Our Small Business Digital Marketing Roundup
There are a plethora of tips and guides on the web to help small businesses improve their digital marketing. However, with all of these choices, It can be confusing to know what digital marketing strategies to prioritise and focus on for your small business. Should It be Facebook ads? Google Adwords? What about a mailing list? Digital marketing can be a complex topic to navigate!
This week, for our small business digital marketing roundup I’ve chosen articles that will help you to think about what strategies could help you through the rest of 2015 and beyond!
Budget is a big factor for small businesses when they are choosing their digital marketing strategies. Fortunately, there are plenty strategies available that can closely match your budget.
In this article the author covers six areas for small businesses to consider when crafting a digital marketing strategy. These are:
- Devices – There are many thousands of types of computer, tablet and mobile devices. Many different devices with different screen sizes, different browsers, different operating systems. How will your website display on all of these?
- Content – Curation of content like blogs, videos or podcasts for your business can be a way of drawing in new customers.
- Social Proof – Only 15% of people trust what companies communicate in their advertising. This statistic is quite shocking, and having a plan to help increase social proof online is key.
- Pictures > Text – In my previous roundup blog, I wrote about how images like infographics are rapidly gaining momentum online and being used as marketing tools. Forms of media like short videos, podcasts, and infographics are highly shareable content – people love to share this stuff. It doesn’t have to be expensive to add these media formats to your online marketing plan.
- Online Paid Media – Advertising platforms such as Google Adwords, Facebook Advertisements, and YouTube Advertisements have become far more useful for low budget small businesses in recent years. You can target people based on age, ethnicity, location, interests and much more. Plus, you can even receive £75 in free advertising credit when you sign up to Google Adwords.
- Data – Monitoring website activity is important for your small business. By using free tools like Google Analytics, you can track who has visited your website, and also retarget them with advertisements in the future. Using Google Analytics to track traffic sources is also a good ideas as this allows you to see which of your online marketing strategies are working.
With more of the world coming online, this infographic outlines some key statistics that you may want to keep in mind when planning your digital marketing strategy.
- 40% of the World’s population uses the Internet
- 91% of internet searches are done via PC’s and Laptops; 80% of web surfers are using their smartphones to conduct searches
- Smart TV’s are the number one emerging devices being used to search the internet
- Email Marketing is the top rated digital channel for improving customer communications and building brand loyalty
As you can tell, I’m a big fan of infographics. Here’s another that more specifically details statistics in the world of digital marketing for small businesses. The data is from the responses of 2,200 small business owners in the USA.
One statistic that stood out for me was, ‘80% of website owners serve as their own webmaster and don’t rely on the services of an outside IT specialist’. This shows that website owners are keen to save money and use services like WordPress combined with a low cost template.
Another statistic that caught my eye was, ‘Though other social profiles made a strong showing, Facebook maintains the top spot with 88% of social businesses using it for their marketing’. I personally think that other social networks may become more appealing to small businesses in the future. Due to changes in the Facebook advertising algorithm, it has become far more difficult to raise brand awareness on Facebook organically. Nowadays, you need to invest money into Facebook advertising to reap results.
This article is seven months old, but it contains relevant points about small business digital marketing, and business in general.
According to the article Britain is fast becoming an entrepreneurial nation. Between 2013 and 2015, the UK has gone from 14th to 4th on the Global Entrepreneurship Index. Michael Hayman wrote: “Rather than a nation of Goliaths, the UK has emerged as a home for legions of small-business Davids”. I’ve personally seen Bristol transform into a hotbed of start-up and small business activity. New technology incubators are popping up all around Bristol, London and the UK in general. Innovate UK are now providing small businesses with grants in a variety of industries to encourage growth and innovation.
Another statement I found intriguing was from Rob van Beek, the CEO of Havas Worldwide Amsterdam. He believes the borders are disappearing between business-to-business and business-to-consumer.
“Now that we all see ourselves as brands, we’re all in business, even as we’re consumers. Stakeholders don’t fit neatly into boxes. What’s more important than the old distinctions is H2H: human-to-human.”
For small businesses beginning to work on their web presence, this article summarises the benefits of digital marketing.
You can build more engaging relationships
With digital marketing, you have the opportunity to reach a more targeted audience base. You can reply to questions on social media quickly and receive feedback directly from customers almost instantly.
You get real time results
With online advertising platforms, it’s easy to implement advertising campaigns quickly, and monitor the progress in real time. This allows you to react swiftly to performance of certains advertisements. It’s possible to stop ad campaigns when you want if they aren’t performing. On the flipside, if an advertisement is performing, you can pump more money into it instantly.
It’s more cost-effective
Other forms of marketing such as magazine/newspaper advertising, radio and TV are expensive and it’s hard to know how well they convert. However, with digital marketing, you can measure Cost Per Click (CPC) so you know exactly how much it costs you every time someone clicks on an advertisement. You can also measure click through rates and open rates on email newsletter campaigns which again allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of your emails.