The future of social media marketing for small businesses is a big ol’❓❓. Facebook’s popularity seems to be in continuous decline … and if you’ve been running ads on Facebook and/or Instagram then you are likely frustrated beyond all means. The hoops you have to jump through to launch your ad campaign can often be discouraging.
To make matters worse, the algorithms are constantly changing, which presents a challenge for small businesses to determine a solid strategy. It’s enough to make you take a hard look at, “Why even bother messing with it all, especially Facebook?”
It is very possible that what was once the cornerstone of social media marketing could be no more in a few years. As a small business owner, this should make you take pause and re-evaluate your digital marketing strategy, starting today.
💡 Pro-tip: Before we dive in on what your other options are, here’s a bit of advice… don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Meaning, don’t solely rely on social media to do all the marketing work for your business. There are several other ways to build your digital marketing footprint. Not only are each of the ways impactful on their own, but when paired with a solid social media strategy they can give you an even greater impact.
Social Media Marketing Is MORE Powerful When Supported By Other Marketing Tactics
Digital marketing success is about making these three things happen regularly: drive more traffic to your website, raise brand awareness EVERYWHERE, and create opportunities that DON’T always rely on a social media strategy.
We believe that these six highly impactful marketing options will not only help you build your online presence, but will also future-proof your digital marketing for years to come.
1) Update Your Website
Is your website outdated? Even if your business model hasn’t changed much, keeping your website updated regularly is important to stay relevant to your potential customer.
Keep in mind a website is typically due for an overhaul or redesign every two to five years. The reason to redesign your website could be one of many. Maybe it doesn’t serve your business anymore or it just looks outdated. The bottom line, if you don’t have a website that represents your brand as it is currently, you are doing a disservice to your client prospects and could be hindering the growth of your business.
These items will help to make your website more effective:
- Have a mobile friendly and responsive website.
- Have a clean URL structure for the purpose of indexing.
- Each page should have a unique title and description.
- Confirm your site loads quickly. Ideally, the site should load within 2-3 seconds.
- Make sure to optimize all images on your site with the correct size.
- Add internal linking so that visitors can navigate easily from page to page on your site.
- Include keyword-rich content throughout. This makes it easier for Google to understand what services or products you offer.
2.) Incorporate An SEO Strategy
Having an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy is important in order to help make your website searchable. Meaning more traffic and more opportunities to convert prospects into actual customers.
If you find the entire idea of SEO a bit overwhelming, you are not alone. We suggest reaching out to your web-designer to get assistance with basic work. To take things to the next level, you may want to consider hiring an expert in the area of SEO to assist with more advanced work.
These are some best practices to consider for your SEO Strategy:
- Have a mobile friendly and responsive website.
- Have targeted keywords in the web page content.
- Be sure all header tags are optimized, and fill in meta descriptions as well as alt-text.
- Make sure your site is easy to navigate and read.
- Strive to have the fastest page load time possible. Ideally 2-3 seconds.
- Create LOTS of rich content per page to help Google identify what’s on it.
- Approximately 600-700 words per page is a good best-practice.
- Add in links to other pages, within your site as well as to other reputable sites.
3.) Add Your Business To Online Directory Listings & Google My Business
Think back several years ago, before there was Google and cell phones. When searching for a business’s location, phone number, and service/product offerings, one usually started by thumbing through the Yellowpages.
In today’s digital world, the way people search is by going directly to an online search engine. Google is the top search engine securing it’s position at 86.19% for desktop search followed by Bing (6.7%), Yahoo (2.7%), DuckDuckGo (0.9%), and Yandex (0.64%) The majority of your customers are finding you by searching for your business name, the products or services you offer, and/or looking for businesses that are near them or “near me.”
There are many different online business directories. You may be familiar with some of the more popular ones such as: Yelp, Foursquare, Mapquest, Yellow Pages, Apple Maps, Bing, Better Business Bureau, and more. There are also plenty of specialty directories for specific industries like: law firms, medical practices, dentists, marketing firms and more.
The point being, there is a lot of opportunity to list your business. You don’t need to list yourself everywhere, but it is advised to list your business on the popular ones, as well as the ones that relate back to your industry.
