By now you’ve probably heard it enough to know that in today’s digital age every business must have an online presence in order to effectively reach current and potential customers. Particularly small businesses, which don’t have the benefit of widespread brand recognition.
Now that the public is exposed to more media than any time in history. The success of small businesses will depend on the ability to really hone in on how to attract the right kind of prospects. It’s not about making your reach more expansive, it’s about creating a digital plan with precision and engagement as primary goals.
For today’s post, let’s assume you have set up a website, social media profiles and are gathering email addresses for your small business, and talk about ways in which to best utilize these channels in order to take your digital marketing efforts to the next level.
Digital Marketing Tips for Small Business
Ramp up social media engagement
This doesn’t mean just posting a few tweets and calling it a day. You’re going to want to get strategic with your social media marketing.
- First determine the very best social media channel for you. One way to do that is to go to BuzzSumo and type in a keyword related to your niche or industry. Here is where you’ll find the most shared content on social media by channel and influencer. This information is the quickest, easiest way to show you where engagement currently is, and helps you narrow down where to put your focus.
- Another great way to discover where your customers and prospects are, is to understand general demographics of each channel. For example, Pinterest and Instagram appeal mostly to women, while men tend to use Google+ and LinkedIn. Get the latest social media demographical information from the latest Pew Internet Research.
Once you have pinpointed the best channels for you, try to interact with your customers through asking questions to generate comments, sharing interesting information and responding to customer comments. Put some fun into your social media marketing by sharing images designed to inspire, creating engaging contests, encouraging followers to post their own content about your brand and by be being authentic with your posts. People want to connect with people – show the faces behind your brand.
Below is an example of a post designed to appeal to “beach lovers”. The post organically reached more than 27,000 people on Facebook and generated loads of response. The brand page gained 42% more organic ‘likes’ on the three days after this post went live compared to how many likes received on an average day.
Now, not every post can generate this type of response, but the more you hone in on WHO you’re looking to reach, the more you’ll hit a home run with your social media posts.
For more great tips, read this social media engagement post.
Land social connections to a landing page on your website
Interesting tweets, posts, and content drive people.. but where? And, how are you going to move future customers through the sales process? Guide their experience by linking them to a landing page on your website. A landing page is quite simply a page on your website that your prospects can “land on”. Before digital marketing became so sophisticated, marketers would drive folks to their home page. Not anymore. Landing pages can be as unique as your prospects.
Here are some great landing page ideas:
- Offer premium content, coupons, bonus products or some other “benefit” to customers willing to share their contact information.
- Entice prospects through the sales funnel by offering a free demo, consultation or review.
- Drive social media leads directly to a special offer on a product or service page that is generated just for them. (According to SocialMediaExaminer, nearly 40% of Facebook users who become fans do so to receive discounts and promotions – don’t forget to add an option for email signup during checkout!)
Below is an example of a high performing landing page. A luxury resort in the Caribbean offers a Wedding Planning Guide as a lead magnet. The guide is packed full of tricks and tips for planning a destination wedding which is a high value informational piece to their target guests. Leads are then added to a follow up email series that slowly promotes the resort as a destination wedding location.
Landing pages serve many purposes, they tell your visitors what you want them to do, why you want them to do it, and shows off a little bit of your brand personality.
Implement personalization through content
Personalization is considered to be one of the buzzwords in the digital marketing world lately and for good reason. Algorithms are changing the way we search, shop, browse our social media pages and more. Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Amazon are all showing personalized information “hand” selected for each person based on their browsing history.
You can use personalization on your own site to best suit your target audience. The best way to do that is to create personas for your typical buyers including their demographics, buying behavior, interests and pain points. Download a Buyer Persona Worksheet here to help you get started understanding your site visitors. Once you’ve established your personas you can break up your blog posts, emails and social content based on their individual needs.
Here is an example of how a small business owner can use personalization in their digital marketing plan. Let’s say you sell gluten free products. It seems pretty straight-forward that your target audience would be those who have celiac disease. True. However, if you dive deeper you may also find that you have several buyers you’d like to attract. You may have consumers that are not diagnosed with celiac disease, but may have a gluten sensitivity. You may also find there are consumers who may be interested in your products because they are health-conscious. Each of these sub-categories of consumers can be pulled to your website by using language that appeals to them.
Speak their language. Pull them in.
You may also enjoy: What is a Buyer Persona and How Do I Use It For My Small Business
Retarget your advertising (but don’t be creepy)
When customers visit your website and then leave for whatever reason without making a purchase, you are in a unique position to retarget advertising to that person. Rather than showing a general ad for your business, an algorithm will display an ad featuring the product the person was looking at before leaving. There are several retargeting platforms out there – including those native to Google Adwords, Facebook, and Twitter. Be careful though, you can walk the line of being creepy if you’re too aggressive with your retargeting.
Social media, landing pages, personalization and retargeting are just a few ways to get a leg up on the competition. Stay tuned for more!