Digital Marketing Tactics for Small Business Success in 2018

Owning your own business is hard work. And staying ahead of the latest digital trends and marketing opportunities can leave you feeling like David taking on Goliath. Where do you even begin? Building upon Part I of this topic, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best digital marketing tactics that can help you gain a clear vision of how to define your most profitable audience. These strategies can also aid in conquering project management and content design, as well as optimizing exposure in order to pave the way to long-term success.

Know Your CustomerDigital Marketing Tactics

Gone are the days of locking focus groups in a lab and peppering them with lengthy surveys to better understand their experiences and opinions. Google Analytics has become the go-to source for reliable data when it comes to allocating audience demographics, devices, locations, and interests. Honestly, on the priority list of digital duties, “Activate Analytics” should come right after “Buy a website”. And while a web analytics service might sound intimidating, don’t stress. Google Analytics has become so widespread that setting it up is a breeze. If you’re not convinced, then check out this step-by-step beginner’s guide or try a quick search on Youtube for some great how-to tutorials.

Know Your Competition

Get ready, because I’m about to unlock the biggest secret in your arsenal of digital marketing tactics: Spy on business rivals. That’s right, see what the other guys are up to and learn from their mistakes. See what you can pick up from their website, social media, and any print marketing collateral they have. Then check out SpyFu.com. SpyFu delivers insight on suggested keywords and rankings, showing you where your competitors have missed out and how you can capitalize on their oversight. It’s a one-stop marketing platform whose data can help you improve your own SEO ranking by creating profitable keyword strategies.

Keep Your Eye on the Prize

Not all digital marketing tactics have to be about aggressively generating sales leads. There are many digital services you can use to help you stay on task, organized, and within your deadlines. So, say hello to Trello. Trello is an easy-to-use project management tool that allows users to visualize, manage, and assign tasks to different team members. The software can be accessed on virtually any device, both directly through the website or by downloading the company’s app to your smartphone or tablet. Trello’s system is simple and user-friendly, allowing you to keep multiple projects organized every step of the way and monitoring progress with checklists and due dates. And the best part? It’s free.

If Trello doesn’t suit you, there are plenty of other project management tools on the market as well. Services like Asana, Wrike, Quire, and Basecamp all offer their own style of management solutions. Most offer a free trial service, which we absolutely recommend.

Get Graphic

Unlock your creativity and show customers what you’re made of with Canva.com, an online graphic design platform. Whether creating print marketing materials or a social media post, Canva’s all-encompassing graphic design suite makes content design effortless and easy to manage. Designers of all skill levels can find thousands of user-friendly templates and quality graphics. And there’s no major software component required, so Canva can be accessed directly through the website or in the app store.

Build Relationships

As businessman and bestselling author Harvey MacKay said: “Even the Lone Ranger didn’t do it alone.” And neither should your business. The digital marketing world can feel isolated at times. And digital marketing tactics can feel impersonal or selfish. That’s why building relationships across social media, articles, and blogs is so important. Not only will it improve your website rankings for organic searches, but it will also deliver credibility to readers.

In the wake of the recent Facebook-advertising scandal and its impact on users, more and more individuals are relying on content shared by real people than by brands. Today, 92% of individuals trust word-of-mouth recommendations, according to Social Toasters Advocacy Marketing Stats of 2018. This means that while paid advertising channels still contribute to developing brand exposure, peer-to-peer advocacy is becoming more important than ever when it comes to a buyer’s decision-making process.

Get Found

Google AdWords—not to be confused with organic search results—requires a bit more tech savvy to take full advantage. It’s an excellent source of exposure for businesses that want to invest in their digital reach even while developing an online presence. However, Google AdWords can become costly and lack the right results if not done by an expert. Therefore, if you don’t have someone helping you with your digital marketing tactics, we recommend you really consider if Adwords is the right move for your business before you place it at the top of your priority list. Another more user-friendly option to check out is Google My Business, which centralizes business online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. This tool offers an effective way to manage business information, images, reviews, Google+ Pages, and even advertisements.

Get Found

Use Email Marketing

Email marketing is a critical part of digital marketing tactics. In fact, it is the most personal way to interact directly with leads and customers alike. MailChimp, a free email marketing tool (for up to 2,000 subscribers—paid plans offer more) is the most user-friendly and cost-efficient resource available for small businesses. Even though other email services exist, this app gives users full control to upload and segment different classes of consumers. That means subscribers receive the right message at the right time. For example, email addresses collected during a promotion can have a more product information-geared message for a list of “Leads,” while simultaneously, other customers can be part of an “Existing Customer” list and receive promotions to keep them engaged and share their experience.

Commit and Succeed

Remember, in this digital era communication is key. Businesses can maximize their online growth by knowing their audience and staying informed of the newest technical developments and online behaviors. Keep your message and brand clear, attractive, and relevant. Always assume every engagement available online is a potential customer. And put your best foot forward at every channel of digital marketing.

Meet the Author

April Alonso, Digital MarketingApril Alonso is a serial marketer with a specialization in social media, SEO, influencer marketing, consumer engagement, and consulting for global organizations. Her approach to digital marketing leans toward advocacy for consumers and their behavior, as well as relating those needs to developing digital marketing strategies that cover all stages of the consumer journey.

During the past decade, April has used her online and brand marketing expertise to help corporations such as Invicta Watch Group, International Cigar Corporation, Figur8 Shapewear, and countless others drive brand exposure and generate growth. Passionate about digital marketing, she has a track record of generating leads and using “out-of-the-box” methods that not only attack the market, but also deliver consistent growth month over month. A Central Florida native, she takes to the outdoors for some riding and adventure with her daughter during free time. 

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