Today, there are nearly five billion internet users worldwide. To reach them, you’ll have to adapt your marketing strategies if you haven’t already. But with digital marketing being so broad, it can be tricky to craft a strategy that suits you. A small business that aims to strengthen its online presence might focus its efforts more on content marketing than on web development. On the other hand, a mid-sized business may need to reassess its audience targeting strategy.
Here are 10 digital marketing tips SMEs and large businesses alike can follow to leverage their resources:
Identify your target audience
Businesses must know who their audience is, their preferences, and what they respond to. Below are some of the audience segment types commonly used by Google:
- Affinity: audience based on their interests, lifestyle, and habits
- Life Events: audience experiencing life milestones (e.g. graduation, marriage, etc.)
- In-market: audience based on their purchases
- Website and app visitors: the audience who have previously visited your site and/or app
- Customer match: existing customers based on data in your customer relationship management (CRM) system
- Similar segments: the audience who have similar interests to your existing customers and website visitors
However, your online target audience may not always be the ones you can reach through word of mouth. A bakery may focus its digital marketing efforts more on reaching its non-local audience than those already familiar with its brick-and-mortar store. For example, they can use Google Ads marketing to promote shipping discounts to people outside of their geographical vicinity.
Aside from understanding the customer in terms of their characteristics, you must also adjust your digital marketing strategy according to the appropriate channels or platforms. Identifying these will give you insight into where you should focus your efforts moving forward.
Create mobile-friendly content
Designing your website, SMS and MMS messages, landing pages, and apps to be mobile-friendly drives more traffic and engagement. This means fitting your content to the screen without having to zoom in and out, ensuring that it loads as quickly as in a desktop interface. Some tips on optimizing your website for mobile are:
- Keep pages under 5MB
- Keep letter spacing to more than 0px to keep them from overlapping on a mobile device
- Set a fallback image when a banner or video won’t load
If you’re a small business owner with a limited budget, you can use a website builder that already has mobile-friendly templates, such as:
- Squarespace offers features for you to create your site’s structure in both desktop and mobile interfaces, deploy your email marketing campaign, use Google Workspace, and more.
- Wix can be used to build websites for your business, open an online store, accept bookings, and start a blog.
- Shopify is an e-commerce platform where you can customize your online store across multiple channels, including web, mobile, brick-and-mortar locations, and social media.
Consider local marketing
Local marketing allows you to attract potential customers or clients who are within your vicinity geographically. Although this kind of strategy typically happens outside digital marketing, there are ways you can leverage your location to target a specific niche. Some digital marketing tips you can consider include:
- Targeting your social media content at people in your area
- Managing your information, including address, phone number, and operating hours, in Google or social media ads
- Engaging with customers and local communities by following up on inquiries and feedback, sponsoring events, or participating with professional groups or sites such as LinkedIn.
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Utilize email marketing
Email is widely used across nearly all demographics, making it one of the most effective digital marketing channels. By building an email list of existing and potential customers, you can then deploy your newsletters and promotional emails for new launches, discounts, and other announcements to generate leads. Moreover, email marketing allows you to create more personalized content than advertising on social media which targets a general audience. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Identify audience segments to send emails relevant to your recipients
- Set how frequently you should send emails and adjust based on the click-through rates and unsubscribe rates
- Design your email campaigns in a hierarchy (i.e. the most important information must be at the top or have the largest font size)
Focus on long-term strategies
Short-term strategies, such as paid advertisements, are designed to produce quick results. If you’re looking to boost sales or conversions on a tight deadline, this type of digital marketing plan will do that for you. But it’s the long-term strategies that help a business maintain those numbers.
Long-term digital marketing campaigns can take anywhere from six months to more than a year to produce results. With a consistent marketing strategy, you can achieve your objectives by establishing your business as a trusted brand within your industry. Long-term strategies include:
- Search engine optimization (SEO) – This is used to improve the ranking of web pages in search results. Effective SEO marketing strategies improve both the quantity and quality of your website’s traffic by boosting your organic, unpaid traffic. High-quality traffic refers to the visitors and users whose search intent matches your service or product offerings. In other words, utilizing SEO helps convert leads. One of the most common ways to incorporate SEO is by creating a blog with content backed by SEO strategies such as keyword research, link-building, and so on.
