Digital Marketing Success for Small Businesses in 2021

Digital marketing is an ever-evolving discipline, where new tactics and strategies are regularly unveiled. There’s always someone trying to do something in a different way. As a result, digital marketers are often blending all the different mediums available to achieve better results. 

In this race for the next great marketing success, we often forget that sometimes, the fundamentals work better than any newfangled tactic. After all, these approaches wouldn’t be around today if they had been proven to be worthless in the past. 

Let’s talk about four fundamental digital marketing tactics that can lead your small business to success in 2021 and beyond. 

Email Marketing 

Email marketing is one of the oldest digital tactics around, but many make the mistake of considering it antiquated. On the contrary – email marketing remains one of the most powerful assets you can arm your business with. For every dollar you invest in it, you can expect the return of an astonishing 42, making this a highly profitable avenue to explore. 

The cause of this high ROI rate is our dependence on emails and the ready availability of our inboxes. After all, they are always right there in our pocket. We’re free to check our email whenever we are a bit bored or distracted. 

The key to running a successful email marketing campaign is sending emails your audience actually wants to read. Let’s explain how you can achieve this goal with an example.

Homestead Supplier, as the name suggests, sells items related to homesteading. Their email campaign can center around helping customers make the most of the products they’ve purchased and ensuring their farming ventures are a success. Anything from advice on the way to get a stubborn hen to lay eggs to the best butter recipes will certainly spark interest and may lead to further conversions. 

Google My Business 

If your small business is local, the absolute best course of action is to rank well on Google My Business. Whenever someone searches for a specific service or shop in a certain area, Google will serve them a list of businesses they consider worth the recommendation. Most people will accept this advice and end up walking in or contacting one of these brands. 

Luckily, ranking well on GMB is not all that difficult, although it can take some time. You will need to optimize your profile well first. Make sure you describe your services accurately and that all of the important data is correct. 

Then you need to build yourself some citations (i.e., get listed in local and national directories) and collect reviews from your customers. Sometimes, simply sending out a friendly email to a customer right after a purchase can help you secure their review. 

Windle London has taken this task seriously, and it has certainly paid off. They have nearly 400 reviews and a 4.8-star rating. They’ve optimized their profile extremely well, using just the right keywords. Plus, they also have a shop. 

Content Marketing 

Content is king, as we are often told. However, you don’t need to adhere to that old rule of “post something every day to rank well.” 

Instead, focus on producing clever content. This is the kind of content that: 

  • adds value
  • matches your audience’s search intent
  • is rankable for keywords that aren’t too competitive
  • matches your brand’s expertise

Your aim should be to get a decent ROI from every post you publish. Now, you might feature these posts as part of your email marketing or social media marketing campaigns. You might rank them at the top of search engine results pages. Whichever the case, keep prompting them until you feel they’ve served their purpose. Only then should you move on to the next one. 

This will save you the chaos of trying to juggle dozens of posts per month, ultimately only spending resources on posts that convert fewer customers. 

Inkable Label has found just the right balance, publishing posts that can help their clients create better designs. They are not only of high interest but also easy to digest and incredibly helpful.

Affiliate Marketing 

Affiliate marketing is a tactic more and more brands reach for. After all, two-thirds of merchants using it find the revenues it generates meet their expectations. It can certainly be a very lucrative avenue to explore as well. 

The basic premise is simple: you give each of your affiliates a percentage of your revenue for every sale they generate. Essentially, you can recruit a practically infinite group of salespeople, who will only get paid if they earn you money. 

How large this commission is and how you structure the affiliate program is up to you. Needless to say, the more favorable it is, the more people will want to lend a hand and join. 

A brand that made a fortune and became a household name thanks to affiliate marketing is certainly Gymshark. Their affiliates are more brand ambassadors than mere salespeople. They also provide discounts to their shoppers when they use a specific code, which is a complete win-win: they make a sale, the affiliate earns a commission, and the customer gets a discount. 

Smaller brands can benefit from the tactic as well. For example, Golf Cart Tire Supply can set up the same kind of scheme, offering both discounts and commissions to keen golfers. They can also recruit a variety of affiliates: from occasional players and popular influencers to golf pros and their followers. 

Final Thoughts 

All of these tactics can help launch your small business and spur its growth. They can help you expand and reach new markets and new target audiences, but, of course, you don’t need to deploy all of them at the same time. 

On the contrary, start by investing in the channel that will most likely generate the most ROI for your business. As you start to earn more, you will be able to bring another tactic on board. 

Remember: spreading your resources across too many tactics will result in much less than putting all of your eggs in the correct basket. 

John Hurley is a professional geek. He's obsessed with trying out the latest technologies and delivering amazing results to his mostly SaaS & e-commerce clients. Romantic comedies are his not-so-guilty pleasure.

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