Digital marketing is quite an extensive term that encompass website designing, social media, online advertising, email marketing, SEO and beyond. The entire grind can perplex a small or local business owner while they push to gain traction to their website and product / service. They have no dedicated resources to work consistently on their digital marketing strategy front, in order to periodically customize and position the business while they are busy in their routine operational tasks.
Here’s a short discussion and tips on how to approach about digital marketing efforts for small business owners such as doctors, lawyers, local department stores and restauranteurs – how to strategically adopt and implement the same.
Website is the mothership
Every effort you take in the right direction will drive the internet traffic to your site. It is the mothership and deserves to be treated that way. There are thousands of websites of which many still lag in their responsive designs, which means they are not customized to be navigated on the mobile devices.
Smart phones are the latest source for millennial browsing, which have shown to have 42% of client traffic and in the rising. Your website must look good with easy navigation on mobile devices. Visitors must be able to easily find the phone number or an email address to contact you and that should be clickable. If they have to zoom into it or write down the details, then in all probability you will lose a prospect to your competitor who has a responsive website design.
The final intend is to generate a lead through a phone call, an email or a walk-in.
In addition to this, Google has become strict on their algorithm to award higher rankings to sites that are optimized for mobile visitors – and with valid reason. You will not want to be pushed to page two or three of Google’s search results. Get your site compatible for mobile devices at the first opportunity.
Utilize Google Rich Answers on your sites
In all possibility you would have typed a question on Google on knowing how something works. Mere information for visitors does not suffice, they expect quick and accurate answers. People are changing the way they use Google.
Google has recognized this and introduced rich answers to its search algorithm, so they can provide more correct results.
Just about a local business of doctors, vet clinic or a dentist a customer will have queries on. For e.g. What is gastroenteritis? What food should I give my pet? What is a dental implant?
It would be smart to implement rich answers on your website so that when people are asking Google these questions, your site could appear first.
Leverage the Social Media
Small entrepreneurs and businesses usually have many doubts and apprehensions on how to use the social media to promote their business – mainly which social channel should they be using or how to post?
The cardinal rule is of marketing and business is to know your exact customer base. There is no rocket science involved in social media marketing. Tune out the social media experts and tune in your customers. Social media can be a huge drain on your time if not used properly.
Nobody searches for a doctor or a carpenter on Twitter or Instagram. They don’t. As per Statista, Instagram, Snapchat and LinkedIn combine to have less than a 5% market share in social media, while Facebook has over 40%.
While posting on social media, its imperative to understand that you are giving a podium to your business by communicating with your most loyal prospects who follow you in which case you should be wary of not bombarding with excessive promotional content.
Businesses must understand that social media is not an advertising wall and they are not supermarket, rather there should be meaningful engagement with the followers and only that information be shared which they find interesting to absorb and connect with your business.
Do not ignore E-mail marketing
Couple of years back, amid the dawn and popularity of social media culture and subsequent hype, Email marketing went out of vogue. But it is here to stay and back in digital marketing scene. For local businesses it is one of the cheapest and easiest mode to communicate with their followers.
Facebook and Instagram make your posts visible only to a fraction of the followers. They want you to pay to reach more of your followers. If you have customer email addresses, you can send specials, event information and new menu items to all your customers for a nominal cost.
Mailchimp allows you to use its email marketing platform free for up to 2,000 contacts.
As per MailMunch, a leading digital marketing firm, click through rates can be as good as 50-100 times higher on email than social media. What that means for your small business is, an extremely effective and low-cost digital marketing strategy that might be right for you to gain leads from.
To summarize, local businesses should invest on their website to make it responsive, have fresh and optimized content, easy to navigate and with relevant information that your customers are searching for. The intention is to convert the lookers to bookers. Once you are there with the requisite, you can work on the other sophisticated strategies of digital marketing that drive traffic to your site, like social media, email marketing and rich answers.