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Digital Marketing for Small Businesses

Toni Bowers
Slide Show

9 Rules for Digital Transformation in the Enterprise

Many businesses assume that digital marketing is just an easier, cheaper alternative to big, high budget ad campaigns. So they set up a Twitter feed and a Facebook page and hope that things just develop from there. But digital marketing is much more than using social media sporadically. It is an extension of your traditional marketing strategy, one that just happens to use a different set of tools.

Many businesses are not well-versed in how to use digital marketing to reach certain goals. In fact, many businesses don’t even know what goals they want to reach.

Vanessa DiMauro, CEO of the digital strategy firm Leader Networks, and one of Forbes’ Top 40 Social Marketing Masters, knows all about how businesses can make meaningful progress with their brands using digital media.

Plan Wisely, Measure Accordingly

DiMauro emphasized how important it is to identify your digital marketing strategy before you begin. She suggests first setting your “go-to-market strategy,” a blueprint detailing how your company will reach its customers and win a competitive advantage. In other words, what do you want to accomplish with digital marketing? How will your organization’s social business strategy align with its strategic objectives and how will it leverage DM for business benefit? What tools do you want to use?

When setting your digital media strategy, DiMauro suggested you start by asking yourself these questions:

  • Who is our audience?
  • What platform does our audience build community around?
  • What does success look like to us?
  • How will we track our results?

Smart Insights offers what they call a RACE planning framework that summarizes the key online marketing activities that need to be managed as part of digital marketing. The RACE pneumonic stands for

Reach > Act > Convert > Engage

Beware of Falling Prey to Numbers


DiMauro cautioned against the lure of what she calls “vanity metrics” (a large number of followers and likes). She says, “A million followers doesn’t necessarily translate to successful outcomes.” If you pursue the goal of just driving up your number of Twitter followers, for example, then you could be wasting a lot of time.

The better strategy is to spend time and effort really engaging the followers who have the power to buy your services. Instead of just counting your followers, DiMauro suggests, a better strategy is to “capture what’s being said about your company and then engage with those users.”  You can do this by:

Googling your company. When people have a bad experience with a brand, they like to talk about it. Monitoring blog posts and comments for your company name allows you to not only see what kinds of things are being said but it lets you reach out to a disgruntled member and work on remedying the situation.

Setting up Google alerts. By using specific keywords and phrases, you will receive e-mail notices whenever your brand and other search terms are mentioned. These alerts include links so that you can read the content and respond.

Finding the social media your audience uses. If you’re a restaurant, you might want to engage people on Yelp. If your company has a product that would benefit from people seeing it in action, post videos on YouTube.

In 2015, a German supermarket chain called Edeka released a touching Christmas-themed video ad showing an elderly man alone at Christmas because his grown children were too busy to visit. The video was the most viewed Christmas ad on YouTube, racking up 33.5 million views within a week. The success of the video shows just how engaging users can take off.

Using Twitter. With Twitter, you can microblog news about your company. Then you can use an application like HootSuite or TweetDeck to follow hashtags and search terms, and receive updates as they come in. Type the name of your company in your Twitter app and you’ll see results from people who have mentioned your brand recently.

You can get creative with Twitter. According to a story on CIO, in May of 2015, Dominos let customers request delivery of their favorite pizza by tweeting a pizza emoji to its @Dominos Twitter account, or by using the hashtag #EasyOrder. Not only did this action get a lot of pizza orders, but the tweet-based order system earned Domino's media coverage from the likes of Forbes and Good Morning America (a Titanium Grand Prix award at Cannes).

