In this day and age, your small business absolutely cannot survive without implementing digital marketing best practices. 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making a purchase, so it’s essential that you get your marketing online.
But it might seem difficult to know where to start. As a small business owner, you’re busy! You’re constantly running from place to place, putting out fires, all while trying to help your business grow.
Many small business owners are overwhelmed when it comes to marketing efforts, so if you fall into that category, don’t worry. It’s a widespread problem.
And we’re here to provide a solution. From social media marketing to email newsletters to blogging, the term “digital marketing” encompasses a lot of scary-sounding stuff… but when you get down to it, it’s really not that difficult if you have the right team supporting you.
Plus, with the proper know-how, it doesn’t take a ton of time–which, for a busy person like you, is ideal.
From social media to email newsletters to blogs, there are many ways to implement digital marketing. Let’s take an in-depth look at some of these methods and the marketing best practices for each one–recommended by our experts to save you time and help your small business see exponential growth.
Social Media Marketing Best Practices
Social media marketing is great for small businesses because it’s easy to get a marketing campaign off the ground. You don’t need a lot of money or a big fancy building to market yourself–you just need a solid social media marketing strategy in place
In this section, we’re going to break down the top social media platforms and the marketing best practices for each one.
Considering the two billion people who use Facebook every day, this platform could be a lucrative opportunity for your small business–but only if you do it right. Neil Patel identified a disturbing statistic: 62% of small businesses are failing when it comes to Facebook marketing.
Plus, 50% of small businesses feel that they aren’t getting a good return on their investment when it comes to Facebook.
Chart courtesy of Neil Patel
Clearly, something has to change. But what?
97% of B2C companies are using Facebook. So if you want your content marketing to succeed, you need to step up your game.
Chart courtesy of Neil Patel
To understand the marketing best practices on Facebook, the first thing you need to do is educate yourself. You have to understand how content marketing and digital marketing work if you want to see any success at all from your efforts on Facebook.
Social media marketing is different from traditional marketing. With social media, it’s easier to reach your specific target audience, and it’s simple to find your conversion rate. Engagement is another huge plus – social media marketing allows you to interact with your customers worldwide in a way that traditional marketing just doesn’t.
How does this translate to Facebook specifically? For one thing, you need to fully understand your target audience.
The demographic that uses Facebook the most falls into the 18-29 year old range. So if your small business caters to people in this millennial age range, Facebook marketing is actually a good choice for you.
Other marketing best practices to optimize your presence on Facebook: be creative, be organized, and be approachable. Small businesses that regularly publish out-of-the-box posts and invite friendly interaction with their customers will see big results on Facebook.
You may not have considered Instagram as a marketing tool, but it’s important to remember its place on our list of marketing best practices. The app’s casual, friendly culture creates a great place for brands to interact with current and potential customers.
And believe us, plenty of your customers use this social media platform: according to Hubspot, 28% of all U.S. adults use Instagram. Worldwide, there are 800 million monthly users–and over half of them visit Instagram at least once a day.
How can you piggyback on Instagram’s popularity to start promoting your small business? Instagram is full of business tools that can help you out. You can connect your Instagram business profile to your Facebook page, gain valuable insights on your followers, and analyze how your Instagram posts are performing.
Hashtags are an important aspect of Instagram, too. They’ll help more people find your business page. Center your hashtags around your industry and use popular hashtags such as #smallbusiness or #shoplocal to help your posts be seen. Don’t forget to use hashtags applicable to your target customer as well.
Instagram has several additional features you can take advantage of, too, such as Instagram Stories and IGTV.
There’s a bit of controversy about how often a business should post on Instagram, but one thing is certain: no matter how often you post, you must post consistently. Consistency applies to all of our marketing best practices.
You have hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people who are following you for a reason. They want to see content regularly, so give it to them.
If you follow these marketing best practices, Instagram can help your small business succeed.
Twitter’s monthly users number in the 300 million range, making it an ideal place for small businesses to set up shop. One big thing Twitter can do for your business is to develop and cement your voice and increase your brand perception.
Every brand has a voice. Take Coca-Cola, for example. All of their advertisements, website copy, and other marketing material is based around making people happy.
Throughout the years, the company has had many different slogans and taglines. “Spread virtual happiness–share a Coke.” “Have a Coke and a smile.” “Open happiness.” But all of these taglines center around the same basic theme of happiness, fun, and community. Who doesn’t want to be a part of that?
Coca-Cola decided long ago on the brand voice that’s best for them, and now they’re pushing it for all it’s worth.
