Digital marketing is a great way to reach broad target audiences at a much lower cost than traditional advertising methods. If you’re a small business, the world of online advertising can be daunting - especially if you are doing the marketing yourself! But whether you’re transitioning from offline to online advertising, or just starting a new business venture - digital advertising can increase your sales and boost your growth. You don’t have to be a professional marketer or technologically savvy to reap the benefits of online advertising, but to get you on the right track, we have provided a few tricks for any level of capability to get you started.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
If you are interested in growing your business gradually, then something you might want to look into is PPC advertising. How it works is that an advertisement pops up alongside certain search terms when they are searched in Google. When these ads appear, sometimes people click on them, and other times they don’t - but the great thing about PPC marketing is that the advertiser only has to pay when someone actually clicks on the ad. It’s important to understand that you can’t just pay more to get your ads to pop up in the search results, Google does not allow this.
PPC means that you can advertise directly to the person who is looking for your product or service, and you only have to pay for the ad once it’s been clicked on which limits your spending. It gives you brand exposure, even if people only glance at the ad, and allows you to reach the right people at the right time.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO helps you to rank higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs) which determines how visible your business is. The higher your ranking, the more likely you are to get seen by potential customers and in return see a higher conversion rate on your site. There are a number of tricks that are involved with high-quality SEO which is why it is best to let a professional handle this. It could go wrong if you don’t do it exactly right, but there are a few simple things you can have a crack at doing yourself.
If you want to try your hand at SEO, the most simple thing you can do is keyword research. Find the terms that are commonly searched for when someone is looking for a business that provides the same product or services that you do. Once you’ve found these words, try to incorporate them into your content on your site as well as on your social media pages so that Google picks it up when a search is in progress. The more visible you are, the more sales you’re going to make, which is where SEO is handy.
An oldie but a goodie, email advertising has been used by many companies since the start of email and remains very efficient in converting leads. We’re sure that you’ve had a few companies who send you emails about their latest offers, updates on the company, promotions, and so on. You find yourself clicking on them even if it’s just to make the little 1 go away on your app, and if the newsletter design looks good, you also find yourself reading what it says. One of the reasons that email advertising is such a good idea is that it requires consistent engagement with your customers. You are keeping them in the loop which will make them think of your business first before anyone else.
So, when it comes to setting up an email advertising campaign, you need to gather a list. The best way to do this is to get people to leave an email address when they sign up for your product or service, and then you can decide what kind of emails you want to send out. To achieve maximum success, segmenting your audience is a great way to send targeted and more specific content which is more likely to result in higher conversions. You can segment your audience by age, demographic, gender, and buyer persona to increase your email marketing metrics such as open rates, click rates, and unsubscribe rates.
Being a small business can mean there isn’t always time to send emails to confirm purchases or send a welcome message when someone subscribes. Why not try out a professional form builder that integrates with messaging apps to allow you to send automated responses for things like when a customer makes a purchase on your site; a trigger can automatically send them an order confirmation and receipt, taking the pressure off you.
Social Media Marketing
Using social media for marketing purposes is easy for a small business, as long as you make sure you are staying up to date. What we mean by this is that you have to remember to post on your page frequently to keep people interested. However, you don’t want engagement levels to drop, meaning that you don’t want to post too much in one day or at any given time. You also don’t want to oversell and should aim for an 80:20 ratio; 80% sharing content such as industry information, news, funny stories, and other forms of engaging content and 20% promoting your own sales.
As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Engage and appeal to audiences by using compelling visual content. As people are scrolling their feeds, an enticing and eye-catching photo can catch the attention of your customers and is a great way to communicate things like product benefits, features, and or even your company culture.
Social media marketing is where you use platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and so on to advertise your products or your business to potential customers, as well as existing ones. It doesn’t matter how many followers you have in the beginning because this can always grow, it’s more focused on the engagement of people on the platform with your company. It’s a cheaper way of advertising, so you aren’t going to have to break the bank trying to market your business.
It also provides special attention to customers which is something that a lot of big companies can’t offer. They don’t have time to sit down and go through all of their social media posts or messages, but a small company has a much better chance, giving them the upper hand.
Whether you’re using a combination of traditional and digital advertising or just digital marketing, you have the potential to reach your target audience in an extremely cost-effective and measurable way. Digital consumption patterns change rapidly, so keeping up to date and relevant with trends can ensure you are consistently engaging with consumers. It doesn’t matter what your investment is in marketing, you can spend as little or as much as your budget allows while still receiving the benefits of increased conversions, higher reach, and greater sales through digital advertising.
Tegan Tedd is a content marketer at Paperform. She loves writing about marketing, technology, and workplace productivity.