You know that investing in marketing is important for building your business, and in the Digital Age, digital marketing is essential for attracting an audience of engaged and loyal customers. If you had an unlimited budget, you would hire the best in-house marketing team and launch a massive digital marketing campaign with sophisticated branding across every channel. However, as a small business, you need to think more critically about what types of marketing services you can and need to invest in.
Marketing is essential for promoting business growth, but you don’t want to devastate other business operations by dedicating too much budget to your marketing endeavors. While your business is small and your budgets are tight, you might prioritize the following high-impact digital marketing services:
Search engine optimization (SEO) has been a cornerstone of digital marketing for decades. More technical than other aspects of digital marketing, SEO requires an understanding of dominant search engine algorithms, which digital marketers manipulate to increase the ranking of various online assets, such as a business’s website, products or social media pages. Far more complex than stuffing keyword phrases into the content across your website, SEO requires finesse and flexibility to achieve ranking goals while avoiding penalties from search engines. Of particular importance to most small businesses is local SEO, which involves ranking highly specifically on searches performed by residents of regions in which your business operates.
Because SEO is so complicated and ever-changing, it is worth your investment to work with SEO experts. You might find a digital marketing firm partnered with SEO resellers that offer lower costs, or you might work directly with an SEO-focused marketing agency, considering that SEO is so critical to digital marketing success.
There are more than 1.13 billion websites — so why should an online user spend time clicking around yours? What makes your website unique and interesting, drawing users in and encouraging them to convert? Perhaps most importantly, what makes your website memorable, so that web users will want to return again and again?
Website branding is a fundamental aspect of online brand identity. Online users will expect other web assets to reflect the brand established on your business’s website, so you need to invest in cohesive and comprehensible website branding. You should work with digital marketers on brand development, which should be a relatively limited expense. You might need to refresh your brand every five to 10 years or invest in new brand assets as trends shift and technology evolves.
The linchpin of digital marketing has always been and will always be content. Content is the visual, audible or written media that entertains, informs or otherwise engages the masses of online users. Without content, the internet would be an empty wasteland with nothing for users to do. While there are many forms of content that you experiment with to drive engagement and conversion, written content is by far the most essential. Through written content, you can improve your SEO strategy, and you can deliver information your customers need with efficiency and effectiveness.
Though you may have the expertise required to write at length about your company, your industry, your products and more, you likely do not have the time or writing skill. Thus, you should consider outsourcing content generation to digital marketing experts. Some digital marketing firms have writers on staff to assist with content creation, or you may cut costs by utilizing freelance content writers found on sites like Upwork.
Social Media Marketing
Regardless of how you feel personally about social media, you cannot deny that many social media sites are incredibly powerful at promoting engagement from web users. Your business needs to maintain the same social media accounts as its target audience, and it needs to deliver high-quality content that attracts new web users while maintaining connections with existing customers. Like SEO, social media marketing tactics change over time, and remaining relevant on social media can demand a significant amount of time and effort.
Because social media is such a significant component of digital marketing strategy, most digital marketing agencies have social media experts on staff. However, you may be able to save money by working with a freelance social media marketer or perhaps hiring a dedicated social media professional onto your in-house marketing team.
Your business cannot do without digital marketing in the Digital Age. Fortunately, you can start small with your digital marketing strategy and grow your investment in digital marketing as your business grows.