If you’re looking up digital marketing strategies for small businesses, you know that it’s not a matter of whether or not to market yourself online. What matters is how you do it.
Maybe you’ve seen other businesses advertising on social media, which accounted for 33% of all digital advertising spending in 2022.
Maybe you’ve seen other businesses buying ads that pop up whenever you search. This is another popular strategy called pay-per-click advertising that 45% of small businesses invest in.
Maybe you’ve seen videos of your competitors popping up whenever you head over to YouTube, as of now 91% of businesses use video marketing as part of their strategy.
The question then becomes how do you know which is the right digital marketing strategy for you? At Full Sail Media, we have experience leading companies through a wide range of these strategies, and we can help share which ones are right for you – and which you should ignore.
Stick with us as we break down five creative digital marketing strategies for your businesses, including the expected benefits and timeline for results.
Social media marketing involves utilizing various social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook to promote a business’s products or services, engage with customers, and build brand awareness.
Here are a few ways small businesses can benefit from this creative digital marketing strategy:
- Reach new audiences – social media marketing provides an opportunity to reach a larger audience and increase brand visibility. By leveraging social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you can connect with potential customers in your local community and beyond.
- Engage directly – You can use your business’s accounts to engage directly with your audience, fostering relationships and building customer loyalty. By responding to comments, messages, and reviews, businesses can create a positive brand image and enhance customer satisfaction.
- Cost-effective – With targeted advertising options and the ability to measure and analyze campaign performance, businesses can optimize their marketing efforts for better results.
So, just who can use social media marketing? While it’s not limited to any one business, it can be particularly effective for retail stores, restaurants, cafes, salons, and fitness centers. Maintaining a digital presence on social media is a great way to create repeat customers.
The timeline for results can vary depending on factors like the business’s social media presence and audience engagement, small businesses can expect to see initial improvements within a few months of consistent and strategic social media marketing efforts.
This is all about creating and sharing valuable, relevant, and informative content to attract and engage your target audience. That could be blogs, guides, how-to’s, podcasts, and videos.
There are a few reasons small businesses like this strategy:
- Builds trust – By creating high-quality content, such as blog posts, articles, and videos, you can let your audience and industry know you are an authority. This can attract more customers and build trust among existing ones.
- Shows off your unique value proposition – By producing content that addresses customers’ pain points or offers helpful tips, you can position yourself as problem solvers and differentiate from competitors. For example, a gym that creates a unique fitness training plan.
- Free online traffic – Content marketing also contributes to search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, helping to boost your business in online search results. As more people find your content, you can grow your audience.
A number of businesses tend to benefit from this style of marketing strategy, including home improvement services, professional services like legal or accounting firms, educational institutions, and specialty shops.
It’s not a recipe for overnight success, but it can be powerful over the long haul. While it may take some time to establish a strong content marketing presence, small businesses can start seeing positive results within three to six months of consistent content creation and promotion.
Paid advertising involves investing in online advertising platforms, such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads, or social media platforms like YouTube, to promote products or services.
This kind of direct spending has a number of benefits to small businesses, including:
- Highly targeted audience – Unlike, say, a billboard over a highway that’s shown to whoever drives by, paid advertising provides immediate visibility and exposure to a targeted audience.
- Measurable success – Paid advertising allows you to control your ad spend and set a budget that aligns with your marketing goals. This ensures cost-effectiveness and enables you to measure the return on investment (ROI) accurately.
- Customizable – Another feature of paid ads is how flexible and scalable they can be, which allows you to adjust your campaigns based on performance and market conditions.
Businesses that are looking for immediate results often tend to gravitate toward this creative digital marketing strategy, including local retailers, restaurants, event venues, and beauty salons.
Small businesses can generally expect to see initial results within a few weeks of launching a well-planned and targeted paid advertising campaign. As a note, that timeline (and the amount you’ll need to spend!) can vary depending on factors like the competitiveness of the market and campaign optimization.
Personalized email marketing involves sending targeted and customized emails to engage with customers, nurture leads, and drive sales.
Want to reach your customers and build relationships? Then read on about how this marketing strategy does the trick:
- Segment your customers – Personalized emails allow you to deliver tailored content and offers to your customers, increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversion. Lists can be segmented by customer preferences, purchase history, or demographics, allowing you to send specific, timely messages.
- Affordable – Overall, email marketing is a cost-effective way to communicate with your customers and drive repeat business. By sending regular updates, exclusive promotions, or personalized recommendations, you build customer loyalty and encourage repeat visits.
- Learn and improve – Email marketing offers a whole world of data, including open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. This allows you to refine your email campaigns for better performance over time.
While not all businesses can benefit from daily or weekly email marketing strategies, this is a tool that’s useful for the majority of SMEs. We’ve seen great success with e-commerce stores, boutique shops, restaurants, and service-based businesses like spas or fitness studios.
The results depend on the type of business you have and the kinds of emails you’re sending. Generally speaking, you could expect to see initial improvements in customer engagement and sales within a few weeks to a couple of months.
Video marketing involves creating and sharing video content to engage, educate, and entertain your audience.
While this can be video ads, this digital marketing strategy for small businesses has a lot more to it.
- High engagement – More than text or images, videos can hold the attention of your customers. By creating compelling videos that showcase products, demonstrate services, or tell a story, you can connect with your audience on a deeper level.
- Expanded reach – Thanks to platforms like YouTube and Instagram, your video content has the chance to reach and attract new customers – often without even needing to pay extra.
- Authentic content – Videos also provide an opportunity for you to showcase your brand personality and authenticity. By sharing behind-the-scenes footage, customer testimonials, or instructional videos, you get to show how you do business and establish a stronger emotional connection with your audience.
Given how dynamic video marketing can be, there’s no real limit on the kinds of small businesses that can benefit from it.
When we think of businesses that tend to prioritize video marketing, we think of fitness centers, boutiques, home decor stores, and entertainment venues. These are businesses that offer visual results, especially before/after setups (like a home remodel!).
The timeline for results tends to depend on the style of video. As one example, video ads can create increased online and in-store traffic within days of their release.
Now, each of those digital marketing strategies on their own can be effective. However, what’s even more valuable is finding a way to integrate multiple strategies together to reach your customers at different touchpoints.
At Full Sail Media, we are a one-stop solution for digital and print marketing. If you’re looking for a partner to help grow your business, let’s talk about how we can support you.