How to Create an Effective Small Business Digital Marketing Strategy

About 65% of businesses struggle to generate website traffic and quality leads. About 80% of the leads you do generate won’t turn into sales. In fact, 96% of the people who visit your website aren’t ready to make a purchase. Without a strong small business digital marketing plan, you could struggle to attract consumers to your business, too.

Here are a few tips that can help you develop an effective, results-driven digital marketing strategy. With these tips, you can set your business up for lasting growth!

Start marketing with these tips today.

Set SMART Goals

First, take the time to establish SMART goals. These goals will help you develop a small business digital marketing strategy that’s clear and trackable. SMART goals will help you develop a strong foundation for your entire marketing strategy.

You could have an easier time achieving success as a result.

Determine what you want to accomplish through each small business digital marketing campaign. For example, maybe you want to:

  • Gain social media followers
  • Improve organic search engine rankings
  • Generate more traffic
  • Generate more leads and sales
  • Establish your credibility
  • Gain brand trust
  • Retain loyal customers
  • Boost brand awareness and recognition

To create SMART goals, determine how you’ll accomplish each goal as well.

For example, you can use content creation and search engine optimization (SEO) to improve your organic rankings. These two tactics can also help you generate awareness, traffic, and leads.

A SMART goal might read: Rank at the top of search engine result pages (SERP) for the keyword “dental practice in LA” using SEO by the end of the third quarter.

For each SMART goal you create, establish a key performance indicator, too. For this goal, you could track your rankings. However, you might also track organic website visitors.

Break your larger goals into smaller, easy-to-achieve benchmarks with shorter deadlines. If you’re struggling to meet your deadlines, you’ll know it’s time to adjust your strategy.

Establish Brand Guidelines

It takes five to seven impressions with a single consumer before they become aware of your brand. Without brand awareness, you’ll struggle to draw consumers to your business. In fact, 59% of shoppers prefer purchasing from familiar brands.

The more consumers recognize, appreciate, and believe in your brand, the more they’ll buy. You can use brand consistency to reinforce familiarity.

In fact, 90% of consumers expect brands to remain consistent across all channels and platforms.

While developing your small business digital marketing campaign, outline your brand guidelines. Brand guidelines will help every member of your team remain on the same page about your visual branding. Your guidelines should outline your:

  • Vision statement
  • Mission statement
  • Voice
  • Tone
  • Personality
  • Imagery styles
  • Logo
  • Font styles
  • Color palette

You only have seven seconds to make a strong first impression on a customer. Within those seven seconds, they’ll decide if they can trust your brand. Investing in visual branding can help you make a strong first impression.

Know Your Customers

In order to create an effective small business digital marketing plan, it helps to understand who your customers are and what they care about. Otherwise, your messaging, content, and ads won’t appeal to their interests. Your customers will start turning to your competitors instead.

Create distinct buyer personas as you research your target audience. For example, you might consider their:

  • Buying behaviors
  • Online behaviors
  • Pain points
  • Interests
  • Hobbies
  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Salary
  • Career
  • Education
  • Language

Focus on the pain points your customers are experiencing. Then, use content marketing to offer them the solutions they need.

Take the time to personalize your marketing approach based on your audience research. Personalized content will help you forge stronger connections with your customers.

Once you create your buyer personas, gather keyword research, too.

You can use tools like Answer the Public, SEMRush, Keyword Planner, and Google Trends to develop a list of keywords. Choose long-tail keywords, which will help you understand the consumer’s needs. Then, use your keyword research to inform your content marketing strategy.

Update Your Website

Before using the rest of these small business digital marketing tips, invest in updating your website.

Your website’s design has a 75% influence on your credibility. Without credibility, you’ll struggle to generate brand trust and leads.

Meanwhile, two out of three people prefer beautifully designed content.

Keep in mind that mobile devices account for nearly 70% of all internet traffic as well.

Update your website so it’s fast, mobile-optimized, secure, and user-friendly. Otherwise, your organic search engine rankings could drop. Low rankings could make it difficult for consumers to find your business online.

Your pay-per-click (PPC) advertising cost-per-click (CPC) will increase, too. A high CPC could cause you to blow through your budget.

