Digital Marketing for Small Businesses Free Report by Adnimate Marketing

Digital Marketing for Small Businesses

Digital Marketing for Small Businesses: A Free Report

One of the most popular search topics on the internet is digital marketing for small businesses or a variation thereof. This is not surprising, given the tremendous growth in small businesses in the nation and, in a parallel manner, the growing importance of establishing a robust online presence in order to remain competitive in today’s marketplace.

If anyone had any doubts about these trends, the 2020 pandemic and it accompanying economic crisis clearly showed that online business activity was no longer a luxury but an urgent need.

To assist small businesses in understanding the fundamentals of digital marketing, Adnimate Marketing provides the following free “Digital Marketing for Small Businesses” report. We hope it helps you and your business stay ahead of the competition.

Digital Marketing for Small Businesses

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction

1. Stop and Regroup

2. Create a Digital Marketing Action Plan

3. Prioritize Your Digital Marketing Strategies

4. Stop Shooting for Perfection

5. Establish Realistic Digital Marketing Expectations in Your Business

6. Stay Focused With Your Digital Marketing Initiatives

7. Celebrate Your Digital Marketing Accomplishments

8. Create Time for Digital Marketing

9. Consider Getting Professional Help

10. Avoid These Five Common Mistakes

Conclusion

 

Introduction

For small businesses, digital marketing can quickly become overwhelming. There are so many opportunities there for your business to exploit, but just how do you actually go about taking advantage of them and fitting them all into your schedule? Which digital marketing strategies should you be using, and how do you go about implementing them successfully? What about tracking the results of your campaigns?

If you are feeling more than a little weighed down and confused by digital marketing, you’re certainly not alone. Thousands of small business owners just like yourself are feeling overwhelmed and confused; so they aren’t achieving the results they would like from their efforts.

Despite the opportunities digital marketing provides to small businesses, many choose not to use it at all; and those who have tried it felt that their efforts were a waste of time and just not effective.

If digital marketing is making your head spin, we’ve put together a useful list of ten ways you can overcome digital marketing overwhelm and start working towards using it to your advantage.

 

1. Stop and Regroup

When you feel overwhelmed and confused by marketing, the first thing you should do is to stop what you are doing and regroup. It is important to recognize your need to re-set your psyche and then take some time out to refresh your mindset and come back stronger…

Firstly, take a step away from the computer. There becomes a time when you are no longer productive and continuing to work becomes counterintuitive. So consider going for a walk or finding a quiet spot to meditate for a few minutes. You’ll feel much better for it and will be able to come back to the task with a clearer focus.

In addition, working in short bursts is a great way to maximize your productivity levels and minimize overwhelm. For example, you might do twenty-minutes of solid work and then take a short five-minute break.

Learn the Basics

In order to prevent overwhelm, it is important to familiarize yourself with the basics of digital marketing. Read up on the subject and then put together a plan of action that can be realistically achieved in your current schedule.

It’s also certainly worth mentioning that many business owners make the mistake of trying to carry out every digital marketing method under the sun, when they would actually be much better off focusing on two or three strategies that are most effective for their business. The quickest way to overwhelm is trying to do everything!

 

2. Create a Digital Marketing Action Plan

There is no doubting that digital marketing is becoming ever more important to the success of your business, but actually knowing what to do and where to begin can be rather confusing. Before you even think about any kind of implementation, you should put together a simple digital marketing action plan.

Why create a digital marketing action plan?

Many businesses approach digital marketing without giving much thought to what they are actually doing. It’s all too easy to throw up a website or a Facebook page and simply hope for the best.

Before you begin, it is important to get clear on exactly what you want to achieve from your digital marketing efforts and then set out a realistic plan for achieving your goals. By putting together a simple strategy, you will be able to take focused action and therefore be much more likely to be successful.

1. Do your research

The first stage is to gather as much information about your customers as you possibly can. Who is your target audience? What do they do and what motivates them? Most importantly, where do they hang out online?

2. Set an overall digital marketing objective/goal

The next step is to decide on exactly what you want to achieve from your digital marketing efforts. Your overall goal might be something like:

“Generate 50 new leads each month and convert at least 20 of those leads into new customers.”

3. Decide on your digital marketing channels

Based on the information you now have, you can then decide on what digital marketing channels you will use to achieve your goal. For example:

* Your website
* Social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
* Email marketing
* Content marketing

For each channel/campaign, you should set a specific objective and key performance indicator. For example:

* “Increase website traffic by 20% before the end of December 2017”

* “Add 500 new subscribers to our email newsletter each month and convert at least 20 of them into paying customers”

* “Generate 200 new leads from Facebook advertising in the next 30 days”

4. Plan your actions

You should set out exactly what you are going to do – each day, each week, and each month. Make sure that these actions are realistic and manageable so that you don’t get overwhelmed.

