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15 Effective Digital Marketing Strategies for Boosting Social Media Engagement in Small Businesses

To help small businesses thrive in the digital world, we asked fifteen marketing professionals and CEOs for their top strategies. From claiming your Google Business profile to setting up Google search ads, discover the most effective digital marketing strategies these leaders recommend for small businesses.

  • Claim Your Google Business Profile

  • Leverage Local Partnerships

  • Embrace a Remarketing Strategy

  • Harness the Power of Referrals

  • Create Localized Content

  • Partner with Micro-Influencers

  • Engage Audience with Social Media and Blogging

  • Nurture Leads for Strong Relationships

  • Manage Online Reviews for Trust

  • Invest in Pay-Per-Click Advertising

  • Stay Connected with Email Marketing

  • Focus on a Primary Audience Platform

  • Prioritize High-Quality Content Creation

  • Attract an Audience with Content Marketing

  • Set Up Google Search Ads

Claim Your Google Business Profile

An often-overlooked but potent digital marketing strategy for small businesses is claiming your Google Business Profile. By keeping information about your business up-to-date on this platform, you make it easier for local customers to find you. This strategy has proven invaluable in our experience, connecting us with clients right in our community and generating immediate results.

Optimizing your website for location-specific keywords takes this strategy a step further. By including your location in titles, headings, and content—such as "Car Cleaning in Orange County" or "Dog Walking in Los Angeles"—you enhance visibility in local searches.

This approach has allowed us to dominate our local market, bringing in more business than we anticipated and has worked wonders for a ton of our clients just starting on their digital journey.

Kevin Hall, Marketing Operations, Webserv

Leverage Local Partnerships

This is a tactic used for SEO, but it's effective for businesses outside of the SEO benefits too.

Small businesses can look to partner with other local businesses and/or sponsor local clubs, venues, and events. The benefits of doing this are:

  1. Building a reciprocal relationship with other local business owners.

  2. Getting more eyeballs on your business from local residents. This alone can lead to increased leads and word of mouth.

  3. The SEO benefit of a backlink from a local business is always a win. You might be able to build up a dozen or so links, all of which will help improve your organic traffic and keyword ranks.

The above points have proven effective. Talking to other business owners, more people in the community see who you are and what you do, plus there's usually a reciprocal SEO benefit.

To top it off, it's an easy exercise!

Ben Poulton, SEO Consultant and Founder, Intellar

Embrace a Remarketing Strategy

The enchanting world of remarketing! Picture this: A potential customer visits your site, gets distracted (it happens), and suddenly, your ads start trailing them like a loyal puppy. Result? A whopping 147% increase in conversion rates! Hopping on this digital chariot, a small business can take flight.

Take a peek at the stats: Four out of five visitors abandon carts. Ouch, right? But with remarketing, 26% of those wandering souls trot back, wallets in hand. An online store, “Chic Retreats,” did a victory dance as sales soared 32% within a month.

So, there it is. Remarketing—a secret weapon to reel in those almost-gone fish. Hook, line, and profits—just what a small business needs!

Harness the Power of Referrals

A digital marketing strategy that is highly recommended for small businesses is online referral marketing. This approach utilizes the power of networks, both customer and business-to-business, and has proven to be a game-changer for many businesses.

Offering incentives like discounts or rewards for each successful referral can spark enthusiasm among existing clients. They are excited to share their positive experiences and recommend services to their circle. But it's not just about customers. Building strong relationships with other businesses is like having allies in the field. When they recommend a business, it's a stamp of approval that people trust, like a friend saying, "These guys are good."

This strategy is effective because it's not about ads; it's about genuine connections. In today's digital world, trust is everything, and referrals bring that trust right to the doorstep.

Create Localized Content

One digital marketing strategy consistently advocated for small businesses is localized content marketing. By creating content tailored to local audiences, events, and trends, small businesses can resonate more deeply with their immediate customer base.

For Click Intelligence, there was a collaboration with a local café looking to boost footfall. Instead of generic coffee blogs, articles were produced on the café's involvement in local events, its sourcing of local ingredients, and spotlights on neighborhood happenings. This localized approach led to a 40% increase in organic website visits and a noticeable uptick in café patrons mentioning the content.

The lesson is clear. In the vast digital realm, businesses that speak directly to their local communities often find a more engaged and responsive audience, leading to tangible results.

