Posted: Mon 20th Feb 2023
As 2023 unfolds, your business will have (hopefully!) already laid out its marketing plans for the year. However, small businesses bear the extra burden of having to compete with larger and more established businesses – which can make it harder to be heard among the noise.
Establishing a powerful online presence can be integral in growing brand awareness, acquiring new leads and increasing sales. One way that SMEs can beat the competition is by having a cohesive digital marketing strategy.
Even if your business isn't online, it's important to have a digital presence within this increasingly digital world. Whether it's creating a couple of social media accounts, or setting up your own platform or website, you'll be on much better footing.
To help you with your planning for 2023, we've compiled a list of the top digital marketing opportunities for SMEs. With additional advice from marketing experts, this list should help you smash your growth targets for next year.
No small business should underestimate the need to create content. It's an easy way to boost your SEO ranking and deliver added value without having to spend anything on advertising.
Google's helpful content update has also made it easier for SMEs to rank highly. By prioritising 'people-first' content, rather than content written for search engines, Google hopes to reward creators who produce helpful content that serves the reader as opposed to the algorithm.
This means that if you dedicate your time to writing good-quality articles or blogs, there's a strong chance your business will end up in search results. It's not just these posts that will rank in search either – if you have a lot of content on your website that Google deems helpful, the rest of your site will perform better too.
Anna Morrish, founder of Quibble, notes how introducing content clusters may be the way for driving SEO ranking.
"Something we're hearing about more is content clusters, not just creating random content but articles that go in depth on a topic."
She also recommends making sure that your content is 'evergreen' so that it always stays relevant without needing to be updated. That's more difficult to do when you're a small business with limited time.
"The most important thing about content strategy for small businesses is making sure it's manageable. It's no good having a strategy if you don't have any time to do it!"
Internal linking is also an effective way to boost your SEO. By linking to other content on your website, you'll guide visitors to other important, relevant pages.
Google's bot is able to crawl through this journey and work out the relationship between these pages. As a result, the Google search engine gives each page more value.
Avoid linking to unrelated content for the sake of it, though. Google will potentially penalise you and your search rankings may suffer as a consequence.
James Cooper, digital marketing consultant at Convoboss, notes how not enough small businesses currently take advantage of internal linking.
"It can take a bit of time and resources to get high-authority external links. But you can actually get some pretty quick wins just by making sure that you're linking to other relevant pages within your own website."
One of the big marketing trends we saw in 2022 was the continued rise in video marketing, and we're expecting it to carry on growing into 2023.
From TikTok to Instagram Reels, video is an increasingly popular way of sharing knowledge with people. Though creating video content may be daunting, James Cooper finds that the most important part is simply getting it out there.
"You don't need to be too concerned about making it highly polished or well-designed with high production value. Just get yourself out there on video.
"It's a fast and easy way to create content and tell your story. And you don't have to think about what blog post you're going to write about, how to structure it, and so on."
You can then repurpose videos across different platforms, which will save you time, money and resources. Ways in which you can reuse video content include:
social media (as short snippets, for instance)
transcribed and rewritten into blog posts
pages on your website
GIFs and infographics
The next generation of analytics is Google Analytics 4 (GA4), which will replace the current Universal Standard Analytics in July 2023. While converting to the newer version isn't compulsory, Anna Morrish recommends making the switch as soon as possible.
"Lots of people aren't aware of the depth of knowledge and data they can get, and they haven't thought about setting up GA4. If they don't have any comparative data, they need GA4 installed ASAP."
Google Analytics 4 focuses on two things – machine learning and data visualisation – in the hope of helping companies learn more about their users' journeys and getting a better understanding of their online presence.
Another method to enhance your SEO ranking is by creating an online tool. Whether it's an online checklist or a clever calculator tool, making something that's actually helpful for your audience can really help drive users to your website.
If the tool works well and is optimised from a user experience (UX) perspective, people are going to spend more time on your site – which will lead to more journeys and conversions.
James Cooper explains:
"It's not just a written piece of content, it's an actual tool which someone in your target audience can get value from. Google has a high favour for tools – things which offer a high degree of value for users."
For small businesses, money is often scarce – and this is currently exacerbated by the current recession in the UK.
If you haven't already, it's worth doing some research for any small business grants you may be eligible for. You can find more information about the financial support available to you – including digital grants – in this guide and at the government's website.
Adobe Express is a free online photo and design app offering thousands of templates, stock photos and design assets, to help you develop your creative skills, build your brand and create amazing content.
As James Cooper says, being "smart and strategic about the content you're creating", and "doing less but better" is the way to go – and the Adobe Express app can help you do this.
Get started with the app today to save time marketing your business, giving you more time to do what you love!
Discover creative solutions to build your brand, boost your creative skills, and create amazing marketing content for your business. Find out more
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