Digital Marketing Strategy Blueprint for Small Business Owners

 “I’ve set up my business, I’ve set up a professional email address, I’ve built my website and I post new articles regularly. I’m active on social media. And, I’m trying to keep up with SEO best practices. Why don’t I see any result?”

 

There’s many reasons that you need to have a digital marketing plan for your small business, in fact here’s 10 reasons you must use digital marketing. But in spite of this a lot of the small business owners we talk to feel that, in spite of their efforts, the needle doesn’t seem to be moving. The problem in most cases is that they don’t have a clear plan of action. They have a vague idea of what they want to achieve (more customers, more sales, or more engagement,) they know what tactics they need (blog content, social media posts, search engine optimization) but they don’t have a tactical plan.

 

According to a recent study, 46% of companies don’t have a defined digital marketing strategy while 16% of them have a strategy but have yet to implement it into their marketing activities.

 

Here’s the thing: whether you are a local maid service or multi million dollar company, if you don’t have a clear plan in place, then how can you expect to grow. Without a strategy, you’re just throwing darts in the dark hoping that something will stick. This approach is not only time-consuming but also extremely ineffective.

 

So, here’s how to create a digital marketing strategy blueprint for your small business.

 

Let’s roll!

 

Develop Buyer Personas

 

Whether your business is online or offline, the first thing you need to establish is who you are selling to. A lot of small business owners treat this aspect superficially and only have a generalized profile of their target audience. But, the best online marketing strategies are built upon detailed buyer personas.

 

A buyer persona is a representation of your ideal customer. You can create these detailed profiles by surveying, researching, and interviewing your audience. The advantage, businesses that use buyer personas have is clear: every action they take is based on precise, accurate data instead of just making assumptions about what prospects want.

 

Here is some of the key information you need to focus on to create buyer personas:

 

Demographic Information:

 

 

  • Location: Use Google Analytics to identify where most of your traffic is coming from;
  • Age: This variable is not always relevant. Gather data from your existing customer database to identify any relevant trends;
  • Income: This information will help you come up with a better pricing strategy;

 

Psychographic Information

 

  • Goals: Depending on the problem your product/service is solving, you probably have an idea of the goals your audience is trying to achieve. However, it’s better to cement your hypothesis by speaking to customers;
  • Challenges: Determine the challenges your audience faces when trying to accomplish their goals;
  • Interests: Knowing your customers’ hobbies, you can create content that sparks their interest;

 

Establish Your Goals & Identify the Tools You’ll Need to Achieve Them

 

One of the main reasons small businesses struggle to grow is that they don’t have clear marketing goals. They have an idealistic vision of what they want to achieve, but no plan of getting there.

 

Keep in mind that your marketing goals must be aligned with your business ones. For example, if your business goal is to increase online revenue by 25%, your marketing goal should be to generate 50% more leads via your website or e-commerce store.

 

Another great tip for an effective digital marketing strategy is to ensure that your goals are SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely.

 

Determine What Differentiates You

 

Understanding who your audience and competition are is one thing. Figuring out how to connect with your audience and differentiate yourself from your competition is an entirely different story.

 

While your sales reps might know how to approach prospects and send the right message to them, is your online marketing team able to do the same with content?

 

Analyze, practice, and document the ways you can position your content to engage with prospects online and make it clear to them why they should choose you instead of your competition.

 

Here are some of the main questions you should ask yourself in this process:

 

  • What type of consumers are you targeting?
  • Who is the decision maker? (for example, sippy cups are for kids, but the buyer is the parent)
  • What are the challenges they face that you can help them solve?
  • What benefits can they enjoy from choosing you?
  • How is your solution different from your competitors?

Find out Where Your Audience Lives Online

 

You know who your audience is and what type of content you need to create to connect with them. Now, the obvious question should be: where do you publish this content?

 

Look at everything from blogs and websites to social media and forums. Create a list of potential places where your audience might be. Then, focus your attention on these mediums.

 

For example, it would be a waste of time, money, and energy to create content for Twitter when the majority of your audience is active on Instagram.

