WHAT 2020 has taught small business owners is that they need to adapt to survive.
With major and small community newspapers closing down and ever-changing COVID-19 restrictions decimating traffic through the doors of bricks-and-mortar businesses, a digital strategy has become essential.
Growing numbers of people – regardless of age – are using the internet and social media to find those products and services they need in everyday life.
Many marketing platforms are at our disposal, including social media, Google, websites, networking or email.
Understanding how they all work together to grow your business online for brand awareness and sales is vital.
Elisha says that for many small businesses, marketing isn’t a priority.
Business owners are usually too busy working in their business instead of working on their business.
She acknowledges that learning about social media and websites can be overwhelming – one of the reasons most small business owners shy away from starting.
That’s where the Online Marketing Eco-System comes in – a strategy every small business should employ.
It takes the customer on the journey from awareness and engagement to conversion of leads to quotes and sales within the online space.
The strategy uses four elements: social media, a website, Google My Business profile (all of which a business owner can create for free) and paid advertising (Facebook ads or Google Ads, for example) to amplify your marketing by driving traffic to your website or page and creating a remarketing audience “bucket”.
This graph shows how one of Elisha’s service-based clients in a small town grew the business across 12 months using the eco-system and how it’s increased monthly new clients.
The business increased its new clients per month by over 100% and went from negative growth in May 2019 to a profit of 12% in May 2020.
Once the business adopted the new online marketing strategy, social media page organic engagement also grew, with a small number of paid ads.
SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
When it comes to social media platforms, be where you need to be: on a social media platform where your audience hangs out.
If your audience is on Linkedin, be on Linkedin. If your audience is on Twitter, be on Twitter.
Elisha recommends Facebook and Instagram as the best online marketing platforms for most small local businesses.
Posting on a regular basis (daily if possible) any completed jobs, new products or milestones, for example, shows you are serious about your business, gets customers excited and keeps them coming back to your social media pages, presenting a greater opportunity to grow your business and increase sales.
Three important points Elisha makes about websites are:
- Every business should have one.
- Make sure the Facebook pixel is installed on the back end of the website to collect the data of website visitors for remarketing purposes.
- Have social media icons on the website. More than likely, someone will visit the website and may only stay for a few seconds but still be tempted to follow the business on Instagram or Facebook and catch up with what it’s doing.
GOOGLE MY BUSINESS PROFILE
Creating a free Google My Business profile helps prospective customers know you exist, what you do or sell, where to find you quickly and easily on a Google search and on Google Maps, and how you rate on customer reviews.
Take time to build your profile with as much accurate information as possible to feed the algorithm and improve your local search results.
Several “call to action” features are available – from a “request a quote” or message button to website hyperlinks and social media links – to engage prospective clients and increase remarketing data.
Many small businesses shudder at the thought of spending money on advertising.
But Elisha believes every good business, no matter the size, should have a marketing budget with an advertising component.
Spending money on Facebook ads or Google Ads, for example, is especially important for brand awareness. If people don’t know you exist, they can’t use your business.
These ads help businesses stay front and centre of prospective customers’ minds with a higher chance they’ll know exactly where to find you and then use your services or buy your products when they’re ready.
Paid advertising also drives traffic to your website or to your Facebook business page for engagement and remarketing purposes.
And it helps convert those leads into increased sales and inquiries.
Together, these parts make up the whole Online Marketing Eco-System that offers a proven structure to tackle the dilemma of growing your business in the digital space.
And in these crazy Covid times especially, it’s a strategy you can’t afford to ignore.
Blog Post created from Elisha de Jong’s DMDU Connect LIVE 2020 Presentation.
If you would like to watch the full presentation, CLICK HERE and start your FREE 7 Day Trial.