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Intro to Digital Marketing for Small Business

The Essentials of Digital Marketing


Have you recently started your own business?

Congratulations on taking the leap! But now this is where real challenges start!.

You may have already figured it out by now, but if you want to remain a few steps ahead of the competition, it’s important you look into developing your digital marketing strategy.

As a new business owner this can be a little overwhelming and in many cases, downright frustrating, but don’t fret! We’ve compiled a list of digital marketing must-haves to keep you on track and help you develop an effective plan right from the get-go.

Let’s get started!

Woman looking at Ipad with overlay of SEO and other digital marketing icons 

1. SEO is fundamental 

If you’re not already looking at how to improve your performance on search engines, it’s likely you soon will be. Whatever the case may be, you’ll need to at least get a good understanding of how it all works to help drive traffic to your website.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. 

Basically, search engines like Google use an algorithm to determine the ranking of websites on the search engine results page (SERP). 

This algorithm includes a range of criteria, including relevancy, keyword use, backlinks, and user experience rating.

By examining the performance of a website in relation to these metrics, Google and other search engines can determine which websites are favoured by users with a particular search query. 

To put it plainly, Google wants to show users the websites that will help answer their query, be it general information, ecommerce, entertainment, directions, or anything else.

If your website is optimised to suit the algorithm and user activity shows it is relevant to their query and intent, then you’re likely to do well in the rankings.

And it’s not just about keywords either, there are many factors involved in SEO, and it can take a lot of time and effort to make sure your business is ranking on the first page.

Despite what some may claim, SEO services aren’t cheap. Even if you find a cheap provider, it’s likely to cost you more in the long run as they struggle to get the right results, or worse, no results at all.

You’ll need an SEO expert to set the right strategy for your business, someone who understands your industry and your customers. 

To really round out the perfect SEO campaign, it pays to have an engaging website design and content that not only attracts traffic, but converts users on the page.

From the moment you begin SEO activities you can expect to be waiting at least 2 - 3 months to see results. It takes time to implement SEO, and then we have to wait for Google to crawl the site and start testing it with users before we start seeing results.

If anyone claims they can get you ranking sooner, guarantees results, claims to have insider ties with Google, or generally sounds too good to be true, it might be worth getting a second opinion. In other words: run!

If you’re considering SEO for your business and want to work with someone you can rely on for results, then hit that button below and get in touch with us for a chat!

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Woman looking at Ipad with overlay of Email icons

2. Email Promotion

Okay so you’ve started getting some traffic as a result of your SEO efforts. Great!

At the end of the day, we know the point is to convert that traffic into leads, but how do you engage customers looking for more information or aren’t quite ready to purchase just yet?

Through email of course!

You might simply let people know about blogs being published or offer something of value in exchange for their email address, whatever the case, they’ve committed to you to some extent, so don’t leave these folks behind.

Emails help your business stay at the forefront of your audience’s minds and can help you cultivate loyalty with existing customers. 

Take advantage of email marketing as early as possible by collecting emails and other information from users and building lists so that you can create targeted campaigns to promote your business.

Whether you DIY your email marketing and use free software to send out newsletters from your business or get an expert in to set up comprehensive email campaigns with specific targeting and automation capabilities, email marketing can be a powerful tool for your business.

Emails should have a clear and engaging design, relevant content and a clear call to action. 

Never, ever, send emails without consent and do not send spam or unrelated emails to your lists. This is not only unethical, but will also damage your reputation with email clients, such as Gmail or Outlook, resulting in more bounces, less opens and in turn, less reads.

Email marketing is a brilliant way to engage with prospects and customers alike and is generally simple and cost effective, bringing you better results for less input.

We specialise in email marketing, we love it! So if you’ve got a question about email marketing or want it taken care of without any worry, reach out to us today.

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 Woman looking at Iphone with overlay of  social media icons

3. Don’t underestimate Social Media Marketing 

More people are using social media than ever before.

Even before COVID-19 struck the globe and forced us to transition to digital media,  usage of social media platforms was rapidly increasing.

Brands have been compelled to improve their social media strategy by our ever-growing love for social media, and it’s showing no sign of slowing down anytime soon.

When it comes to your online marketing, having a working understanding of social media platforms and how to utilise them to your benefit is critical.

The social media environment is ever-changing and new features and tools are being introduced on a daily basis, so it’s critical to keep your creative and campaigns up to date.

Effective social media strategies aren’t just about using emojis and memes while posting to your business page, in fact, the most powerful campaigns are data-driven and more work is done behind the scenes than what meets the eye.

You now have access to a variety of analytics on many platforms, such as likes, comments, shares, link clicks, and so on. But don’t be fooled by vanity metrics, while engagement is fantastic and by no means should be neglected, there’s no point having a million followers if you’re not getting any leads.

So, the very first question in your social media marketing needs to be ‘who?’. Who is your audience?

What age group are they? When are they online? What do they like viewing? Where do they hang out online? Are they online for leisure or business? 

If you can get this answered as accurately as possible, half the work has been done for you.

The answers to these questions will tell you which platforms to use, when to post content, what type of content to post and more. Basically if you have any uncertainty in your campaign go back to your audience, and give ‘em what they want!

Everything from this point is about your goal. If you want them to visit your website, then gear your content around this and measure relevant metrics such as traffic coming from your social pages and click through rates.

