By: Keenan Hendricks, Maine SBDC Intern
Maintaining a digital presence is one of the most vital parts of a small business’s success. It’s crucial to understand how to optimize your digital marketing. Here are ten marketing tips that all small business should be doing right now:
1. Understand your customer’s needs right now.
Start with your customer. Who is your primary target consumer? What are they going through right now? Understanding your target audience’s needs will help adapt your digital marketing strategy when needed. To get a better understanding of your audience, use analytic and data tools such as Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, and Instagram Insights. Reach out to key customers to get feedback. The more you understand your customer, the more likely you are to be successful in your marketing efforts.
2. Update your marketing plan.
Now is the time to update (or create) your marketing plan. Do you have goals? Are your goals relevant in the new economic conditions? Your marketing plan should reflect your target market, mission, and vision. Consider online and offline marketing efforts that will help you connect with current and new customers. A marketing plan will help guide you and ensure your time is used wisely.
3. Focus on engaging, authentic content.
Take the time to create visual content that captures your consumer’s attention. Consider a healthy mix of photo and video content. Content should showcase a combination of your mission, story of your business, products/services, business updates, team updates, behind the scenes, promotions, and calls to action. Measure how your content performs and if it’s helping achieve your vision or goal.
4. Keep your website up-to-date.
Make sure your website is current. Now more than ever, consumers are looking for information on how and when you are doing business. Are you communicating how you are keeping them safe? Have you updated your hours? Have you pivoted your products or services? Keep your website up-to-date and post updates regularly on things like changes in hours, COVID response, or new products or services. Make it easy for your customers to find the information they are looking for.
5. Focus on local SEO ( Search Engine Optimization).
SEO helps customers find your business. It is a vital element in determining your relevance on the web. Have you claimed your Google My Business profile? Is it up-to-date? Make it easy for clients to find you and your business. Each page on your website should be optimized with things such as unique meta descriptions and keywords. Add alt titles and descriptions to each image/video. Link your website to other websites, social media pages, blogs, etc.
6. Use your social media presence to connect with customers.
Your social media efforts should reflect your goals as part of your marketing plan. Which platform are your customers on? You do not need to have an account on all social media platforms. Start with one or two platforms and focus on optimizing your presence there. Tailor messages for each channel and use photos and videos to catch customer attention. These platforms expand your business’s vision and mission. Use advertising to increase business exposure and customer engagement.
7. Use email marketing to keep customers engaged and informed.
Email is a great way to stay top-of-mind with your customers. Send frequent emails to customers to keep them informed on what your business is up to. There are numerous platforms such as MailChimp, Constant Contact, SendinBlue, etc. to assist you.
8. Paid advertising can help.
Want to get your marketing to more people? Social media advertising offers a fairly inexpensive way to reach more potential customers. You are able to target different locations, audiences, interests, and behaviors to reach. The higher your budget, the higher your reach.
9. Measure how you are doing with analytic tools.
Connect to Google Analytics – it is a free tool to help you measure your website success. Tools such as Facebook and Instagram Insights can help you measure your digital marketing success on social media. Finding out how you are doing will enable you to utilize and optimize your time spent on digital marketing efforts.
10. Stay connected with your customers through reviews.
Reviews are important. Ask your customers for feedback. Highlight great testimonials. This is of the easiest and most effective ways to show how valuable your products or services are. Respond to every comment – the good and the bad – in a professional manner.