Now we know what you’re thinking, “When am I going to find time to do this?” However, you actually don’t have to invest hours upon hours of going in and listing your business on the directories. If time investment is an issue, consider signing up for a resource that does it for you. We recommend either Moz Local ($14 or $20 per month) or Brightlocal ($29 per month). These two companies do this all the time and know what listings your business should be on. It’s worth every penny!
“The MOST important place to have your business listed is Google My Business.”
Google My Business is relatively easy to set up and free to use. It allows your customers to get access to important information about your business such as your hours of operation, address, and website info. It also allows them to read reviews about your business, see recent content posted to Google by you, set up appointments, message you, and even place an order from you.
How you set up your business page determines the features your potential customers experience. You can read more about why Google My Business should be a top priority in your social media strategy in one of our other blogs.
4.) Build Your Email List & Then Market To Them
If you don’t have an email list, you might be missing out on the best captive audience possible. The beauty about your own email list is that it’s yours. It can be small but mighty and actually produce more revenue for your business than any other marketing channel. 🤩
Imagine what a large email list could do for you! Remember, customers don’t sign up for email – they sign up for your brand. They want to stay informed about what it is that you have to offer.
5.) Create High Quality & Original Content: Video, Photo, & Blogs
To be the most-effective and get the best results with your social media marketing strategy, you have to be producing high quality content. Quality over quantity wins every time. You want your content to showcase every aspect of your brand to your customer so that it can deliver the results you need to succeed in marketing. There are three pieces of content creation that are a MUST. They are videos, original branded photos, and blogging. Each of them serves a purpose.
Video content is King! Videos continue to have an increasing impact on our daily lives and it’s more important than ever to incorporate creating videos into your content marketing strategy.
With smartphones readily available, there is really no excuse to not be creating video content. Ideally, you would want to create a combination of videos that are self produced or DIY, then get a videographer to capture and edit more high quality videos that showcase your brand story, customer testimonials, or maybe tip and educational videos.
Check out our blog, The Importance of Creating Social Media Video to get more helpful information about video creation.
Original, Branded Photos
Another piece of content that can really give your brand a boost is good photography work. Consider hiring a professional photographer to come in and capture photos of your office space, team, staged images of you working with customers, and even professional images of your products that you sell.
Most of the time, these photos can be continuously used over and over again in different ways and will continue to add value to your social media strategy. If your budget is tight, many times your smartphone will do the trick. The key is to capture your own content and avoid using stock images as much as possible.
Consider blogging regularly. Writing blogs takes a different level of commitment, but it’s so important for your website’s overall SEO. Why? When someone types a question into Google that your blog addresses, your website could be positioned at the top to answer their question. Ultimately, the goal is that this interaction then leads to a new customer!
Ready to add blogging to your mix? Great! But you must be consistent. Consider your resources and how frequently you, or others on your team, can produce new blog content. Once a week is ideal, but if once a month is all you can do … that’s better than not blogging.
💡Pro-tip: Another really cool thing about blogs is that they can also be turned into several social media posts, simply by extracting all of the points made within the blog and doling them out over time in new, creative ways.
6.) Incorporate Google Advertising
If you want to be seen and noticed faster, then you’ll need to pay to play. Digital advertising through Google is a great way to get your business ranked and discovered in Google search results. It can help you display your ads to potential customers at the exact moment they’re searching for a business like yours. Sure there are other search engines, but remember Google gets more than 86% of the search traffic. Chances are, if your business advertises on Google you will be seen.
Google advertising works well for businesses looking to drive more local traffic and website leads in areas such as fitness and self care, home & garden, event-driven businesses, health and wellness, and many service-based and professional businesses.
If all of this sounds overwhelming, we get it! Start by taking small steps, incorporating our suggestions one at a time until you have that down and then slowly start incorporating the other suggestions. Future-proofing doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and dedication, but will pay off in the long run. Your business will thank you for it.
Up Your Social Media Game with The Social Ginger
Need help implementing any of these suggestions? The Social Ginger is here to be your full-service social media marketing partner. Skip the hassle and the time with figuring it out and doing it yourself. Our rockstar team of experts are eager to help your business stand out in today’s digital world. Your journey with us starts with a FREE discovery call today.