In today's tech-centric world, online marketing for small businesses has become a make-or-break operational necessity. Firms of any size that aren't visible on a variety of digital channels risk fading into obscurity. But in many ways, leveraging the Web as a platform for building brand awareness and drawing customers is a uniquely urgent need for small firms, especially those that are still in the first few years of their existence. While enterprises with instant name recognition in their respective fields can afford to go quiet on social media for a week, for example, such an oversight on the part of a small or mid-sized business might result in losing out to the competition on potential new customers.
SMBs must figure out how to stay as active as possible across their key online channels while also working within modest marketing budgets. What are some of the most cost-effective digital marketing strategies for small business?
One of the most effective ways of boosting your marketing efforts while keeping costs to a minimum is to leverage the channels you're already using to bring in more qualified leads. This means that your website, blog and social media pages need to become platforms for highly crafted content that interests your target audience. GalTime.com's Megan Totka recently discussed the aims of branded content in a post for Business2Community.
"Make sure you are using inbound marketing techniques to bring in the greatest number of people interested in your products or services. The basic premise here is to draw a targeted group of consumers or businesses in need of your offerings, rather than blanket the entire market with your message," wrote Totka.
What advantages can your SMB hope to enjoy from a well-executed online content strategy?
- Build an audience: Consider how your company blog might become a go-to information source for others in your industry. If you post high-quality material of interest to your customer base on a regular basis, you may soon find that a growing contingent of interested leads is engaging with your content.
- Establish expertise: Blog and social media posts must be interesting and eye-catching, but they should also go beyond this and communicate that your brand as a reliable source of expertise on industry-related topics.
- Generate buzz: One of the key benefits of blogs and social media channels is that they can be interactive. Viewers might use the comments section to discuss your posts with one another, but in doing so, they'll also be engaging with your brand.