Consider working with an experienced digital marketing agency this year. They can update your website, ensuring it benefits the rest of your marketing strategy.

Create Compelling Content

High-quality content can help you attract new customers to your brand. It can also help you show off your experience and expertise. You could become a go-to resource and thought leader for your customers.

Use your keyword research to determine what questions your customers ask while online. Then, create helpful, informative content. Use content marketing to educate your audience (rather than to boost sales).

Experiment with different types of content this year, including:

  • Articles
  • eBooks
  • Webinars
  • Polls
  • Quizzes
  • Lists
  • Videos
  • Infographics

Creating different types of content will help you determine what best appeals to your audience.

End each post with a call to action to generate more leads through content marketing.

Start With Search

Nearly 70% of all online activity begins with a search engine. In fact, over 53% of all website traffic begins with a search.

Meanwhile, SEO drives 1,000% more traffic than organic social media marketing.

Search engine optimization will help you boost your organic rankings on search engine result pages (SERPs). Higher rankings can help you generate website traffic and brand awareness. Ranking ahead of your competitors can boost your credibility as well.

Choose a single target keyword for each blog post you create. Select your keyword before you start writing. Then, optimize the content by adding the keyword to the:

  • URL
  • Page tile
  • Opening and closing paragraphs
  • Body text
  • An H1 header
  • SEO title and meta description
  • Image alt text and file name

Your SEO title and description will appear on SERPs. Make sure it’s interesting and compelling. Then, consumers will click on the link to visit your website and read your content.

As part of your SEO strategy, don’t forget to claim and optimize your Google Business listing. Your listing will help more people find your website and storefront.


You can also reach customers with pay-per-click advertising. Your digital ads can appear as text, videos, still images, and animations. You can create ads using Google Ads, Facebook Ads, or another platform.

When someone clicks on your ad, they’ll reach a landing page on your website.

You can use demographics or keyword research to determine who your ads appear in front of online. Precise targeting can help you make the most of your budget.

Consider working with an experienced agency before creating your first PPC digital advertising campaign. They’ll ensure you don’t blow through your budget sooner than anticipated. Instead, they can optimize your campaigns, helping you improve your cost-per-acquisition and ROI.

Nurture With Emails

Add a lead magnet to your website. For example, you can offer an eBook or coupon code in exchange for the consumer’s email. Once you begin building an email list, segment your subscribers.

Then, nurture your leads with personalized emails.

You can automate emails to send based on specific triggers, too. For example, you can email a consumer if they abandon their cart on your website.

Stay Social

Social media marketing can help you engage consumers in real-time. Start by reformatting your blog posts for the platforms your customers use most. As people comment on your posts, engage and spark conversations.

Consider posting more live video content this year. For example, you can host a weekly Q&A session.

Otherwise, post user-generated content (UGC) or work with influencers to boost brand trust.

Engage Your Audience

As you develop your small business digital marketing strategy, look for ways to engage your audience. Talking to your customers can help them remember your brand. They’ll begin to recognize how much you can help, too.

Address Gaps

Review your small business digital marketing strategy to find any communication gaps in your plan.

For example, maybe consumers are struggling to reach you through your website. Update your forms or consider adding a chatbot to your site.

Track Trends

Keep track of any new trends that can help you engage your audience.

For example, SEO trends include voice search, AR/VR, and video content. You might want to update your social media strategy by using new platforms as well.

Analyze the Results

Once you begin using these tips, review the data from your campaigns. Determine which tactics are helping you meet your benchmarks. Remember to make adjustments if you’re not accomplishing your goals.

Hire an Expert

You can also develop an effective small business digital marketing plan by working with a digital marketing agency this year. They can plan, develop, and optimize your campaigns, allowing you to boost your ROI.

Meanwhile, you can spend more time and attention where it matters most: with your customers.

Real Results: Develop Your Small Business Digital Marketing Strategy Today

Developing a small business digital marketing strategy doesn’t have to feel stressful. Use these tips to get started. Remember, you don’t have to work on it alone.

Instead, consider hiring an agency this year.

Eager to get started? Contact us today to learn more!


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