5. Closely monitor results

It is important to closely monitor and measure your results, so you need to decide on exactly how you’re going to do that. As an example, website traffic can be tracked through Google Analytics, or your email marketing might be tracked through your autoresponder service (e.g. MailChimp).

 

3. Prioritize Your Digital Marketing Strategies

There are so many different digital marketing strategies out there that it can sometimes be difficult for businesses to know exactly where to begin. From SEO, to social media marketing, PPC advertising and content marketing, there are tons of highly effective ways to find new customers and better engage with existing ones…

But the problem is that although all of these tactics can work very well, there is usually nowhere near enough time (or budget) to do it all – and do it successfully. In order to make digital marketing work for your business, it is necessary to prioritize your digital marketing strategies and get clear about exactly what you should be concentrating on.

Find out where your customers hang out online

It is important to find out exactly where your target audience hangs out online so that you can prioritize marketing in those places.

As an example, there is little point in advertising on Facebook if you know that most of your primary target audience isn’t on Facebook. On the other hand, maybe you are selling a B2B service and decide that LinkedIn is the perfect platform for marketing your product. Those same people might also use Facebook at home, but by marketing to them through LinkedIn you could hit them when they are in ‘work mode.’

How do you find out this information?

One of the best ways is simply to ask them. Consider sending out a short questionnaire, or just ask your customers when you speak to them.

In addition, it’s well worth looking at online communities and forums related to your business as these can tell you a lot about your audience.

Finally, you can also use online tools like the Google Display Planner. There are also many paid tools that can analyze your competitor’s websites and tell you from what sites they are receiving traffic.

Prioritize your website

Your digital marketing should really be centered around your website. As an example, you might use social media marketing, PPC and email advertising to find new prospects, but ultimately you will most likely be directing people back to your website. If your website sucks, you aren’t going to achieve successful results from your campaigns.

Your website should:

* Have a professional visual design
* Be user-friendly (logical navigation, clear categories, etc.)
* Be mobile-friendly
* Contain relevant, up-to-date content

Your website forms the backbone of your digital marketing strategy, so make sure that your website does justice to your brand and creates a good impression to visitors.

 

4. Stop Shooting for Perfection

When it comes to digital marketing, it’s a big mistake to try to shoot for perfection. Why? It will stop you from taking action, and it’ll also ultimately limit the success you achieve from your efforts…

Shooting for perfection stops you taking action

The first thing to consider is that there’s actually no such thing as a ‘perfect’ digital marketing strategy or campaign. Whether we’re talking about digital marketing or the world in general, perfection doesn’t exist because what is perfect to one person will not be to another.

In the marketing arena, there will always be something that could be improved upon or an area that didn’t quite hit the mark with your audience. Your website can always be improved. Your email newsletter could always contain better content. The copy or design of your marketing materials will always be subjective.

If you continually strive to make your work perfect before putting it out there, you will either end up never doing it at all, or you’ll wait so long that you will miss out on the opportunity that was originally there. Perfectionism can really slow down the progress of a business or even bring things to a complete standstill. Make things as good as you possibly can and then just run with it! Don’t let perfectionism make you feel overwhelmed.

You can learn a lot from your failures

What happens when we make a mistake or find that something doesn’t quite work out how we expected? We learn from it and receive a valuable lesson on what not to do next time – or how to improve on it. Likewise, we also learn from our successes because they signal that we need to do more of something.

Shooting for perfection means that you will ultimately limit your success because you will never truly learn from your mistakes. This doesn’t mean that you should skimp on digital marketing or deliberately put something out there that you know is poor quality – but what it DOES mean is that you should research, plan, launch and then closely monitor your results. Stay in tune with what’s actually happening and then learn from your failures (and successes).

Remember: perfection doesn’t exist. You should do everything in your power to make sure that your digital marketing as good as it possibly can be and then just go with it. Start small, track your results and improve it over time.

 

5. Establish Realistic Digital Marketing Expectations in Your Business

Many businesses have totally unrealistic expectations in terms of what can be achieved with digital marketing. This might mean that they think they can see instant overnight success with little or no effort required on their part, or it might be that they perceive that digital marketing can solve all of their business problems in one go.

It’s certainly true that digital marketing can do a great deal for your business, but it’s also important to realize that it’s not a magic bullet and that achieving success will require consistent action over the long term.

Here’s how to establish realistic digital marketing expectations and ultimately set yourself up for digital marketing success…

Think long-term

The first thing to say is that digital marketing should be viewed as a long-term strategy. It is simply unrealistic to expect that you can launch a new digital marketing campaign or action and see instant overnight success from your efforts.

Digital marketing requires consistent, sustained action, and that’s something that is really applicable to all forms of digital marketing – whether it’s SEO, social media marketing, email marketing or anything else.

