It’s crazy to think that only 64% of small businesses have their own website, despite 92% of small business owners believing a website is the best digital marketing strategy. Perhaps that’s why 47% of small businesses have an annual digital marketing budget less than $10,000.

Business Growth

Whether you have a big budget or not, most consider internet marketing to be critical for long-term business growth. Here are the essential strategies to get rolling:

  1. Design a Beautiful Website

You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘you eat with your eyes’, describing the significance of appearance on overall experience. Just as a Michelin-star chef obsesses over presentation, so too should you think carefully about how to design your website.

Though web design may not itself be a marketing strategy, it is at the heart of any digital marketing you do. As the first impression of your business, design is a key determiner of whether customers are likely to go any further into your site, which is especially the case for mobile users.

Poorly-designed websites are consistently shown to have higher bounce rates, so it’s important to see exactly what constitutes good design. In a recent survey, 50% of consumers said that website design was crucial, citing images (40%), colour (39%), and videos (21%) as the top visual elements they appreciated most.

If the thought of embedding media and graphic design gives you a headache, it’s worth paying a professional SEO agency to build a stunning, sophisticated site that reflects the quality of your business.

  1. Build from Brilliant Content

In the days of traditional marketing, companies got by fine with print ads, direct mail and good old referral. While such techniques still play a part, a new neighbour just moved in and their name is content marketing.

Content marketing is loosely defined as the regular creation and distribution of valuable content, which can take many forms, the most common being blogs, images and videos. Any unique material you produce as means to attract a wider audience can be considered content marketing, a strategy that is quickly becoming the most effective way of generating new leads.

Most people kind of assume a company intimately knows their field, but content marketing is a fantastic way to prove it. Articles are an opportunity for you to educate and entertain, transforming a boring sales pitch into an engaging exploration into the things most relevant to your business.

  1. Leverage Social Media

Once you’ve got a steady stream of stellar content, there’s no better place to showcase it than on a social media account. That content can then be promoted by any influencers and affiliates you’re working with, allowing you to reach exponentially more customers.

Social media is perhaps the chief means of reaching both existing and potential customers, used as a soapbox for content and company information. It’s also the opportune place for building relationships with those individuals, responding to public comments, answering private questions, and otherwise conversing with an audience.

Social media is a key part of any internet marketing strategy. It’s an incredibly multi-functional tool that’s well-suited for presenting a brand. Consistency is very important, however, so if you’ve not got the time to manage a social media account for your business, find a marketing agency.

  1. Integrate Paid Advertising

Start-ups or small local businesses are sometimes reluctant to invest in their internet marketing, either because they think it unnecessary or aren’t clear on the benefits. While it’s true there’s no rule saying a certain degree of marketing creates x number of sales, paid advertising is often the best solution for making content more visible and increasing traffic.

With the pay-per-click (PPC) model, you pay to have your results above organic searches. Advertisers only pay when people travel to the link in question, which makes this kind of paid advertising relatively cost-effective, particularly when you consider that visitors are PPC results are 50% more likely to convert visitors than organic clicks.

Paid ads are especially good for targeting the smaller number of people who consider your site extremely relevant to them. As these are actually the individuals most likely to buy into your product or service, PPC campaigns typically result in a significant jump in revenue, which you can invest back into other channels of internet marketing.

  1. Respect your Audience

Everyone knows that marketing is manipulative, but the extent to which you exemplify that can seriously hurt your image. In the words of investment mogul Warren Buffet, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”

Developing a long-term brand requires that you respect your audience, which involves all manner of things. Website, content, social media, advertisement, customer testimony… it all has to come together in you want to appear authentic, build trust and create loyalty.

Reputation and respect should really be at the centre of any internet marketing action, which applies to any content produced and dialogue with customers. Modern internet marketing hinges on the belief that a successful brand is one that genuinely appreciates the needs of their customers, from enquiry to purchase and beyond.

Need Help with Internet Marketing?

As you know, the growth of your business depends on a quite a number of variables. Make sure outdated web design and ineffective marketing strategies aren’t holding you back. Invest in web development, graphic design and digital marketing services from the pros.