Digital Marketing Strategy: The Ultimate Guide for Small Business Owners

by | Jul 15, 2021 | Business Advice, Business Management, Marketing

You may have already heard of search engine optimization, pay-per-click marketing, search engine marketing, or social media marketing to name a few. These are forms of digital marketing which have been household names for the past couple of years most specially to marketing and salespeople. Technological advancements and developments to these marketing strategies have been in place and specialists in this field has been reaping the rewards since then.

What is digital marketing?

Everybody needs something at some point, be it a want or a need, and consumers who have the purchasing power to get those will find a way to get those wants or needs in their hands. It is normally just a matter of choosing where to go to purchase products or services at the right price. Marketing is used to promote products and services that are primarily relevant in the lives of consumers.

As opposed to traditional marketing where strategies such as the use of marketing collaterals like posters, TV ads and other forms of commercials, and flyers are being used to promote businesses and gain public awareness and exposure to build a customer base, digital marketing uses the same but with the aid of online tools and facilities, such as emails and social media platforms. Both structures have the same goal: to build a loyal customer base, provide service and products suited to the needs of the customer, and retain these customers for further future transactions.

Nowadays, most purchases start with consumers searching the internet for what they need. Most, if not all businesses, already have their details available online. With just a keyword search on your browser, you will be presented with listings that are relevant to your needs and your location. This starts the whole digital and even the traditional marketing process.

Woman using computer with digital marketing concept on the screen
Digital marketing strategies should always be well-planned and even audited in order to be able to suit the business needs.

Forms of Digital Marketing

There are several forms of digital marketing strategies being used by businesses to promote their products and services. Digital marketing strategies have evolved and improved over time making sure that their products and services are marketed to the right people, at the right place, and at the right time.

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

We have all heard about search engine optimization at some point. This type of digital marketing strategy is a process that develops specific languages for websites in order to land at the top of search engine pages. When we look up search keywords, say, “best coffee places,” coffee businesses would like to land on the first page of the search engine that the potential customer used to gain better views and mileage. Those search results would usually be relevant as to where the customer is located so the customer will be able to find best coffee place nearest him. The more these keywords are used and clicked, the more they are likely to appear on the top of the search pages. The more clicks that a listed business on this keyword gets, the better the chances that a customer will go to the place and check out their product offers.

There are people who have been specializing in search engine optimization by way of writing up articles which include specific keywords or phrases for the specific business they are working for. It takes a lot of patience and hard work to come up with these articles, but they are truly helpful in getting out the business’s product offerings and services coupled with additional learning about specific and related topics along the way.

2. Pay-Per-Click Marketing (PPC)

This is a type of digital marketing strategy wherein companies will pay search engines to ensure that their pages will land on the top of the first page of the search engine results page. Whenever a customer clicks on their ad, the search engine is paid. The ultimate goal of pay-per-click marketing is to convert the high volume of customers’ purchases to eventually offset the costs of paying the search engine for this purpose.

3. Email Marketing

We have all been receiving emails from different businesses offering their products and services. And sometimes we ask: “How come I got this email and I have not really dealt with this business?”

With a lot of businesses now that are on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, these businesses have ways of doing market research simply by getting hold of data from these social media platforms with artificial intelligence integrated tools. These tools can assess, gauge, and track online activities, such as website visits or interaction with certain online posts, of customers who are interested in the same products or services that a business may be offering. Within the bounds of the various data privacy acts worldwide, email marketing is one of the ways by which businesses would introduce their products and services to potential customers in the hopes of converting them into actual and loyal customers in the future. Email marketing is not just about presenting products and services but may also contain promotions, discounts, and other useful information about topics relevant in their respective businesses that customers can make use of.

4. Influencer Marketing

The right influencer can reach your target audience and increase engagement.

With social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Tiktok, among others, businesses now employ the so-called influencers to promote their products and services. Marketing teams have a way of classifying and verifying the integrity and aptness of the people who can rightfully promote and sell their products and services not just to the right clientele but also to those who may be potentially good customers in the future.

Influencers already have a head start when it comes to promoting products, especially if they are well-known personalities like actors, television and print commercial models, bloggers, and vloggers. With so many of them in the circle, and even those who are self-proclaiming ones, marketing people should be able to wisely choose the right personality to promote their businesses’ products and services. Businesses should be able to get influencers who share the same vision as they have for the business.

The more frequent you see these influencers promoting or featuring a certain business’s product offerings and services, the more that potential customers will be curious about them. And often, the curiosity will end up with the consumers trying these products or services out.

5. Automated Marketing

There are social media and online platforms that will be able to automate certain marketing tasks after the marketing team has provided all the necessary data, such as listings or postings of product offerings and services, the specific target market, and marketing campaign details. The repetitive tasks may be done away with and the marketing team will be able to concentrate more on data analysis as to whether the campaigns are effective or otherwise, and coming up with better digital marketing strategies that would complement the current ones that they have in place.

6. Video Marketing

With YouTube as one of the primary sources of video information and learning, marketing people have found this to be an especially useful tool in coming up with a variety of digital marketing strategies to promote their business. A lot more people are very visual and are easily enticed with what they see. With the right video composition and content in under 30 seconds or even a minute or two, digital marketers may be able to send the message across and find potential customers through its viewers.

