2018 has come and gone, and with it came numerous changes in the digital marketing world. As a small business, it can be hard to keep up with all the changes, but that’s why we’re here—to help you navigate the ever-changing world of digital marketing.
While 2019 will bring even more variations to our world, the good news is, it should be merely a continuation of what happened in 2018. Sure, a lot of things changed, but for the most part what happened was what we expected to happen, it’s just been happening even faster than expected.
As a small business, it’s crucial for you to focus your resources where they can be most effective, and that’s why we’ve come up with the Top 10 Digital Marketing Ideas for Local Businesses in 2019:
1. Focus Your Efforts
If you try to do everything with your marketing, you can end up doing nothing of note. Instead, focus on a few core areas that you know will work. The key is to experiment often until you find what works, and then expand your efforts in those areas to take full advantage.
2. Produce Quality Content
At the end of the day, the majority of your marketing success will come down to the content you produce. Today’s online audience responds to content that is creative, engaging and valuable to them. Make your content educational and entertaining. Keep it simple, but effective. Know your audience, a consistent voice will help build a connection. Create a unique voice for your brand that sets you apart from competitors. But no matter how good your content is, if nobody sees it, then it’s going to be difficult to generate results.
3. Promote Your Content
Don’t let budgetary concerns keep you from promoting your content on social media, or running paid campaigns. First you must produce quality content but then you should utilize the power of paid campaigns to promote some of your top performing content.
4. Be Social
Don’t make the mistake of just blasting offers or promotions to your customers, instead, actively engage with them on social media. Provide valuable content to your target audience, things they can use, things that set you apart as an industry expert, and they will be much more likely to pay attention when you mix in some promotions from time to time.
5. Embrace Videos, Even Live Video
Visual content goes a long way in swaying customer behavior, and videos make a big impact on that front. Video content is one of the most effective ways to engage with customers and get extended reach in the market. And it’s relatively easy to do. Businesses no longer need special video, lighting or editing equipment, in fact, most of today’s smartphones are capable of shooting professional quality videos. And videos can be used for more than just marketing your business, customer testimonials come across with much more authority in video format, and video is a great way to explain the products or services you provide. Live video is another way to engage with your audience and set yourself apart as an industry expert.
6. Encourage Online Reviews
Ratings and reviews are important, especially to small businesses, so don’t be afraid to ask for them. Use signs in your business, remarks in emails or links on your website to direct customers how to leave feedback about your services. And when they do, make sure you respond.
7. Monitor and Respond to Reviews
Once you get customers to start leaving reviews, monitor them closely and respond quickly to all of them, especially any that are negative. Don’t be afraid of negative reviews, just be ready to address them. How you respond to the negativity can go a long way towards providing a positive influence on potential customers. Overall, try to maintain a rating of four stars or higher.
8. Think Local
The importance of local search has already been discussed for the past few years, but if you haven’t claimed your listings on local search directories such as Google My Business and Bing places for business, you could be missing out. It’s free to do, and helps ensure accurate information about your business will be found when people search online.
9. Don’t Forget About Your Website
In today’s world of social media and mobile marketing, it’s easy to forget where we’ve come from. Please don’t make that mistake, make sure your website is updated regularly, with high-quality, engaging content. Also, if it’s not mobile-friendly already, do so immediately. Not only does it make your website easier to navigate across all devices, but most important, it provides a better user experience no matter how consumers access your site.
10. Connect with Customers Via Email
Email is one of the oldest digital marketing tools out there, and still one of the most effective. Just about everyone has an email address and they check it regularly throughout the day. Be consistent with your sends, whether it’s a monthly newsletter, weekly promotion, or daily update, your customers will quickly get acclimated to your schedule and look forward to receiving the emails as long as you continue to provide information they deem as valuable.