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Digital Marketing Strategy For Small Businesses – Sink Or Swim?

One of the barriers to taking the Digital Marketing Strategy plunge is a “fear of doing things wrong.”   Entering these unchartered waters can be paralyzing for owners who wonder:  “what to do first,” “which digital channels to choose,” and if “they are doing this right.” Digital Marketing Strategy is not a choice for most small businesses.  It’s simply a question of when and how.  Here are three considerations for small businesses before diving into that Digital Marketing Strategy pond:               Image Sourcehttp://monetizeblogging.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Digital-Marketing-Three-Motion.jpg 1. What Is Your Digital Brand?
As a first step, take some time to thoughtfully define:
  • what’s your product (or service), and its personality?
  • how do you want your customers to perceive your business.  Is your brand formal, light, humorous, customer-oriented, trend setting, etc.?
  • what’s your business value proposition (and is this in alignment with your digital profile and marketing)?
Finally, spend some time identifying digital marketing goals; these may change and evolve, but initial goals are important.
2.  Digital Marketing  Resources – small strokes.
So, you’ve established your digital brand and goals, and are ready to dive in.  So now what?  While the rewards of Digital Marketing are clear for small businesses, resources are a precious commodity. You’ll need to consider who will do the work and, moreover, who has the knowledge, and develop an initial plan.  Some owners choose to take on the digital marketing themselves.  Others may not have the time, interest or skill, and may hire someone (assuming they have the budget).
3.  Digital Marketing Channels – swimming in the deep end.
Deciding which marketing channels can be daunting.  Initially, it is good to hone in on one or two digital channels (prioritizing quality over quantity), and evolve the strategy from there.   Depending on the business, developing a newsletter and Facebook page may be a great starting point. Or, utilizing LinkedIn and a blog. Success of small businesses essentially boils down to: “What does it take to survive? Aside from manic drive, moxie, hard work, creativity and luck … maybe a sense of connectedness to a community, local or more global.” Tom Post, Forbes  http://www.forbes.com/sites/tompost/2014/03/13/the-surprising-secret-behind-small-business-success/ Digital marketing is key to building that community connection.  And, dedicating time to planning before entering the digital marketing pond ensures a solid foundation for the next stages of marketing – execution and measurement.
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