7. Social Media Marketing

Most people nowadays have social media accounts where they share stories about their lives in a nutshell. These may include products and services they may have tried or used or would want to use and they share the information to their friends, family members, and other connections from these social media accounts. At this day and age when it seems like people cannot do away with social media anymore, digital marketing has been known to effectively and efficiently used social media platforms to gain public exposure and mileage. Online presence is now essential for businesses, specially so that we are still experiencing a pandemic and is now a key to effectively carry out a business’s digital marketing strategy to boost sales and income, with lesser costs and lesser manpower.

8. Content Marketing

Remember that most customers do not just buy out of whim, and they would like to be presented with choices and options where they can better get their hard-earned money’s worth, specially nowadays that money is hard to find and earn. Majority of customers would still like to know details about the products or services they would like to get so they would have informed choices and options.

As opposed to direct selling, content marketing is a form of a digital marketing strategy that focuses on educating a potential customer about the business’s products and services. The better educated potential customers are about a company’s product and service offerings, the more likely there is a chance to convert these potential customers into actual customers in the long run. It may or may not be immediate but there the probability of that happening is relatively higher, most especially if the customer is a willing and able buyer.

Content marketing aims to establish that the business has a reputable and reliable source of information that is why it is necessary for digital marketers to share information about the company’s products and services that is true and honest to their word.

9. Market Infographics

Market infographics are essential in coming up with digital marketing strategies that would very well promote a business’s products and services. It is important for marketing people to know their target market so they can come up with digital marketing strategies that would be suited and beneficial to both the business and its customers. Market infographics may also help determine the business’s competitors which could be studied by digital marketing strategists so they could come up with a solid marketing plan for the competition.

Market infographics may include the following:

  • Market location
  • Age bracket of potential customers
  • Social media platforms most used by competitors to gain customers

One good thing about using market infographics as a form of digital marketing strategy is that the data is now easier to track because of the built-in tools used when you sign up and utilize social media platforms for your business. As these tools are mostly automated, data can easily be extracted and analysis of the available data will already be in your hands at any time of the day or night.

person holding a tablet with digital marketing concept
Effective digital marketing strategies have been known to convert potential buyers into fans of the product or service that they availed of.

Based on studies, from among these forms of digital marketing strategies available for use, a lot of businesses have been using more of search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click marketing (PPC), email marketing, content marketing, and social media marketing. Businesses find that these five digital marketing strategies have brought in more favorable outcome in terms of business exposure and sales. It does not mean though that one should use more of the other. The marketing team can use any of these digital marketing strategies available based on the result of their market studies and primarily what the business really needs and can afford. It could be safely said that the use of any one or a combination of these digital marketing strategies can yield positive results to the company for as long as it is studied properly. It cannot be denied that sometimes that coming up with a workable digital marketing strategy can also be a trial-and-error thing. The marketing and sales teams should be able to walk the business owner through all the advantages and disadvantages before embarking on specific digital marketing strategies to be used for the business.

Benefits and Advantages of Digital Marketing

With all these being said, we could run down the benefits and advantages of digital marketing, especially at this time when we are all still experiencing the effects of a pandemic. It is also especially important to note that digital marketing strategies should always be well-planned and even audited in order to be able to suit the business needs. Digital marketing strategies should also be flexible enough to cater to what the business and your customers might need. To plan this, data analytics derived from your online platforms should be helpful.

Digital marketing has made it easier to create engagement and awareness between the business and its customers during pre- and post-sales activities. The work of marketing and sales do not end with gaining a sale or a customer for the business’s profitability. The marketing and sales teams should work together with customer service to come up with a particularly good post-sales service and follow through in order to earn their customers’ loyalty towards the brand and retain them for future purchases and other possible transactions.

Effective digital marketing strategies have been known to convert potential buyers into fans of the product or service that they availed of. It is noticeable nowadays how one or two people who purchased from a certain company or business can make it go viral and people will start getting curious to try it out. In this connection, effective digital marketing strategies, when done the right way can put the product or service further out there in the market by word of mouth and social media sharing. Of course, it would have to

two cafe owners using a laptop in the counter while smiling at each other
Small businesses should consider the huge marketplace of potential customers online.

Digital marketing strategies work not only for the big businesses but more importantly to the small business owners. Given the limited resources that any small business may have in terms of budget and manpower, digital marketing strategies bring about brand awareness, customer reach and interaction, analytics and data gathering – all at a much lower cost to the small business owner.

A business owner should also bear in mind that digital marketing is not just about being digital or your business being all digital and online. It is important to remember that digital marketing strategies are helpful tools that can be used to put out in the open your products and services on the web to be extended to your physical store, if you have one, and through to your present in the traditional marketplace. Being present online is not just about joining the bandwagon but more of extending your presence to potential customers that would want or need your product and service offerings in the future.

To conclude, digital marketing strategies should be as innovative as they are very dynamic in these times. Today, podcasters and marketing gurus will be raving about the effectiveness of one or two digital marketing strategies. Tomorrow, those strategies may already be considered “dead” and non-existent.  As all markets across all industries are currently volatile at the moment, it is proper for businesses to be always abreast with current trends on digital marketing strategies to keep up with the changing times and thrive despite the adversities. Over the years, customers have not been only scrutinizing of the products and services they avail. Customers are also more likely to look after how post-sales activities are done by the company – how a company would treat their customers after their purchase. Digital marketing strategies should be able to help balance out customer-centricity and the business needs for a win-win situation.



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