Unless they have been living under a rock, every small business owner knows the importance of digital marketing. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean they invest in it though.
In fact, a study in the US found that only a quarter of small businesses actually invest in online marketing.
One of the primary reasons for this disparity is the sense of being overwhelmed by the field and feeling lost as where to begin. Digital marketing is choked full of esoteric terminology and is changing every day, and it only seems to be getting more complicated and different as the days go by.
To help give you some direction and bring some sense to the whole field, we’ve rounded up five of the leading digital marketing tactics in 2019 which every small business (although most don’t) should know.
1. Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)
Not typically at home among other digital marketing tactics, cost per acquisition (CPA) is albeit important as it can be used to measure the cost of acquiring a customer across many means, whether it’s an email newsletter or social media campaign.
It’s particularly useful for small businesses as with this one metric you can keep track of your total marketing spend and total number of conversions. It differs in this way from sub-metrics like cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-impression (CPM), which are based on eyes and traffic rather than real, money-generating conversions.
You’re aware of local marketing — in which you target your marketing efforts around a particular community or location. Hyperlocal marketing takes this up a notch so that users know you’re not only in the community, but that you’re also a strong and valued part of it.
This is achieved through personalising content using local knowledge and idiosyncrasies — for example, demographics, weather, geography — in both published content and marketing campaigns. It also involves other methods such as making use of local members of the community and personalities as a part of your brand’s story.
3. Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI)
Algorithms have advanced beyond the capability of only being able to analyse keywords as a sign of relevance. One such advancement is Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI), a mathematical method which is used to determine the relationship between keywords and phrases within content and pages.
LSI means that search engines are much better at differentiating between content and are thus better able to give the searcher exactly what they want — natural-sounding content that is full of contextually-relevant information. Small businesses can take advantage of LSI by using it as one of their principal digital marketing tactics and offering more targeted content than their competitors.
4. Contextual Marketing
There’s your standard direct marketing where you deliver generalised ads and campaigns to the masses. Then there’s contextual marketing in which you create content that’s tailored to specific client preferences and delivered to them at the right moment and in the right place.
The big difference between the two is that, with contextual marketing, marketers are already targeting customers who’re interested in their products and services. This not only leads to higher-quality leads, but means small businesses don’t have to make huge investments and can achieve much more cost-effective conversion rates.
5. Chatbot Marketing
AI or artificial intelligence — an area of computer science that includes planning and problem-solving, speech recognition, and machine learning — was the marketing word of the year in 2018. And in 2019, one of the best ways for small businesses to make use of AI is through chatbot marketing.
Simply put, chatbot marketing is using automated bots as a means of communicating with your customers. Such bots simulate one-on-one personalised conversations and can be used for everything from generating interest and closing sales to customer support and troubleshooting. As well as improving engagement and relationships, then, chatbots can also help automate many routine processes and significantly reduce spending.