Effective Digital Marketing for Small Business
The first step of having an online presence for a small business is to own a domain on the web. Depending on the nature of the business; it has to choose the most fitting online platform, it can create a website, blog, or forum. Once the platform has been created, the business has to promote the website to its audience. The most fundamental digital marketing for an online platform is search engine optimization; simply put it the company creates original and relevant content and insert targeted keywords that the audiences are searching for. Furthermore, the quality of content is important for a good website because the audience will share it with others, thus building up back links to promote the website in the search engine algorithm.
Second, the company has to determine the communication objective for their content. Depending on the objective, the tone of voice will deliver a different message. For example, if a retailer’s promoting a sale the tone of voice will create a sense of urgency and a call to action. The objective is to get a conversion from the visitor, so the content needs to deliver the message with a sense of urgency so that the audience will feel like they will miss out if they don’t act fast. Moreover, the content needs to have a call to action; because if the customer doesn’t know where to purchase or contact the business then it is the same as no communication. In addition, company will need to use tactics to create a deeper engagement. Let’s look at the previous example; if the company is promoting a sale, they might use persuasion in their communication to make the audience believe in what the message is saying.
Third, there are different media outlets for the business to deliver their message. The every first type of media channel is the owned media; owned media includes the company website, forum, blogs, and social media. Company has complete control over owned media, and the cost for owned media is relatively cheap. However, each form of owned media needs to have the message catered towards the specific platform. Content made of websites, blogs and forums are usually extended and detailed; which is not the correct format to be shared over social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. But, the company can use these social media sites to promote the content instead; by posting or tweeting to their followers and inform them a new content has been added. Furthermore, paid media is similar to owned media in the way that the company has complete control over it but it is much more targeted than owned media. Owned media, people come and find you; on the other hand, paid media you are looking for the audience. The traditional paid media such as TV, radio, and newspaper will not be considered because this entry focuses on digital marketing for small business. However, digital marketing paid media includes pay-per-click campaigns, display ads, video ads, and e-mail. Each of these channels is easier and cheaper to develop than the traditional paid media. However, it is the hardest to see results, so the most important part of digital paid marketing is to test different aspect of the campaign. On the other side of spectrum, there is earned media. Earned media is the exposure the business gets when their content is being share or talked about by their audiences. However, it isn’t always a positive because the company doesn’t have control over earned media. The audience can share the content to for a different purpose or they can be bashing the business. Therefore, a business needs to follow earned media in order to monitor the potential results and react accordingly. In other words, try to create a conversation with the audience instead of the traditional one way communication. With a conversation the company can probe with the earned media audience so that they can deal with any situation before it escalate or hype up the product/service throughout the conversation.
Usually, in digital marketing the schedule is focused on an event or around the holidays. Therefore, the scheduling options will be seasonal, build-up or blitz. Using the same example of promoting a sale, the business will most likely use build-up scheduling or blitz scheduling. It is very unlikely for a digital marketing campaign to use even scheduling; because budget constraints unless it is a large corporation.