Small business owners have a lot on their plate. Most likely, they’re responsible for signing off on all major business decisions, monitoring daily operations, planning sales, and to top it all off, marketing. Competing with larger brands with more resources and larger budgets can be intimidating.
Luckily, there are low-cost digital marketing strategies that can drastically impact growth. As long as you use them to their fullest potential and stick to your business’ core values and vision, a little can go a long way.
Here are four ways a small business can grow through digital marketing.
1. Design your website to increase conversions.
Your website is the cornerstone of all your digital marketing efforts. It’s where you’ll host your content, supply your contact information, and in some cases, serve as the primary spot for customer purchases. With that being said, you’ll need to be sure your design fully supports these needs.
Here’s how to build a winning website design formula.
- Mobile-first design – More than half of all website visits in 2018 were on a mobile phone.
- Focus on load times – Slower loading means fewer conversions.
- Use standard layouts – Viewers find comfort in familiarity, so don’t go overboard with complex designs just yet. This costs less, too!
- Use visual cues to lead towards calls to action – Make CTA buttons a distinctive color, showcase clickable links, and provide plenty of white space.
- Keep branding consistent across pages – Your logo should be clearly visible and distinctive enough for recall.
2. Promote user-generated content on social media.
It’s very likely you maintain some social media channels to stay connected to your community, even if it’s just Facebook or Instagram. However, getting the most out of social media means moving beyond posting company updates and photos of your own products.
To take your social media marketing to the next level, while reducing the amount of resources it takes to create a piece of new content, turn to user-generated content. These are posts created by other people about your business, and they act as social proof that yes, your brand really is worth trying.
Users are 76% more likely to find social media posts authentic if they’re user-generated content. Here’s how to source them:
- Create a branded hashtag you use to accompany all social media posts.
- Include your brand hashtag within your social media bios.
- Encourage users to tag your official account and use the hashtag when they post.
- Track the hashtag.
- Once you find posts through your custom hashtag, engage with them and repost them to your own account. Don’t forget to credit the original poster in the caption!
3. Send regular newsletters to those on your mailing list.
Email marketing is a great, low-cost way for small businesses to directly reach prospective customers. Scheduling the release of a monthly newsletter can transform subscribers into customers as long as you cater to the right audience with the right content.
Creating an email newsletter nurtures a connection between subscriber and brand by giving them updates about how your business is doing, as well as offering rewards to those who stick along for your journey.
Use newsletters to increase traffic to other marketing channels as well. Including social sharing buttons, for example, encourages subscribers to check your pages out. Additionally, strategically-placed CTAs can also boost sales.
The important thing is to build all email content around your brand’s unique personality. Emails go into a personal inbox, so step up to that same level.
4. Analyze previous marketing efforts.
Always measure the performance of your campaigns. While investing in more comprehensive analytics tools is ideal if you want to get more granular insight into each platform, there are free alternatives out there for small businesses who need results at a lower cost.
Here are the digital marketing stats you should be measuring.
- Website Traffic – How many people land on your website from other sources
- Conversion Rate – The percentage of people who convert on a form or button on your website compared to the number of visitors
- Bounce Rate – How many people exit your page after being led there
- Engagement Rate – The percentage of interactions you get on social media or other similar platforms compared to how many followers you have
- Clickthrough Rate – The percentage of people who have engaged with your content by clicking them in order to get to your directed page
As digital marketing becomes more complex, with new technologies vying for marketers’ attention, we may lose sight of the basics that drive online campaigns. There’s a reason some strategies stick around for years, and it’s these tried-and-tested ideas you should prioritize if you want growth.
Once strategies have become more established and you need a shakeup in routine, that’s when you make the leap into something new. As a small business marketer, it’s up to you to communicate your brand’s unique voice and find the right opportunity to do something great.
Ash Salleh is the Director of SEO at Campaign Monitor, where he works closely with content, copy, and analytics teams to improve site-wide optimization. Prior to his time at Campaign Monitor, he also provided SEO and digital marketing expertise at Zappos and Axiata Digital.