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Written by Jane Serra on Oct 11

Rapidly changing technology, new strategies, and advanced algorithms make digital marketing an ever-changing landscape for small-to-midsize companies.

When you’re managing this side of the business, you’re likely stretched pretty thin as well.

If you’ve been barely keeping your head above water with your SMB’s digital marketing tasks, we’re here to help! We’ve gathered some tricks of the trade that can help boost your following and grow your business as we head into the next decade and beyond.

Here, you’ll find:

  • Ideas on how to focus your content
  • CTA tips
  • Social media best practices
  • Optimization strategies tailored to SMBs

1. Make shareable, quality content

High-quality content that speaks authentically to your target persona (or personas) is a critical part of your SMB marketing, no matter your industry. It can help promote your brand by attracting website visitors, building a strong relationship with your target audience, and even boosting revenue. 

Plus, creating a strong resource library helps make your SMB stand out from the competition as a trusted thought leader. These are just a few ways you can make content shareable:

  • Make it easy to find — and read: When publishing content, use bullet points and headers so visitors can scan the content quickly (yes, things are about to get meta). It’s also wise to ensure your website and blog are search engine-friendly through tactics such as:

– H1 and H2 tags for headers and subheaders
– Metadata for categories, titles, and descriptions
– Alt tags for images and video
– Both internal (linking elsewhere on your site) and external links in the copy
– Short, easy-to-digest paragraphs

  • Focus on educating and helping your audience: Shareable content is often about solving a problem, answering a question, or evoking emotion. The best content is helpful and empathetic, not merely self-promotional. Do what you can to offer useful tips and insights with tangible actions and an immediate value. When you have content that resonates with your customers and prospects, sharing can skyrocket.
  • Include share buttons: This may seem obvious, but one of the quickest ways to make your content more shareable is by adding share buttons. These are tools you can embed into your posts that allow the reader to share the content on social media with just a few clicks. 

2. Choose thoughtful visuals

You don’t need the budget of a Fortune 500 company to have sleek imagery on your website, landing pages, and social media profiles. Visitors don’t always read every word — they often scan the page. Images that are relevant and eye-catching typically perform better than text alone. 

Inserting well-designed infographics and high-quality images into your content not only makes it more easily digestible, but it also looks more authoritative, cohesive, and professional.

Pro tip: Need a simple infographic or logo designed but don’t have the funds for a full-time designer? Websites like Fiverr and Upwork offer a global network of freelancers, so you can connect with someone who can work with your timeline and budget.

HawkSEM blog: SMB Digital Marketing: 8 Tricks of the Trade

Consider including more than one CTA button on your homepage — and make sure it pops on the page. (Image via Unsplash)

3. Make calls-to-action (CTAs) clear

When you’re an SMB, every lead could be a potentially game-changing sale. Because of this, it’s crucial to nail your CTAs. A big part of that is ensuring your visitors understand what you want them to do. You can do that in a few ways, including:

  • Adding a call to action, an invitation to share, and a place to comment on your content
  • Considering pop-ups that invite a user to subscribe to your newsletter
  • Including more than one CTA button on your homepage — and making sure it pops on the page

4. Use social media strategically

Perhaps unsurprisingly, social media is a must for SMBs looking to increase your brand’s visibility. But experienced marketers know you can’t simply post your content and expect to rack up likes and followers. Sure, social media allows you to connect and interact directly with your customers and prospects, but it should be a two-way conversation.

To see and be seen by your target audience, you need to be where they are. Include relevant hashtags in your posts, follow customers and prospects, and seek out industry conversations and live chats that you can add your insight to.

5. Go behind the scenes

One of the benefits of being an SMB: less red tape. That means that if you’re releasing a new product or launching a new brand, you can share behind-the-scenes glimpses and stories without having to wait for approval from half-a-dozen execs. (Though, depending on your role, you should pass the content by your manager to ensure what you’re sharing isn’t embargoed or not ready to be public.)

Showing and talking about what you’re working on as a company humanizes your brand and offers a level of transparency you don’t often get from bigger brands. This also lets you showcase your passion for the product or services you offer, and invites people to join your journey. Lastly, it gives them an incentive to follow along and see when your product is officially unveiled and released.

HawkSEM blog: SMB Digital Marketing: 8 Tricks of the Trade

Save money and potentially find your biggest fans by partnering with a micro-influencers you come across in your niche. (Image via Unsplash)

6. Engage micro-influencers

Did you know that micro-influencers reportedly have seven times the engagement rate on Instagram as influencers with larger audiences? These types of online influencers generally have 1,000 to 10,000 followers, and they’ll often partner with brands to showcase their offerings in exchange for goods or a fee. 

Save money and potentially find your biggest fans by partnering with micro-influencers you come across in your niche, if they exist. These online personalities can target specific communities more effectively, bringing your brand to the attention of the precise customers you want.

7. Embrace video

In a world where the attention span of website visitors has shrunk to about 8 seconds, video content can be an effective way to attract and capture your audience’s interest in a snap. Here are some things to consider when planning a video strategy:

  • Plan out your purpose: Concentrate on the purpose of the video and how it’ll be used. Are you using it as an educational tool? Building brand awareness? Your goal can help determine where you want consumers to view the video, whether it’s on your website, YouTube channel, or another platform. Customize it to fit both your target audience and the location.
  • Find the human element: Unless it’s a commercial, the video shouldn’t simply be all about your brand. Video is a powerful medium and most effective when focused on the human part of the narrative. Create stories with a clear idea, passionate message, or practical how-to that shows what makes your brand unique.
  • High-quality, not perfection: You don’t need a big-business budget or high-end production equipment. With a solid strategy, content created with a smartphone can have the desired effect. A well-edited DIY video can come across as more authentic than a scripted TV spot when its purpose is clear. Consumers may even dismiss content that feels overproduced.
  • Don’t forget to optimize: We’ve talked before about the importance of optimizing your videos. A few ways to do that are by: including captions, optimizing the page the video is hosted on, and investing in paid ads for promotion.
HawkSEM blog: SMB Digital Marketing: 8 Tricks of the Trade

If you don’t have a strong foundation, your efforts may not pay off as well as they could. (Image via Unsplash)

8. Go back to basics

No matter how many tips and tricks you use or how relevant your strategy, if you don’t have a strong foundation, your efforts may not pay off as well as they could. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly but is also formatted attractively for desktop users. 

Optimize for page speed and traditional SEO. If you haven’t already implemented structured data, it can help increase click-through rates and result in featured snippets.

SMB digital marketing is continuously evolving. If you haven’t looked at your content in a while, it may be time to dust it off and update it. Rejuvenate your SEO strategy by adding a few new tactics and revisiting older content. It can be a game-changer when it comes to attracting more visitors to your site and increasing brand awareness.

 

When you’re in charge of digital marketing for a small or midsize business, you’ve got a lot on your plate. By keeping these tips in mind, you can add a little method to the madness, stay relevant in your industry, and beat your competitors to come out on top.

Jane Serra

Jane Serra

Jane Serra is the VP of Marketing at HawkSEM. She's an accomplished marketing executive with more than 12 years of experience leading digital marketing teams across demand generation, branding, events, content, and communications. When she's not strategizing, networking, and honing her craft, she enjoys traveling and scrolling Yelp for new restaurants to try.

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