As technology continues to grow, it becomes an ever-greater part of our lives. And keeping up with new digital marketing trends and opportunities can sometimes feel like a full-time job in itself. As a busy small business owner, you likely already juggle more tasks than you should, which means marketing and self-promotion can sometimes take a hit. But the truth is, there’s never been an easier time to find and connect with potential customers and clients. The internet has turned a very big world into a remarkably small space; the trick is simply learning how to navigate it.
Digital Marketing for Small Business
Hey, we get it. It’s easy to get lost in today’s digital landscape. With PPC, CLV, SEM, SMM, SEO, CPM, CTR, and hundreds of other acronyms, a small business owner’s head can be left spinning. But digital marketing doesn’t have to be a painful experience. There are many small steps you can take to improve your reach across digital channels, and we’ve outlined three easy strategies that are 100% FREE and guaranteed to start you off on the right foot.
With convincing market research, we can confidently say that every small business should be taking advantage of social media management with their audience. Statista reports that, as of 2017, a whopping 81% of the US population had a social networking profile. Facebook alone represents an active audience numbering in the billions. (Yes, you read that right–billions.) And many of those users are your customers, who want to connect with your brand, product, service, and business. Since these platforms are so popular and easy-to-use, they’re a great place to get your feet wet if you’re new to the digital marketing scene.
As we mentioned, Facebook’s reach is nothing short of incredible. And with an average number of Daily Active Users (DAUs) hovering around 1.28 billion for March 2017, as well as a user increase of 18% year-over-year, your business simply cannot afford to ignore Facebook and its powerful impact. Taking the plunge is easy, and setting up a Facebook Business Page is completely free. Plus, once you learn the ropes and begin interacting with customers, the platform makes it very simple to purchase targeted ad services for more aggressive outreach.
Instagram is another great social sharing platform that small businesses can use to connect with their fanbase. The photography app was acquired by Facebook on April 9, 2012 and has since grown from about 30 million users to over 800 million monthly active users. A useful social media engagement vehicle, Instagram also enjoys popularity across many different demographic groups. Meaning, all the cool kids have one—and even your very uncool Uncle James and Aunt Mary.
Back in November, Instagram celebrated in a press release that the number of businesses on the platform had grown to 25 million–showing a growth of 10 million users from the previous July! Even better, many of those profiles belong to small businesses just like you. “Through the visual content they share, businesses are making valuable connections and sparking conversations with people like never before. Instagram is increasingly becoming the primary digital presence for these businesses,” said the company.
Social Media Management
Managing these two platforms is an easy start, but if you’ve added in profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Pinterest and suddenly find yourself struggling to keep track of your digital outreach, consider some management software. Check out Ben Beck from Clearvoice as he compares two popular offerings in this category: Hootsuite and Buffer. Both ecosystems offer great time-saving ways for you to manage your social engagement and maintain an active presence on several platforms at once.
So, what are you waiting for? Catch the social media wave and ride into digital marketing with ease. Engage with your customers, learn what they want more of, and watch your business grow!
All businesses great and small can benefit from video engagement. Personalized videos are a great way to give your audience a combination of entertainment, instruction, and value all in one platform serving.
Although YouTube is a hub for video content, the platform is also sometimes referred to as the world’s number two search engine, second only to parent company Google. And while no one is hitting up the YouTube search bar for directions or medical questions (hopefully), according to Mushroom Networks, the site still processes over 3 billion searches every month! And according to the video giant itself, “1.5 Billion users are logged in and coming to YouTube every single month.” This means there’s an enormous customer conversion potential for your business.
A great feature of YouTube is its unlimited storage capacity. That means you can upload an unlimited number of hours of videos, whenever you want. And the platform makes it very easy to convert those videos into valuable and potentially profitable ads so you can watch your hard-earned dollars grow.
So, how can you begin your very own YouTube video ad campaign, you ask? First, choose the video you want to use. Then set your financial budget and pinpoint the right audience. Provide your billing information and launch your successful YouTube campaign! Now, wasn’t that simple? And here’s a bonus tip: Get $100 free credit when you spend $25 on video ads. That’s a sweet deal for any type of small business!
Another option for video hosting that’s worth mentioning is Vimeo. According to Vimeo, the platform has over 715 million monthly video views and 170 million worldwide viewers, with 42 million of those viewers based here in the US. Your business can definitely get noticed on YouTube, but adding both platforms can give you the maximum free exposure you deserve, driving organic traffic, loyalty, and sales.
Do people still read? Why yes they do, and it’s no secret that incorporating a blog adds tremendous value to your website. Think about this: when your customers want to know “How to Write a Cover Letter” or “How to Maintain a Water Heater,” who better to answer those questions than your company or small business? If you sell a product or offer a service, then you have important things to say about those markets. People will seek out that advice. And the better the content, the more people will come knocking.
According to R.L. Adams, a contributor to Forbes, many of the top 10 blogs generate millions of dollars per month. The Huffington Post for example, is the top earning blog generating $14 million every month! The ad revenue these highly successful sites generate is living proof that people, just like you and me, are visiting blogs frequently. The demand is out there; you simply need to supply the content.
A good recipe for blogging that will aid in your personal digital marketing is equal parts of quality, originality, and worthiness. Content should be creative and well-thought out, and readers should find merit in it. Customers and clients appreciate the value in fun and engaging posts that solve a problem or satisfy their curiosity in some way. Following this formula and writing from the heart will ensure targeted organic traffic to your website. Here’s a list compiled by Google to get you started—the most recently searched “How to” topics.
Ready, Set, Go!
So, there you have it. Three free digital marketing tactics ready for you and your small business to take advantage of: Social Media, Video, and Blogs. Now get out there and establish your favorite social channels. Add three to five YouTube videos promoting your business, product, service, or brand. And start your company blog by creating awesome content for your readers.
Our hope is that by now you feel confident enough in implementing these strategies. There truly are an endless number of marketing game plans available, but we feel these three steps should get your business off to a great start. With a solid foundation, great content strategy, and a modern video approach, you can easily establish and maintain your web presence. Who knows, your business may be the next Facebook, YouTube, or Huffington Post! Until next time, wishing you well in all your personal and business endeavors now, and in the future.
Meet the Author
Federick Gonzalez is a native of Southern California, growing up in the LA area. He is the oldest of five siblings—one brother and three sisters. Federick’s undergraduate Alma Mater is the University of Maryland, after which he pursued his Masters at the University of Oklahoma. As a military veteran of nearly 15 years, Federick loves and supports the Armed Forces. A proud dad and serial traveler, he has experienced the cultures of 25+ countries and counting. Federick is passionate about all-things digital and spends his free time immersed in trending business topics, volunteer work, spiritual concepts, Spanish culture, and adding value to the lives of those around him. Fun Fact: Federick has attended more than 20 flamenco concerts!