Small business owners face many challenges. One of them is the challenge of getting their share of the market but doing it with fewer resources.
Those resources include money, human resources (man/woman hours) and more. Those are the types of resources that larger corporations may have access to, but small businesses do not.
In order to compensate for these differences, smaller businesses attempt to identify ways to get it done with less money or for free. Since this is something that differentiates the corporations and the small businesses, cost savings is a needed strategy for the small business.
Managing expectations is particularly essential for a small business. But, then that is the case for many aspects of business, even beyond small business. It is just good advice to understand where that starting point is, what your objectives are, and where you are going with it. Then, understand what you should expect, called “managing expectations.”
It doesn’t hurt to have an idea of what is to come, in the future, when it comes to the management of a small business. For example, business continuity and the ability to continue to deliver in spite of interruptions is one such area that needs to be managed within a small business.
Fortunately, we don’t have to manage that today. So, let’s go back to content marketing and the digital marketing aspect of that strategy.
When we think of digital, we may also think of visual. With that in mind, we are reminded that is essential that every small business owner develops a website that is user-friendly. It isn’t enough that it is visual, it needs to be easy enough for the site visitor to navigate and use.
That said, focusing on the website without content marketing strategies is not enough. In this case, we are understanding that there is a need (user-friendly website) but that also we need to focus on our content marketing strategy and not just spend all our time tweaking that website. It will still be there after we have developed our content marketing strategy!
Moving Forward with Our Content Strategy
Think of it this way…. Let’s say you have the most awesome website. Let’s say people stop by to visit this awesome website. If you do not have any content, what will they be reading or taking in while they are visiting? See?
But, that doesn’t mean that we do not consider our site design. It just means that we do what? Manage expectations.
Now, for the good news…
What is it? It is that digital marketing fits a small business content marketing budget!
If you are wondering what it is that allows the digital marketing to fit in that small budget, we are here to tell you…
It is because many of the techniques can cost the business almost next to nothing.
That said, it is important to understand that it usually does require a substantial time investment to really get the job done correctly when it comes to digital marketing. Fortunately, it is not rocket science and the basic steps can be learned and adapted. These steps are the name of the game in moving forward.
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
The first main content marketing step every small business needs to invest in is social media marketing (SMM).
This includes the sites that may be considered obvious, the top social media sites, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Depending on the business niche, it may also include social media sites like Linkedin, YouTube, and Pinterest.
It is important to understand that each social media site has its own demographics. A small business may be able to adapt their social media presence to just the platforms that reach its target market. It is important to understand the target market.
Another essential thing to understand about social media is that each platform has its own way of functioning. For example, Twitter is all about short blurbs, links, and images. It also includes videos and other media types that are able to be shared via a tweet. A person isn’t given a lot of space to present an idea, so it requires savvy techniques to really harness this platform. However, it is a very versatile option that broadcasts a message to a diverse market.
A business needs activity and engagement on the social sites. This means posting something at least once a day to really get a good following in the beginning. It also means not neglecting the people who react to posts. It is important to reply to comments and interact. This is the main draw of social media and the best way to harness its power, by utilizing that engagement.
Continuing the Success with Social Media Marketing
Every message posted on social media should have a sales slant of some kind. It should encourage people to click through to the business website and make some sort of purchase. Posts should avoid being too controversial or political. This could alienate certain segments of the population, but we need to keep our target audience in mind if we are online to make a profit. Large companies have a bit more wiggle room here because they can afford to lose customers, but for the small business, every customer counts.
Maintaining social media accounts is also important. Businesses with a large social media following use those profiles to drive traffic to their website. This is the first step in making sales, so spending some time on growing (and maintaining) that following is very important to the small business.
The best part is that having an account on a social media platform is usually free. The only investment will be the time to maintain it. In managing expectations, it is important to realize that this can be a significant investment of time but hopefully, it will pay off in the return-on-investment (ROI).
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) is always important when it comes to an online presence, but when it comes to digital marketing, SEO can be used to target specific groups. A small business should be using SEO to target local consumers who will be the most likely to shop with it. Many people use search engines to find local services and businesses, so a small business should be using options such as AdWords (and even Facebook advertising) to help with marketing.
It is important for a business to nail down local geographic keywords and phrases. For example, if a business is selling furniture in Lexington, they would want to use keywords with “Lexington” in them. The local market drives the strategies that handle the management and targeting of nearby cities and locations.
Such keywords should not only be used in digital marketing but also while you work to make your own website for your small business. Packing the business website with keywords will enable a business owner to stand out in the search engines results (SERPs). This is what makes it possible to push it to the top of the web search results.
When it comes to running a small business and being successful, owners cannot ignore the power of the internet. Only through the process of getting on board with digital marketing and creating a solid online presence is this possible. Only at that point can a small business really thrive in today’s market. So, are you ready for it? I’m sure you are on your way to that success!