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Digital marketing also works for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

Digital marketing also works for very small businesses !

Even if for many, digital marketing rhymes with colossal means swallowed up in online advertising. These approaches are not just the preserve of large structures.

This myth must be broken. On the contrary, the new media offer many possibilities, often free or at least reasonable, even for the smallest entrepreneur. For starters, there is no question of a budget. In fact it’s just work and time! Resources at your disposal.

As a reminder, the goal of marketing is to connect your company’s offer to the right customer base. Nothing more! It is a simple concept, but it can take very different forms. There is no magic marketing strategy. The right questions need to be asked:

  • What demographics define your customer base?
  • How do they look for products in your industry?
  • Who do they listen to when they are looking for products/services in your market?

The answers to these questions determine which marketing strategies will be viable and which will be a waste of time. In other words, the key to your small business’s success lies not in Facebook Adwords, nor in SEO, but in your operational knowledge of your customers’ habits.

Here is a selection of 16 simple digital marketing strategies that are perfect for small businesses.

Half are strictly digital strategies and will only be conducted online. The other eight are mixed, combining digital and physical.

How can you better connect your business to its marketing targets?

100% digital marketing strategies

  • Google My Business

Let’s start with the simplest! Placing an ad on Google My Business is one of the most effective things you can do. In fact, if your business is part of a specific territory targeting local customers, I would venture to say that it is THE most effective strategy at your disposal.

Google My Business combines all Google platforms in one place. They include your Google profile, your Google Maps profile, your Google reviews, access to your data on Google Analytics and Google Insights.

Google My Business immediately gives your business credibility and visibility. It should be number one on your priority list. All you have to do is make your profile attractive, then collect feedback and ratings from your customers.

  • Google Adwords

There are more than 40,000 search queries on Google every second. Google is sort of the source of all online marketing channels. It’s been around for a long time. He’s competitive.

Even though it’s a paid channel, Google Adwords aims to highlight the most relevant companies in relation to user searches. Therefore, it will cost you less if you have already optimized your SEO on your page.

Indeed, Google assigns a quality score to your ad, which depends on your CTR (Click Through Rate). This is the proportion of users who see an advertiser’s ad and click on that page. This quality score impacts the bid rate of ads. The higher your score, the lower the cost of the bid.

Google Adwords is a remarkably symbiotic channel, which can be paired with many other tools to maximize your impact. This paid marketing channel also allows you to get immediate results and can evolve as long as your budget allows.

  • Social networks

Using social networks is a really good idea for most companies.

67% of consumers use social networks to connect with brands, and 33% prefer to use social networks rather than the telephone. If customers can’t find your business on social networks, you can be sure they’ll favor your competitors if they’re there. The real question is not whether you should be present on social networks, but how long and what resources will you need to invest to recruit on these channels?

For some companies, it makes perfect sense to invest heavily in their social media presence. For example, Instagram users who follow fashion influencers are looking for new styles. For a clothing retailer, this medium is the ideal way to build a consistent sales and awareness channel.

For other companies, investing in Instagram may not make sense. The key is to identify which networks your customers are on and how they like to be contacted. If social networks are the answer to these two questions, it’s the perfect channel for your business.

  • Facebook advertising

Millions of small and medium-sized businesses advertise on Facebook; it is an inexpensive and effective way to sell to virtually any audience.

Facebook ads are great for advanced targeting. They allow you to target a specific audience based on their location, interests, age, gender, online behavior, etc. Creating an ad on Facebook is very easy. You simply need an important title, a descriptive text for your offer, a photo or image, and a link to your own site.

The Facebook Adwords Manager tool also makes it easy to execute and test multiple types of ads, allowing you to perfect your approach without the need for advanced technical expertise.

That said, you don’t succeed the first time. You will need some determination and a lot of testing before you can find the right formula.

If you feel that Facebook is the right channel for you, I recommend using a tool like AdEspresso to rally your campaigns and accelerate your ability to recruit new customers.

If you have an activity with a strong visual component, it might be helpful to try Instagram ads instead. As a subsidiary of Facebook, Instagram Ads has the same database and targeting options, while allowing you to connect to an audience more sensitive to the images that sell.

  • Content marketing

Content marketing is a process of creating and distributing relevant information to attract and retain a clearly defined target.

