If you run your own business and offer products and services online, then you’ll no doubt be looking for new ways to promote yourself and get more customers to buy from you. Digital marketing has made it easier than ever for us to put our brands in front of new audiences and reach customers around the world – but it can still be tough to encourage them to spend money.
The chances are that you’ve already tried digital marketing techniques like blogging and social media, but there are other options that you may have overlooked during your campaign. The key to success online is finding the right strategy for your business, so today, we’ve rounded up five more digital marketing techniques to help you take your business to the next level.
Social media advertising
The majority of small and medium-sized businesses online have social media profiles on major networks like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Social media makes it easy for us to have one-to-one conversations with our fans and customers, and it opens our business to a whole new audience. For example, a single retweet can lead to a new customer, and a positive review on Facebook can build brand awareness and demonstrate trust and reliability. But nowadays, posting content on social media on its own is no longer enough to find lots of new customers and make money.
Research suggests that the average engagement rate on a Facebook page is just 0.17% – that means, for every 10,000 Facebook posts published, just 17 of those will receive some sort of engagement, whether that’s a like, comment, reaction or share. That figure is pitiful and shows that engagement on social networks is just too low to make a major impact and make money.
That’s why businesses that value their time and want to get the best return on their investment are heading towards paid methods of promotion on social media. Primarily, through social media advertising. All of the major social networks offer paid promotion to help businesses make an impression and get customers to interact with their brand, and if you’ve got a budget and target the right demographics, you could find that social media advertising is a lucrative sales method.
Before you start investing big bucks in Facebook Ad campaigns, start off with a small budget to familiarize yourself with the tools on offer. There’s no point in running a social campaign if your demographics are not optimized for maximum click-through rates and engagements. This article from Search Engine People shows you how to optimize for a better ROI and save money.
Launching an app
Launching an app for your small business might sound like hard work, but it can actually offer a wide range of benefits and help you grow your brand. Not only are apps quick to load and give your users more functionality than a mobile browser would, but they improve brand recognition and make your customers more loyal. After all, if a customer downloads your app, then they already trust and respect your brand and want you to be part of their smartphone experience.
As more and more businesses compete for attention on social media and on the mobile web, having an app can set you apart and show that you care about customer experience. And when you take that to the next level and add functionality such as online ordering, live chat and other tools, people will be more inclined to download your app and tell their friends about it, too.
One of the most common problems associated with custom apps is the price, but it can actually be more cost-effective than you might think. Whether you hire a professional app development company to do it for you, or you create an app in-house, it can serve as an alternative to mobile websites and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs).
Just remember to let your customers know about your new app, and if you’re using it as a replacement for a website, add a splash screen for mobile users with a download link.
Maintaining a blog
There are many benefits to content marketing for small and medium-sized businesses, and if there’s one digital marketing techniques that we’d recommend above all others, it would be to create your own high-quality content as often as you can.
Pushing out regular blog posts and resources for your customers will not only give them a reason to keep coming back to your website, but it will show that you’re knowledgeable and passionate about your niche – and help you to find new clients along the way.
One of the best ways to create regular content for your blog is to schedule material and create a content calendar. That way, you’ll be able to come up with topic ideas, respond to feedback from your customers, write about what’s trending in your industry, and create a super valuable hub of information that customers, leads and other industry figures will be able to use and cite.
Other benefits of maintaining a blog include having more content to share on social; being able to capture email addresses of your customers with calls to action; getting backlinks from competitors and industry sources if you publish impactful material; and cutting down on customer service response times, as they will be able to find answers to their questions on your blog.
Another way to grow your business and increase your authority is through guest blogging. While guest blogging is considered one of the oldest tricks in the SEO book, it’s a popular method for business owners who want to build links and put their brand names in front of a new audience.
The idea behind guest blogging is simple. You find websites in your niche that have an active and relevant audience, and you write content for them in exchange for the exposure and a link back to your own website. In some cases, guest blogging can introduce you to new readers, help you build your brand name and even encourage new clients to sign up for your services.
If you own a store selling shoes, for example, you could pitch guest posts on fashion blogs and lifestyle blogs, as their users are likely to be interested in new shoe designs. As an expert in your niche, you should be able to create a super-impactful piece of content that will not only be relevant to the audience but demonstrate your knowledge, authority and status within your niche.
Before you start writing guest blogs, there are a few things that you should think about. First, only write for websites that have a real, engaged audience, otherwise, there’s little point. Next, you should never pay for content or links, as this goes against Google’s terms of service and could result in you being penalized. And third, always send across your very best content – just because it isn’t being featured on your own website, it doesn’t mean that people won’t read it!
On-site SEO optimization
Even if you’re a complete SEO novice and have no experience in editing code, you can make simple changes to your website to improve its optimization. In fact, a lot of SEO revolves around entering data and common sense, so you should be able to get pretty far without hiring an SEO expert to carry out work for you. In fact, many small and medium-sized businesses do all of their own marketing and SEO in-house, so there’s no reason why you can’t follow the same trend.
One of the most popular methods for on-site optimization is through WordPress plugins. If you want to optimize your website without spending hours in front of a YouTube tutorial or textbook, you should install a plugin like Yoast SEO. Such plugins make it easy for you to make changes to the backend of your website, without you having to edit code or become an SEO whizz-kid.
First, you’ll be able to add meta descriptions, keywords and focus keywords to your posts, which will improve their optimization and help them rank on search engines. The plugin’s easy-to-use interface will guide and advise you on the best keyword for your content through a traffic light system; if your post is red, you’ll need to make some changes to the text to optimize it, and if it is green, the page is highly optimised and is likely to rank on search engines over time.
Other ways that you can optimize your content for search engines include:
- Adding image descriptions: Adding a short description to each image on your website gives search engines information about your image content. Aim for a short description and also remember to include relevant keywords in your image titles and file names.
- Creating a sitemap: A sitemap is a page where you can tell search engines about the structure of your website and link them to every page and resource. Plugins such as Yoast SEO will automatically create a crawlable sitemap, or you can make your own.
- Bulking up on-page word counts: The longer and more in-depth your on-page content is, the more likely you are to rank for competitive terms. Aim for at least 1,000 words on every page of your website, including product and services pages.
- Speeding up your website: Caching tools and plugins can be used to reduce the size of your website, or you could consider hosting your website through a Content Delivery Network (CDN) such as CloudFlare. Switching to a faster web host is also an option.
Above Digital marketing techniques may make it easier for us to find new customers and spread the word about our business, but it still requires hard work and skill in order to pay off. The five techniques that we have mentioned in today’s blog should give you some food for thought and help you make better marketing decisions. After all, we’re all limited on time, so finding the right techniques that offer the best return on investment makes sense. Good luck with your campaign.
Max Greene is the Managing Director of, a UK-based marketing agency specializing in content marketing, social media and search engine optimization. When he isn’t working on campaigns for clients, he loves binge-watching Netflix shows and walking his dog.