Find the voice that aligns with your brand’s mission and values and then get it out there. Consistently posting on Twitter will help people recognize your brand.
Just like with Instagram, hashtags are important to help more people find your account. If you don’t know what hashtags are best for your business, that’s okay. If you work with us, our Twitter marketing services does the research for you; we decide on the best hashtags for your business.
Twitter is also a great place to promote blog posts or other content from your website. When you share content on Twitter, you can point people to your site, hopefully converting them into email subscribers or customers.
And as a small business owner, you can utilize Twitter to stay on top of the trends in your industry.
When you think about marketing your small business, Pinterest probably isn’t the first social media platform to come to mind. In fact, you may not think of it as a marketing tool at all. But Pinterest can be a hugely helpful marketing platform for small businesses.
A virtual bulletin board that’s been around since 2010, Pinterest is an important platform for brands to utilize–especially if you run an ecommerce shop. 93% of Pinterest users use Pinterest to help them decide what to purchase. In fact, 25% of all retail website referral traffic comes from Pinterest. It’s an important tool.
Image courtesy of Pinterest
So what are the marketing best practices when it comes to Pinterest?
Pinterest is very visual, which means you’ve got to be prepared with plenty of clean graphics and attractive photos. It’s a great way to promote your blog posts. And if you sell a physical product, you can share photos of that product and photos of your happy customers.
On Pinterest, a few pins go a long way. Even if you post only once or twice a day, you’ll quickly see results as people repin your content and then their friends repin it, creating a ripple effect.
Not all of your posts have to be original content. You can also repin images and quotes from other accounts.
Pinterest is a fun social media platform, but it can be difficult to figure out Pinterest marketing. If you work with us, we take over the legwork and let you have the fun.
LinkedIn is the place where the pros hang out, and if you want to rub shoulders with them, it’s the place to be.
Getting a foot in the door on LinkedIn can have a huge positive results for your small business–many large companies rely on LinkedIn, but small businesses tend to overlook it.
LinkedIn is known for being the social network that professionals (over 500 million of them) spend their time on, searching for jobs and colleagues and businesses. Over half of these users have a college education, and almost half make more than $75,000 year… so it’s important for your business to stand out in this field of potentially lucrative customers.
Chart courtesy of Neil Patel
Content is one of the most important marketing best practices for your LinkedIn marketing strategy, but it’s something many brands don’t think about.
There are a few key ways you can publish content on LinkedIn: status updates and Pulse.
Status updates should be a familiar concept if you’ve spent any time on social media; your status is a good place to share blog posts from your website (we’ll talk more about blogging in a minute).
But Pulse is unique to LinkedIn. It’s an online news feed that’s linked with LinkedIn, and industry leaders follow the topics they’re interested in, giving them a curated feed of articles every day.
As a business owner, you can write a piece of content on a topic in your industry and share it on Pulse. This will help your business name reach more people and will show them you know what you’re talking about… leading them to check out your business in depth.
Our LinkedIn service creates a content calendar so that you always know what’s coming up. We also oversee comments and messages, which should start rolling in once you begin publishing good content and growing your audience.
By implementing SEO–which we’ll discuss further in a minute–you can further expand your blog post’s reach. You can also promote your LinkedIn content on other social networks.
SEO Best Practices
SEO, short for search engine optimization, refers to techniques that help you increase organic traffic (traffic you don’t have to pay for) to your website through search engine results. A good SEO strategy will help your website rank higher in search engine result pages. Ideally, your small business will end up on the front page of Google, since most people don’t scroll past the first page.
When you build a website for your small business, it’s essential to optimize it for SEO. According to HubSpot, 89% of B2B buyers and 81% of online shoppers rely on Google to help them make decisions. Consumers do their research before making a purchase or engaging with a brand. So SEO is an important method of digital marketing.
SEO makes it easy for you to go where your buyers are–namely, search engines.
But it requires a little extra research and work, because SEO is constantly changing.
As you create your SEO plan of attack, be strategic. If you own a CrossFit box, it might be tempting to fill your blog posts with as many SEO keywords as possible–words like “CrossFit,” “workout,” and “local gym” over and over.
But this won’t help your small business… it will hurt it. Recently, Google has started cracking down on articles like this. The practice of “keyword stuffing” is not a helpful one.
Instead of filling your website copy with all the keywords you can think of, one of the marketing best practices for SEO is to write blog posts and website copy that incorporate keywords in a natural way. This will help you rank higher in search engine result pages, and it will make your content easier and more pleasant to read.
