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Effective digital marketing channels for startups & SMEs.

Small businesses don't have big marketing budgets like giant corporations do. Due to their size, they rely on inexpensive but effective digital marketing channels to promote their products and services.

When small businesses pick a niche and utilise certain digital marketing channels, they are most likely organically grow their clientele, customer base and achieve customer loyalty within reasonable time.

Below are five digital marketing channel options for small businesses.

1. Social media marketing

It costs so little to start marketing your business via social media. Highly populated social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and LinkedIn gives your business huge potential access to millions of prospects.

To effectively use social media marketing, here are some tips below;

  • Do an online market research to know which social media platform your high quality prospects spend most of their time. Select the top three.

  • Determine the type of content that will resonate with your target audience the most.

  • Figure out the platform that suits your content creation capacity and resources.

Match these three things together and spend 80% of your resources on the most suitable social media platform and 20% on other promising platforms. Focus on a platform instead of spreading your marketing resources thin.

In the process of marketing via social media, you need to learn how to start generating leads on social media for your business to start making sales.

2. Search engine marketing (SEO)

Businesses that offer great products or services but lack visibility often fail. This lack of visibility is what search engine marketing primarily solves.

A lot of people go on search engines like google to search for information. With over 100,000 searches per second, the businesses whose sites rank in the top ten search results enjoy lots of visibility which usually translates to leads and eventual sales.

Small businesses can gain this visibility organically or inorganically. Organically via search engine optimisation and local search marketing or inorganically via pay-per-click marketing (PPC).

  • Search engine optimisation (SEO): This requires that you have a website and optimise it by fulfilling the latest SEO demands of search engines like google. Using the right keywords that match your target audience search intent is one of the basic SEO tactics that is still relevant.

  • Local search marketing: This involves integrating a search engine's maps function (especially for google). You can list your business on google with mapping and address information such as phone number, email address and website address, allowing prospective customers access to the details they need to visit your establishment online and offline.

  • Pay-per-click (P-P-C Marketing): Inorganic search engine marketing involves paying the search engine owners to advertise your business on their search engine whenever a particular keyword is searched by your target market. PPC marketing is cost effective because your small business only pays for results. You only pay if your ad has been clicked on. Hence the name Pay-per-click.

3. Content marketing

Content marketing is the act of creating valuable content targeted at your ideal customer or clientele in a way that attracts, retains and ultimately causes profitable customer actions.

This digital marketing channel can be built on blogging or vlogging. It is done hand in gloves with SEO by optimising your content to rank high with your website.

To get great results, be very intentional about creating a content strategy, publishing well-researched content and effective distribution of your content.

This marketing channel might not bring you instant results but you will enjoy the ROI after being consistent over time.

A WordPress site would suffice as your website for a start. It costs very little to get started on this content management platform.

4. Email marketing

The need to use this marketing channel is justified by the role it plays alongside other marketing channels.

Social media marketing tactics involve generating quality leads by bringing every interested client or buyer on an email list where you have independent access to them. Independent access in the sense that, if you lose your social media accounts, you can still reach your followers who joined your email list.

Email marketing also plays the role of content distribution in content marketing. You can send your blog or vlog content as newsletters in a way that draws your prospects attention and increase readership or viewership on your blog or vlog sites. Increased traffic on your website is known to have a positive effect on your SEO, thereby increasing your visibility.

For a well integrated marketing mix, email marketing is crucial. Avoid email marketing mistakes to ensure you experience successful marketing campaigns.

5. SMS & WhatsApp Messaging

This digital marketing channel is great because it allows you to reach your target audience whether they are online or not. You can take advantage of SMS and MMS text messages for customer relationship management.

Leverage apps that allow you send bulk SMS updates to hundreds of prospects in a few minutes at affordable rates. Messaging your target audience is a more personal marketing experience for your customer. It feels like they are the only ones getting your updates and offers, making them more susceptible to patronising your service or product.

Another advantage of this marketing channel is that your marketing communications won't suffer competition unlike on social media where a lot of content is fighting for your prospects' attention.

To conclude, small businesses need all the marketing help they can get for them to thrive in an expensive and highly competitive media landscape. The digital marketing channels we've previously mentioned can help make an effective business impact.


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