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Digital Marketing for Small Businesses: 3 Steps to Get Started

Updated: Aug 24, 2021

Small businesses are always looking for ways to improve their marketing and grow sales. With the help of digital marketing, small business owners can take control of their brand and generate leads from potential customers online. But where do small businesses start? In this article, we will discuss how to get started with digital marketing by defining your target audience, choosing the right channels and tools for your small business, and tracking performance results so you can see what's working best!

Defining your target audience:

This is the first step of digital marketing. Do you sell to small businesses or consumers? Who are they, what interests them and how do they interact with other brands in their niche? Knowing this will help you choose which channels to use for promotion on social media, email newsletters, blogs and ads.

Let's take the example of a small business that sells high-end children's clothing. Their target audience will be mothers who have a disposable income since the products run upwards of $100 per item. They would need to identify as a brand that targets middle to upper-class parents between 25-40 years old who want an alternative to big-box retailers like Kmart or Target but don't want low-quality products made overseas.

Once you have an idea of who your target audience is, it becomes easier to identify how to target them online.

Choosing the right digital marketing channel:

To start, small businesses have to identify their target audience before choosing the right digital marketing channels for them. Depending on what you know about your audience, different options become available to you.

If you have a very good understanding of who they are in terms of demographics (age, gender, location) and interests, then social media advertising is a really powerful way to get to them.

  • Going back to our previous example about the children's clothing brand, this small business should use social media channels like Facebook and Instagram to reach their target audience. These platforms are very popular with parents in the 25-40 age bracket who have disposable income because they can share photos of themselves wearing or using products that they purchase for themselves and/or their children on these sites.

If you know about your audience's professional profile (job title, industry), then Linkedin Ads is an excellent tool.

If you know what your audience is searching for online, then Google and Bing Ads are the best option for direct response marketing.

Email newsletters would be another excellent digital marketing channel to promote small businesses' sale items as well as new product launches without breaking the bank. Although you would need to have an email list already built to do this.

Tracking performance

Once you've done the above and are running campaigns, results need to be tracked with Analytics in order to know what's working best as well as what's not working. This will help you optimise your campaigns accordingly and improve performance over time.

Are some keywords in Google costing you money but not delivering any results? Or maybe other keywords are driving lots of sales but are limited in exposure? Perhaps traffic coming from mobile phones converts much higher than on desktops, or city-people spend less on average than those living in rural areas.

It is easy to quickly become overwhelmed with the volume of data that is collected while running digital marketing campaigns. Understanding how to analyse this data in order to extract valuable insights is a skill that savvy digital marketers take time to perfect. This is also the reason why many business owners rely on digital marketing agencies to help them maximise the potential of their advertising and marketing budgets. They often do not have the time, resources or expertise to analyse digital marketing data that will inform better decision-making.

If you'd like help with your digital marketing efforts, do not hesitate to reach out to us as we'd be delighted to help. Contact us today for a no-strings-attached conversation!

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