8 Effective Digital Marketing Strategies for Small Business 2021
Similar to advertising on television or hoardings, digital marketing is a fairly new trend that has emerged since the 90’s. Digital marketing refers to marketing your product/service online using various digital platforms and tools to get a desired reach.
History of digital marketing:
Digital Marketing was a term coined in the year 1990 and the internet became public for it’s users in 1995. Back in the 1990’s personal computers and server-client architectures were popular so digital marketing was only limited to search engines. After the year 1995, the internet in India has been growing at an exponential rate. With millennials and gen z’s constantly working and spending time on their devices, it was only a matter of time before advertisers saw it as an opportunity to advertise their products or services on them.
When Yahoo launched in 1998 along with Google, businesses started looking at digital marketing as an asset and started selling more and more products online. Furthermore, after mobile phones started gaining popularity, advertisers started marketing their products on that platform as well. India’s first mobile marketing campaign was launched in the year 2001.
Importance of digital marketing
Digital marketing is an integral part of many marketing strategies. There are many advantages to marketing your products/or services online, some of them are as follows –
1. Easy to measure – Unlike traditional media where you have to wait for months and scan through tons of data to get an accurate measure of your campaigns success, you get real time campaign results almost instantly. For example – if you have a running campaign on Instagram, you can see the number of people that you have reached, the engagement reach of your audience and much more.
2. Easy to adjust - With the advantage of getting your campaigns data almost immediately, you can see what works for your brand and what doesn’t. If your ad is going well organically at the moment, it could be helpful to do a paid promotion and similarly, if you see that your campaign isn’t working well, you could stop their promotions or make the changes which you think could work.
3. Easy to share – We are all constantly connected to our mobile phones and therefore sharing content that you’ve come across is much easier. When it comes to traditional media, if you see an ad that you like on television, you can either search for the ad online and then talk about it which takes more time or simply share it with your friends or family immediately.
4. Precise targeting – One of the biggest disadvantages of using traditional advertising is that you have no control over who reads your content and who doesn’t. If a brand is selling high end jewelry and if you advertise it through hoardings then your hoardings are read by all. Potential customers and others. You will be paying a huge amount of money without doing a targeted campaign that has a better chance of converting into a sale. Digital marketing let’s you do that. When marketing on social media, you can create your own demographic based on the age, geography, lifestyle and many more so you know who your exact audience is.
Digital marketing strategies for small businesses in 2021
Starting a business is difficult. Gone are the days when it was okay for a company to not have a social media presence. These days, everyone wants their business online as they are seeing growth through numbers. If you thought that digital marketing was only for medium and large sized companies then you were wrong. Listed below are a few digital marketing strategies that can be useful for small businesses –
1. Keyword Research – PPC or SEO is based on keywords. The more research you do about your brand and the keywords that work for your brand, you will be more visible. In today’s world, a keyword that is relevant today, may not be relevant tomorrow so you have to keep monitoring your ads and your keywords. Change the keywords that don’t work. Use keywords from the campaign that is performing well.
2. Search Engine Optimization – This is one of the best ways for small companies to increase their reach and get visibility with big companies. Whenever consumers want to search for something, they do so by using a search engine. SEO is simply using ad words, links that are relevant to your product/service. What you must keep in mind is, you have to keep checking if your ad is working well or not. If an ad is not performing well, changing the keywords might help.
3. Pay Per Click – Suggestive of the name, Pay Per Click or PPE, is similar to SEO but advertisers pay every time someone clicks on your ad. The amount of money that will be paid per link is decided when the campaign is being made. Here too similar to SEO you will have to use relevant keywords and links so that your campaign is visible to your target audience.
4. Local Search Marketing – Local search marketing refers to adding your address information, contact details and other such details for possible customers to find. If you have a saloon, then listing your saloon on Google with your location will be a great idea for customers to reach you.
5. Social Media Marketing – Social Media is an integral part of our lives so it only makes sense that marketers use it to their advantage. On social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook you can create posts and advertise those posts for the number of days that you want to run it for and the money that you want to run it for. Social media campaigns run for as low as 50Rs and can run up-to lakhs of rupees. One advantage of having an active social media account is you can see real time engagement rate. You can see the best time for when your posts can go online, the days in which you have the highest engagement rate and such.
6. Content Marketing – These days people don’t just want to buy a product, they are also looking for a way to connect with your brand. As a business no matter how big or small, you want your customers to recommend your brand to others as well. Your brands recall rate will be much higher if you manage to connect your brand with your customers. In earlier days, content marketing referred to brochures and guidebooks, these days people aren’t interested in reading lengthy brochures, so you can start a campaign that is completely different from your competitions. Talking about current affairs, gender equality, and human rights might be a good way to connect to your customers and for them to remember who you are.
7. Facebook groups – Facebook groups are a great way for small businesses to connect with their customers and other small businesses. For example – If you have a maternity clothing brand, it may be a great idea for you to either join groups with expecting mothers. On the platform you can be informative, informal and provide solutions to your customers. Customers will always prefer a brand that they can relate to and communicate with.
8. Start a blog – Blogs are also a great way for you to engage with your customers. You blog can be about your product and the kind of things you know. For example – If you are a small hotel in a city then it would be a great idea for you to talk about your city, the kind of activities that people can do there, share some stories, talk about your hotel. Engage with your customers and use adwords, keywords, links for customers to then see. Blogs are creative platforms where when done right can help you grow your business exponentially.
There are many more digital marketing tools which you can use be it organic or inorganic. We suggest that you do a thorough research about your brand, your competition and stuff their marketing. Find answers to the questions your customers have on platforms like Quora, these things will get you visibility which will in turn help in sales generation.