The reality of running a small business means you have limited resources, small budgets, and just not enough time to focus on digital marketing. We know that you’re often doing everything, or almost everything, by yourself. This means prioritising your tasks, and often keeping up with digital marketing gets pushed aside.
To help get you started, we have shared five digital marketing tips for beginners and small businesses. We know that starting a task can be the hardest part, but we can help you prioritise and break it down into a few manageable components.
Tip 1: Do More Research Into Your Target Audiences
Narrowing down your main target audience will really help you when it comes to your digital marketing strategy. You likely already have an idea of who your target audience are, but can you refine it further? Can you go beyond simple demographic information like age, gender and location, and add some detail around interests and values?
Having a really clear idea of who your target audience are will help you decide which platforms and digital marketing channels to invest your limited resources into, and what content marketing activities to focus on.
There are a few things to consider and learn about your target audience before starting your digital marketing journey.
Some of the things you might want to find out include:
- What social media platforms are they currently using?
- How do they like to find information about businesses or brands?
- What kind of brand content do they prefer (blogs/videos/behind the scenes)?
- What are their hobbies, and what are their values? Knowing what is important to them will help you align your content and messaging with their interests, and will also give you some insight into what channels, groups and online communities they are likely hanging out in.
Check out Bek’s recent article about Social Media Trends in 2022 to learn more about the different social platforms and the demographics that are spending their time on each.
Tip 2: Invest in Your Website
Depending on the type of business you are running, you may or may not already have a website. If you don’t already have a website, it should be something high up on your list of digital marketing things to do.
Your website acts as a landing page of information for your customers to come back to and round out their experience with your business. A website is also an owned platform that you have complete control over – you don’t “own” your Instagram audience, Instagram does. If Instagram decides to change something on their platform, you have no say in the matter. So while social media platforms (‘borrowed’ platforms) are a great place to find your audience, build awareness and drive some initial interest in your brand – the ultimate goal of your digital marketing efforts should always be to get that audience off Facebook / Instagram / LinkedIn / TikTok and onto YOUR website.
Building a website can be daunting, but you don’t need to spend lots of money or get into matrix coding. There are heaps of free website builders out there that don’t require coding, and you can always upgrade to a premium paid website later when your business grows.
When designing your website, you want to keep it simple and accessible for your customers. You could add some of the following components to your new website, and you’ll be up and running in no time:
- Contact information and links to your social media platforms
- Images and information about your team, your products, and your services
- Testimonials from previous customers
- Blog articles (you could outsource to a local copywriter if you need)
- An about page so people get to know your brand
You can certainly hire a digital marketing professional to get the bones of your website up and running. But if you’re on a tighter budget, a free platform and some of the above basics will get you hitting the ground running to grow your business sooner.
It’s important to keep in mind that your website needs to be accessible, which includes being mobile friendly and fast loading. Many website builders will show you what your website is going to look like on desktop, tablet and mobile devices. Remember that these days, most people will be visiting your website on their mobile phones.
Tip 3: Build Your Presence on Social Media
Many small businesses choose to build their brand using social media because it’s accessible, and you don’t need to spend a lot of money. For any business, it’s important to have a visible presence on relevant digital platforms.
There are many benefits of social media for business. However, it isn’t really the place to be pitching your products or services, but for sharing and engaging with your audiences. You will want to choose a few platforms that are relevant to both your business and your customers, based on your market research.
People will often go straight to social media to find more information about your business and your brand. You don’t need to be posting brand new content every day, or spending lots of time and money on professional photography. But you do need to have an engaging presence, and post regularly enough to stay relevant to your customers.
You might like to search online for some easy content ideas to get your business up and running, and keep your feed looking fresh. After looking through these ideas, you will probably find that you already have so much content ready to use.
4. Make Use of Email Marketing Newsletters
Email is still an effective tool for digital marketing strategies. Email marketing might seem old school, but many businesses still benefit from this and see great returns on investment if it’s done well.
You can start your email marketing strategy by creating an email list. This might include your past and current customers, as well as anyone who has added their email to the mailing list on your website. Make sure to keep your mailing list up to date, and don’t send emails to people who unsubscribe or no longer want to receive them.
If you already have a website, or if you’re soon to have a website, you want to make sure there is an email newsletter sign up section. You will likely find a widget that does this for you. You can now deliver valuable content to your new subscribers, not just to current or previous customers who have already purchased from you.
This can be an effective way to deliver return on investment, but it does need to be done right or you’ll risk losing people and money. Similar to using website builders to create your new website, there are plenty of free email newsletter templates to help you come across as professional.
5. Get Into SEO and Boost Your Digital Marketing Strategy
If you’re feeling confident with the first four digital marketing tips then you might be ready to start thinking about SEO or Search Engine Optimisation. This is the process of optimising the content on your website so that it performs better in Google, driving more organic / unpaid traffic to your website.
SEO is a fairly complex area of digital marketing, but there are a few easy first steps that you can take to get you started:
- Build out the content on your website: Make sure that all of the pages on your website have a minimum of 350 words (but more is better)
- Add fresh content on a regular basis: Adding new pages in the form of blog articles, product reviews, case studies or portfolio pages to your website is a great way to make Google take notice of your site. Try and target a different keyword / phrase with each new website page, and don’t forget that rule of minimum 350 words for each page
- Create a Google My Business listing if you don’t have one already, and link it back to your website. Learn more about that here.
We have a few resources on the topic of SEO which you can browse here:
Getting Started Is the Most Important Step
There is a lot of planning and upkeep that goes into digital marketing, but you can start small and keep it simple. We know you’re very busy. Focus on one audience segment and one digital marketing channel at a time – once you are generating ROI, you can add in additional channels or segments, and continue to grow and invest more resources into your digital marketing as your business grows.
If you’re ready to bring in a digital marketing professional, get in touch with BeKonstructive Marketing for a range of different services. We are a Brisbane-based marketing agency specialising in digital marketing services such as copywriting, blogging, social media management, strategy, consulting and training.