The traditional ways of marketing products and services are straight forward. You do A and you get B as result. Over the years, things have changed as digital marketing channels are employed more in marketing products and services.
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Digital marketing is now popular and used by both small businesses and established business enterprises. As a small business owner, you should be using one digital marketing channel or another.
Understanding your business and target audience will help you choose the right digital marketing channel to channel your marketing efforts on. Not every digital marketing channels should be considered by a business owner.
I have put together ten digital marketing channels that small business owners in Nigeria should explore.
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Digital Marketing Channels For Small Businesses In Nigeria
The importance of a website in the digital marketplace cannot be undermined, as a website is the web version of a physical brick and mortar store. The best part is the fact that it cost little or no money to set up, and attracts visitors (prospective customers) from across the globe.
Just like the brick and mortar store, when customers visit your online store (website), they develop an impression of your brand from the outlook or packaging of your website.
From the website, visitors will find out all they need to know about the products or services you provide, including the value you offer to consumers.
In other words, your website design must be on par with that of your competitors. It must be mobile-friendly, user-friendly, and compatible with all devices.
And, if you are a business owner without a website, start making plans to get one for your business, as it enhances your credibility.
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Social media platforms are special because you don’t only reach your customers and engage them, you also have fun while doing so. There are several social media platforms available for small businesses to use in optimizing their business growth. These platforms include Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Quora, Medium, the list goes on and on.
You don’t have to be an expert on all social media platforms. You just need to figure out the platforms where your audience is more active and mine it for your business good. Spend time on these platforms, provide timely responses to your audience inquiries, converse with them, and ensure your page looks attractive and organized.
Your social media accounts can also have a link that redirects your audience to your website, thereby increasing your website reach at no cost.
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Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
Google Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising has gained popularity amongst small businesses as a form of digital advertising. It’s rising popularity is partly because of Google’s reputation and partly because small business owners can control their advertising costs.
With Pay Per Click, you only make payments when someone clicks on your ad. Your ads could be placed on search engine results pages (SERP), or websites related to your target keywords.
Hence, you need to use the right keywords that best describe your product or service for your ads. With proper and skillful use of keywords, Pay-Per-Click advertising can help you attract prospects that will eventually convert to loyal paying customers.
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Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization, popularly known as SEO is one of the most important digital marketing channels for small businesses. SEO simply means optimizing your online content in a way it attract organic traffic from search engines like Google.
For your SEO to be effective, you need to include keywords or phrases that reflect your service or product offering. That way, you appear when a potential consumer search for your product or service on search engine.
SEO isn’t only about improving the quantity of your website’s organic search traffic, it’s also about improving the quality of the traffic. When your contents are in line with topics your target audience is interested in, your business connects with the right prospects, who are likely to be interested in your brand’s service or product offerings.
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Although communicating via email is not a new means of communication, it is growing to be amongst the most important digital marketing channels for small businesses to reach their target audience. Email marketing is simply the process of sending emails about your business to email contacts you have built over time.
Messages you send via email marketing should not always be promotional. It should be a powerful digital marketing channel where you can engage your audience with unique and value-filled content.
Email marketing is a good way to communicate information as regards coupons, sales, and other promotions on offer.
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Content marketing is one of the most important digital marketing techniques because no digital marketing channel can stand alone or thrive without content. Email marketing, social media management, search engine optimization, just name it, they all rely on content.
Content marketing is simply creating and sharing non-promotional content. Content marketing doesn’t apply to only written content like blog posts, website pages, and e-books. It also consists of videos, social media posts, and webinars.
The type of content you create is dependent on your advertising goals and your target audience. Your content could be created to inspire, educate, persuade, or entertain your audience. Whatever the rationale behind your content, let it add value to your audience.
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As of 2017, Forbes rated YouTube as the second largest search engine after Google, with 3 billion searches per month. Most recently, YouTube has been the go-to place to learn new things, as there are thousands of video tutorials available for users to learn everyday. This is because videos are more engaging and explanatory than written content.
As a small business owner, if you’re not exploring this digital marketing channel, then you need to re-evaluate your digital marketing strategies.
If you have good content, be it a product, service, or art, you can advertise your videos on YouTube at a cost, because your video content will be viewed by millions of people around the world.
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Perhaps the cost of the YouTube ad is not within your budget, not to worry, Facebook and Google also permit video ads, and they are cheaper than YouTube ads.
Therefore, Facebook and Google is the best alternative for a small business with a low budget, but wants to explore video marketing.
Coupon Deal Sites
Virtually everyone likes free stuff, and there’s always a high level of interest from people, whenever there’s a giveaway, a freebie deal, huge discounts and the likes. There are websites that are built basically to advertise coupon deals.
Coupon websites are online advertising sites that promote wholesale or retail deals through direct marketing. These sites develop a large customer database by collecting the contact details of each person who purchase from them.
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A small business can take advantage of this digital marketing channel to promote its sales, or just advertise and popularize its new brand. Another good thing about advertising on coupon sites is the fact that customers who like your coupon deal will spread the word on your behalf. They will share them on their social media pages, and other coupon ad websites they use.
The downside of advertising with a coupon deal site is that you will make little or no profit. In other words, a small business shouldn’t advertise with a coupon deal site to make a profit, but to publicize their products, and follow up on the customers they made via the site.
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A webinar is an online meeting, seminar, or conference, that can be in the form of a discussion, presentation, or demonstration. Webinars are mostly used as lead magnets for email marketing.
With the right topic, you can get lots of new subscribers added to your email marketing list. It is a useful digital marketing channel because you can showcase your products live and explain its uses, thereby capturing the interest and attention of your audience.
Webinars also help to build personal relationships with customers. Because it’s a question and answer session, your audience can relate with you and understand your salient points. If you follow up on them appropriately, it makes them feel you care about their needs, and they may want to patronize you.
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Affiliate marketing is one of the many kinds of performance-based marketing, where a business owner pays one or more affiliates for every customer that patronized the business through the affiliate’s marketing activities.
The business owner gives the affiliate marketer commission for marketing a product or deal. An affiliate is someone who promotes or markets a product in an attractive way that make buyers interested in the product.
People always confuse affiliate marketing for referral marketing, because both forms of marketing drive sales to the business owner through third parties. However, they are different, as they don’t drive sales the same way. While affiliate marketing drives sales through financial motivations, referral marketing drives sales via trust and personal relationships.
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A small business can drive huge sales through affiliate marketing if they advertise with affiliate marketing sites that know their onion. Sales made are tracked through affiliate network links.
There, you have it! Choose the right digital marketing channels that suits your business needs, explore it and increase profit for your business.
Feel free to share your thoughts on any of the digital marketing channels listed. Contributions on other digital marketing channels not listed are welcomed in the comments.
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