How To Use Digital Marketing to Reach Your Small Business Customers
Updated: Jun 21, 2022
You spend all of your time running your business, you likely don't have a lot of time left to market it. We’ve seen it many times in many industries – manufacturing, med spas, orthodontics, residential services, and more. Your small business is small with limited resources, and you are too busy running it to devote much, if any, time to digital marketing.
By now, you understand the power of social, as you likely use it every day. You also likely recognize how important other areas of digital marketing are. Because of that, you know how vital it is for your business. You know you need to at least have a social presence online, but it’s so far out of your wheelhouse that the task and effort seem impossible.
Not to worry, we’re going to break it down a little, so it looks less overwhelming. We’ve assembled a few key steps to guide you through the process and get your company in front of customers.
What is Content Marketing and What is Social Media Marketing? And What is the Difference?
In its simplest form, content marketing uses your online content to reach customers as they search around the internet. You’re giving them information and resources to draw them to you but are not overly pushing or selling your brand as a solution.
One of our favorite email newsletter services, MailChimp, defines it like this, “content marketing is a marketing strategy used to attract, engage, and retain an audience by creating and sharing relevant articles, videos, podcasts, and other media. This approach establishes expertise, promotes brand awareness, and keeps your business top of mind when it’s time to buy what you sell.”
How can you use content marketing to reach your customers? Suppose your business publishes a blog or company news, but you’re unsure what to publish. A quick and easy task could be to post videos explaining your processes or post content on social media showing off your latest job. Now, you’re using content marketing to speak to your potential, current, and former customers.
Social media marketing can be as simply defined. It’s producing content to reach your target market or audience and sharing it on social channels. This content can be informational and aligned with your content marketing goals but can also be geared toward promotional and designed to sell or promote.
Define Your Goals
Our process always begins by defining goals, outlining an initial strategy, and describing anticipated hurdles. What do you hope to achieve with your company’s b2b social media efforts? You can develop a plan when you have your initial goal in mind.
The golden rule of any reasonable social media marketing effort is that consistency is critical. Keep that in mind when planning your social media content. Perhaps posting four days a week is out of the question for you; that’s fine, post twice a week. Whatever you choose, keep it consistent.
The other key to reasonable social media marketing efforts? Great content. We have found that our clients have plenty of great content to use – it’s just that sometimes they don’t realize it.
No one can tell your company’s story like you, so look around your shop floor or office; you’ll find plenty of topics and potential photos or videos to use.
Plan. Execute. Monitor. Measure. Repeat.
Even the most minor social media or content marketing campaigns we’ve completed contained these crucial steps. Trust us when we tell you not to skip them.
Plan – a simple calendar with when you want to post and a list of ideas to use is a great start. A quick brainstorm of topics about your business can help you set up posts for months at a time.
Also, consider how you can create many posts on the same issue. For example, a manufacturing contractor company working on your social media marketing might identify a topic like “hydraulic pump repair.” From there, you could create a post about a specific job, the equipment in your shop, information about your process, etc.
Execute – this will be the most challenging part of getting your digital marketing off the ground. We find that creating a schedule and sticking with it is a tremendous help. Set aside 20-30 mins once a week to write a draft of the text you plan to use, as well as any adjustments to the picture of the video you’ll be using (if any.)
After drafting, be sure to check your spelling and grammar, and make sure it’s easy and quick to read. Then, have a colleague look it over for any errors you might have missed. For now, you’re ready to post! Go for it.
Monitor – this can be a tricky time commitment for you. Depending on the volume of followers, your page could get a lot of comments or questions that need to be answered.
This is good news, though – these are the people you have been working so hard to reach. Our advice? Check your pages every morning for any comments or messages that need addressing.
Measure – many social media platforms give you insight tools within your company page – pay attention to these! After all, how do you know if your efforts are working if you’re not measuring?
A note about this, though, if you are starting from the ground up, or nearly so, social growth will take time. Don’t get discouraged; keep telling your company’s story.
Repeat – Yes, you’ll have to repeat the planning, executing, and measuring for consistency. Make it a part of your week and make it a priority to give attention to it routinely.
Marketing your small business online is critical today. You may have limited resources, but you can start. Start small, learn everything you can, and grow - but get started!