- Content Marketing – While integrating SEO into your blog improves your organic search ranking, the subject of your content is still important. Research what your target customers are interested in, and create content that is in line with both those interests and your product offerings. This way, you can start establishing your business as a well-informed brand within your niche. For example, a company that sells office equipment may develop content about the benefits of ergonomic chairs on employee productivity.
- Brand Building – A consistent brand message increases brand awareness among current and potential customers. It helps people recognize your brand and, consequently, your services and product offerings. When you have consistent brand messaging tied in with your creative design, you can connect with your customers more effectively, which drives long-term results. This covers all aspects ranging from brand voice to color palettes and fonts used.
- Social Media – Social media marketing is another subcategory of digital marketing that is constantly changing. Instead of allocating budget on all social media platforms, you can focus your efforts on a few ones that your customer base frequently uses or platforms where you can generate more leads. Not only is it lower cost, but it also allows you to engage with your customers in ways other than saturating them with promotional content everywhere.
As trends come and go, businesses must remain flexible to adjust their strategies to the preferences or behavior of their target audience. Understanding who your target customers are is not just a one-time thing – you must constantly relearn what their preferences are, which platforms they’re active in, and the trends they’re following.
As an example, short-form videos are being used by popular platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. If your initial strategy revolves around long-form videos, consider shifting your resources to creating short-form videos. Below are some ways you can stay flexible:
- Regularly assess your marketing strategy’s performance using tools like Google Analytics, Facebook engagement metrics, etc.
- Revamp your website in terms of formatting, functionality, and look depending on current trends
- Respond to customer needs and inquiries quickly
- Stay aware of what’s happening in the social media landscape
Personalize your content
Personalization is when you use consumer data to tailor your strategy to each individual prospect.
For instance, by using the right technology, marketers are able to determine which channels their customers engage with to then develop a suitable digital marketing plan.
An example of this is targeted email marketing, where marketers can send specific emails to a particular group depending on the data they’ve collected. This can come in the form of targeted discounts or promotions as well. By personalizing your content, you can increase customer loyalty and satisfaction.
Make decisions based on data
By adjusting your digital marketing tactics based on data, you’ll get more consistent improvements than you would by simply guessing or trusting your gut.
If your data analysis shows low positive feedback, then you should recalibrate your advertising strategies. Collecting precise data on your customers’ buying habits and other behavior patterns will provide you with more insight into what steps you need to take next.
Assessing your performance means identifying your key performance indicators (KPI) that show the strengths and gaps in your business.
This also includes non-quantifiable factors outside of metrics (i.e. hiring new talent or a competitor holding a new campaign or fundraising) that can help you pinpoint your business’ current positioning.
Ensure proper customer service
Working digitally can make you feel disconnected from your customers – no face-to-face interactions and less immediate customer service.
However, customer service is still an important aspect of digital marketing that, when done effectively, can attract and retain customers.
To do so, you must provide online spaces, like a page on your website, where customers can search your contact details, leave feedback, and direct their inquiries or concerns. You may also invest in customer service tools, such as a chatbot service.
Hire a marketing assistant
Effective digital marketing campaigns may require more than a single person. For a startup, allocating that much time, money, and resources may not be viable. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a business owner, hiring a marketing assistant can help you reach your marketing goals.
For instance, Magic has a roster of virtual digital marketers we can match you with depending on your needs, availability, and budget. Magic Assistants can offer services that also cover the digital marketing tips above, such as:
- Google Ads and Social Media Ads – managing and advertising your content to your target audience
- SEO and Analytics – writing content, integrating SEO practices and data analysis
- Campaign Strategy – campaign creation, updating records, monitoring metrics
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