Honestly, we’ve just given you insight into our own social media processes that we use to help our own clients get leads, so go try it out and let us know how you go. 

If it doesn’t work out, or it’s not something you want to have a go at, reach out to us and we can give you a hand.

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 Computer playing a video

4. Video Marketing

If you have a scroll through any social media platform it’s hard not to see someone posting video content.

From Youtube to Tiktok, Reels to Vimeo, Snapchat to Twitch, and beyond, video has been dominating content consumption for some time now and it’s meteoric rise has nowhere reached its peak.

But what makes it so interesting?

Well for starters we love anticipation and we hate to be bored, so our eyes relish the movement of video and we continue watching to see stories unfold in a way that is impossible through still images and much more rapid and visceral than the written word.

But perhaps most of all, because it's personal.

People are more inclined to trust the whole business if they can get to know you better, or discover more about the brand.

It's also a very flexible piece of content which can be utilised in a variety of ways and across many platforms.

Of course, you don’t need to be an expert in video creation, but understanding how to make a short intro video from your laptop or phone is a great place to start.

Scripting your video and practicing your delivery until you feel confident are two of our biggest recommendations for beginners.

If you’re not confident in front of the camera or your audience would benefit from other types of video, that’s fine! Just keep in mind the technical requirements for the type of video you want to produce (e.g. filmed in landscape or portrait, dimensions, length etc.) and as we tend to bang on about: keep your goals in mind!

Testimonials are a great way to build trust in your business, particularly if you have a more expensive product or require a higher commitment from your audience.

Have a look at videos online to get ideas and then experiment for your business. We’re lucky to live in a day and age where movie-quality film can be produced from the phone in our pockets and awesome (and humble...😜) businesses like Goodness Greatness exist to make amazing content for you! So there’s no excuse really, get cracking!

 2 women holding an iPad and looking at a computer talking about website design

5. User Experience

According to CNBC, almost three-quarters of the world's population will access the internet only via their cell phones by 2025.

This implies that your digital marketing efforts should focus on the mobile audience.

This is something digital marketers have known for quite some time and new businesses can use to their advantage.

To start improving the user experience of your website,  begin by transitioning to responsive site design if you haven’t already.

This guarantees that your website's style and functionality, regardless of device, are better suited to a tiny screen.

People may leave your site if you do not accomplish this because of the bad layout and poor user experience.

This may raise your bounce rate and harm your SEO efforts and in most cases it can make your other marketing efforts redundant.

Users need to be able to navigate your website with ease, whether they use mobile or desktop, so make sure it’s responsive and the load time is minimal.

Even a delay of 1.5 seconds is enough to lose traffic and deter potential customers, so check your load time and keep this in mind when planning content and website updates.

Because we build websites as well as high performing marketing campaigns, we know just how crucial it is to have a smooth user journey, so if you want to make sure your website is pulling its weight then get in touch with us.

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Otherwise, if you’re happy to spend the time to get it right, we suggest getting some feedback from your target audience, testing load times, and reviewing your analytics for bounce rate, exit pages and session times.

 Paper with analytics and data

6. Analytics

Okay, we’ve left this for number 6 but do not underestimate how crucial data is to your marketing and certainly don’t leave it for last when building your strategy.

Yes, it’s thought by many that our job as marketers is all about the ‘gram and praying to the Google gods.

We can tell you it is infinitely less sexy than TV or social media would have you believe. 

Any marketer worth their salt is going to want to know the facts. What is working for your business? What isn’t? How can we measure success?So the first and last port of call should always be data.

Great campaigns begin with research, and grow in efficacy thanks to analytics.

Whatever kind of digital marketing activities you choose for your business, Google Analytics will almost certainly be an important tool in your arsenal.

Email Marketing tools, Google Ads, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms are providing more and more ways to analyse your data, so you’ll generally be able to find information through these platforms if you’re using them.

Monitoring and reporting through such technologies is simple to a degree, but the hard part is figuring out how to collect and utilise that data to help you learn more about customer behavior and apply it to new solutions that will increase your traffic and conversions.

Most companies have massive quantities of data to monitor, and real digital marketing prowess is understanding how to collect and use this data to create effective campaigns.

Start small, it can be a little overwhelming at first but keep your goal in mind and find metrics that support your performance relative to your goal.

Want greater engagement? Measure your likes, comments, etc.

Want to know if email marketing works for your business? Send out emails and check the data.

Are your blogs doing anything besides looking pretty? Check the metrics on those pages with Google Analytics, including the unique views and session time.

The awesome thing about digital, is that you can pretty much review every action you take to see how it’s performing.

And if we can give you one takeaway from this article, it’s to use data to your advantage.

Once you know what to look for you can conquer campaigns, you can stay in control with any agencies or freelancers you have working for you and you will have a better understanding of digital marketing than 99% of small businesses out there.

So, what are you waiting for?

There you have it! The absolute essentials to small business digital marketing. If you took even just one item from this list and implemented it today, you will see the positive effect it will have for your business’s online presence.

The thing is, it does take years of experience to understand and perfect digital marketing strategies, and who has time for that, right?

Well, uh, we do, actually! As you can see we have a genuine passion for all things digital and we don’t just love helping small businesses grow and thrive, we love sharing our knowledge, so you’ll be more in control and empowered when it comes to your marketing.

If you’re looking for help growing your business or want to tell us how this blog single handedly led your business to prosperity (one can dream, right?), get in touch with us today.

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