In 2020, small businesses faced more challenges than we ever expected. A hard year revealed our efforts and resilience in difficult times. We all look back at the shutdowns, the quarantining and the losses and say, “Now what?”
Now, it’s time to move forward and show our communities that we are still here. This does not require an expensive marketing campaign using money we can’t spare. Instead, we can look in new places and take a step out into 2021.
Starting with my own company, HitStudios, in 2003, I was working on web development for small businesses and later incorporated SEO for larger companies. After more than 17 years of working in digital marketing and web development, two things come to mind about small businesses: Their success impacts our communities, and they can heavily benefit from digital marketing. People tend to think they can’t beat big retailers or Amazon, but there are many ways a small business can win online.
When it comes to digital marketing, a plan can be executed successfully on a budget. All it takes is some patience and the right plan. These digital marketing opportunities are available to business owners interested in maintaining their budget and growing their business.
Get involved in Facebook community groups.
How do you take advantage of something so simple? Get involved! If you are a member of the community or work within the community, joining a Facebook community group is a perfect opportunity. This opens a window into the local market of consumers at zero cost. You can see what local people are asking for and inquiring about. You can either post with your business page or be the authoritative figure guiding them to solutions. Getting involved is as easy as offering advice or a helping hand. This does more than provide your business with potential customers — you are also building a relationship with the community. Such simple gestures help your community while promoting your business.
When a community member posts, “I need help with X at my house,” or “I am looking for the services of XYZ. Who do you recommend?” You can take the opportunity to be the community member they are looking for. A reply as simple as, “Hey, we can help you with that. Generally speaking, I can give you an estimate. Is it OK to message you?” is all you need.
You showed up, and it shows both the person in need and other members that you are here to help. Being a community member is all it takes to kick off your affordable digital marketing plan.
Regularly review your Google Analytics.
Google Analytics is an important indicator of how your website is performing. It is a free tool for tracking your website and the way visitors are interacting with it. Google Analytics offers details and information behind the behavior of your users, such as how visitors are using your website, the overall performance and what areas need to be reassessed.
This information can help you optimize your website to meet the needs of your users. When you regularly review your Google Analytics, you can work on improving your website as a whole.
Take a closer look at your website.
When was the last time you tried to use your website? You may think your website is doing its job, but it could be misleading customers.
Start by going through the website as if you are a customer. Easy to find the business phone number, location and services? Is the information up to date and easy to access? If not, there is your starting point. When you review your website, the goal is to make sure consumers can find exactly what they are looking for.
Collect or nurture customers.
Find ways to market and nurture previous or existing customers. You already have their contact information. The next step is evaluating the services they needed or products they recently bought. Keep a list of recent services or products with their email, and after so many months, evaluate the list and market to them.
Did they buy replacement filters six months ago? Do they need them again? What about similar products or services based on their recent needs?
An email or SMS message marketing to their needs can be the attention-catching moment your business deserves. A reminder can build relationships with your existing customers, and you can strengthen your business and those who value your services with a little nurturing.
Consider Google Local Service Ads.
When it comes to digital marketing, Google Local Service Ads are a great way to give your budget a purpose. You pay per lead versus the traditional pay-per-click model with the standard Google Ads platform. You can get X number of leads based on your budget. Setting up a Google Local Service Ad will help your business become Google Guaranteed and show up at the top of the search results.
To apply, you need to make sure your business qualifies for the categories Google offers. If Google offers your category, you will also need the appropriate license and insurance for your industry. Once all the qualifications are met, Google will run a background check on you and your business. Once you pass all the proper requirements, you can run your advertising campaign.
In 2021, we want to see small businesses strive toward greater things, but that doesn’t mean going all out on advertising and marketing. A great step forward for a business owner is to use budget-friendly digital marketing tools. When you become a greater part of the local community, you widen the range of potential customers while also providing the help they need. For continued growth and new beginnings this year, help your small business grow with a budget-friendly digital marketing plan.
by Nick Quirk