As a small business owner, your #1 instinct is to get your first customers through the door and create profit to keep your business afloat.
Since the internet has become an unavoidable part of day-to-day life, digital marketing has become more competitive and requires more intelligent marketing strategies to grow your new business venture.
Often digital marketing can be viewed as expensive or unnecessary for small businesses; however, you should choose the most profitable and cost-effective digital marketing strategies to meet marketing goals and promote your product/service to a broader audience.
In today’s technologically and digitally focused world, connecting with potential customers online has never been more critical.
What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing, also called online marketing, refers to all marketing efforts on the internet. Businesses leverage digital channels such as search engines, social media, email, and other websites to connect with current and prospective customers. This also includes communication through text or multimedia messages.
What are the different types of digital marketing?
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- Content Marketing
- Pay Per Click (PPC)
- Social Media Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Online Public Relations (PR)
- Affiliate Marketing
- Inbound Marketing
+ so much more!
What are the benefits of digital marketing for small businesses?
Making the switch to digital marketing over traditional methods can be scary, especially if you have a tried and tested method which is no longer working the same so let us tell you a few of the many benefits of digital marketing:
1. DIGITAL MARKETING WILL GET YOUR BUSINESS FOUND ONLINE
It’s simple. If you’re existing or potential customers can’t easily find you online, they will likely go with another business! This makes investing in digital marketing services crucial for your business!
This is the nature of business today. If someone wants to learn more about your brand and business, their first port of call will be to search for you online. They may be looking for business reviews, your business morals or how long your business has been operating.
Customers want to ensure your company is a perfect fit!
Did you know that, as of last year, around 36% of small businesses were operating without a website? Crazy.
If you do not have a website, potential customers may think you are untrustworthy or not a serious business, especially if you are a small, unknown business. This can result in your potential customers choosing another company instead.
Digital marketing helps small businesses compete with well-known brands in a way that is impossible without digital marketing. Customers have different expectations in this digital world. You NEED to be found online to meet these expectations, primarily if your business is geared towards a younger, tech-savvy audience.
2. BROAD REACH
Digital marketing allows you to reach out to a broad audience quickly. People constantly spend more and more time on screens, and digital advertisements are on almost every website we visit. By investing in digital marketing, you’ll be showcasing your brand in front of people instantly.
Think of posting a flyer through a door. That piece of information is only able to be viewed by the people in that house.
Now imagine posting an ad on Facebook using the same information. Which will be seen by more people? Marketing your business digitally also enables your customers to share your business with others with ease. If you know your business relies on referrals, then digital is the way to go.
3. TRACKABLE, MEASURABLE RESULTS
One way digital marketing excels over traditional marketing is that you can measure digital marketing in real time! You don’t have to wait until your campaign ends to gather the data and analyse the results!
You can easily track metrics such as how many people open your email campaign, who clicked on what, how many people purchased your product on any given day, where people have landed on your website, conversions, and so much more.
This enables you to adapt your marketing strategy as and when needed to get maximum results (and the best bang for your buck).
4. IT’S COST-EFFECTIVE
Many small businesses don’t have the budget to utilise costly traditional marketing services such as TV and billboard adverts, putting them at a distinct disadvantage to competitors with larger marketing budgets.
However, many can afford digital marketing techniques to reach out and engage with ideal audiences. Digital marketing is an affordable and cost-effective option for all businesses.
Free, organic search still dominates web traffic ahead of traffic driven by paid campaigns. Did you know that organic search drives 53% of website traffic, while paid search drives only 27%?
For example, claiming and optimising a free Google Business Profile will:
- Boost your local SEO search visibility
- Increase foot traffic if you are a local business, especially from smartphone users
- Positive GBP reviews help improve a business’s online reputation free of charge.
5. DIGITAL MARKETING BUILDS BRAND AWARENESS
Digital marketing has become an incredibly effective tool for building trust and fostering long-term relationships. It’s essential to take advantage of social media platforms when it comes to connecting with your audience.
By posting regularly, answering questions and queries quickly, and responding to reviews and comments – positive and negative – you are fundamentally improving brand loyalty and therefore increasing brand awareness. You are showing customers that you care about what they say and think.
Building a community is a surefire way to keep existing customers happy and invite new customers in.
You can also improve brand awareness through strategically planned content marketing that reflects your brand’s personality and motivations.
Content created with your target audience in mind can ensure that your brand is reliable and approachable. Writing articles and blog posts that reflect and address their interests and pain points will encourage more engagement and highlight you as an expert within your industry.
You can’t personalise a billboard, but you can personalise an email campaign! No matter the size of your business, you want your customers to feel important and valued, and the best way to do this is through personalisation.