Invest in digital marketing

It is important to realize that digital marketing requires investment. Setting up a high-quality website will cost money. Launching a Google AdWords campaign will cost money. In addition, you’ll either need to manage these things in-house, or you will need to outsource them to an external agency or freelancer.

This isn’t to say that you should blindly throw money into digital marketing and hope for the best. It is important to establish a clear budget for all aspects of digital marketing and ensure that this is tracked closely over time. Ultimately, the end goal is to receive a positive return on your investment, and that’s something that should be very achievable with consistent and focused action.

Prioritize education and communication

Poor education and communication is often to blame for people’s unrealistic expectations. Many staff members will have little or no experience of digital marketing, so it is important to educate them and ensure that they always have realistic expectations of what’s possible and how long it will take to achieve.

Set achievable short-term goals

We mentioned earlier that digital marketing requires a long-term approach, but at the same time it’s also important to set realistic and achievable short-term goals to help you along the way. This will help to enable you to create a culture of success and ensure that nobody in the company feels overwhelmed.

 

6. Stay Focused With Your Digital Marketing Initiatives

Digital marketing requires sustained and consistent action, which also means that it can sometimes be rather difficult to stay completely focused and on-track with your efforts. If you’re starting to find that focus is becoming an issue, here are some top tips to help you improve the situation…

Create a schedule

Create a schedule and then try to stick to it as closely as possible. By setting daily, weekly, and monthly tasks and then allocating adequate time to carry them out, you will be able to ensure that you do everything necessary and ultimately stay on track with your goals.

Do one thing at a time

Many people try to multitask and attempt to do everything at once. A much better idea is to focus on one thing at a time and keep working on that task until it is completed. There is nothing worse than having five unfinished tasks on the go!

Work in chunks

One of the best ways to improve focus and productivity is to work in chunks and make sure that you take regular breaks. For larger tasks, you may want to consider breaking it down into smaller pieces and setting a realistic target date/time for the completion of each segment. Doing this will enable you to stay focused and feel a sense of accomplishment as each piece is completed.

Recognize when help is needed

Digital marketing is highly complex and requires specialist skills and knowledge to be implemented successfully. With this in mind, there becomes a time in any company when it’s just not possible to handle a particular task in-house.

In order to achieve maximum success with digital marketing, it is important to recognize when help is needed so that you can go out and get it. This might include using the services of a specialist digital marketing agency, or it might mean hiring a new member of staff who can bring the necessary skills to the table. If you’re a small business or working on your own, it could just be as simple as asking a question on an online marketing forum and receiving some opinions or advice on the subject. Whatever the scenario, it is important to get the help you need.

 

7. Celebrate Your Digital Marketing Accomplishments

When did you last sit back and congratulate yourself or your team on a job well done? By celebrating your digital marketing accomplishments, you can start to combat overwhelm and create a culture of success in your business, which can ultimately help to push you on to achieve even greater things…

Whichever way you look at it, planning and implementing a digital marketing strategy requires a considerable amount of sustained effort over a long period of time. Being successful with digital marketing is not about making a big launch and then sitting back to watch the results come in, but rather about taking consistent action and using a range of integrated digital marketing techniques over time.

The problem is, all this can quickly start to become rather overwhelming. Achieving success with digital marketing is often a long road, and that’s why it is really important to celebrate your successes and accomplishment as you go in order to combat overwhelm.

By not celebrating you successes, you are essentially dismissing your achievements and saying that they don’t really matter or that they aren’t important. This couldn’t be further from the truth – your achievements are VERY important, and it’s a great idea to reward yourself for getting there because it will help to push you forward.

Celebrating your accomplishments helps to keep you motivated

The best way to approach digital marketing is to set realistic goals and then celebrate your achievements when you meet your goals. By doing this, you will be able to motivate yourself and your team over the longer term and provide the encouragement needed to push forward towards achieving the next target.

Focusing on your accomplishments will change your mindset

In digital marketing, there is seemingly always a long list of unfinished tasks that need to be completed. Rather than focusing on an overwhelming list of things that still need to be done, you should instead take the time to think about your successes, which will in turn start to cultivate a positive mindset.

Achieving your goals sets your business up for more success

Success tends to attract more success, and this is definitely true of the world of digital marketing. By celebrating and promoting your digital marketing accomplishments, you can start to ride the wave of success and build upon the existing traction that led to the achievement.

 

8. Create Time for Digital Marketing

When you are running a business, there are just so many different things to do each and every day. Before you know it, the entire week has passed you by and you’ve not had a single moment to even think about marketing your business online.

If that sounds like a familiar scenario, you’re certainly not alone. You only have to take a quick look on the web to see how many small businesses have dormant social media profiles or websites that haven’t been updated in years.

If you want to be successful with digital marketing and use it to grow your business, it’s important to find time for digital marketing on a regular basis.

