is very effective especially when building trust. As a small business, you need to nurture a strong relationship with your clients.

Email marketing is very important. You will be in a position to study your buyers’ journey and offer personalized services to your clients. This means that you will be keen to send the right messages to the right people at the right time.

4. Pay Per Click

Pay Per Click or PPC is a form of marketing where you pay for every ad that is clicked by your target audience. This method of marketing is very common as it reaches a bigger audience very fast.

Choose your objective before proceeding to design your ad. Examples of these objectives are awareness, consideration, and conversion. PPC is used on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google.

Google my business, Google Adwords and Facebook Ads are the most used PPC channels. Most businesses are using Google to sell their products and services.

What's your marketing objective

5. Video marketing

Like the name suggests, video marketing is the use of video to promote your content and business. Video content not only applies to YouTube but also on websites and blogs. It’s a very popular method of marketing.

With the current growth in technology, anyone can now create videos. You don’t need to spend too much by hiring someone to do the videos for you. There is an online software to use for creating videos. Examples include Loom, Vidyard and Soapbox.

Most people want to spend a few minutes listening rather than reading long blogs and texts. Video marketing helps build trust and also improves your SEO.

6. Social media marketing

Talk of digital marketing and everyone will think of social media. Well, not so wrong. Social media marketing is a type of digital marketing. It is very important for businesses and startups.

This is because most people spend a lot of their time on social media. Examples of social media channels include Facebook ads, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tic Toc and Instagram. However, not all these channels apply to all types of businesses.

You need to learn your audience first and the channels they use the most. After identifying the channels, research on the best social media marketing tips for small businesses

Running social media campaigns in different social networks is quite beneficial for your business. It is no secret that social media platforms offer a window to increase your brand awareness. 

7. Infographics

Infographics are a visual representation of information through the use of images and text. They communicate messages and ideas very fast. This is because they carry the basic and most important information.

For instance, if you want to make an advertisement, you may consider using an infographic. Examples of software to use are canvas, Venngage, Befunky, Stencil and Adobe Photoshop. These tools are easy to use and some have ready to use templates. Here is an example of an infographic.

A guide to starting your digital marketing journey

Benefits of Digital Marketing for Small Businesses

With the above-stated ideas, the benefits of using digital marketing for small businesses are many. Some of the benefits include:

  1. Increase in brand awareness.
  2. Improved sales opportunities both online and offline.
  3. With digital marketing, you’re able to reach a bigger audience faster.
  4. It saves on time especially when it comes to marketing and requesting online services. 
  5. Digital marketing is cost-effective. An example is social media marketing, where you can create business accounts without having to pay for them.
  6. Digital marketing is effective as most businesses will attract and engage with their audience online at any time.
  7. Digital marketing is the start of a buyer’s journey. An example is an e-commerce website. A client will add items to a cart, make payments and then wait for a delivery.  

Digital Marketing Tools for Small Businesses

Digital marketing tools are dependent on the type of idea you’re looking to implement. These tools are very essential as they make marketing easier and convenient.

Before using any of the tools, you need to understand the type of digital marketing to apply. For instance, a video editing tool cannot be used to publish posts. Here is a table showing the different types of digital marketing and specific tools.

Type of digital marketingSoftware to use
Social media Hootsuite, Buffer, Creator Studio, Tweetdeck, Google alerts
Email marketingMailchimp, Privy, Mailjet, Sumo, EmailOptin, Getgist, MailerLite
Content MarketingWordPress, Reddit, Quora, Grammarly, Hubspot, Trello, Hemingway
SEOYoast Plugin, Google Webmaster, Google Analytics, Google Trends, SEMrush
Infographics ToolVenngage, Snappa, infogram, Befunky, Canva
Video MarketingLoom, Vidyard, PlaceIt

Digital Marketing Plans for Small Businesses

Every business is unique and has specific goals to achieve. These goals will always guide you to know which plan works best for your business.

Also, your competitor will help you discover a plan you can use. For instance, if your competitor has not implemented video marketing, you can try it in your business.

But, be careful not to be so competitive and forget your audience. Remember your goals and objectives and use them well to your advantage.

Let’s say you want to reach a certain target in your business. You bring in new products and adjust your prices. Which will be your most preferred type of digital marketing?

I would suggest PPC. With a clear objective in mind, this idea will reach a bigger audience much faster. Therefore, this is to mean that each plan depends on the goal you want to achieve.

The Best Digital Marketing Agency for Small Businesses

First, you need to understand what a Small Business Marketing Agency is. Working with an agency or specialist who understands digital marketing is very important. There is no need for you to carry all the workload by yourself.

It also saves you too much energy to achieve your goal. For this reason, you’re able to channel your efforts to the success of your business.

There are so many agencies that offer digital marketing for small businesses. Among the best agencies for small businesses include UPQODE, Taktical, Blu Mint Digital, webFX, among others.

However, you need to be careful when selecting marketing agencies. Work with people who understand your business goals and objectives. In addition to this, work with an agency that offers most of the services you need. 

This makes it easier to follow up and the budget.  Working with an agency is important as they may recommend digital marketing strategies and tips for small businesses.

Budget Consideration For Small Businesses

For small business owners, you need to have a working budget for your business. It helps you make plans for your business and channel your finances to the right areas.

Coming up with a budget is not very easy. You can learn more on what to budget for from a marketer’s perspective. Check out Kaitlyn Hammond’s opinion on where you should spend your marketing budget.

Also, compare different agencies to see who offers the services you need at a cost-effective price. List down the pricings and weigh your options. Then, proceed to the one that works best for you.

After a specific period, you will need to check your Return on Investment (ROI). This will help you determine if you’re making losses or profit for your business.

Digital Marketing Services for Small Businesses

There are various services that come with digital marketing for small businesses. These services will differ from one business to another. The reason for implementing digital marketing ideas is to be present online.

Some of the services that small businesses will have include email marketing, social media marketing, SEO and video marketing. There are small businesses that are already using these services.

The competition in the business world is very high. To remain relevant and attract new customers, you need to do what others are not doing. Also, find out what works best for your audience and customers and make it better.

For instance, you discover that content marketing works for your audience. What next? You will have to optimize your content and offer value. Next, work on quality. Publish quality content that has value.

You can publish your content on blogs, infographics, social media and websites.

Before implementing a specific service, always have your audience and goal in mind. Also, don’t be afraid to try. This is how you learn which service works for you and which one doesn’t.

Final Verdict

Digital marketing for small businesses is very broad and should be approached with caution.

If you’re already using digital marketing, what impact has it had on your business? Digital marketing for small businesses improves ranking, generates traffic, and grows your brand.

On the other hand, if you’re not using digital marketing, then you’re missing out. Most people want to engage with a business from wherever they are. If your clients cannot find you online, it becomes harder to interact with them.

In conclusion, digital marketing for small businesses is very crucial. Clients can, therefore, find what they need online. This has built a strong relationship and trust for most businesses. 

Filed under: Marketing

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