It’s no secret that digital marketing can get expensive, especially for small business owners. Most don’t have a huge sum of money to allocate for marketing, given all the other expenses that they are responsible for. However, in order to promote your business and reach your local customers, it’s very important to have a digital marketing plan in place.

Fortunately, there are some low-cost, efficient digital marketing solutions that can be easily executed by small businesses. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

Create, Publish and Share Content

Quality content can help improve your ranking in local SERPs (search engine results pages), build trust with your customers and even generate leads. Content is so important for small businesses, unless it’s executed incorrectly.

For starters, your content must be relevant, intriguing and unique. Look for topics that fit into your business category and will educate your customer base. For instance, if you’re a bakery owner, you might consider writing something like, “5 Baking Hacks You Need to Know,” or “How Your Baking Environment Can Inspire New Flavors.”

Consider creating a blog as a platform for publishing this content. Remember to post your content across your social media channels, as that can generate engagement among your followers, who can then share it with their own followers.

Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Unlike paid search which can be costly, organic SEO can be done completely in-house. There are several factors to consider with organic SEO.

Technical – Meta data, including HTML titles and tags, keywords and links

Content – Your content must be packed with relevant information and keywords in order to help increase your ranking. This content should be updated regularly to fit relevant SEO trends. For instance, Google now places an emphasis on long-tail keywords (3-4 keyword phrases that are incredibly specific) to reach your customers more efficiently. Your website pages should center on a single theme or topic to help achieve this.

Backlinks – If your site links to back to other respected, relevant domains, it can increase your chances of ranking higher in SERPs.

Local – By utilizing local ranking factors, like name, address, phone number and customer reviews, you’ll increase the likelihood that your business will rank higher in local SERPs. If you’re unsure of where to begin, Moz offers an extensive library on their site that’s packed with information regarding local SEO.

Video Content

Did you know that more than 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube each day? This presents an incredibly opportunity for businesses to jump on the bandwagon and create unique video content of their own.

The sky is the limit with video content. You can utilize it to promote an upcoming event or sale, conduct a live product demo or how-to and even highlight the ‘behind the scenes’ aspects of your business that make it stand out.

Engaging video content can help you reach a wide variety of customers and help build your brand. In addition to YouTube, there are several platforms available for video content, including Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Live video is also a great technique, which allows users to ‘go live’ for their followers for a given period of time.

Social Media

If you haven’t figured it out by now, social media is a must have for small business owners. It increases brand visibility, builds trust and helps connect you with your customers. Social media is also a great customer service tool, as businesses can respond promptly and directly to users who have problems or questions regarding various aspects of the business.

You’ll want to operate on the channels that are used most often by your customers. Facebook is almost always a safe bet, as it’s overwhelming the most popular social network, with over 2.2 billion users. Depending on your business model, Instagram and YouTube are also great platforms, as they provide visual content to your customers. Conduct research and check out what channels your competitors are using to help determine which platforms make the most sense for your small business.

Utilize the free analytics tools offered on the various platforms to help you figure out optimal posting times, as well as the types of content that generate the most engagement. You can also look to scheduling tools to help you organize and schedule your posts.

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