Simply including your customer’s name in an email campaign shows that thought has gone into that content to tailor it to that audience.
Additionally, if your customer database is linked to your website, you can greet them with targeted offers whenever someone visits the site. The more they buy from you, the more you can refine your customer profile and market effectively to them.
Everyone wants to feel valued as a customer. Whether from a small or large business, if you can make your customers feel special, they are more likely to stick around.
Who are CREATIVE in TiME?
We are a digital marketing and business advice agency. We audit, advise, mentor, and manage your marketing requirements underpinned with business advice and support capabilities. CREATIVE in TiME specialise in SEO (search engine optimisation) and expert business advice.
We specialise in being your partner on your business journey, and our customers appreciate having access to director level, manager level and team level expertise in business and marketing without the need to employ all levels at significant cost to your company.
If you want to learn more about the individuals at CREATIVE in TiME, click here to see what our team is all about and put some faces to this work!
Google will soon rollout a change to its search ranking algorithm that may prove be one of the most significant changes in over a decade.
Google announced yesterday that it’s rolling out new Search updates over the next few weeks that will aim to make it easier for people to find high-quality content. Google call it the helpful content update. So, how helpful is it really?
Google says that the update will especially target content that has been created primarily for ranking on search engines, known as “SEO-first” content, rather than human-first content.
What is Google’s helpful content update?
Google’s new helpful content update specifically targets “content that seems to have been primarily created for ranking well in search engines rather than to help or inform people.”
The purpose of this algorithm update is to help searchers find high-quality content. Google wants to reward better and more useful content that was written for humans and to help users instead of only benefiting the website owner.
Content written for the purpose of ranking in search engines – what you might call “search engine-first content” or “SEO content,” has been frequently written about lately and discussed across social media.
In short, searchers are getting frustrated when they land on unhelpful webpages that rank well in search because they were designed to rank well but without providing the required content.
Google’s new algorithm aims to downgrade those types of websites while promoting more helpful websites, designed for humans, above content which is designed for search engines.
Google said this is an “ongoing effort to reduce low-quality content and make it easier to find content that feels authentic and useful in search.”
If you are a frequent Google searcher, then time to rejoice!
Google Suggests Instagram and TikTok are eating into Google’s core products, Search and Maps
The launch of the new Search updates come as Google recently acknowledged that TikTok is cutting into its Search product.
Senior vice president Prabhakar Raghavan, who runs Google’s Knowledge & Information organisation, recently noted that younger users are often turning to apps like Instagram and TikTok instead of Google Search or Maps for discovery purposes.
For instance, Raghavan said nearly 40% of young people go to TikTok or Instagram when looking for a place to eat, as opposed to Google Maps or Search. Google therefore is attempting to create a better user experience via the helpful content update.
This just highlights that for those businesses who are yet to delve into the world of video content as a means of promoting your business, they could be missing out on nearly 40% of search traffic. Are you one of those businesses?
It’s time to stop ignoring the power of TikTok for your business. It’s not just a ‘teenager thing’. Over 60% of users are 20-49 and these could be your key customers.
Our TikTok Tips
- Jump on those trends and show some personality. TikTok is a perfect example of why people buy from people. Express yourself!
- Be consistent. Have a schedule and stick to it but don’t be scared to be reactive. Some posts might be getting only a couple of views, but some might get 1000s!
- Don’t try to make it perfect. Creating content takes time but try not to worry about the small imperfections. Imperfect content is better than no content!
With these upcoming ranking improvements, Google is likely looking to regain users’ trust when it comes to delivering relevant and high-quality results. We recommend hitting the TikTok trend whilst it’s hot.
What types of content will the helpful content update impact?
While Google algorithms do not specifically target any specific niche, Google said these types of content may be impacted the most:
- Online educational materials.
- Arts and entertainment.
This is because content written in those areas has historically been written more for search engines than humans.
For example, Google say:
“If you search for information about a new movie, you might have previously encountered articles that aggregated reviews from other sites without adding perspectives beyond what’s available elsewhere on the web. This isn’t very helpful if you’re expecting to read something new.”
With this update, you’ll see more results with unique information, so you’re more likely to read something you haven’t seen before. If you are a website owner, make sure that any content you are producing is unique and useful to any potential readers!
More helpful product reviews written by experts
In addition to announcing the search results ranking improvements, Google also said it’s launching an update in the coming weeks to make it easier to find high-quality and original reviews.
Product review videos are a notable part of TikTok, so it’s no surprise that Google is working to surface higher-quality reviews on its search results page. This is in order ensure that people come to its platform for reviews, as opposed to social media.
