Digital Marketing Hacks are affordable, effective and high ROI driven strategies created by experts. By following these digital marketing hacks for small businesses, owners can expect to grow their sales, leads, and revenues. From innovative and non-conventional solutions to high-performance campaigns, we discuss the best hacks offered in digital marketing services.
If you are a small business owner looking to grow his business, you have come to the right article. Given the limited amount of resources at the disposal of small businesses, the digital can appear to be a daunting domain.
Over the past ten-odd years, I have successfully helped small businesses make the transition to the digital. (I have also been unsuccessful on a few occasions- I am not going to lie).
The digital as a realm offers profound opportunities to small businesses to grow themselves. Small businesses are not limited by physical spaces or huge marketing spends. However, even though the digital is cheaper and more affordable than traditional marketing and advertising, there still exists, a great many challenges.
In this article, I will discuss simple, cost-effective, high ROI driven digital marketing hacks for small businesses.
Digital Marketing Hacks for Small Businesses: Meaning
When the internet was created, it was supposed to be a level playing field. This meant that brands, both big and small could flourish. However, as everything stands, it is still the big boys bossing others.
A small restaurant owner cannot compete with the digital spending might of a KFC. Likewise, a small clothing boutique cannot outspend H&M when it comes to the digital.
However, in comparison to the traditional, digital is a rather interesting world. By strategically employing the right tricks, small businesses can carve a successful niche for themselves.
In this article, we will cover the best digital marketing hacks for small businesses across-
- Social Media
- Search Engine
- Other digital platforms and mediums
Almost everyone knows the benefits of digital marketing, so we are not going to get into that. I would rather want to stress on why these digital marketing hacks are essential for small businesses.
Let us address the elephant in the room. Digital Marketing is not an easy thing to understand. I have been in the industry for over ten plus years, I still do not understand many of its intricacies. How can anyone expect somebody venturing into digital for the first time to know about everything, right from the get-go?
Why Do Small Businesses Fail at Digital Marketing Services?
When it comes to digital marketing services, the best practices are also the most expensive ones. There is a tendency in our industry to measure and provide solutions by the same yardstick.
If a small business owner asks an agency for SEO services, the agency wants to rank him for the keyword.
Sounds fair. However, ranking for a keyword is an expensive and time-consuming process.
No small business will be able to topple an industry giant with 5k plus backlinks and a twenty-year domain. Once an agency realizes this, it will try to rank for lesser volume keywords. Between these changes, we will lose a year at the minimum.
Small businesses cannot afford to take such hits when it comes to digital marketing.
If they are looking for an ecommerce solution, do not show them an Amazon or an eBay and tell them to create that.
That is not only unethical, but it will also deter the owner from experimenting any further.
Remarketing, AdWords, massive spends on social media, are all very good things that drive proven results. However, what if your small business client cannot do them. What are you going to do?
Bidding for keywords used to be inexpensive ten years back. Social media was still having organic results, three years back. What should small business owners do in the face of these challenges?
- Low levels of investment
- No idea of digital optimization
- No extra human resource to set up digital marketing
- Extraordinary turnaround time expectations
- High expectations with low investments
Top Digital Marketing Hacks for Small Businesses: The List
1. Local SEO is the topmost priority:
Rather than spending your own money, let other aggregators do the work for you. The aim of local businesses should be to be a part of as many aggregator platforms as possible. Whether you are a restaurant, a clothing manufacturer, or anything else, you have many options.
In India for example, restaurants are on aggregator platforms like Zomato, Swiggy, Food Panda, Uber Eats and Dineout. They are five different options for growth and sales in addition to your own strategies.
Likewise, brands can become resellers on Amazon, Flipkart, PayTM Mall, Shopclues, eBay and other platforms. All small businesses should always maintain a Google My Business Page. Please put regular posts, offers, reviews, images and videos of your business.
If you are a small business, Local SEO through GMB, Aggregator platforms, local directories are necessary to increase sales and revenues.
2. Create a Small WordPress/Shopify/WooCommerce Website:
The aim of the website is to create some type of credibility. If you have paid close attention, you will see that I have suggested platforms, which are simple, affordable and easy to understand.
If you are a business, go for an ecommerce website. However, please experiment as a seller on Amazon first. Once you see a market for your product, create your own platform and start at a small level. This will help you add another sale vertical to your business.
Focus on driving your efforts to your brand website, from GMB to social media. Make your website the sum total of your identity. Add images, videos, menu, products, and your social feed. Brands, which have websites, have more credibility and reputation than brands that do not.