Partner with Micro-Influencers

One strategy we've found particularly fruitful is partnering with micro-influencers. When we were just starting out, we collaborated with a local influencer who had a modest but highly engaged following. This wasn't some major celebrity, just a passionate individual in our field.

To our surprise, that single partnership doubled our enrollments in a month. Their genuine endorsement resonated with their audience, creating a ripple effect for our brand.

Engage Audience with Social Media and Blogging

One effective digital-marketing strategy I'd recommend for small businesses is content marketing through social media and blogging. Sharing valuable, relevant content can attract and engage an audience without hard promotion.

It can showcase expertise to establish thought leadership, generate referral traffic back to your site, develop leads through gated assets, nurture relationships over time to drive conversions, and build organic reach rather than rely on paid ads. Doing this strategy has proven effective to me as I get more engaged with the clients.

Nurture Leads for Strong Relationships

One of the most effective digital marketing strategies for small businesses is lead nurturing. The creation of personalized and relevant content, tailored to different stages of the buyer's journey, allows businesses to create strong relationships with potential clients.

By utilizing email campaigns, targeted social media ads, and retargeting efforts, a 20% increase in conversion rates can be achieved. This process aids in building trust, educating prospects, and ultimately turning them into loyal and repeat customers.

Faizan Khan, Public Relations and Content Marketing Specialist, Ubuy UK

Manage Online Reviews for Trust

Implementing effective online-review management can help small businesses build trust and attract new customers. By encouraging positive reviews and promptly addressing negative feedback, businesses can enhance their online reputation.

This strategy has proven effective by improving customer trust, boosting online visibility, and increasing sales. For example, a local restaurant utilized online-review management by actively responding to customer reviews, both positive and negative.

As a result, they saw an increase in positive reviews, which boosted their overall rating and attracted more customers to their establishment.

Invest in Pay-Per-Click Advertising

One of the great digital marketing strategies I recommend for small businesses is pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. This strategy involves advertising through Google and social media platforms to get clicks and sales from a particular group of people.

It has proven effective for our businesses as it provides us a measurable return on investment and helps us to achieve marketing goals.

Alex Murray, Search Director, Tilious

Stay Connected with Email Marketing

It's a useful way for businesses to stay connected with customers. They can achieve this by sending emails containing updates, great deals, and useful information directly to people's email addresses. It's a bit like chatting with your friends, but it happens over email. This approach can encourage more people to make purchases from the business and develop a stronger liking for the brand.

Employing this strategy supports clients and communicates with specific groups. It also helps in attracting more potential clients to explore the website, available resources, and services. Many people are opening and engaging with the emails, which ultimately leads to more individuals using the services.

Focus on a Primary Audience Platform

Small businesses often need to be discerning in their digital marketing strategies. However, this can be an advantage.

By adopting a focused approach, akin to business principles like the 80/20 rule, our agency zeroes in on the primary platform where our target audience is most active. This sharp focus allows us to pinpoint subtle nuances that significantly impact our results. Concentrating on one platform is not only more manageable but also tends to yield superior outcomes.

Jason Vaught, Director of Content, SmashBrand

Prioritize High-Quality Content Creation

AI has definitely brought some changes to the digital marketing game, but small-business owners need to prioritize high-quality content and the expertise of skilled content creators, especially if they have a very specific niche.

Sure, generative AI tools are a whole lot cheaper, but for creating truly outstanding content, you just can't replace the creative minds of expert writers. 85% of our expenses are content, and that's why we've never lost our audience to our competitors—they keep coming back for our authentic content and first-hand experiences.

Attract an Audience with Content Marketing

Content marketing is the creation and distribution of valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a target audience. This can be done through a variety of channels, such as blogs, articles, infographics, e-books, and social media posts.

Content marketing is an effective strategy for small businesses because it can help to create high-quality content that is relevant to your target audience, you can help to increase brand awareness and make your business more visible.

Content marketing can also help you to generate leads by providing valuable information that your target audience is interested in. When people find your content valuable, they are more likely to visit your website and learn more about your business.

Set Up Google Search Ads

Using Google Search Ads ought to be the backbone of the digital-marketing strategy for most small businesses. Appropriately targeted ads allow you to reach customers who are looking for the goods and services you provide.

The nice thing about Google Ads is how quickly you can see results. You can create a campaign and have it up the same day. It's a much faster way to get results than SEO. (Though SEO is crucial in the long term.) Effective Google Ads can drive revenue and help to fund your other digital-marketing efforts.

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