Written by Oyster Shell Strategy Intern, Maria Velasco
Are you a small business owner looking for a way to use digital marketing for brand awareness? It can often be difficult to distinguish yourself on the web with thousands of businesses on social media platforms. In recent years, the advertising industry has radically changed due to the surge of digital media. According to digital marketing experts, most Americans are exposed to approximately 4,000 to 10,000 advertisements each day.
It’s important for small businesses to overcome all of the digital advertising clutter due to the many potential customers and competitors that are online. Here are a few tips for small business owners and digital marketing:
Remember: Social media is everything.
We are lucky to be living in the digital age where your brand can be found by typing a few keywords and hitting the search button. Remember these three things when you start working on your social media plan: quality content, analyze everything, and schedule strategically.
1. Quality Content: As a small business, the key to your success is creating quality content that consumers want to share and talk about.
2. Analyze Everything: Utilize the handy “Insights” tool that allows you to see how your posts and pages are performing to determine what type of content your audience wants to see.
3. Schedule Strategically: Be sure to do research and post your content during high traffic times on social media in order to reach the most people.
And don’t forget, if you choose to opt-out of paid social media advertisements, social media is a free tool that you can use to boost your brand!
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is your key.
Search Engine Optimization is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. Optimizing your web pages with on-site and off-site content make them reach a high position in the search results of Google or other search engines. SEO focuses on improving the rankings in the organic, non-paid way. If your business has a website and you want more traffic, SEO should be part of your marketing efforts.
Google uses an advanced algorithm to figure out which sites rank highest for organic search results based mainly on keyword usage, relevance, and site design. The first step in using organic SEO is finding keywords that your target audience is searching. By using the Google Keyword Planner Tool in your Google Ads account, you are able to find the most frequently used keywords people use when searching for your product or service type. To help increase your website’s ranking on search engines, make sure to keep your website content updated with copy that includes your main keywords.
Next, utilize link building strategies, such as structured citations and unstructured citations. This method lets your website be sourced or linked on other sites. Structured citations include businesses listed in an online directory, which expand exposure and website domain authority. You can incorporate structured citations by including comprehensive business contact information on your directories. Unstructured citations include recognitions of your business in an online newspaper, article, press release, or online job board. You can get these by getting positive reviews, hosting events, and submitting press releases.
The majority of searches are made on mobile devices, so it’s essential to optimize your site for mobile use by using mobile-responsive web design and reducing unnecessary content.
You also want to optimize your Google My Business page so that your business appears in organic and local results. Google uses information from this and shows it in a panel on the right side of the search results, which grows your business’ exposure. Keep in mind that customers like to see a lot of information and visuals, so be sure to include that in your profile.
The Power of Email Marketing
As surprising as it sounds, email actually outperforms social media and paid search for ROI. A study made by McKinsey & Co revealed that email marketing acquired 40 times more customers than Facebook and Twitter combined. You can do countless things with an email address, such as strengthen customer relationships, build a valuable brand, develop a loyalty program, and promote new products or services.
Starting with an email marketing service provider will help you effectively send out email campaigns, text messages, combine emails with social media efforts, and track performance. A few examples include AWeber, Campaigner, and iContact.
Build an email marketing list by adding an email subscription form to your website or persuade your social media followers to sign up. Once you increase your list of contacts, determine which type of emails you will deliver, such as newsletters, promotional emails with special offers, seasonal messages, loyalty programs, or transactional emails. Regardless of which type you decide to choose, a good email design will respond to any type of screen that your reader is using and promote a clear CTA (call-to-action) corresponding to the offer in the email.
If you decide to incorporate email marketing to your strategy, you must consistently send emails, stay organized, and attract new clients.
Understanding the time, consistency, and patience that comes with digital marketing is essential to make it in the digital advertising world. Make sure your target audience’s questions are being answered through your website so that you can get the most out of SEO. Review signals, such as the quality and variety of reviews, will help your ranking tremendously, so consider the fact that Google reviews are the most important.