Unlike paid advertising, content marketing is more focused on long-term results. The initial gain tends to be small, but the continued growth of visitors, prospects and customers is necessarily useful for your development over time.

Content marketing requires work. Good practices include:

  • Quality and original content
  • Topics relevant to your target
  • Optimizing your SEO once online
  • Don’t limit yourself to written articles… and think about videos, podcasts, online training, etc. formats to appeal and attract as much as possible.

If you are considering this strategy, make sure you have enough time and energy to do so, knowing that there will be no immediate return on investment. Above all, you will have to ensure quality! Too many companies today are wasting their resources by creating mediocre content that is ineffective in recruitment or image.

  • Mailing

Mailing is the cornerstone of digital marketing.

The majority of customers will visit your site without immediate intention to purchase.  If you create a way to collect information about these visitors, you can then engage that audience at a later date, with offers or content.

Possible options include a newsletter subscription, a free digital download, a free service trial, a “place” at a webinar, membership to your site, a discount coupon, etc. Once a prospect has subscribed to your list, you can demonstrate your expertise and relevance by providing them with appropriate content via email.

The benefits of mailing include:

  • Low cost
  • Global reach
  • Easy to automate
  • Easy to segment
  • Immediate communication
  • Easy to set up and run
  • Easy to follow and optimize

Many digital marketing solutions are complex. On the other hand, mailing is one of the few that can be described as ‘easy’.

  • Articles in a blog or reference site

If you like to write, sharing your expertise in the form of regular articles can have an excellent impact on your brand.

The blog or reference site gives you the opportunity to make accurate and personal contact with your target audience. This audience will think of you when they imagine experts in your field. Publications such as Forbes, Inc., Fast Company, Medium are composed almost exclusively of unpaid expert articles. Be careful, make sure your content is useful and relevant to your target audience. This is not advertising. This is an opportunity to build trust with an audience over the long term.

Here are some ideas for articles you can write:

  • Practical guides
  • Commentary on the news
  • Interviews with interesting people
  • List of publications
  • Trends or events reports.


  • Webinars

A webinar is simply an online seminar. It can take the form of a presentation, demonstration or discussion. They are a great way for live training.

Webinars can also be used as a way to collect addresses for your future mailings. A good topic can bring a lot of new subscribers to your site. It can also be used to enhance your company’s credibility with your current subscribers.

Webinars are often more attractive than simple videos, even if they are used in exactly the same way. Live presence and questions and answers give customers the impression of receiving much more value than if they were watching a video with exactly the same information.

You’ll need an appl to make your webinar, with the following features:

  • 2-Way Audio – the presenter speaks while the audience is muted, but the presenter can individually “open the microphone” of the spectators so that everyone can hear their question.
  • Screen sharing – the presenter can share his screen or switch to video for whiteboard teaching or live demonstration
  • Polls – The presenter may invite viewers to participate in a survey or provide comments in other ways

Webinars are broadcast on many channels. You’ll need to test them to find out which one works with your target audience.

  • Discount coupon sites

Whether you’re selling a product or service, you can use coupon offering sites like Groupon to promote your business. Coupon offering sites reach large groups, organized by location. They allow local, regional or even national companies to offer limited-time discounts. The benefits of these offerings are exposure to a large number of consumers, targeted local advertising, an increased brand presence and a potential pool of new customers.

The main purpose of using coupon offering sites is not selling. The larger your discount, the more popular your offer will be. The goal is to get consumers to try your product. Then it will be up to you to play to retain this clientele. And if you sell little, you’ll at least have the satisfaction of seeing many potential customers browse your website even if they don’t decide to buy your offer.

For example, in the case of Groupon, you are required to reduce the price of your product by at least 50%, and to return at least half of your turnover to Groupon. In other words, unless you aim for a very large increase in your initial sale price, you will lose money on a Groupon offer. It is essentially paid advertising.

It is obviously important to have impeccable customer service during this promotional period, your customers earned through coupon offers will be even more difficult to satisfy than normal customers.

“mixed” Digital- physical marketing strategies

  • Free-trial session

When you sell services to professionals, customers want to be able to try your expertise.