Set aside some time each week for digital marketing

It is important to set aside a certain number of hours each week to devote specifically to digital marketing. Mark this in your calendar and make sure that you stick to it as much as possible! To help you achieve this, make sure that the time you allocate is manageable in terms of your current schedule.

 

9. Consider Getting Professional Help

Again… planning, implementing and managing all of your digital marketing isn’t always the easiest task in the world. If you’re struggling to achieve the results you expected, or you simply feel like you don’t really know what you’re doing anymore, it could be time to hire an agency or freelancer to help with your digital marketing as mentioned earlier.

Here are some common signs that it is time to get some professional help…

You aren’t achieving the results you would like

Many businesses know the opportunities that digital marketing presents but they somehow just can’t make it work for them. Digital marketing can be a tricky thing to get right, with many different variables and factors affecting your success. If you aren’t achieving the results you would like, it’s definitely a sign that you might need to take a different approach and bring some help on board.

You can’t find time for digital marketing

Clearly, with all the things that go into running a business, finding time to manage your digital marketing can sometimes be difficult. If you’re finding that you are just too busy and that there aren’t nearly enough hours in the day, hiring an agency or recruiting a new staff member to manage your digital marketing could be a great decision for your business.

You feel like you lack knowledge and expertise

Let’s face it – successful digital marketing requires specialist expertise and skills. Many businesses simply don’t possess the experience required to be successful with digital marketing and as a result continue to struggle along with poorly managed and implemented campaigns that do absolutely nothing for the business. By getting professional help you can tap into the knowledge and skills your business needs to be successful in the digital space.

You don’t really know what you’re doing

This one really follows on from the point above. If you currently feel completely lost with your digital marketing and just don’t know what you should be doing to be successful, a professional digital agency or freelancer will be able to help you get a clear strategy in place and then help you manage it over the longer term.

You have an old-fashioned website

Having an old-fashioned website presents the wrong image to your visitors and says to people that you aren’t really engaged with the modern world. In order to be successful with digital marketing, it is important to have a professionally designed, user-friendly website that is fully optimized for mobile devices. If your current website is looking dated and unprofessional, it might be time to invest in a new one. If you aren’t a web designer, don’t try to do this yourself! Instead, get help from an experienced professional.

 

10. Avoid These Five Common Mistakes

If you’re looking to take your digital marketing to the next level, here are five common mistakes to avoid…

1. Having no strategy

Perhaps the biggest mistake businesses make when it comes to digital marketing is having no clear strategy in place. It’s simply not enough to create a website, throw up a Facebook page and then just hope for the best.

To be successful, businesses need to get clear on what they want to achieve with their digital marketing efforts and then put together a realistic plan for achieving their goals. Don’t attempt to do anything without firstly knowing WHY you are doing it and WHAT you want to achieve.

2. Trying to do everything

Many businesses try to take advantage of all the opportunities digital marketing offers without firstly prioritizing what would work best for their individual business. It is much better to start small, find out what works and then expand your strategy from there.

In addition, it is a big mistake to try and do everything yourself. Again, don’t be afraid to outsource tasks or partner with an experienced digital marketing freelancer or agency (if you can afford to).

3. Not taking consistent action

A big mistake many people make with digital marketing is not taking consistent action. You only have to look at the number of dormant company Facebook pages or outdated websites to see that this is true. It’s not enough to do some digital marketing for a few weeks and then expect to see successful results. You really need to take consistent action over the long-term.

4. Putting out poor quality content

If you are engaging with content marketing (and you really should be!), always make sure that the content you are putting out is actually relevant and useful to your target audience. Many businesses think that ‘content marketing’ means making a blog post that contains one ‘useful’ tip and then rambles off into a long, boring sales letter. Make sure that the content you put out is of good quality.

5. Not tracking your efforts

In order to be successful with digital marketing, you need to constantly track your results so that you can refine and improve on your strategy over time. If you don’t track your results, how will you know when you’ve achieved your goal?

Avoid these five mistakes and you’ll be ahead of the vast majority of your rivals!

 

Conclusion

Digital marketing can do so much for your business, but it can also be extremely confusing, time-consuming and ultimately overwhelming.

As we have discussed in this report, the key to success with digital marketing is having a clear plan and then implementing that plan consistently over time. In order to successfully manage your digital marketing and prevent overwhelm, you should break down your actions and make time for digital marketing by creating a schedule that you can realistically keep up with. Take consistent action, continue to push forward and celebrate your achievements in small bits.

In addition, don’t be afraid to get external help with your digital marketing. By tapping into the special skills and expertise of digital marketing professionals, you are much more likely to succeed than trying to tackle it all on your own.

Need some advice about your digital marketing today? Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you finally get the results you deserve.

Contact us at support@adnimate.com for your free, no-obligation consultation or just fill out the contact form here.

 

Digital Marketing for Small Businesses infographic by Adnimate Marketing