Ignoring digital marketing in 2023 is like opening a business but not telling anybody. The potential number of customers you can obtain through marketing your business online dwarfs what you’ll be able to attract locally, while also offering various other advantages. These include facilitating two-way communication, gaining brand credibility, and keeping up with your competitors.
With all that in mind, what are the best ways to market your own small business online in 2023?
Social media marketing
With roughly 60% of the world’s population using social media, marketing on these platforms is a no brainer. Social media marketing offers numerous benefits, including direct interaction with your target audience, humanizing your brand, content promotion and gaining insights into your customers.
Regarding the last point, as marketing agency Pitch explains: “The analytics that can be drawn from social media go deeper than platform-specific metrics like tweets, retweets and likes — information about customer sentiment, demand and competitor behavior can also be asserted.” This data is invaluable and can be used to inform your wider marketing strategy.
Some useful tips for successful social media marketing include:
- Choose your platforms carefully – You need to make sure you harness social media platforms that your audience uses. There’s little point running a TikTok account if your customers are mainly over the age of 30, for example.
- Optimize your post frequency – Depending on the platforms you use, you’ll need to post content at different frequencies. For example, the optimal number of posts a day on Instagram is one to two, whereas on Facebook it’s four to five times.
- Harness social media analytics – Social media analytics are crucial for not only optimizing your social media strategy, but, as alluded to above, improving your overall marketing campaigns. Among the best social media analytics tools are Hootsuite Analytics, Google Analytics and Keyhole.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your website’s visibility on search engines — namely Google — so that it appears when people search for terms related to your business or industry. The greater visibility you have, the more likely you are to attract people to your website which can then lead to new customers.
Other notable benefits of SEO include boosting your business’s online authority, improving your website’s usability for existing customers, and a good return on investment (ROI). All in all, the global SEO industry is now worth an estimated $50 billion, with organic traffic responsible for 53% of total website traffic as of 2023, compared to 15% for paid traffic.
Although an effective SEO strategy involves numerous aspects, some of the main ways to ensure this include:
- Target the right keywords – Keywords are important as they indicate to search engines what a website’s content is about and also help users to find that content. By using keyword research tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs, you can see what keywords your audience are using to search for your products and services, and work these into your content.
- Create great content – Content is king for SEO, helping you to improve your visibility, position you as a thought leader and gain backlinks from other websites. Creating great content means making it useful, easy to understand, unique and professionally presented.
- Get good backlinks – Speaking of backlinks, these are crucial to a successful SEO strategy, as they represent a “vote of confidence” from other websites. Ways to gain backlinks include using resources like Help a Reporter Out (HARO), providing testimonials and conducting broken link building.
Considering over half (4.3 billion) of the world’s population use emails, email marketing is another highly effective online marketing method. It can be a great way of connecting with leads and turning them into customers, as well as allowing you to build relationships with your audience, boost brand awareness and promote your content.
Like SEO, email marketing also has a fantastic ROI, with research finding that it has a return of $36 for every $1 spent. In addition, 60% of consumers say they’ve made a purchase as a result of an email they’ve read, with 61% also saying that they enjoy receiving promotional emails weekly. This is because it helps to keep them up to date with their favorite brands.
Among the best ways to optimize your email marketing strategy are:
- Segment your subscribers – Because email marketing can be used for so many different purposes, it’s important to segment your subscriber list. You can then identify your audience by aspects like demographics, engagement levels and their stage of the customer journey and tailor your emails accordingly.
- Personalize your emails – Speaking of which, you can personalize your emails in so many ways, from messaging customers with relevant information to sending tailored emails, such as wishing them happy birthday. Sending mistargeted emails can risk customers unsubscribing from your emails.
- Send out trigger emails – Trigger emails are those that are sent out automatically after a customer performs a certain action. These have much higher engagement rates seeing as you’re interacting with them while they’re actively engaged. Examples include emailing customers when they abandon their cart and sending a feedback request after a purchase.