What will be impacted?
Google said this update may, in the future, impact those who “create product reviews in any language,” but Google said the initial rollout will be “English-language product reviews.” Google added they have seen “positive effects” from this update in the past and the search company “plans to open up product review support for more languages” in the future.
As a business, it is SO important to be obtaining regular in-depth, high-quality reviews of your product/service in order to be found in the right ways. Positive reviews will earn you search engines trust.
If you don’t have a Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business), or if you do and you aren’t managing it, and receiving/responding to reviews then you’re missing a trick.
Google Business Profiles are often overlooked at SEO agencies, but that’s where CREATIVE in TiME are different.
We can set up and manage your Google Business Profile to improve your local SEO and get you found. Through uniquely tailored review responses, useful Google posts and closely monitored insights, CREATIVE in TiME can take your Google Business Profile from Zero to Hero.
In short, here’s what you need to do now:
- Create human-first content. Follow Google’s long-standing advice and guidelines to create content for people, not for search engines. Find these guidelines via a quick Google Search.
- Create video content. It’s time to stop ignoring the power of TikTok for your business. It’s not just a ‘teenager thing’. Over 60% of users are 20-49 and these could be your key customers.
- Get more reviews and make sure your Google Business Profile (formerly, Google My Business) is up to date.
So, you want to start a blog…GREAT!
Blogging is an amazing way to bring more traffic to your website, become an authority in your field and build a community.
What is Blogging?
Blogging is the act of posting content on a website. They are informal articles written for the main purpose of showing thought leadership and expertise on a certain topic.
Often, you will be reading a blog and won’t even know it!
That recipe you just read, blog.
List of fashion trends, blog.
Technology tips, blog.
If you’re searching for it then someone is blogging about it and vice versa, if you want to blog about something then the likelihood is that someone is searching for it.
If you want to know the ins and outs of how to start blogging in 2022 then keep reading!
Step 1: Choose your Blogging Host
To get people to start reading your blog, it needs to be online!
If you are starting from scratch, then you need to use a blog host to get your blog online.
In this guide, we will show you how to use BlueHost for all of your blogging needs. Let me tell you a few quick reasons:
- They register your custom domain name for free
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Free, automatic installation of WordPress blogging software (this sounds scary but don’t panic)
Step 2: Create Your Account
Once you visit their website, you need to select your plan. We would recommend that for a blogging beginner, you will only need the basic plan.
Next, you need to input your domain name. Yes, this may seem like the complicated part.
If you already have previously paid to register a domain and wish to use that to host your blog, then you can put it in the right box. If you have not, then input your chosen domain name into the left box and click “next”.
Now for the easy part, I’m sure most of us have bought something using the internet before, so fill out your billing details on the registration page now.
You will also need to choose your hosting package and extras, for a beginner blog it is likely you are not going to need any extras as your account plan will have everything you need for your blog.
You are now ready to create your BlueHost account and password! Not to be that person but please choose a secure and unique password, I don’t want any birthdays or full names here!
Once you have your account set up, you will be shown an installation helper but since you are reading this you can just click on “skip this step” to follow along with us instead (or do both!).
The WordPress blogging platform will automatically install, and you can click on the “log into WordPress” button on the top right-hand corner to go to the administrator section of your blog.
Step 3: Customise your blog
This is where the fun really begins, here is your opportunity to customise the appearance of your blog!
How you want your blog to look is personal preference, there is no right or wrong answer for how your own blog should look.
One of the benefits of WordPress is its “themes” which can be accessed through the “appearance” tab. You should have some free WordPress themes already installed for use on your blog and unless you have a very specific design in mind, we would recommend using one of these.
Once you pick a theme, all you need to do is hover other the theme and click activate. It’s that easy!
If you don’t like any of these themes, just click “add new theme” to browse lots of other WordPress themes which you can install and activate.
Step 4: Start writing
The first step to any good blog is coming up with a title but we aren’t going to talk about that today, we already have a blog about that! Click here to find out about how to create engaging and catchy titles that people will WANT to click on.
Step 5: Post!
On WordPress, go to the menu on the left and click “posts”.
Delete the post which is already there (it defaults on all new blogs and is not needed) and then click “add new”.
You can now add in a title, your content and even extra things such as images. Don’t forget your SEO as well (what is SEO for blogging, you ask? Click here to find out).
If you are creating your own blog, then you will also need to promote it. What’s a blog if it isn’t being read?
Some ways to promote your blog are through social media, email marketing and search engine optimisation.
If you are unsure of how to do this then get in touch now!