If you’ve been able to position yourself as an expert in your specialty, free delivery is a great way to generate new sales. Many service providers are afraid to disclose too much information during a free consultation. They think that customers only come to retrieve information. In reality, the exact opposite is happening. Customers who are genuinely interested in quality will be impressed by the time you spend on them. It will then be up to you to demonstrate your expertise face to face.

Your offer can be advertised through brochures, newspapers, billboards or even word of mouth. And it can be highlighted on your website and social networks.

This strategy may not be ideal for all businesses, but if you offer an expert service or a high-priced service, it’s definitely worth thinking about.

  • Recommendations from employees

Recommendations are one of the best ways to find new customers. Who is best placed to talk about you in good if not your staff?

Your employees know your products or services by heart. They also know your customers very well. Some of them will willingly participate in initiatives without financial consideration. Studies show that you don’t have to offer money to motivate your “troops.”

Even if the commitment is free, this process must remain professional. It is therefore important to make the tools to help them in their prescription, whether it is information materials or a special promotion for customers recommended by employees.

Organize training sessions and explain to your employees how to effectively promote your business. But don’t forget that this form of marketing will only work if your employees feel really good about your business and are really motivated to tell their friends, family or acquaintances. It’s up to you!

  • Advertising in niche “Print Media”

Although a large portion of brands have shifted their budgets to online advertising, print media still exists, and for some markets it may be relevant.

The relative decline of the traditional press has led to an (equally relative!) drop in ad rates. In some niche media, it is now possible to buy ads at incredibly affordable prices.

That said, print media is rarely effective as a solo strategy. It is best to use it in conjunction with online marketing. The synergy of these two channels creates a more engaging brand experience for potential buyers.

  • cross-marketing strategy with other companies

Teamwork is always more effective than a singular effort. Combining resources with another company can help you achieve what you could never accomplish on your own.

It’s best to target businesses in your area, even if your customers aren’t local. Your goal will be to develop a joint marketing project that provides a mutual benefit to both your companies.

Here are some examples of marketing collaboration:

  • A marketing company could partner with an accounting firm to recommend each other’s services when integrating new clients.
  • A beauty salon could offer free manicures for clients of a hairdresser.

There is really no limit to what is possible. Just identify the multiple crosses within your audience and then find a way to tap into that potential in a mutually beneficial way.

  • Direct mail marketing

Like print media, direct mail marketing is not dead.

As online channels become more and more popular, fewer and fewer companies are turning to direct mail, which means opportunities for you. As with any marketing strategy, success comes down to targeted creativity. You can’t just “spam” customers and hope for a good return! Just as you’ll need to get customers to click on the title of your blog, you’ll need to be just as creative in inviting mail recipients to open your letters.

Start with the envelope, which will never be opened if it looks like a standardized promo piece. Stand out. Use a colorful envelope. Use an unusual shape, size or material. Make it look interesting. If possible, hand-write the address on each envelope or include something bulky inside to make the envelope lumpy – anything you can do to get attention.

Then focus on the content. If you want the best results, your title should be eye-catching, and your editor should get the reader’s attention for the duration of your presentation. Direct mail is usually implemented in conjunction with other online marketing tools.

  • Local professional groups

Joining a group of local businesses will give you the opportunity to meet other entrepreneurs who share your interests, your market, or even some of your questions.

These groups are a great opportunity to exchange ideas, share knowledge, find talent or identify new opportunities. They are also a major catalyst in expanding your network in the area where you are based.

  • Speaking at business events

To establish yourself as an authority, nothing is more impactful than speaking at events that attract your target customers.

Obviously speaking at major events is not given to everyone. That’s why your participation in professional groups or blogs will build your reputation and legitimacy. You can also search for smaller local events. Some examples for any entrepreneur:

  • Local Clubs – Rotary, Lion, Chamber of Commerce.
  • Business networking groups.
  • Clubs of specific interest (photography, hiking, sewing, etc.)
  • Browse local events on Eventbrite.com and Meetup.com.
  • Alumni networks
  • Check out the events in your local newspaper and magazines.
  • Large companies and their employees.

To conclude

You can see that digital marketing is also for you! Have you found the strategies for your small business? Half of it is probably worth considering, some will require major adjustments. As I said at the beginning of the article, I am convinced that one of these strategies has the potential to move you forward significantly this year.