When it comes to digital marketing, things can get complicated. Quickly. But there’s no reason to stress. At Vivial, we make the complex simple. So, where do you begin?

Step #1: Understand the Digital Landscape

When putting together your digital marketing strategy, it is vital to consistently check in on how things are going in the nation, the economy, and with your target market to determine whether adjustments or shifts need to be made to your plan.

For example, while many advertisers pulled back in 2020 due to the pandemic, it is forecasted that 2021 will see an increase of 25.5%, making it the fastest growth rate since 2018.  And while there is still some uncertainty with the state of the economy throughout the end of the year, experts believe holiday shopping will stay strong and is expected to bring in approximately $1.093 trillion for retailers across the nation.

As a result, one key area to take note of is eCommerce. Online sales are expected to rise to $206.88 billion making up a record-breaking 18.9% of the total holiday season’s retail sales.  Another important channel to focus on is social media considering over 26% of online shoppers planned to use social media while holiday shopping last year. Therefore, if you do not have a strong eCommerce or social strategy in place, now is the time to get moving on it!

Step #2: Understand your Audience

As the digital information age continues to evolve, so do the purchasing behaviors of consumers. More than ever, consumers are doing copious research before the moment of purchase. 81% of retail shoppers conduct online research before buying. If your business lacks a presence on any online content that informs and educates your potential buyers—you’re missing out on real revenue potential.

The rise in research is due in large part to the proliferation of information online. There are countless digital sources for consumers to tap into when making purchase decisions. Social media, email marketing, online review sites, and business websites are just a few. To remain competitive and relevant, your marketing strategy needs to be robust and diversified.

Step #3: Manage Your Online Listings

We’ve all done it. We’ve searched for a local business, like, say, a plumber, and on that first page of Google, we see results from places like Manta, Angi, BBB.org, etc. Ever wonder where those sites get information on various businesses? Ever wonder if your business shows up on those sites? It’s a pretty safe bet it does. The bad news is—if you’re not actively policing and managing those listings, your business information could be wrong. In fact, 86% of businesses have either missing or incorrect company name information listed across all listing sources. That is a scary statistic, especially when research shows that 8 out of 10 consumers lose trust in a business if they see inaccurate or inconsistent information across the internet.

The good news—you can manage those listings. Every one of those sites offers the ability for you to claim and optimize your business listing. While it’s generally quite inexpensive to manage each, it can be time-consuming. But the value in managing these listings is huge. Imagine what would happen if a directory listed the wrong address for your business. Potential customers could be sitting in the middle of nowhere looking for your business. Or worse yet, they could end up at your competitor.

Take the next 60 seconds and run your own Listing Analysis to see if you have errors.

Step #4: Generate Custom Content

Back in the day, a quick 30-second ad on the radio or a small black and white ad in the local paper was about the extent of the marketing options available to local businesses. But there was an inherent problem with those options—how can you cram everything your business does, represents, and stands for into something that small? You can’t. When it comes to local businesses, consumers want to know you, trust you, remember you. A logo and phone number in the corner of the obituaries section of the evening paper won’t do that.

In fact, 84% of consumers expect, yes expect, brands to create content that entertains, provides solutions and produces experiences. Consumers today won’t be wooed by pretty pictures and flashy graphics. They want to hear from your perspective why they should choose you. Custom content offers you the opportunity to tell your story and showcase your industry expertise. In a way, it begins a dialogue with customers inviting them to get to know you and start a relationship.

So, there you have it. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to marketing your small business, there are a few things every business must do. And whether or not you utilize your internal resources, or partner with a trusted digital marketing agency like Vivial, effectively leveraging digital marketing is necessary for success. Contact one of our Digital Media Representatives to find out how Vivial can help you ramp up your digital marketing strategy today!