By Alex Alexakis
There’s no such thing as a small business on the Internet. The digital arena is the ultimate equalizer that allows up-and-coming brands to attract the same eyes as major corporations.
Of course, whether or not that actually happens all comes down to how successfully small businesses are able to utilize available platforms and attract the right eyes.
Mastering digital marketing is a delicate art that requires small businesses to cut through the noise of the internet and reach the right people. It requires a steady, dedicated approach and daily interactions. Brands have to be social, visible, and creative in order to break out of the pack and find enough customers to sustain their growth.
Here’s a look at the top five things small businesses should be doing right now as part of their strategies for digital marketing.
1. Organize a Giveaway Promotion
Hosting a giveaway is a great way to get some buzz going for your brand. You can also use the contact information that you collect from giveaway entries to create mailing lists that can be used for future marketing initiatives.
Giveaways can take place on your company’s website, blog, or social media accounts. A successful giveaway should ultimately work across all of the digital platforms your brand uses to interact with customers and followers.
What makes a good giveaway contest? It’s important to give away a prize that people actually want and design a contest that is fun and easy to participate in.
Choosing what to give away is easy if your company creates and sells products. Companies that provide services can give away a gift card for their services. Another option is to do something entirely different by giving away cash or a gift card to a popular retailer or restaurant.
2. Take Advantage of Review Platforms
Review websites can help to make or break a local business. They can also do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to improving visibility for your company using an established digital infrastructure.
Yelp is especially attractive for small businesses because it is the top review platform on the Internet. Being reviewed on Yelp will make your business far more visible to potential customers in your local area.
Beyond Yelp, Angie’s List is a great resource for service-based businesses, and Yahoo! Local is another great platform because it has a mapping feature that can lead potential customers right to the door of your business. The best thing about all of these platforms is that they are completely free for businesses to use.
3. Provide Coupon Codes Online
Everybody loves a bargain. Small businesses can entice people to try out new products or services by offering coupon codes online. The best thing about providing coupon codes is that they can be shared directly on Facebook or Instagram.
A successful coupon will feature a large image and clearly display the discount amount that customers can get. There’s also the option to run paid advertisements that offer promo codes for your business if you’re interested in bringing in some first-time sales from new customers.
But beware: Many of the customers you bring in with coupon promotions are only loyal to the coupon, and won’t turn into repeat business.
4. Seek the Help of Influencers or Ambassadors
Many people on social media are willing to provide reviews or product placements in exchange for payment or free products.
One smart way to establish your small business early in the game is to establish relationships with people on social media who fit your niche. This will expose your business to the followers of people who embody what your brand is all about.
You may be able to develop relationships with brand ambassadors who are willing to put your product or service on display and help you to reach members of your target audience in a way that feels organic and natural.
5. Don’t Overlook Email Marketing
It’s easy to focus on things like digital ads and social media so strongly that you forget to reach out to your customers via email. Considering that the ROI of email marketing has been estimated at $44 for every dollar spent, failing to build an email and newsletter strategy is a tremendous missed opportunity.
Email campaigns are essential when it comes to building relationships with customers. In fact, email can sometimes be more effective than other online marketing tactics because it has a personal feel.
The most common way to stay connected with customers via email is to offer exclusive perks and discounts that can only be accessed on your mailing list, but you shouldn’t stop there. Smart businesses use their mailing lists to generate customer feedback through surveys, ask for reviews and referrals, and check in with customers who haven’t made purchases in a while. As long as you’re offering your email subscribers something of value, they’ll be happy to hear from you.
Alex Alexakis is a UI Designer and SEO addict that helps businesses with their branding and SEO through his business PixelChefs. After hours he likes good food, Weimaraners, and toy robots. He has boldly built digital businesses by designing for conversion and offering a no-nonsense approach to internet marketing.