 

Create a Content Calendar

 

One of the biggest errors small business owners make is that they jump into content creation without creating a plan first. Most of them rush into this step because it makes them feel as if they’ve accomplished something. However, the results will be insignificant if you haven’t dedicated the proper time to do your research.

 

Look at your goals and establish the appropriate course of action that could help you achieve them.

 

Let’s say that your marketing goal is to get 50 qualified leads per month. Now, ask yourself: how many articles do I need to write to make this happen? How many lead generation offers, such as whitepapers and e-books should I use?

 

Another important aspect you should analyze is the best time for publishing your content and the ideal length for your article.

 

Create a “Promotions Plan”

 

Your job isn’t ready the moment you hit the “Publish” button. Now, it’s time to focus on promoting your content.

 

More than two million blog posts are written every day, so you need to help your target audience find you. Share your content on social media to drive them to your site and persuade them to sign up or buy your products. Create videos that drive engagement and capture your audiences attention. It’s a great idea to create a storyboard for your video, Design Wizard has a nifty storyboard creator that makes it really easy. For the offline audience, use custom QR codes to take them online and direct them to your site to boost traffic.

Implement a task management system

A task management system can help your team remain more productive and get stuff done much quicker. With a solid task management system in place, you never have the excuse that “I didn’t know you needed me to do that” or “that’s not my job”, because task management software will show everyone on the team the exact task that they need to complete and the date they need to complete it by. Nifty has put together a really great list of the best task management systems for small businesses that is well worth checking out, to help you find the best system for you.

In a Nutshell

 

Phew! Finally, you’ve got to the end. There’s a lot of work you need to do if you want to set yourself up for success. So, keep these key points in mind when you’re building your digital marketing strategy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Website Tips for a Successful Digital Marketing Strategy

In today’s competitive world, businesses are trying various marketing strategies to stand out from the crowd in a bid get more customers. Since a lot of the war goes on in the online world, where websites are the commonly used marketing tools, it pays to optimise your site using time-proven strategies that will give you results in the shortest time possible. Presented here are website tips for a successful digital marketing strategy you can implement to supercharge your website marketing efforts-:


 

Visually Appealing Landing Page

A visually appealing homepage

Visitors need only seven seconds to decide whether or not they will stay after landing on your home page. This is the kind of impatience displayed by the typical online user, and it is important to grab their attention within this short time frame.

The best way to capture their attention is to have a visually appealing homepage with well laid out information so that they don’t spend their precious time searching for important items on the home page. Other than captivating the visitors’ attention the very first time, this digital marketing strategy also decreases bounce rates, increases conversions and improves search engine rankings.


 

Responsive-websites

Responsive website

Another important digital marketing strategy worth considering by every website owner is that you have a mobile responsive website. The reason for this is because mobile traffic has increased over desktop traffic and will continue to do so. The number of people using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets is more than the number of people using desktops and laptops to access the internet. By having a responsive website, therefore, you will be tapping into this enormous chunk of mobile traffic for the success of your business.


 

content-is-king-

Unique and quality content

No digital marketing strategy will ever succeed without the inclusion of regular, fresh, unique and quality content. As it’s always been said, content remains to be the king. Users come to the internet to search for information, and if you can provide them with the right kind of information they need, you will become an authority figure whom they can run to each time they need relevant content. Other than meeting the user’s needs for quality information, unique content as a digital marketing strategy will also see you get better rankings in the search engines where you will have access to lots of free and targeted traffic.


 

Social-media

Social media integration

Social media integration is another important aspect of a successful digital marketing strategy. Most consumers spend a considerable portion of their time on the social media platforms when online, and it is only prudent to reach them where they are already spending the bulk of their time online.

Besides, having an active social media presence will help you build a formidable following that will bring you fresh leads and sales at will. This is not to forget the SEO benefits that such a following will have for your business.

If you would like to learn more about how a great digital marketing strategy can help you grow your business, why not take advantage of our free digital marketing review?

