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Understanding Digital Marketing for Small Business

When you have a small business, it is a given that marketing is a must. