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Digital marketing for small businesses in London: a brief guide

Digital marketing for small businesses in London: a brief guide
Grow London Local
Grow London LocalMatching London small businesses to support

Posted: Tue 4th Jun 2024

Digital marketing is a great way to promote your business to customers across London. From content marketing and social media to paid ads and email newsletters, you can strengthen your online presence and sell more of your products.

This short guide explains some of the digital marketing practices available to you. Decide which ones work best for you and your budget, then get experimenting!

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is using digital channels and platforms to promote your products or services and reach a wider audience.

As technology continues to develop, more businesses are turning to digital marketing as a important way to stay competitive.

By understanding what it's about and using it effectively, you can engage with your target customers throughout the city and make more Londoners aware of your brand.

How can digital marketing benefit small businesses in London?

The big benefit of digital marketing is that it gives your business a much stronger online presence and lets you reach a larger audience – all for little money.

Unlike traditional marketing, digital marketing lets you target your specific London audience with precision and measure your success as you go. Then you can adapt and tweak your marketing efforts to get the most out of your budget.

With a good digital marketing strategy in place, you can promote your products to potential customers in London and compete with larger companies on a more level playing field.

Types of digital marketing

Content marketing

  • What is it? Creating and publishing content to attract and engage customers. Content can include anything from blog posts and videos to podcasts and downloadable guides.

  • Benefits: content marketing helps you build trust and brand awareness and ultimately drives sales. It's also an excellent way to improve your visibility and rankings on search engines like Google.

  • Useful content marketing tools:

    • A content management system (CMS) is essential for organising, creating and publishing content. Popular platforms include WordPress, HubSpot, Squarespace, Weebly and Wix.

    • Keyword research tools are crucial for improving your SEO and driving organic traffic to your website. Some well-known tools are Semrush, Ahrefs and Google Keyword Planner.

    • Design tools are really useful for creating engaging and professional-looking visual content. Some user-friendly examples are Canva and Adobe Express.

    • Analytics tools help you measure whether your content marketing is successful. Google Analytics is a great free tool that shows you who's visiting your website and how they're engaging with it.

  • Cost: most of the above tools have free versions or free trials, so you can try before you buy. 

Social media marketing

  • What is it? Using platforms like Facebook, X, Instagram, TikTok and LinkedIn to promote your products or services. Doing it well means creating compelling content that people want to share.

  • Benefits: you can capture your audience's attention and build a strong online community around your brand by interacting directly with customers and better understanding what they need and like.

  • Useful social media marketing tools:

    • Popular platforms: with millions of users in London and the UK, free platforms like Facebook, X, Instagram, TikTok and LinkedIn are a vital (and low-cost) way to reach and engage with your audience.

    • Social media management tools: help you manage, schedule and monitor content across several platforms from one dashboard. Popular tools include Hootsuite, Buffer and Sprout Social.

  • Cost: it's free to post on all of these platforms, although there are fees for certain premium features.

Paid social and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising

  • What is it? Paid ads or sponsored content placed strategically in users' social media feeds. PPC advertising is typically done through platforms like Google Ads or Microsoft Ads.

    You bid on specific keywords relevant to your product or service and pay a fee each time someone clicks one of your ads. It's essentially a way of buying visits to your website.

  • Benefits: you can easily target specific sections of your audience and tailor your ads for them.

    That means any budget you put towards advertising is directed towards people who are likely to engage with your content. PPC ads are also very immediate in that you can start to see positive results (like more traffic or more sales) very quickly.

  • Useful paid social tools:

    • Popular platforms: most paid social tools have the same features that let you tailor your ads to reach the right people. You'll find paid ad options on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, X, TikTok and YouTube.

    • PPC advertising tools like WordStream and Optmyzr let you improve your paid social campaigns by helping with keyword research, bid optimisation and more.

  • Cost: varies depending on the platform and what you want to do, but expect to pay anywhere from a few pence to a few pounds per click or impression. Be aware that PPC advertising can be highly competitive and quite expensive, especially for popular keywords.

Email marketing

  • What is it? Sending targeted emails to a specific list of recipients, with the goal of driving engagement, building brand awareness and encouraging sales.

  • Benefits: aside from costing nothing, it lets you divide up your audience and send highly personalised emails. It also allows you to engage with your customers on a more personal level.

  • Useful email marketing tools:

    • Popular platforms: with well-known tools like Mailchimp, Constant Contact and Klaviyo, you can easily design and send professional-looking emails, manage your subscriber lists and track how your emails are performing.

    • Analytics tools: not strictly an email marketing tool, but Google Analytics is invaluable for measuring the success of your email campaigns. Find out how many people are opening your emails, clicking through to your website or buying your products.

  • Cost: most email marketing platforms have a limited free version, after which you'll pay a monthly or yearly subscription fee.

Whether you're new to digital marketing or looking to improve what you do already, there are so many ways to bring more Londoners to your business. You can choose the methods that better suit your business and budget and start boosting your sales.

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