Small Business Owners are Marketers
The Internet, more specifically the Mobile Internet, has brought broadband to the masses at the push of a button. This ubiquitousness in communication provides the ability for individuals to communicate instantaneously with each other wherever they are in the world. This ability to communicate at lightning speeds using voice, texts, images, and videos has given marketers more tools to communicate with customers through digital marketing techniques. And by marketers, I mean anyone that is selling a product or service that solves a particular need or problem –that includes small business owners.
Digital Marketing is a growing field of marketing and is part of a broader Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) strategy. Digital Marketing means the ability to curate content and use that content to achieve strategic goals. Some businesses want to increase brand awareness, and some want to increase revenue, while others want to retain customers. Whatever your goals are, a clear and concise Content Strategy is needed in order for the search engines to find your site and index it.
Before content creation comes Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This involves the analysis of keywords or key phrases to be used to attract your target audience to where you want them to go. Then carefully placing these keywords and phrases on your sites, blogs, and social media.
Social Media Marketing
By now, most of us know what social media is, but to put in context, it is the ability to share a text, image, GIF, video, or podcast (voice) on a platform that allows feedback in the form of comments, likes, and shares. This two-way interactive street is what people refer to as Web 2.0. Gone are the days of the one-way information highway. The world is more transparent than ever before because everyone is held accountable online.
Once you have figured out your SEO and content strategies, it is now time to disseminate it. This requires you to open up accounts on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, and others. You must spend time developing those accounts by following the right people that want to see what you are sharing. The more likes and shares you get, the more of an authority the search engines will make you, helping you rise in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
Small Business Digital Marketing
As a small business owner, digital marketing gives you the tools to accomplish your goals. If planned well and done consistently while also measuring monitoring, and tweaking, then your efforts will be rewarded. For the first time, digital marketing allows small businesses to obtain instant feedback on their digital marketing efforts. Data can be analyzed for trends, which can then be capitalized on for further growth.
The digital marketing landscape is always changing, so being on top of future trends is also important to remain competitive. I have been a marketer my whole life, just in different industries, and I can attest that digital marketing is the best tool that has come along for small businesses and entrepreneurs to achieve their strategic goals –especially when done right.