Are you a small business owner? With competition getting tougher by the day, you would want to ensure that your business is in the best possible position to attract customers. You can accomplish that by creating a digital marketing plan.
Internet marketing is much more than developing a website or signing up for Facebook. It is a way of promoting your business without going bankrupt. Moreover, thanks to online marketing, you can be at par with big, established corporate houses in terms of marketing.
Wondering how to create a marketing strategy for a small business? Here, below is a simple guide that will get you started.
Understand and define your objectives
First and foremost, you need to clearly define your business’ objectives – more customers, brand awareness, more sales and so on. Once you have a clear goal, it will be easier to determine the strategy that will be worth investing in. It will also act as a benchmark where you can track the progress and measure the success of your marketing plan. In case you are not making considerable progress towards your objectives, you will instantly know that your strategy needs improvement.
Single out your specific target audience
The next step is to identify your targeted market, that is, the kind of people that your products or services benefits. You can make use of buyer personas in order to identify your audience and to visualize who your customers are. For instance, if you are the owner of a children’s bookstore, you will largely have 2 types of the target audience – adults who will buy the books and children who will read them.
Here are a few questions that you must ask to understand who your target audience is:
- What are the demographics?
- What are their objectives?
- Are there influencers influencing their purchasing decision?
- How would they want to communicate with your company?
- What do they want and expect from you? Are you solving any of their problems?
Once you have figured out who your target audience is, determining how to interact with them becomes easier.
Develop a marketing plan
Begin by designing and developing a company website, which will be the source and central hub of information about your business. A website is a must-have for any kind of business and it is like a storefront, but digital. You must ensure that the design is in sync with your branding and attractive to the eye.
Search engine optimization
Your website must need to be SEO-friendly in order for it to be visible on popular search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. So, after creating a website, you must make sure to optimize it with proper keywords. Link building and local SEO are other tactics that you can implement, as per your business goal.
Your website must contain useful, informative and keyword-centric content outlining what your business is all about. You can also have a blog section that you need to regularly update so that your customers get all the information they need.
Today, the surge in mobile usage has resulted in mobile searches surpassing that of desktop searches and the trend is expected to continue further. To stay ahead of the game, you must make sure that your website is optimized for the mobile. A responsive website design will be the best option here as such responsive websites work brilliantly across all screen sizes.
Even though email marketing is considered to be traditional, it is still very much important. Customers like to be reminded that they are important. You can send personalized emails with messages of any kind of offer or discounts to always stay on the minds of your customers.
Social media has become an important digital marketing tool thanks to its increasing number of followers. Facebook alone boasts of over a billion users and the number is only increasing by the day. If you want to communicate and stay connected with your audience, there is no better platform than the social media sites. These sites will also help you to raise brand awareness at a low cost.
Review analytics and make improvements
Reviewing analytics is an important part of your digital marketing strategy because, without it, you wouldn’t know if your strategies are affecting business growth. To know the ROI of your online marketing efforts, you need to set up analytics tracking that will measure the effectiveness of your website, content and social media presence. Once you have obtained the report with the insights, it is time to sit with your digital marketing team and make the required improvements.
So, when thinking about how to create a marketing strategy for a small business, follow the above-mentioned steps. Keep in mind to include all of the digital marketing tools as mentioned. Of course, strategies will alter as per your business need and goals.
Also published on Medium.