Digital marketing efforts are necessary for most small businesses. The problem is, though, that marketing changes so fast, and new trends emerge daily it seems. As small businesses plan marketing and content strategies, it’s important to pay attention to the not only the trends and innovations in the space, but also to the classic lessons that all businesses should apply to their marketing and communications efforts.
1. Tailor messaging to audience
Companies should always strive to say the right things, to the right people, at the right time. However, that task is more difficult today than ever, with audiences dividing their time among so many sources of content, news, entertainment, and information. People can get information easily nowadays, and they can choose a hyper-specific type of content experience with ease. If you know your customers well, and understand their interests, your messaging will connect with them at the right time.
2. Make your content visual
YouTube is the second most-visited social network after Facebook, infographics and charts are are still relevant and valuable content types, and pictures can explain a product better than words. If your photos and videos are consistent with your brand, and they make the lives of your customers easier, it’s important to distribute that visual content on appropriate channels, such as Vine, Instagram, YouTube, and perhaps SnapChat. These also depend on your target audience demographic
3. Content is king.
Content remains the most important part of marketing. However, you can’t just post about anything you see online or trending on Twitter. You have to attract the right people to you first – the same people who are already interested in your line of business or expertise. To do that, you must write quality content on your website, blog, newsletter and social media platforms. The key to producing good content requires solid ideas, as well as the ability to write about them in a compelling way.
4. Advertise correctly
Native advertising appears on various platforms. It takes a similar format as editorial content that audiences are already there to read. It has much in common with content marketing, except that it’s sponsored information. If done correctly, this type of advertising has proven very effective in generating click-through rates, and engaging potential customers.
5. Be careful with email overload
Today, email etiquette has a specific format to follow, or your newsletters won’t perform well. You want to continue to update current clients, business partners, members of professional organizations, and other stakeholders in your business. Email has made it easier than ever to manage all this, but now with social media in the picture, the most successful digital marketers combine social strategy with email marketing to see the best results. For example, you might want to incentivize your readers with an article only accessible via your newsletter, and promote that opportunity via social platforms, or wherever else your community exists.
6. Social media accompanies, not replaces, your overall marketing
Many small business owners believe they can forego the above marketing ideas in favor of organic, “free” social media management. This is a myth. Social media is designed to complement your other marketing efforts. For example, if you’re a cleaning company, and you write an article covering new cleaning techniques, you would want to share that post on your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other text-focused networks. If you create a video about your company, you’ll likely find the most value from posting on your YouTube page, Instagram account, and more.