As the owner of head of marketing of a small business, it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to creating an online presence.
But the fact of the matter is, you desperately need to have one if you plan to stay afloat in today’s digital ocean.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and not even know where to begin. But fear not, I’ve got your back. I’ve helped a ton of small businesses grow their brand and increase their revenue by building powerful online brands.
To help you get started on your digital journey, here are eight tips that will help you make your small business shine online.
Tip #1: Create a Website
The first step in creating an online presence is having a website. Most digital land is rented (owned by someone else – like social media), but your website is like your home. You own it.
A website serves as the hub of your digital presence and is the best place for potential customers to find information about your business.
Having a polished website with quality content will help build trust with visitors and show them that you are serious about what you do.
Tip #2: Get Social
Once you have your owned space in order, it’s time to start driving traffic there. Social media is one of the best (and more affordable) ways to do this.
Social media has become one of the most important tools for businesses looking to grow their reach and engage with new customers.
Creating accounts on popular social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok and others can help you spread the word about your business while also allowing you to interact directly with potential customers.
Here’s a great example from a local coffee roaster in Downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Square One Coffee Roasters. This small business has an excellent online presence, and their Instagram is a shining example of how small businesses can leverage social media.
In this sequence of posts, the brand explain how they had to shut down when a bus fell through a sink hole on their street. And yes, this really happened!
Tip #3: Use SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) helps ensure that your website is seen by potential customers who are searching for businesses or services like yours.
By optimizing your webpages and content for specific keywords related to your industry, you can increase the chances of being found in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Investing in an SEO strategy can also provide long term benefits for your business as well as helping boost visibility and traffic quickly.
Tip #4: Start Blogging
Writing blog posts is another great way to drive traffic back to your website while also providing valuable information for readers.
Blogging allows you to showcase your expertise in relevant topics and demonstrate why people should choose your business over others in the field.
It’s also a great way to build relationships with other bloggers and industry influencers who can help promote your business further down the line.
And you can add a call-to-action in each post, without being too ‘salesy’, to suggest a product or service relevant to the article topic.
While Etsy is by no means a small business, this example of a blog article from the brand’s site shows how you can work in a link and mention to a relevant product.
Tip #5: Monitor Reviews
Reviews play an important role in making or breaking a purchase decision, so it’s important that you monitor customer reviews on sites like Google Business or Yelp.
This way, you’re aware of any problems your customers face, issues that may arise, or even positive praise. You should welcome any and all feedback to improve your business, but shoot for the five-start reviews.
If you do receive negative reviews, responding quickly and courteously can turn negative reviews into positive experiences by showing potential customers how much you care about their feedback—and ultimately their satisfaction with your product or service.
Tip #6: Email & Newsletter Marketing
Email marketing has been around forever, and it’s still as effective as ever.
Sending out weekly or monthly emails keeps your current customers in the loop about promotions or events that you may be having at any given time—which could draw in more new customers just by being aware of what’s going on at your business.
And newsletters let potential customers know about services or products they may not even have known existed before—it’s like free advertising right in their inboxes.
Set up multiple ways on your website that visitors can sign up for your newsletter. Offer them a little something, like talking about the discounts they’ll receive for signing up, for example.
This pop-up newsletter form on the Nicole Taylor Boutique website grabs attention with an eye-catching image and a CTA to sign up to receive deals.
Tip #7: Paid Ads & Targeting
Paid ads are a great way to reach people who already have an interest in what you’re offering; they might be actively searching for something specific related to what you do (think Google Ads) or they might just be browsing through websites (like Facebook Ads).
Whatever the case, if they’re searching on Google, they’ll be served up ads relevant to the keywords they type in. So, if you target the right keywords with your ads, you’ll pop up in those results.
One a site like Facebook, you can target by interests, location, and a number of other demographics. Then, your posts (in the form of ads) will show up in the feeds of targeted audience members.
This type of targeting allows small businesses like yours the chance to put yourself out there in front of potential clients who already have an interest in what they’re seeing—and that can result in more sales opportunities than ever before.
Tip #8: Video Marketing
Video marketing is an awesome way to help your intended audience get a better sense of who you are and why they should choose your business over others similar ones out there (or even larger ones with deeper pockets).
Videos allow people to see how passionate you are about what you do and how knowledgeable you are about different topics related to it.
This can really set apart small businesses from bigger ones because it lets viewers connect with someone real instead of some faceless brand logo trying hard to sell them something without any personal touch whatsoever).
River Pools does a great job of leveraging video. They create educational videos that grab search results and education prospective customers. This builds a bond, and when those prospective customers are ready to buy, there’s a good chance they’ll go with this business.
Here’s a sample video from the brand’s YouTube channel.
Wrapping It Up
With these five tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to growing your small business by leveraging digital marketing strategies.
From creating a website and getting social, all the way through utilizing SEO techniques, blogging regularly, and monitoring customer reviews—you’ll soon see just how much difference going digital makes.
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