Not an Instant Reward

DiMauro says that, because social media is so instant, people expect immediate results from using it. She says to give it time for relationships to develop online. “Gaining trust of an audience is a six- to nine-month lifecyle.” That’s because you have to find the right people and then engage, nurture and educate those people so they become true fans of your brand. They will carry those positive messages forward to more people.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Oct 19, 2017 3:32 PM jackthomson123 jackthomson123  says:
Its true that using only social media is not a digital marketing the online digital marketing is much more then that Reply
Oct 19, 2017 3:34 PM mac bryan mac bryan  says:
The online digital marketing is important for all kind of business now day whether its small or big many type of business are doing digital marketing by using explainer vidoes Reply
Nov 15, 2017 2:56 PM pulse pulse  says:
Thanks for these informations about digital marketing for small businesses and how to start it and digital marketing plays an major role now a days to promote business online, increseasing traffic and collecting leads Reply
Jan 1, 2018 11:47 AM  Shaheer Shaheer  says:
I appreciate you for such great article.Thanks for sharing. Reply
Mar 24, 2018 2:35 PM Digital Marketing Digital Marketing  says:
The phrase: "Not an Instant Reward" stated in the article is really true. This shows that digital marketing is something that needs patience and hard work but as time goes by the productivity of the campaign will surely all be worth the effort. Reply
Aug 7, 2018 10:01 AM digital digital  says:
very informative Reply
Aug 9, 2018 11:16 AM John roky John roky  says:
well written informative post. You might have mentioned such valuable information for beginners. This helps them lot. Very good work, keep writing Reply
Aug 23, 2018 7:46 AM Sapna Das Sapna Das  says:
Very truly said digital marketing plays major role in business growth .with right actions and patience business can reach hights. Reply
Sep 4, 2018 7:01 AM Ubaid UR Rehman Ubaid UR Rehman  says:
Digital Marketing can be very helpful for the small business owners or who are new to the digital world. Digital marketing can help you expand your business. Reply
Sep 21, 2018 9:49 AM jennie jennie  says:
Investing money on traditional marketing are decreasing day by day. Even the small business owners are approaching Digital Marketing Agencies and Digital Marketing Company. Business owners understand that online marketing can boost their business. Anyway thanks for this article Reply
Oct 14, 2018 3:06 PM ArchanaT ArchanaT  says:
Digital marketing is very helpful for promoting your business sites in this digital century. It will give us edge over our competitors. Reply
Oct 18, 2018 12:48 PM SEO SEO  says:
Very informative and valuable information. And thanks for being so forthcoming about providing all this no-cost content. Reply
Oct 19, 2018 9:33 AM Digital Marketing Digital Marketing  says:
Hello Toni, To take business to top level and stand strong in market, digital marketing can help a lot. To have its knowledge will help a lot for any business type. Thanks for sharing awesome information. Reply
Oct 23, 2018 7:37 AM ExpertTrainingInsitute ExpertTrainingInsitute  says:
Thanks for your such a helpful article, It explains lots of fact about digital marketing. Small business owners can use digital marketing to enhancing their business. Reply
Oct 23, 2018 11:50 AM DavidGeorge DavidGeorge  says:
Excellent blog! Thanks for sharing the information. I think the Information present on the blog really looks very Informative and Written In a Good manner. It was really helpful for small business who want to bring there business to top. Thanks once again I look forward to read more on this. Reply
Oct 26, 2018 5:06 AM Digital Marketing Digital Marketing  says:
Hello Toni, It is an informative article. As world is growing digitally, digital presence of business plays an vital role in promotion. It helps to grow business and gain trust and profit in short period of time. As you say, it is not an instant reward. Being patience is key role while working with digital marketing. Reply
Oct 27, 2018 7:03 PM durlav durlav  says:
Investing money on traditional marketing are decreasing day by day. To have its knowledge will help a lot for any business type. Thanks for sharing awesome information.Digital Marketing can be very helpful for the small business owners or who are new to the digital world. Reply
Oct 29, 2018 11:05 AM Nirali Nirali  says:
Digital marketing has gained tremendous importance in past few years. It is important for beginners to keep an eye on latest digital marketing updates and trends. SEO moz, search engine land are few websites that every digital marketer should follow for updates. Reply
Nov 1, 2018 12:00 PM Ubaid Ubaid  says:
Many businesses have integrated social media marketing in their marketing strategy and seen a drastic change in their customer base, brand awareness, recognition and image, however for small businesses these sites turn into a mega triumph as compared to large businesses which we will talk about in the later stage Reply
Nov 18, 2018 4:54 PM Sarah Sarah  says:
Hi you have targeted a great niche, it has been a while since someone wrote about such an important topic for small businesses. Everybody writes about going big but more stuff is going on in the niche of small businesses. I hope it will work well for my new venture Digital agencies. Regards Reply
Nov 28, 2018 8:48 AM shanjames shanjames  says:
I appreciate your writing skill, it seems you are well known about the topic and your explanation for the topic is very self-explanatory. I really appreciate your skill of blogging. Thanks for sharing. Reply
Nov 28, 2018 12:52 PM Donald Vaccaro Donald Vaccaro  says:
Hello Toni! I read your blog deeply and feel these strategies prove to be very helpful in all kind of business growth, whether it’s small or big one. Reply
Nov 30, 2018 11:02 AM Michael Michael  says:
Such a nice and Superb article, we have been looking for this information and here we are really like to thank for your yours superb really its much helpful and appreciate your work. Reply
Dec 1, 2018 8:05 AM terrywilson terrywilson  says:
Digital Marketing has grown gigantically because nowadays social media has all the power to influence. So, as a brand, I think that you should go for Social Media to make a strong brand image and influence your consumers digitally.¬¬ Reply
Dec 4, 2018 11:07 AM Rakesh Rakesh  says:
Thanks for this helpful article. I surely agreed with you "Who is our audience?". yes! strategies and awareness are very important in inbound marketing. to know more about the best digital marketing and social media strategy for small businesses read this article:- Which Social Media Platform You Should Use For Your Business And Why? Reply

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