MARKETING, SMALL BUSINESS
Why do you need a digital marketing strategy for your small business?
Joanna Michaels, Beyond Social Buzz
Building an online presence for a small business in this electronic era means much more than simply having a website. It means extending your brand beyond your site, through a meaningful presence on Social Media platforms, effective Email Marketing, strong Online Reputation Management or focused PPC campaigns.
With the growing number of digital marketing tools many small business owners feel overwhelmed and unsure where to invest their marketing efforts. As a result, they often fall into traps of trying to participate in as many channels as possible, without identifying which of the platforms or tools will actually help them to achieve their business goals. Ad hoc approach towards digital marketing will simply result in wasted time, effort and resources.
However, a clearly defined, digital marketing strategy will help your small business to stay focused, ensure your marketing activities are aligned with your overall business goals and finally, allow you to refine your approach accordingly, based on continuous analysis of results.
While there is clearly no such thing as a “one size fits all’ solution, there are a few universal principles that should be taken under consideration when planning the process:
1. Know your customers
Consider your target audience in terms of age, location and lifestyle.
The key here is to clarify who are your customers, what they want from you, how do they engage with you, and how does your product or services solve their problems? Finally, where are they online and which platforms do they favour?
2. Set clear objectives
Diving into digital activities without strategy leaves you directionless.
Set clear goals for your digital marketing and remember to align them with your overall business strategy to fit into the bigger picture.
So whether your objectives are to improve your brand awareness, increase online sales or customer referrals, make sure they are specyfic, measurable and achievable. This will allow you to easily monitor and assess the progress of your digital marketing campaigns and adjust your efforts.
3. Know your competition
Questions to ask: What are the digital trends for your industry? What is your competition doing online? What are they doing right? (Emulate them) and where are they failing? (learn from them and do it better).
4. Define and communicate your USP
Understand your USP (unique selling point) and communicate it through your chosen digital channels. What makes your product or service unique? What sets you apart from others in the market?
Your USP should be one of the main drivers of your digital marketing strategy. So ensure that your online activities clearly convey what benefits you offer so your target audience can connect with your business on a deeper level.
5. Continuously evaluate and adapt your strategy
The beauty of digital marketing is that nearly everything is measurable. Track your progress against pre-defined goals and key performance indicators (KPIs). Analyse the results obtained from every digital channel you use and assess which platforms drive more traffic than others?
Always remember no digital strategy is set in stone so in order to succeed; you must constantly monitor and evaluate the performance of your campaigns. Only by assessing and refining your strategy can you ensure the future effectiveness of your digital marketing efforts.
Don’t forget to enjoy planning the digital marketing strategy for your small business, as if done properly it will help you to achieve and exceed your business goals. Remember not to get too preoccupied with the technical details, digital marketing is at the end of the day about communicating with people and that’s the unique beauty of it.
If you need help with formulating your Digital Marketing strategy, get in touch!
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