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A Comprehensive Guide to Digital growth Marketing for Small Businesses

Marketing Tools — 31 Mar 2022

Growth Marketing for Small Businesses

A Comprehensive Guide to Digital growth Marketing for Small Businesses

We get it – you’re a small business owner with no spare time but lots of inclination to grow your business. Growing your business quickly with maximum return on investment is the name of the game. 

Achieving rapid business growth in today’s climate means establishing a firm digital presence and also distinction from your competitors. One way to do this is to create a digital growth marketing strategy. This marketing methodology endeavors to deliver business growth by enhancing the customer experience, reducing customer churn, and improving retention. 

There’s no time to waste – let’s get the ball rolling and create the best digital marketing strategy for your business. 

What is digital marketing?

Kicking off with the basics, first up is a concise explanation of digital marketing. (Feel free to skip ahead if you know this bit inside out.)

Digital marketing refers to marketing campaigns that appear on digital devices. If you’re seeing a form of business marketing on a computer, mobile, or another device (not a Tamagotchi, don’t be ridiculous), you’re looking at digital marketing in action. Digital marketing takes the form of email marketing, social media marketing, and website advertising to name just three approaches. 

How will digital marketing work for your business?

Digital marketing plans will make your business visible in the online space. If your business is visible, it means people see it (that part probably didn’t need explaining). You get the gist, having a digital presence puts your business in people’s minds, leading to enquiries, and – fingers crossed – sales. 

Your customers are online. Your competitors are online. Your competitor’s customers are online. In fact, the whole world is online. To make the online audience your customer, a digital marketing strategy is of the utmost importance. 

Now we’ve got that part out of the way, let’s look at which digital marketing strategy is going to work best for your business.

What digital marketing strategy is best for my small business?

What follows are some strategies you can put into place to grow your digital marketing presence. You won’t want to follow all of them, but these are tried and tested strategies that work. The main point is to pinpoint your target audience and then build your growth marketing strategies around your customers. Keep your customers at the forefront of your mind and assess each stage of their journey through your digital marketing funnel. 

customer journey map

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  • Content marketing

Is content still king? You bet it is. Content marketing is at the core of every brilliant digital marketing strategy. Beautiful pieces of content form the backbone of marketing campaigns and can be transformed to suit every audience and every platform. Organic social posts, videos, podcasts, landing pages – they all started life as a piece of content. Any decent marketing agency will tell you likewise.

A successful content marketing strategy delivers brand awareness, more engagement, and more revenue. What’s not to like? 

Top tip: tailor your content around questions your audience is asking using “People Also Ask” on Google’s search results.

  • Analytics

If content marketing is the backbone of marketing campaigns, then analytics is the guiding light. Businesses that utilize analytics correctly understand their customers and align their marketing tactics accordingly. Analytics tools are also used to track marketing campaign successes. As much as cloud engineers can’t do their jobs thoroughly without enhanced technical knowledge, you can’t track the success of marketing campaigns without understanding what’s working, and what isn’t. 

You don’t need to shell out on fancy website analytics tools – most of them are free. Google Analytics and Facebook Analytics do the job for insights into how your audience interacts with your content, website, and all digital offerings.  

Top tip: track key metrics such as your website’s bounce rate and A/B test varied landing pages for maximum traction. 

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)

If you want an increase in organic website traffic, make SEO your friend. To nail your SEO tactics, you need to understand and answer your customers’ worries, questions, and concerns. This means optimizing your existing digital content and any new content you create thereafter. Delve into the wonderful world of keyword research to assign your industry’s relevant keywords to your content. 

As well as business-relevant keywords, if appropriate, investigate optimizing your content for local search. This localized search feature targets areas that your business services. 

Top tip: check out your competitors’ sites to see how good a job they’re doing of their SEO. Then do better. 

seo strategy

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  • Local SEO

Local SEO is a brilliant marketing tool for small businesses that rely on customers from a specific location. Optimizing your digital presence for local search ensures that customers on your doorstep find you. Potential target customers are likely to want to do business with a local company, and Google wants to deliver relevant results to their search users. A win-win for everyone. 

Top tip: make sure your Google My Business listing is up to date, relevant, and optimized.  

  • Search advertising

Search engine marketing (SEM for short) comprises paid ads using established local keywords to drive more traffic to your website. If this marketing strategy floats your boat, get started with search ads using Google Ads, pop in your budget, and hey presto – your ad’s live, and the traffic is flowing. 

Top tip: experiment with different budgets in different search locations to see which strategy works best for your business.  

  • Social media marketing

We won’t lie to you, organic traffic through social media marketing is an uphill struggle. Your best bet is to place targeted ads on the social platforms of your choice. Get it right on Facebook for example, and you’ll join the ranks of 94% of businesses that cite this particular social media platform as the one to promote their business on. 

