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  • Abel Miranda

Small Business Digital Marketing Tips to Help You Grow Locally

Updated: Jan 31

From social media to email marketing, let's explore how local businesses can reach their target customers with effective digital marketing strategies

local business owner flipping her "open" sign to signal to customers that her storefront is open

In today's fast-paced and interconnected society, establishing a robust digital presence is absolutely vital for small businesses just starting out to bring in customers and raise awareness for their brand. And that can bring on an enormous amount of pressure not only because you own a business, but also trying to get customers to notice you.

But hey, we get it. Navigating the vast ocean of digital marketing can feel like being thrown into the deep end of the pool without knowing how to swim, which totally didn't happen to me as a kid.

The constant flux of algorithm updates, shifting trends, and an overwhelming array of strategies can leave even the most organized business owner feeling lost. That's why we're here – to guide you through this exciting journey, providing as much advice as we can that will empower you to take on the digital realm with confidence. We gathered some digital marketing tips for small businesses from around the office, so let's see what you can do to be seen online.

From enhancing your online visibility to captivating your target audience, we'll delve into the closely-guarded secrets of digital marketing success, custom-tailored for small businesses just like yours. Whether you're a tech enthusiast or a digital novice taking your first steps, fret not – we've got you covered.

Build a Consistent Brand Identity

Branding should be the foundation for your business, and it's something most new business owners overlook. It's what can make you stand out from other competitors and give you the recognition you want.

One of the best things you can do for your brand is to create a consistent brand identity. Doing so creates an identity for your brand that people will take the time to look at and recognize in the future.

Brand strategy for a small business to build brand awareness

How can you do this?

Well, branding involves your logo- is it truly unique and memorable? Does the color palette reflect your business's personality? These are important questions to ask! But it doesn't stop there.

You should have consistent branding and colors across ALL marketing materials. Whether it be physical (flyers, merch, business cards) or digital (website, social media pages, email marketing).

Social Media Marketing

Social media is becoming more and more important, especially for small businesses, since you have the potential to reach more people organically- meaning for free.

Define Your Target Audience

Identify your target audience based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. This will help you tailor your social media content and targeting strategies to reach the right people.

Choose the Right Social Media Platforms and Strategy

Contrary to what many believe, you don't need to be active on every platform! Different audiences are going to be on different platforms, meaning you need to consider where your audience is and focus your efforts on those to maximize your reach and engagement.

Make sure your Content is Quality

Developing content is difficult enough, but on a consistent basis- forget about it! This can be a stressor for business owners running their own social media accounts that want to grow.

However, it's important to remember: quality > quantity. You may be posting 7 times a week but those posts might be less than ideal quality.

If you're unsure about what to post, look at what other businesses in your industry are doing successfully on social media and take inspiration from them. The goal is to provide value and showcase your business in a creative way so people are drawn to it.

Implement Video Marketing

To make sure your social media presence is outstanding, incorporate video into your content. Mixing photos and video can be very beneficial to your profile, especially during a time when video is favored among social media users.

The future of video marketing looks bright, so it wouldn't hurt to look into how you can incorporate it into your brand's social media strategy.

Engage and Interact

When it comes to social media, engaging with your audience can build trust which goes a long way. You can do this by responding to or liking comments, responding to messages, and reposting stories that people may share about your product or service.

The more you show appreciation for customers, the more they'll appreciate you!

Hashtags and Trending Topics

Although hashtags aren't as effective as they used to be, they're still useful for discoverability combined with including keywords in your captions.

Yes, keywords! Research has shown that younger generations actually turn to social media more than search engines for conducting searches. This is especially prevalent on TikTok.

"Now how am I supposed to know what words to use?"

Well, you can conduct competitor research to see if your competitors are incorporating some type of keyword/hashtag strategy on social media.

Research relevant hashtags and search terms within your industry, and even general location. Incorporate them into your social media posts to increase discoverability and reach a wider audience. This can help your content get noticed by people who are interested what you have to offer.

So if you want to grow your social media accounts, these are just some of the aspects of creating a successful account.


Small business owner drawing out his business website layout

Your website is where a lot of online leads will be coming through, so having one that is in tip-top shape is CRUCIAL. Not only should you be telling visitors about your business through your website's content, but you should ensure that it's running smoothly.

Website Design

Having a website that is flattering to the eye on all devices is crucial to retaining visitors and hooking potential customers within a matter of seconds.

Not only that but providing an easy user experience and interface goes a long way. You don't need to overcomplicate it. If you want something more creative and extravagant, go ahead! Just make sure it's not confusing to navigate and that it performs up to par with website standards.

Website Performance

I can't preach having a great-looking website without including behind-the-scenes. There would be no point in having a stunning website without it performing up to par with the best. That means ensuring that your site loads fast enough so that visitors won't exit.