 

 

Five Reasons To Spend Your Marketing Budget On Digital Marketing

Gone are the days when businesses craved television, newspaper and radio ads. Such traditional advertising methods are not only expensive nowadays but they are not well targeted meaning they offer no guarantees of getting the best returns on the marketing budget. As a result, the internet has provided a much needed alternative with the advent of digital marketing.

If you are still wasting your money on traditional marketing methods, here are five reasons to convince you that you need to start spending your marketing budget on digital marketing instead-:

Digital marketing provides a level playing field

With digital marketing, the playing field is leveled for both small and big businesses. No matter the size of your enterprise, you can compete effectively with the industry leaders if you have a solid digital marketing strategy. It is a free for all playground where your success is determined by your strategy and not the size of your business or the size of your marketing budget.

It is easy to measure the results from digital marketing

A common marketing joke is that “5o% of my marketing works, I just don’t know which 50%” – Unlike traditional marketing methods, digital marketing gives you real-time results on what is working and what is not working as far as your marketing campaigns are concerned. It gives you access to advanced analytics capabilities that will let you evaluate key metrics of your digital marketing campaigns.

For instance, you will get to know the exact amount of traffic you generate, the demographics of your audiences, their location, behaviour, devices used to view your ads, etc. These will, in turn, help you to fine tune your campaigns for maximum results.

Instant results

Digital marketing methods, like Google Adwords, for example, have the potential of generating immediate results for your advertising campaigns. It is possible to set up a campaign and start making sales while at the same time getting real data for further optimisation. You don’t have to wait for weeks or days to evaluate the performance of your campaigns as is usually the case with traditional forms such as billboards and magazine ads.

Control over your audience and budget

Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of digital marketing is the ability to choose the particular people to see your advertisements. With digital marketing, your adverts are targeted to individuals who have shown interest or are likely to be interested in your products or services. In return, you stand a chance of getting higher ROIs since the ads are not just targeting any Tom, Dick or Harry.

Most of the consumers are spending more time online

The immense growth of the Internet and increased use of mobile devices have seen the number of people accessing the web rise exponentially. Many people are turning to the Internet for entertainment, to interact with friends on social media, search for goods and services and read products reviews before they can make a purchase. In 2005 there were 1 billion internet users, this number had risen to 2.8 billion users by 2014 and it is estimated that by 2020 there will be 38 Billion devices on this planet, therefore, it makes perfect sense for any business to spend their marketing budget on digital marketing since this is where the consumers like to spend most of their time. Digital marketing allows you to reach all of your potential customers across all of their devices. If you want to fish, you go to the river and not the desert.

If you want to talk to us about your own digital marketing campaigns, you can email us on info@smbclix.com or you can request a free digital marketing review here

Digital Marketing Cork Awards Ceremony

We attended the Digital Marketing Cork Awards ceremony this past Thursday the 29th of October. We were absolutely thrilled to make the finals in the Best Digital Marketing category, unfortunately we didn’t take home the prize but we weren’t left empty handed, as we did leave with an outstanding achievement award. We were also very happy that some of our clients were nominated as it gave us a couple of extra chances of winning, Charles P. Crowley Accountants and Gerard Kearney Entertainment were both nominated in multiple categories, but unfortunately both suffered like Kanye West at the Grammy’s by being beaten in their respective categories. Caroline Crowley of CPC Accountants tweeted that “Cork Chamber were the real winners” for having organised such a great event and we have to agree with her sentiments, it was a top night brilliantly hosted by @kcshowcork from Red FM. Red Fm themselves were actually winners on the night as well so I’m sure that KC left with a smile on his face having MC’d a great event and walked away with a prize. We were beaten in our category by babyboo.ie, a really cool company started by two entrepreneurial mum’s based here in Cork that sell unique and trendy baby bandana bib’s, they are deserving winners and when accepting their award, they told us how they have started to receive orders from the United States and even Australia. Personally I would be a bit competitive so it was tough not to react like Joey Tribbiani at the Soapy Awards! Ha! Anyway onwards and upwards towards next years awards where I am sure we will come back bigger, stronger and better than before. You can view all of the winners by clicking on this link. Thanks very much to Cork Chamber Of Commerce for organising such a great night and for continuing to aid the growth of commerce in Cork.