How can Digital Marketing Help Your Small Business

The old ways of digging out the phone book to find small businesses in your area are being phased out. The new king in the small business marketing game is digital marketing. Whether you’re a running an auto body shop or pizzeria, a paint store or restaurant, if you want your business to thrive in this digital world, you have to adapt.  iStock_000010784876XSmall

Adjusting your marketing plan for the digital age doesn’t have to be a struggle, though. There are dedicated digital marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) companies out there that can handle all of this for you.

Below, some of the important services these companies can provide your business so that you don’t miss a single customer.

Website Building and Revamping

Unless you’re one of the few holdouts, your company already has a website. It doesn’t matter whether your company is strictly online or has a brick and mortar presence. To put it in context, even traditional offline businesses like vending machines now use online strategies in order to reach more customers and potential vendors. A great example of this is 1800Vending, which allows prospective business owners to compare technology and strategy for 3 different kinds of vending services.

If you are one of the last remaining people without a dedicated website for your small business, you’re doing more harm to your business than good. The age of the internet has been upon us for a while and now there’s a smart phone in the pocket or purse of nearly half of Americans. It’s with these tools that people now find all of their information, so now, more than ever before, a website is integral to any marketing strategy, not just the digital kind.

If you’ve got a website up and running, but it’s not getting you the leads your business needs, maybe a website overhaul is due. Marketing agencies employ digital design professionals that can offer your website a more professional and industry-appropriate look, which will encourage visitors to explore your site and lend your business a certain level of professional credibility.

Search Engine Optimization

Another aspect of digital marketing is SEO. While search engine optimization is not the same thing as digital marketing, the two go hand-in-hand. SEO is the practice of driving traffic to a website via various online methods. Some of those methods include press release writing, blogging, on-site optimization of website content, and more.

Think of SEO as digital PR. Sites of all kinds use it to get mentions from huge media outlets (as seen on their website) which give them a PR boost as well as a bump in the search rankings.

One of the big ideas behind SEO is that when people search for information on Google, Bing, and Yahoo, there is a certain way they formulate their search terms. One of the ways SEO helps your business’s website get found in the search engines is by optimizing it for specific keywords and search phrases related to your business so that when people type them into the search engines, Google, Bing, and Yahoo know that your website is relevant to those search terms and brings your site up.

Social Media Management

In the last decade, the way individuals communicate on the internet has dramatically changed because of social media. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and more have given internet users new tools and ways of creating and sharing information with one another. The way small businesses interact with their customers has changed as well. For one thing, the norm these days is for a business to have social media accounts through which customers and potential customers can interact with a business.

This is a good thing, though. Because so many people use social media, it plays a role in how they search for and choose businesses to support. Digital marketing and SEO companies often offer social media management as part of their monthly packages and may also offer social media training for businesses that are more comfortable having an employee interacting with users.

So, if you’re company has been struggling to find customers, leads, and sales, digital marketing will definitely make a great addition to your marketing strategy. As the world becomes more digitally centered, it’s adapt or die, as Darwin would say—so what are you waiting for?

7 Comments

  1. An interesting discussion is definitely worth comment.
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  2. Another interesting segment to study is the Engineer turned Entrepreneur. Often times, engineers have wonderful creativity and product execution, but lack the basic skills to promote, sell or even explain their value proposition. Digital marketing, however, seems to be changing that dynamic in general for people without natural marketing skills, but in particular, for the engineering community who embrace the techniques. I know a group of engineers who set out to revolutionize the standard conference bridge service by creating a service that addresses the annoying, but minor pains of bridge services. Their product, a branded conference call service called Branded Bridge Line ( http://www.brandedbridgeline.com ), was created with an outstanding feature set, but wasn’t getting traction until the team took to digital means for marketing their product. It was perfect for them to be able to sit at a computer and figure out scientifically the best means for reaching their audience without having to get up and shave in the morning. I point this out because of the dramatic difference it made to their business compared to ventures I’ve known in the past that died on the runway. A great case study in how to educate the Engineer Entrepreneur.

  3. Hi Jack – I just love your comment! One of the philosophies I have is that the marketing strategy that will work best for you is one that most closely fits with your innate personality style. In other words – if you are a naturally gregarious and social person, live events, networking and speaking are great marketing strategies for you. On the other hand, if you are more technically inclined or enjoy virtual relationships – digital marketing is a super choice – it seems like that’s what you are pointing out here.

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