In fact, some consumers will wait no longer than 3 seconds before exiting a site. If you're unsure about your site's load time, you can use a performance insights tool like Google PageSpeed Insights.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Implementing local SEO into your digital marketing strategy can essentially give your website free traffic. It's the process of getting your website ranked well on search engines like Google. In other words, being a top result when people look stuff up on Google. You can do this by creating a Google Business Profile.

SEO (search engine optimization) paper search result

However, this is considered a long-term strategy and it could take months for you to rank highly on Google search results.

To see if local SEO is worth your time, start by doing some keyword research using an SEO tool to see if people are searching for services related to what you offer.

Overall, SEO can increase your website's visibility in search results to attract organic traffic from potential customers.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

Utilize PPC advertising platforms like Google Ads & Meta Ads to display targeted ads on Google or social media.

You can target keywords related to your business to appear in front of potential customers actively searching for products or services you offer.

As for social media, you can show your ad to potential customers that could be looking for your services.

Google Local Service Ads

If you're a local service provider running traditional Google ads, please look into local service ads. They're a great alternative and can produce a greater ROI. However, not every type of business is eligible so see if you qualify with Google.

Email Automation

Build an email list by offering valuable content or exclusive offers to visitors who subscribe to your newsletter. Regularly send out targeted emails to nurture leads, promote new products or services, and encourage repeat business.

Customer Testimonials and Reviews

5-star customer rating

Display customer testimonials, reviews, and case studies on your website to build trust and credibility. Positive feedback from satisfied customers can influence potential customers' decisions and encourage them to engage with your business.

Analyze Website Analytics

Regularly analyze your website's performance using tools like Google Analytics. Track metrics such as traffic sources, page views, bounce rates, and conversion rates. Gain insights into user behavior and make data-driven decisions to improve your website's effectiveness in attracting and converting new customers.

Email Marketing

Email marketing across different devices

Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective forms of digital marketing. With well-crafted email campaigns, small businesses can build meaningful relationships with their customers, nurture leads, and encourage repeat business. It provides a direct line of communication, personalized messaging, and the ability to reach a wide audience at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing channels.

Building an Email List

Create opportunities for website visitors to subscribe to your email list. Offer valuable incentives such as exclusive content, discounts, or free resources in exchange for their email addresses. Utilize pop-ups, sign-up forms, or landing pages to capture leads effectively.

Segmentation and Personalization

Segment your email list based on various criteria such as demographics, interests, purchase history, or engagement level. This allows you to personalize your email content and tailor it to the specific needs and preferences of different customer segments. Personalization increases the relevance and effectiveness of your email campaigns.

Types of Marketing Emails You Can Send

Welcome Emails

Send a series of welcome emails to new subscribers to introduce them to your brand, products, or services. Use this opportunity to nurture the relationship, provide useful information, and guide them toward their first purchase. Welcome emails set the tone for your ongoing communication and help build a positive impression.

Automated Email Campaigns

Set up automated email campaigns based on specific triggers or actions. For example, abandoned cart emails can be sent to remind customers about the items they left behind and offer incentives to complete the purchase.

Birthday or anniversary emails can be personalized to make customers feel special and encourage them to engage with your brand. And don't be afraid to throw in an incentive on those emails, like a discount!

Promotional Campaigns

Run targeted email campaigns to promote new products, limited-time offers, sales, or seasonal discounts. Use persuasive language, clear calls-to-action, and appealing visuals to entice recipients to take action.

Review Requests

Reviews go a long way, especially when you're trying to build your reputation online. You can send mass email requests to previous customers to build out your review portfolio. This not only helps you gather more reviews but also shows that you value customer opinions and are committed to improving their experience.

Make sure to respond to customer reviews! It not only shows customers you care about their feedback but shows potential customers that as well. A little more trust goes a long way.

Analyze Email Metrics For Better Results

Regularly analyze email metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, and unsubscribe rates. Gain insights into the effectiveness of your campaigns and identify areas for improvement. Experiment with different subject lines, content formats, and sending times to optimize your email performance.

Compliance with Data Protection Regulations

Ensure compliance with relevant data protection regulations, such as GDPR or CCPA, when collecting, storing, and using customer data for email marketing. Obtain explicit consent for email communications and provide clear opt-out options for subscribers who wish to unsubscribe.

It all Comes Together

Your digital marketing strategy comes together like a spider's web- it's not complete without every single strand in place.

In today's fast-paced and interconnected society, establishing a marketing strategy for small businesses is crucial to attract customers and raise awareness for their brand. But we understand that it can be a challenge for the average small business owner, especially when you're starting out and trying to get your business to stand out in a crowded market.

Remember, digital marketing is a continuous journey. Regularly analyze data, adapt your strategies, and stay up-to-date with the latest trends to remain competitive in the digital landscape. Monitor your website analytics, engage with your audience on social media, and continuously refine your email campaigns.

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