Many small business owners might be apprehensive to do digital marketing. But even the most local or niche business will see substantial benefits from applying just a handful of digital marketing techniques.
Research from PwC and Google has shown the top wins Australian small businesses get from using digital marketing include increasing visibility, saving money on marketing, helping them be more competitive and improving engagement with customers.
There are five easy ways you can start applying digital marketing strategies in your small business that can make a big difference straight away. You don’t need to apply all of these to experience success and, in fact, focusing on just one or two is more likely to bring tangible results faster.
Strategy 1: Manage your Google My Business Account
Google is still the primary way customers find you, although it’s not just about typing your name into search and clicking through to your website anymore. Customers can find you on Google Maps and check out your business listing on Google without visiting your website.
Sign up for a Google My Business account so you can manage this digital shopfront easily and for free. You’ll be able to keep important business information like opening hours and basic product details up to date. You can also upload pictures of your products and store, if you have one, and ask customers to leave you a review.
Strategy 2: ‘Park’ Your Relevant Social Media Accounts
Whether social media is a big or small part of your marketing, it’s important you claim social media accounts with your business name (commonly called ‘parking’) so they’re not taken by others. Consider parking social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok, some of the most common platforms in Australia.
Namechk is a free way to check if your business name is available or taken. If it’s already taken on some or all the platforms you want to park an account on, use something similar to your business name that isn’t complicated or long. For example, a business in Brisbane called Cafe Croissant might use names like ‘cafe croissant’ or ‘CafeCroissantBNE’, but should avoid names like ‘Café_Croissant_In_Brisbane’ or ‘cafecroissantbyjamesandlisa’.
Strategy 3: Post Regularly to your Social Media Accounts
Posting regularly to social media is one of the best ways to increase customer engagement and manage your marketing workload. In fact, it’s more important to post regularly (perhaps once a week) than it is to post at a high frequency but irregularly.
Even if you’ve posted, say, three times a day in short bursts in the past, you can choose a new frequency that works for you. Maybe you only have something new to say on Tuesdays and Fridays; that’s OK, post on those days. Perhaps you only have time for one great post a week; that’s OK, too. Be sure to choose a regular frequency that’s manageable for your business.
Strategy 4: Build an Email List of Your Customers
For small businesses that work in a specific niche or don’t have a lot of face time with customers, building an email list is a smart way to stay in touch with the people who matter to you.
Start by choosing a free email marketing service (such as Mailchimp, ConvertKit, MailerLite or others) and collect email addresses on your website or via a link on your social media accounts. Then use the templates and guides found within those free services to make a basic email newsletter you send to contacts on your list once a fortnight or once a month. Importantly, this service doesn’t replace regular email communications you do as part of business operations.
Strategy 5: Learn What Works on Social Media
A common mistake small businesses make is to churn out social media posts over and over, even though they don’t see results. Get to know what posts get better customer engagement or lead to tangible results so you can focus on that kind of content.
All social media platforms show you analytics on what posts are performing and sometimes even recommend what you should focus on. Start with just one social media account (this guide is great for Facebook beginners, for example) to make this manageable and one hour a fortnight or month to review analytics. Take note of what posts are delivering lots of likes, comments or clicks to your website – maybe it’s Friday morning posts or posts with pictures of your team – and start adding more of that type of content into the mix.
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