When it comes to SEO, it’s important to make sure your website is relevant–that you have lots of traffic, and that people are staying on your site–to convince Google your website has high authority.
The more authority your website has, the higher you’ll be in search results for specific keywords. And the higher you are, the more conversions you’ll have.
SEO is a great way to help your small business grow.
Marketing Best Practices for Email Newsletters
According to MarketingSherpa, 91% of U.S. adults like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with. And McKinsey Company found that email is almost 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined in helping your business get new customers.
Email newsletters are effective… and they’re easy.
What qualifies as an email newsletter? And how do you write yours to make sure people actually read it?
First, keep in mind that an email newsletter is different than a sales email.
With an email newsletter, you don’t want to hit people over the head with your product or service.
Instead, here’s what’s at the top of the list for email marketing best practices: keep things educational and informative.
-Do you own a bakery? Share photos of the cute monster cookies you’re making to sell at Halloween.
-Is your gym starting a new workout class that’s just for kids? Write about the importance of getting into good exercise habits at a young age.
-Is your nonprofit opening a location in a new city? Tell the story of someone whose life was changed at location number one.
Your subscribers are much more likely to read cookie recipes and heartwarming stories than they are to read a sales pitch. And when the time is right for the sales pitch, they’ll be warmed to your company and ready to listen to that, too.
Another thing to remember as you craft your email newsletter: don’t neglect the design. Our email newsletter service includes both the copywriting and the design, because the two elements are equally as important.
When it comes to the design of your newsletter, keep things simple and uncluttered, making the copy easy to read. Include plenty of white space so links will stick out, and make sure any images or graphs are tailored to the voice and branding of your business.
Here’s a good example: InVision, a digital product design platform, has a simplistic and beautiful newsletter with a strong call to action at the end. Although their professional and clean newsletter shows that they know what they’re doing, they also align the newsletter with their fun and casual brand voice by including plenty of cat GIF’s.
Image courtesy of Hubspot
Another important email newsletter tip is to make sure people know what they’re getting into ahead of time. You can’t promise your would-be subscribers that you won’t spam them if you plan on sending them emails twice a day.
That brings up another important question: how often should you send your email newsletter? As a general rule of thumb, send email newsletters about once a week, and be upfront with your potential customers before they sign up. You also need to make it painless and simple for them to unsubscribe.
What are some other benefits of an email newsletter? One big plus is the interaction with your customers. This is especially important for small businesses–building relationships with consumers is how your company will grow–and digital marketing has made it easier than ever to keep the conversation going.
Email newsletters can help strengthen your brand voice, reinforcing your credibility. Plus, email marketing campaigns can lead people to your website, which is where you really want them to be. Email newsletters are a great way to increase your conversion rate–the number of leads you turn into customers.
Marketing Best Practices for Blogging
Blogging is a method of digital marketing that absolutely cannot be overlooked. Blog posts help increase traffic to your website, engage your audience, and lead to a higher conversion rate.
Websites that put time into consistent blog posts get around eight times more traffic than sites that don’t have a blog or don’t update it… and this traffic leads to six times as many conversions as sites without a blog.
According to HubSpot, 52% of respondents on a content marketing survey said blogging is their most important content marketing tactic.
Next came email newsletters (40%) and social media content (40%). Blogging surpassed both of these. That means you need to jump on the bandwagon now to compete with other small businesses who recognize the importance of blogging.
Blog posts are a great way to naturally get those SEO keywords into your site, and they give you a conversation piece to share on your social media profiles or in your email newsletter.
Regular blog posts also help keep your website fresh. If a website isn’t updated, it will drop in Google rankings. Google likes to see updated content, so consistent blog posts are a way to get to the top.
But for some small business owners, just the idea of starting a blog might be overwhelming. What are the marketing best practices for blogging? What should you write about?
One of the benefits of a blog is that it establishes you as an expert in your field. If you’re wondering where to start, write blog posts about the topic that your company deals with.
For instance, Keller Williams Realty publishes regular blog posts geared towards real estate agents. Topics range from ways to stay safe while showing houses, to information on Keller Williams’ volunteer work, to the best tactics for pricing homes.Figure out your audience (Keller Williams’ is real estate agents), think about what topics they’d be interested in, and then write blog posts that speak to them. Blogging will improve both your credibility and your website traffic.
Ready to grow?
LinkedIn, email newsletters, blogging, and more–if you follow the marketing best practices for each of these marketing outlets, they’ll help your small business grow bigger and bigger. Do you want your small business to succeed? Of course you do! Don’t wait… contact us to begin your digital marketing campaign.