Digital marketing tips for small businesses
24 Jul 2018
Digital marketing is the biggest challenge facing small businesses, according to the 2017 National Small Business Survey, which found that 46% of SMEs don't even have a website. Investec hosted a National Small Business Chamber event where one of South Africa's top digital marketers shared his advice for going online.
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Make sure your business is online“The reason why you need a website is that it's your digital sales force, it’s out there doing the selling for you," explained Duarte, who suggested various free website building tools like Wix, WordPress and SquareSpace.
Build trust through your websiteBuilding trust and credibility is particularly important for small businesses, especially those in a service industry. In addition to including customer testimonials on your site, "use real names, show your office or store front – photos are the cheapest way to communicate trust,” suggests Duarte.
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Online marketing challenges
Doing digital marketing or being online does not equal competitive advantage. It’s not that you do digital marketing, it’s how you do digital marketing.
Dave Duarte, CEO, Treeshake
Help Google find your businessMake it easier for your customers to find you online by setting up your free company search listing today on Google My Business - here you can display your contact details, location, photos of your business and even reviews.
Get other sites to write about youA link from an authoritative industry publication or a popular blog can do wonders for your site's SEO ranking, improving your company's position in search results. Duarte recommends regularly submitting articles to online media or doing some of your own PR and setting up interviews with them on topics that you're an expert in.
Commit to social mediaWhen it comes to social media, Duarte says: "the key thing is that you’re not the hero in this story, your customers are the hero." Ask your audience what's important to them and respond quickly and genuinely. "Conversation dies if you don’t keep it up, so you’ve got to be introducing new topics of conversation all the time," says Duarte.
Own your digital strategyDuarte believes that the most important thing you can do to achieve digital marketing success is to commit to it. Whether it's learning how to build or use a website or how to do Facebook adverts, commit to spending time and budget on your online marketing.
"I can promise you, over the next 5-10 years, the difference will be those who commit to a digital stategy. That’s not something I’d want to outsource, that’s something that as a business owner, I’d want to engage with."
About the author
Lead digital content producer
Ingrid Booth is a consumer magazine journalist who made the successful transition to corporate PR and back into digital publishing. As part of Investec's Brand Centre digital content team, her role entails coordinating and producing multi-media content from across the Group for Investec's publishing platform, Focus.