Top tip: you don’t need to go overboard with different social media channels. Choose two or three to focus on to deliver your brand’s message. 

  • Video Marketing

If your business’s content can pivot for usage in video marketing, then we say jump on the bandwagon. Video is the most engaging and consumable content you can deliver to your target audience. There are many avenues of video marketing to explore – social media stories, ads, web stories, long or short informative videos. 

Top tip: if your business sells products that are technical, or require a little explanation, how-to video tutorials are perfect for your audience. 

digital marketing tutorial

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  • Email marketing

You can get this strategy off the ground quickly if you have an established customer base list. If you haven’t, immediately implement a website sign-up or contact form to get your list underway. 

That aside, email marketing is an affordable option and a great tool to inform your email list of important business news like new product launches and promotions. 

Top tip: make your life easier by using workflow automation tools to capture email addresses that feed into marketing campaigns.

  • Affiliate marketing 

Affiliate marketing is a strategy that requires time and effort rather than monetary spending. Affiliate marketing involves partnering with influencers that endorse your business’s products or services in return for a commission for each conversion. 

Top tip: the key to successful affiliate marketing is to choose your affiliates carefully. You want partners that align with your business’s products and services that are relevant to their target audience. For example, there won’t be much call for cold brew coffee in an ecommerce partnership with a pet grooming salon. Advanced targeting settings in affiliate network tools match products with the perfect fit users to avoid that mismatch scenario. 

  • Influencers

Influencer marketing is a form of affiliate marketing, whereby influencers promote your products on their social media channels to encourage their audience to purchase. Influencers are entrepreneurs that are rising in popularity by the day, mainly due to the exponential growth of social media marketing. 

A combination of affiliate and influencer marketing works well as a digital marketing strategy. This strategy places your business in plain sight of your target audience and reinforces the credibility of your products and services. 

Top tip: if your demographics fit, position your influencer partnerships to target Millennials and Gen Z audiences, as they are greatly susceptible to recommendations on social media platforms.  

  • Paid advertising

Also known as PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, paid advertising is a strategy that encompasses banner ads, website pop-up ads, and video ads. Businesses only pay for the clicks garnered through this method of marketing. The price of paid advertising campaigns varies wildly, as they are typically based on how popular your campaigns’ keywords are. 

Top tip: target your PPC ads on geographic location to drive conversion rates from your local area. 

paid advertising

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  • Partner marketing

Along the same lines as affiliate and influencer marketing, partner marketing is the collaboration of two brands with common goals – to increase customers and brand awareness. For the most successful partnership marketing strategy, take time to create high-quality content that your partners can utilize to drive conversions and boost website traffic.     

Top tip: ensure your partnership is a two-way street, so, provide all the digital marketing tools, content, and information your partner businesses need to promote your business. 

10 Digital marketing tips you should know

Hopefully, you’ve not reached a stage of overwhelm with the information thus far. Bear in mind that you don’t have to jump in with both feet and tackle all the marketing strategies at once. The key is to take the parts of information that will work for your unique business. 

Check out the following bitesize takeaway tips you can use to kickstart your marketing campaigns, regardless of the strategies you choose. 

  • Optimize your website for mobile

Did you know that mobile browsing accounts for around half of global web traffic? If your business’s website isn’t optimized for mobile, this is the very first thing to address. Digital marketing is all about finding your customers online, and then showcasing your business. When you find your perfect audience, do you want your website to let you down at the final hurdle? (The answer you’re looking for is a solid “No”.)   

Your carefully crafted digital marketing campaigns count for nothing if your website visitor lands on your website, but can’t navigate it properly on their smartphone due to a non-optimized mobile experience. You don’t need a mobile app, but you do need a website that’s properly optimized for mobile. Seriously, this one is important – get it sorted. 

  • Create a Google My Business listing

Creating a Google My Business listing is one of the easiest digital marketing techniques that we can give you. A listing displayed in this way gives your audience a simple route to communicate with your local business, and looks like this: 

google my business listing

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All you need to do is claim your business’s listing. If there isn’t an existing listing, create a new one for your business. 

  • Understand your customers and target audience for digital marketing

Your digital marketing strategy may not align with your word-of-mouth marketing efforts. Once you’ve tracked down your digital target market, you need to deliver the kind of marketing content that’ll appeal best to them. To do this, create customer personas to pinpoint your perfect customers. Note their likes and dislikes, their pain points, and detail how your business plans to swoop in and solve all their problems.  

  • Invest in local marketing

Google My Business listing is a great start to get your location searches off on the right track. But there’s more you can do in this vein. Consider strategies such as:

  • Community events publicization 
  • Direct mail marketing drives
  • Geographically-targeted social media ads 

These strategies are not directly related to digital marketing. Combine them with your digital strategies by including your website’s information and social media accounts to encourage this real-life audience to your website.  

