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Digital marketing ideas for small businesses that really work

15 September 2021

Do you have a digital marketing strategy in place? Are you actively testing new digital marketing ideas for small business to generate more sales or leads? If you answer no then unfortunately, you’re already behind your competition and missing out on opportunities to grow your revenue and profit. At Hi Digital, we want more small businesses to succeed and believe that this can be achieved when small business owners like you realise the full potential of an effective presence online. Your target audiences are online, and your brand needs to get on their digital radar for some meaningful screen time and engagement with them.

In this article, we’re sharing our recommended digital marketing ideas for small business to give your digital marketing activity a boost and get your brand heading in the right direction online.

What is digital marketing?

“Digital marketing refers to advertising delivered through digital channels such as search engines, websites, social media, email, and mobile apps.”

Digital marketing is an all-encompassing term for any activity a brand does online to communicate with or advertise to it’s target customers. Today, there are many channels for brands to choose from and knowing which is right for your small business, industry, and target audience can feel overwhelming. However, a little common sense goes a long way when it comes to creating an effective small business marketing strategy. For example, investing stylish and intuitive website to act as your main digital destination is often the best way to launch and grow any brand online.

The key benefits of digital marketing
The Internet penetration rate in the UK is at 92% which means that almost all of our population ( or 62 million people) have access to the Internet so we can safely assume that the target audiences of most brands are online and therefore they can be targeted with an effective digital marketing strategy. Even as a small business owner with a small to modest digital marketing budget you can achieve tangible results through effective digital marketing, digital marketing can help you to:

– Increase brand awareness amongst your target audiences, including those local to your business
– Enable prospective customers to discover or find your brand online easily
– Showcase your brand in a unique and compelling way
– Drive incremental sales or enquiries
– Focus media budget on attracting target customers and clients
– Analyse and optimise your ROI and KPIs with as much data as you can handle
– Build a loyal customer base and online community

Don’t neglect your online presence
Your brand’s prospective customers are highly likely to look for your brand online as part of their purchase journey whether they first discover it online or not. For example, when a friend or colleague recommends a company, service, or product your first instinct is often to Google it so that you can check out their website, Instagram page, Trustpilot reviews etc. You’d be mistaken to assume that your target customers are not going to be doing the same when they see, hear, or learn about your brand for the first time!

Key question: are you proud to show prospective customers your brand’s online presence?

Your website is the key digital destination for your small business, its role is to create a “wow” first impression amongst your target audiences and should provide an intuitive user experience on every device including smartphones. Likewise, if you want to engage your target audience on Instagram, your page should be packed full of compelling content that accurately and attractively portrays your brand. Be honest with yourself, if your online presence is in need of a revamp its time to be proactive and consider booking a digital audit with a digital marketing consultant who specialises in helping small businesses succeed online.

5 effective digital marketing ideas for small businesses
An effective digital marketing strategy doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive, the trick is to focus on the areas of digital marketing that are relevant to your small business and its target audiences! Finding success and the results you want from marketing your business online involves a lot of “test and learn” but once you find your winning formulas you can ramp them up at scale, quickly. Below are our top small business digital marketing ideas which you can try now to give your brand’s online presence a jump start:

1. Optimise your website
A great website is fit-for-purpose to:

Create a WOW first impression: do you want your target customer to visit your website? Put yourself in their shoes, can they understand what you do and how well you do it in a few seconds? Can they make a purchase or send an enquiry easily in a few clicks? If you answer no your website structure and content needs improving.
– Enable prospective customers to find you: your target audiences are searching for your brand, your products and services, or your expertise on search engines such as Google. If your on-site SEO is not targeting the key search phrases they are actively using then your website is missing out on quality traffic plus valuable sales or enquiries. You need to consider investing in a bespoke SEO strategy for your small business.

local digital marketing tips yorkshire

2. Increase your visibility amongst your local target audiences
A great digital marketing tip for small business owners is to focus on your local digital marketing first, you can expect to see great results quickly especially if you’re a service-based business or you have a physical store from which you sell products. To get started with your brand’s local digital marketing create a Google my Business profile, this is a fantastic free digital marketing tool that will literally put your business on your local map making it easy for nearby prospective customers to find you. Your goal is to get within the top 3 businesses on your local map so that your brand is on page 1 of Google.

Tip! A relevant search phrase to target is your product or service plus the town or area you live in. Let Google know what you do by filling out all the info on your business profile and try to include your target phrase.

3. Build a 5-star reputation
Another benefit of a Google my Business profile is that your brand can collect reviews from its customers. Obviously, you want these to be glowing 5-star reviews so always ensure you deliver that quality service that you want to be know for. Once you have your first review gold stars will appear beneath your business name and these will change will every new review to reflect your overall ranking. Receiving popular reviews frequently will boost your position on the local map as Google rewards active businesses with more exposure.

Tip! Always encourage your customers or clients to write a Google review for your business as they will eventually help you win new ones.

4. Boost conversions with social proofing
Glowing customer reviews and testimonials should be used throughout your digital marketing strategy to attract, engage, and convert new customers. For example, when prospective customers are considering purchasing from your brand a testimonial or few from happy customers is likely to persuade them to proceed as it gives them confidence in what you do. Don’t be shy, it’s time to showcase what your customers and clients are saying about your small business! You can feature testimonials on your website, social media posts, Google Ads, emails and more.

5. Introduce a refer-a-friend incentive
Word of mouth is one of the oldest and most effective ways to grow a business, however, it can be a slow burn and sometimes small business owners are in a hurry to reach their commercial goals. Giving your customers, or a segment of your most loyal customers, an incentive to recommend your brand to friends and family is a great way to give your sales or lead gen a boost.

If you’re an ecommerce brand, you can create a promotion where both the friend and your existing customer receive a reward aka special offer. As your customers are doing you a big favour and helping you to win a new customer you should be generous with your discount. This digital marketing idea also works well for service-based businesses who provide ongoing support or one-off projects. For example, a law firm could offer its clients a gift card at a relevant brand when they successfully refer a paying client.

Tip! Always benchmark your KPIs (i.e. traffic, followers, orders etc.) before and after implementing each idea to monitor its impact within your business.

Get expert digital marketing advice
Hi Digital are a boutique digital marketing agency dedicated to growing small businesses with effective digital strategies, and we’d love to help you reach your business goals. Whether you require a digital audit to get your current online presence in optimum digital shape or you’d like ongoing strategic digital marketing support – let’s talk about it! Please get in touch with us to book a free consultation with our expert team.

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