Digital marketing is one of the key tools in your small business arsenal. With limited funds and fewer employees than multinational corporations, it's important to make every dollar and minute count when you are building awareness for your brand and establishing an online presence. As you undertake your marketing approach for a new year in 2017, make sure to read our 4 dos and don'ts for digital marketing in a small business environment.
#1: Do Find the Right Channels
No two marketing verticals work out exactly the same for different brands. While some companies might excel in building a brand identity and reach followers through social media, others might find it far more valuable to connect with their fans through direct mailers and a strong mobile app.
As a marketer, your first project in any new marketing effort is to develop a target market you're aiming not just your products, but all of your digital marketing campaigns toward. With this target market in mind, you have to reach them effectively. Doing so requires finding the right channel, or channels, that deliver your content to that target market. The right channel isn't the one that talking heads say is right, but rather is the one that helps you reach that target audience.
#2 – Do Post and Share Original Content
The best way for your brand to stand out and be noticed by your target market, and even casual followers, is to post high-quality original content. Remember that this content needs to be tailored to your target market to achieve the best outcome with your digital marketing strategy. On top of that, gear all of the content across your website, mobile app, and social media platforms toward your target market to ensure a consistent message.
Reposting, sharing, or tweeting content from others within your industry only serves to promote their brand. Only valuable, relevant content is going to push your business higher in online rankings and help land you on page one of Google search results.
#3 – Don't Be the Oversharing Type
Some brands believe that the more you share, the more frequently you post, the better your results will be. The fact is that spamming your followers with a steady stream of digital content, whether it's your own high-quality content or sharing content from others in your industry, tends to muddy the waters and confuse your followers on your message.
Rather than filling their inboxes and clogging their social media streams, focus on using fresh content and fan engagement for a specific purpose, such as limited-time deals on services or the roll-out of a new product to build excitement and promote.
#4 – Don't be "Salesy"
Consumers are increasingly put off by companies and brands that try too hard to get their money. The primary reason behind this is the feeling that hard pushes for sales come across as being more interested in the money a consumer has, and not helping that customer fulfill the need that brought them to your brand in the first place.
Instead of focusing on sales, nurture a healthy interaction between and engagement with your target market by posting product ideas, concepts, and answers to questions that actually help your customers, and then let them make their decisions from an informed point of view. Build trust with quality content first, and you're likely to find your target market is interested enough on their own to want to learn more.
There are a lot more dos and don'ts you could follow, but these are simple starting points that any small business can use to build an effective digital marketing strategy in the weeks and months ahead.