3. Build your Social Media Arsenal:
For people who say that social media is expensive, I would want to say, sure it is! However, social media is free. All you need is to put in the hard work and be creative. I am not asking you to spend thousands every month on ad campaigns, follower campaigns, and likes.
All you need to do is take help from paid channels. Listen, you are not an influencer, who is going to get caught. You are just some small business. No one is going to come after you. They do not care. Please buy followers and engagement for as low as $10 USD. You will get 5000+ followers.
Post your brand images every day. You do not need any editing software. Just click from a decent enough smartphone camera and post it with a witty caption. By posting daily, and building your credibility, you will see your organic social media grow tent times.
4. Create a Blog Section on your Website:
According to Entrepreneur.com, Content Marketing drives three times more leads than traditional marketing. In addition, it is nearly 60% cheaper than any form of advertising.
People are tired of getting products and services pushed down their throats. Big brands have stopped offering solutions to people’s problems. However, if you are able to provide solutions, people will end up buying things for you.
A great and original blog is one of the cheapest and most high-performance investment you will make. In addition to attracting website traffic, a blog helps build credibility and reputation. All you need is a great content writer with a stellar content strategy. Weave it around your industry, and you have a recipe for success. Make your blog a powerhouse for traffic, keywords, Inbound Marketing, social sharing, and many more functions.
Read more: The Ultimate Guide to Internet Marketing
5. Make your Customers your Influencers:
Let us face it; no small business can afford to work with a social media influencer. I have a better idea. I tried to carry out a small experiment for one of my clients.
He has a small Pizzeria in suburban Brooklyn. I asked him to invest $200 USD and create a small Selfie Booth in his pizzeria. As soon as he installed that, almost everyone started using the booth to click selfies.
Every time they did that, they would tag the pizzeria and share the image. Within a month, a $200 USD investment, led to 678% hike in engagement, followers and reach! The key takeaway is to make your customers your ambassadors.
They might not have millions of followers. However, they do have 500-1000 followers. This is going to give you a specific target audience, one, which you will be able to manage and maintain.
6. Content and Story Creation:
For brands who are conservative, this might be a tough option to stomach. What works for small businesses is their community power. Big businesses are alienated. They do not have a community they can call their own.
Being part of a community means having a voice. In the last few months, small businesses are not afraid of taking a stand. This means a voice on issues on LGBTQ, Global Warming, Racism, Veganism, and other things.
Even though these issues might be polarizing, they have the effect of getting free publicity. A café, which only employed immigrant women, saw its sales rise over 300% in one month of announcing this. Small businesses can weave interesting narratives and project it on digital platforms.
The current consumers, millennials and Generation Z want their brands to be associated with meaningful interventions. This can help generate publicity, drive up sales and open up conversations. Not to mention, free advertising and marketing.
7. Think about out of the box Digital Marketing Services at all times:
You might be wondering that there is some secret sauce in this last point. Well, there is! For small businesses with limited resources, the most effective way to do digital marketing is yourself. Success stories and case studies do not mean anything in this business.
No other business is in your situation, has your expectations and enjoys the same levels of resources. Everyone has challenges, which are tailor-made to their own businesses. Do not try to replicate something, which you feel is similar to you.
Almost all agencies are proud to boast of case studies and portfolios. This is the trap; please do not fall into this. Collaborate with an agency, which understands you, and understands your limitations. A humane digital marketing agency is not a myth.
There are agencies, who want to help small businesses genuinely with affordable solutions and the highest levels of expertise. The right agency will help you in ways, which you cannot even imagine. My agency owns and operates more than twenty content sites. We helped one of our clients with more than 100+ backlinks, all without the client knowing anything. This was done free!
Some people might say that there is no alternative to the set paths. You need to do digital marketing according to the best practices as stated by the Neil Patels and the Brain Deans of the world. This is not true. No one has a monopoly of what works, or what does not.
Something, which is an astronomical success for someone, might lead to life-altering losses for someone else. That is not only the scary part but also contains the beauty of this industry. This is where your smartness, intuition, and decision-making powers are tested.
The best agencies strive to use digital marketing hacks to help small businesses daily. Throw in a couple of reviews on Quora and Reddit, go creative on social media stories, offer more, charge less are somethings great agencies do.
Help me with some digital marketing hacks, will you? Let me know what you thought about the article in the comments section below. Feel free to add value, points, and suggestions.
If you are in need of any digital marketing services, reach out to us whenever you want to.