Small businesses are the backbone of every economy in the world. In America that’s no different, with around two thirds of Americans working for a small business. They contribute almost 44% to the country’s GDP. That’s around $13T annually and around 120M Americans earning a wage. That’s a pretty impressive sum of money and quite a lot of people. It’s no wonder that digital marketing for small businesses is so important.
With such a developed small business economy in America, it’s a mystery why so many small business owners struggle with their digital marketing. Businesses have been using social media for over a decade with varying success. Depending on your marketplace, the usages differ widely. Companies always try to add different types of value to their communities. But after the chit chat of social media, how do small business owners get the most out of their digital marketing?
It’s almost a certainty that when discussing their marketing strategies, the same business owners have little or no competent knowledge of digital marketing best practices. It’s still pawned off to the junior member of staff to complete. Why? Social media platforms are always changing, just like their offerings. It’s just hard to keep up. Just like we mentioned in what makes a great digital marketing agency, you didn’t start a business to market the business. It’s time to get a digital marketing agency involved. Maybe not a full service offering but at least some type of help. Start from the beginning.
Something like this…
Understanding Your Business
Before you hand over the passwords to your digital marketing channels like Facebook and Instagram, you’ll want to have a good chat with your agency so they can get a better understanding of your business. Fancy agencies will call this an immersion session or some other type of research opportunity. It could even be just chatting at length about what you do and how you do it. The more your agency actually understands your business the better they’re going to perform for you. They’ll be able to better understand your strengths and weaknesses. They will also have more clarity of the working parts of your business model and how to leverage each one for better efficiencies in your marketing. Digital marketing for small businesses is not a one size fits all approach, but rather infinite possibilities. Your marketing should be as unique as your business is.
Understanding Your Industry
Now that your digital marketing agency understands your business a lot better it’s time for them to understand your industry in the same way. This isn’t just your local competitors, but how businesses like yours and elsewhere are doing things. If your agency sees another business doing things in a particularly awesome way, they wouldn’t be doing right by you if they didn’t take some of those tactics onboard. Obviously, some industries are more fun to market than others but that doesn’t mean you can’t be innovative in your approach or learn from others. Making sure you are taking advantage of all that digital marketing has to offer your small business is as important as the marketing itself.
Understanding Your Goals
After learning more about your business and gaining better insights into your industry, your digital marketing agency should be able to help you set some realistic goals. Your marketing goals should align with or at least overlap your traditional marketing. If your marketing is working in silos you won’t be half as impactful. The right hand needs to talk to the left hand.
Your goals could vary from lead generation to ecommerce, or perhaps growing a newsletter subscription. If your website is based around readership, it could be as simple as increasing new users to your site and making sure they come back. Clearly defined goals will help you to determine if your marketing is working.
This is part of your road map. Making sure that your agency understands how you grow your business and how you communicate best with your customers. Digital marketing for small businesses is not about comments, likes and shares anymore. We’re way way past that. It’s about getting people to take meaningful actions and using meaningful metrics to help you do things better.
Coming Up Next….
In our next blog post as part of this series, we’ll discuss reach and forecasting.
If you are looking to improve your digital marketing or just want a new set of eyes on what you’re currently doing, get in touch with us. We’d love to hear from you.