Top 4 Digital Marketing Tips to Grow Your Small Business

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In the digital age, your small business’s customers are bound to search online to discover the next great restaurant, learn more about the trendy new cafe in town, or peruse Google reviews of local dog boarding facilities. Studies show that 75% of these customers will visit the local stores they research within 24 hours.

This statistic reveals just how important it is for small businesses like yours to have an established, easy-to-find online presence. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the top strategies your organization can use to level up its digital marketing efforts:

When it comes to marketing, data is king. Let’s begin by exploring how (and why) your business should use its data to understand customers and inform its campaign efforts.

Leverage your data.

To leverage customer data, you first need to collect and store it. Track information about your customers, marketing efforts, finances, and website traffic. Each of these points informs some aspect of your marketing strategy, whether it’s the communication channels you use or the content of your promotional messages.

For example, let’s say a dog grooming business wants to upgrade its digital marketing and online presence. The company already uses Gingr’s pet business software, which offers useful features like detailed pre-check-in forms, online bookings, report cards for pet parents, and loyalty rewards. But there is more to these capabilities than meets the eye—they also help the business learn more about customers’ preferences and behaviors.

The grooming business can use this data to identify booking patterns, which communication channels customers use most (e.g., did they opt into text or email notifications?), and how most customers learn about the business. For more granular data about what promotions resonate with your customers, consider sharing surveys with customers, A/B testing various marketing messages, and analyzing engagement from past campaigns.

Align with audience preferences.

Once your business has collected customer data, it’s time to analyze the information and translate insights into actionable next steps. Almost every piece of information you gather about your customers can be used to create personalized marketing campaigns that deeply engage them.

Some of the most common preferences you can track to tailor communications include:

  • Communication channels: Do your customers prefer longer marketing emails or short and snappy text messages? Determine which channels they use most often and share messages through them to ensure customers see them.
  • Message timing: Audiences may engage with their preferred channels or be more likely to respond to marketing messages during a certain time. For example, perhaps a customer scrolls their email looking for coupons each Saturday morning.
  • Message frequency: This describes how often customers prefer to receive messages from businesses. Understanding this preference will help you hit the sweet spot between sending so few messages that customers forget about you and so many that they get annoyed.
  • Content format: Determine whether customers would rather see text-based content, photos, graphics, videos, or audio communications. For example, a quick ad on a local radio station may be most effective for busy, on-the-go customers.

Remember to tailor the content of the message as well. Greet customers by name when possible, and consider referencing the last purchase or recommending a product they might like based on past behaviors. This shows that you understand them and want to provide the best experience possible.

Optimize your website.

According to Allegiance Group, a polished website that appears in the top results of search engine results pages helps organizations look more trustworthy and credible. But to achieve a website that converts customers, your business will need to ensure its site:

  • Meets accessibility standards outlined in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
  • Is easy for users to navigate (e.g., include a menu bar at the top containing links to landing pages like your product list, pricing, social media accounts, blog, etc.).
  • Has valuable, original content that meets users’ search intent.
  • Has a unique, straightforward domain and web address, like your company name, to make it easy for customers to find your website.

Keep in mind that many of your marketing messages will lead back to your website, so it needs to function as a central information hub for customers.

Invest in local marketing.

Local marketing simply targets customers within the areas near your business. Usually, this marketing extends to a certain radius (e.g., 50 miles) outside your company’s physical location(s). These marketing messages should be tailored to the values and preferences of the local area and strengthen your ties to the community.

Here are some of the best ways to optimize your marketing efforts for your local area:

  • Appear in local media. Your customers are likely interested in and trust local newspapers, magazines, blogs, radio stations, and TV channels. Purchase ads in these publications and communication channels to spread awareness of your business and build credibility as a trusted piece of the local economy.
  • Tag your location on social media. Most social media platforms allow you to tag a specific location in your posts. Add a tag with your business’s address to each of your posts so that when potential customers see a photo of your product or service they know where to go. Additionally, add your address to your profile—if you have multiple locations, indicate which town each is based in.
  • Incorporate SEO for local terms. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your company’s visibility on search engines. This is typically done by having a functional, accessible website with valuable content that targets keywords related to your product or service. To attract a local audience, incorporate keywords like your town or region into the website copy. For instance, an ice cream parlor’s homepage title could read, “[State Name]’s #1 Vintage Ice Cream Parlor.”
  • Add location-specific terms to Google Ads. Google Ads are the advertisements that appear at the top of the search results page. If your business uses Google Ads, make sure to signal that you are located in your customers’ area by including your local phone number, town or area name, and any other useful indicators (e.g., Voted [City]’s Best Pizza).

Additionally, your business can become a prominent member of the community and build its reputation by engaging with nonprofits and social causes. For example, a dog daycare business could provide free daycare services to shelter dogs to give them a change of scenery and new playmates. You could also sponsor nonprofit events, start corporate giving initiatives like matching gift programs, and participate in corporate volunteerism.

As you plan your digital marketing campaign, always remember to center your audience so you can reach, engage, and motivate them to support your company with your communications.

These digital marketing strategies will help your small business expand its reach and revenue, developing a sustainable base of loyal customers. Plus, success online could result in lucrative e-commerce opportunities, allowing you to extend your business to people across the globe.