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Digital Marketing – what is new and what should you as a small business owner be doing?

This blog will look at what is new in digital marketing. The current pandemic has no doubt had an impact on the world of digital marketing. Businesses that weren’t online pre pandemic mainly decided to get online and those that were already online, decided or were prompted to up their digital game and spend some time reviewing and improving what they had. This blog will look at what is new in terms of:

  • Social media
  • Websites
  • Branding,
  • Copywriting and
  • Email marketing

Digital marketing has many benefits to the small business owner, including aspects of it being low cost to set up and if you find the right person to help, quick and easy to set up. Digital marketing is also easy to measure and gage an ROI (return on investment) with stats and analytics to follow and review. Another important benefit I feel is that if used right and authentically, digital marketing can bring your closer to making the connections and opportunities you are looking for.

Like with all areas of marketing, your digital marketing or online marketing needs considering and planning in terms of knowing what you want to say and to whom and what you want to achieve. Other areas to consider when planning include frequency of posting, imagery and videos, CTA’s (calls to action) and knowing your why. Don’t do it as a tick box, do it because there is a point or a reason. So what should you Mr or Mrs business owner be doing to help market your business online?

What is new in digital marketing?

I asked my “go to” marketing network of experts what are they seeing trends wise in terms of what business owners are asking for and needing from them digitally, whether they first time users of digital marketing solutions or seasoned users that are pivoting or scaling up their digital presence.

  • Social media and content

Claire Fryer, One to Three Marketing

The main area that Claire is helping prospects and clients with at the moment is brainstorming ideas for content. She thinks with the ongoing pandemic and Lockdown 3 feeling particularly challenging for people, ideas and creativity are “running on fumes”. Content needs to not only create engagement, but more importantly it also needs to be authentic and show the business’ personality. Claire works with her clients to help them achieve these goals.

In terms of the platforms that people are using, Claire says LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram remain the top three. In Claire’s mind, Google my Business is the real rising star and a platform that all businesses should have a presence on. By optimising your profile and using the platform as more than just a pin in a map, businesses can see excellent results for local search and brand awareness.

  • Websites and SEO

Jo Dickie, Jo Dickie Website Associates

Perhaps not unsurprisingly, Jo reflects that the past year has seen people trying to make more of their websites than maybe they did previously. Jo has been a lot of requests for support with site enhancements, redesigns and general improvements. It seems that people have extra time to focus on the kinds of things they have always been meaning to do and have never got around to, and it seems to be a period of consolidation and reflection. Similarly ensuring that the SEO has been done properly is a recurring theme of where business owners are focussing efforts on.  

Jo has also seen an increase in the amount of new businesses being launched, with start-ups using lockdown as the opportunity to get everything in place until they can start trading properly.

  • Branding and imagery

Alison Joshi, JWJ Design

Alison has seen an increase in the need for nicely designed PDF papers for download. Rather than just uploading a word doc for people to download. Alison says it is better for businesses to have something that is styled in their branding, contains bespoke on brand infographics and is easy to read, and this is where she can help clients. These papers can then be saved on LinkedIn profiles, downloaded from websites and elements used in social media posts. A great way to repurpose content.

As Claire mentions the importance of engaging content, Alison echoes this by referring to the importance of brand consistency online included images and assets for social media posts, headers and setting up profiles. Canva is a popular way to achieve eye catching and engaging images to set off the wording perfectly.

  • Copywriting and content

Emma Rundle, Melting Pot Creations

Emma has seen blogging explode with around a 4x increase in clients wanting her to write regular blogs over the pandemic period. She thinks the prospect of not being visible is making people realise the value of good content, including for LinkedIn and articles.

Engaging blog posts and authentic content, coming back to Claire and Alison’s points, can lead to an increase in engagement and web traffic. I am sure Jo would also agree on this. Popular content is often around background storytelling, the brand, personal profile raising and recognition.

  • Email Marketing

From my point of view, another area to consider is also email marketing. This required a consented to or GDPR suitable database as well as a nicely branded sign-up form and email template to use and send. There are many tools out there to use, with Mailchimp being a popular one for small businesses. As with the other areas of digital marketing identified previously, this also needs to be planned and measured. For questions around consent and so on, visit the ICO website.  

As you can see, there are lots of options and opportunities in terms of using digital marketing to grow and support your business. If this blog has made you feel optimistic and curious about marketing your business online, and if you need any advice, training or support, ask Pinpoint Marketing or contact one of the experts detailed earlier.