A Digital Marketing Survival Guide for Small Businesses

As a small business owner, you’re likely overwhelmed with numerous responsibilities each and every day. Whether it is sales, accounting or just managing the day-to-day operations, keeping up with the continual flow of work can be exhausting. Due to this constant time crunch, one aspect of a business that often gets pushed to the side is marketing.

Since your time is already in high demand, it is important to focus your marketing efforts where they can make the biggest impact — the digital space. While it may not be feasible to try to compete in every aspect of the digital landscape, efforts should be focused on a few key areas where a small business can still gain an advantage over its larger competitors. In my experience running a web design and digital marketing agency, these are the most important areas small business owners must prioritize.

If your digital marketing strategy isn’t optimized for mobile platforms, then you are probably missing the mark with a good chunk of your customers. To stay competitive, your strategy should include the following, at the bare minimum:

• Responsive Website Design: First and foremost, your website should be designed so that it is fully functional on mobile devices, which means using a responsive design. As smartphones slowly but surely are becoming a primary access device for web browsing worldwide, it is important that you are offering a seamless user experience between both mobile and desktop users. Responsive web design is one of the best methods to achieve this.

• Geotargeting: Facebook offers the ability to serve targeted, hyperlocal mobile ads to your customer demographic. The best part of this service is that ad delivery is based on their location. Since consumers are consistently utilizing mobile devices, this offers a unique way to reach potential customers in specific geographic areas who otherwise might not have found their way to your website.

Ranking well on search engines requires implementing excellent publishing and marketing information known as SEO. This effort has become more important, especially on the local level, in staying relevant online.

Many users only look at the first page of the search engine’s results when seeking answers, or they look to the featured snippet or knowledge panel of Google Search results. Those that rank near the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) have nothing to worry about, but those listed on the pages after often see a steep decrease in page visits.

With Google’s increased focus on quality, high-ranking search results, including websites that provide mobile users with location-specific results to their queries, small business owners should focus efforts on local SEO as well as standard SEO to gain an advantage.

Did you know that the average amount of video content watched on YouTube globally is 3.25 billion hours each month? That is an incredible amount of video and should provide some insight as to why this content format should be a priority for your business. Creating engaging video content for platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat can help you effectively reach customers while building brand awareness.

When creating videos, it’s important to consider how and where you will be posting them. For example, up until recently, it was widely accepted that videos should be shot horizontally. However, with the rising popularity of the “story” feature on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, vertically shot videos have become more the norm to fit these formats.

Original article published on Forbes.com

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