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Starting Digital Marketing for Small Businesses and Start-ups

Written by: Gwen Teng

The internet plays a significant role in the majority of businesses nowadays. Purchasing a product or engaging service is also easier now than compared to the past as the buying behaviour of many people is shifting towards online rather than offline.

Hence, to get your brand noticed online, to build brand awareness – that’s where digital marketing comes in.

Digital marketing is a way to advertise business, brands, and products via online channels. The role of digital marketing is to bring in new leads and prospects, generate sales for your business by reaching out to the group of a target audience who are interested in your products and services. These groups of people are considered your high-quality leads.

So now you have a rough idea of the role of digital marketing is in your business, the question is how to get started.

Here, we will be sharing with you some tips to start your digital marketing plan for small businesses.


The first impression that your website gives usually establishes the trust people have in your business. First of all, have an outstanding UI then a great UX.

Online businesses will have to really consider the digital experiences of their users and how it makes them feel. Besides the UI/ UX portion, your website is one of the cores of your digital marketing campaigns where you direct the leads to your designated landing pages.

Do they stay or do they go upon clicking on that link you provided – be it through an EDM, or SMS or Social Media. Sometimes you only get as much as 3 seconds to convince and convert these leads to become a paying customer.

Ensure your website loads quickly, make sure it is secured, optimize your website for both PC and mobile phones, ensure the ease of use by carrying out user testing before launch. Ultimately, make sure your customers’ needs are met.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO, in short for Search Engine Optimization, is dependent on your site’s content in order to get it to appear on search engine results when users are searching for a particular keyword.

Most businesses would want their website or landing pages to appear on the top result of Google, and the question is how do you get it to appear on the first page when you have a competitive keyword in mind that you will want to rank for? This is where you need to ensure the content on your website is made relevant to anyone who searches for a particular keyword. The more relevant it is, the higher the chances of it appearing on Google’s top searches.

SEO not only is cost-effective, but it also allows you to increase your website traffic and helps your website to rank higher in search engines (most of the time we are looking at Google).

Pay-Per-Click advertising

Though SEO is great magic to increase website traffics, it may take too much time to happen. This is where you can try-out an alternative strategy.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is when the website owner (yourself) pays every time someone clicks on your ad.

Google Ad is a popular PPC advertising where it places your website on the first page of search engine results, and you get qualified leads who are searching for your products and services. However, the downside is that the more competitive your keywords are, the more expensive your PPC is going to be.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is an approach where you story-tell your brand by creating and curating high-quality content that is appealing to your target audience to keep them engaged and interested in your products or services. The content usually contains valuable information, is of relevance to them, and must be ‘fed’ to them on a consistent basis.

Some forms of content marketing include videos, email newsletters, webinars, giveaways, FAQs, and podcasts.

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing refers to using various social media platforms to perform ads in order to drive audience engagement, brand awareness, and traffic to your desired landing page.

As the majority of the people in this digital age are connected through social media, marketing and advertising over these platforms will allow you to access the bulk of the people to promote your business more effectively and eventually to turn them into potential paying customers.

Depending on your industry, you need not be pushing for ads across all the available social media platforms – that would be wasting too much money. Understand your brand, your consumers, and what their buying behaviors are like before selecting which platforms you want to advertise on. The most common social media platforms include Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a form of advertising to re-engage your existing leads in your database, or a form of contact to reach out to potential leads. This method is also the most effective way to nurture your leads and convert them into paying customers.

Before you can start on email marketing, where do you get the source of your leads and their contact email? It can be through all the strategies that were mentioned earlier to direct them to fill up a contact form on your landing pages or to send in an inquiry via your Facebook/ Instagram chat and etc.

Usually, these leads that fill up the forms with their contact has already granted you permission to send them emails! From this first point of contact, you will be able to re-engage them and nurture them into paying customers. Those that write in to unsubscribe – that’s where you know these are not your buying customers.

Most companies use branded email to increase their brand awareness. When using an email template, make sure it speaks of your branding and brand identity as it will help your business stand out when your email lands on your leads’ inboxes.

As digital marketing is constantly evolving, you may want to consider taking up a digital marketing course if you are doing your own digital marketing for your business. Find out more about our specially curated project-based programme where all trainers are highly experienced industry practitioners sharing their knowledge with the students with hands-on practices.

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1 Comment

Sep 09, 2021

Thanks for thiss

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