  • Incorporate content marketing into your SEO strategy

This one’s for your organic traffic audience. By creating valuable and informative content, Google will happily send website visitors along to your website. This is because you’re providing your audience with the relevant information that they want. 

To achieve this, start or add to your website’s blog. Create blog articles surrounding your industry’s hot topics. Be sure to have your target audience in mind and answer their questions with your content. 

  • Find the social media channel that’s best suited for your business

As we’ve previously mentioned, there’s no need for an omnichannel approach to social media. Track down your target audience using analytics tools and customer behavior analysis, and then focus your efforts on the marketing channels they’re using. Tailor your digital marketing strategies to your chosen channels. For instance, engaging videos and images work well on Instagram, whereas typically video format social media posts are great on Facebook.  

social media advertising

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  • Encourage customers to leave online reviews

Once you’ve claimed your Google My Business listing, encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews on there. Add quick review links to your marketing emails requesting reviews to make it easy for your customers to do so. There are plenty of other review websites too, like TrustPilot. Utilize the best review platforms for your business’s industry.  

Nothing sells products better than a genuine five-star customer review, so leverage this power and build a campaign around generating more testimonials. Gather those happy customers who will gladly speak positively about their experiences with your business to encourage new customers and referrals.

  • Create a reliable email list and leverage email marketing

Firstly, try and make sure your email list is full of high-value prospects before you launch your next email marketing campaign. Lots of businesses send bi-yearly newsletters to their customers as it’s a great way of touching base throughout the year and reinforcing a good relationship. 

email marketing tips

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  • Customer service – respond to online feedback quickly

Great customer service is why you enjoy repeat business. There’s so much competition now for business that your company has to deliver top-of-the-game experiences just to stay in the game. To respond to customer feedback quickly, ensure your contact forms are working correctly, and assign staff members to reply within a set timeframe. 

If your business utilizes VoIP phone systems for customer service telephone calls, train your staff regularly to ensure all employees are delivering great customer service, and monitor recorded calls for quality. 

Another aspect of staff training is to protect your business from Vishing attacks, which unfortunately are made easier using VoIP technology. Put your business’s data protection and security policies in place and provide documentation so all employees know how to handle this scenario.   

  • Monitor your campaigns and adjust your strategy based on learnings

A key part of digital marketing strategies is monitoring their success. Analyzing marketing campaigns is easier with fast reporting functionalities to check your business’s ROI against marketing efforts. 

Once you can see where your marketing efforts were the most successful, you can adjust your strategies accordingly. A growth marketing strategy involves agile learning to quickly pivot marketing efforts. 

Boost your digital growth with Affise today!

So you’re ready to grow your online presence? Wonderful. Many of the strategies and tips mentioned above are made a lot easier with the right platform. Affise helps with automation, establishing the right partner relationships, analyses data, and ultimately demonstrates the marketing efforts that are delivering the best ROI.   

Conclusion

The digital marketing strategies and tips included in this article will get your marketing efforts off to a great start. Whether you’ve got an established business or a startup, there’s something here for all business models. 

Be prepared to repeat your marketing strategies and move forward. Just because one campaign on LinkedIn flopped doesn’t mean that all LinkedIn marketing efforts will be disastrous. Test and keep improving to understand the key needs of your target audience, and you won’t go far wrong.

Good luck out there!

FAQs

Why should I invest in digital marketing strategies?

There are so many reasons for your business to invest in digital marketing strategies:

  • Increased website traffic
  • Enhanced search engine results
  • Better brand identity
  • Improved relationship with customers
  • More revenue
  • Elevated user experience

And those are naming just a few.

What is the best digital marketing strategy?

Unfortunately, this isn’t a quick answer. The best digital marketing strategy is one that works for your customers. Ultimately, find out where your customers are online and promote your business wherever they are. That could be through social media, affiliate marketing, PPC ads, or content marketing.

Does digital marketing require a lot of work?

Getting your digital marketing off the ground will take time and effort. But starting your business took time and effort too, right? In our humble opinion, digital marketing is worth the work involved as it generates more business and more revenue. You get what you put in, as they say. 

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Patty Yan

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Patty is the EMEA Product Marketing Manager for RingCentral Office, the leader in cloud communications solutions. Patty is passionate about creating value and differentiation, ensuring a better experience for customers and partners. She gained a wealth of international product marketing, product management, GTM and market development experience, across a range of high-tech SaaS in a fast-paced, hyper-growth environment that assumes both strategic and tactical execution. She is not new to UC, starting in Tandberg, then Cisco, driving the launch of video collaboration and services, and Enghouse with global responsibilities for hosted CCaaS.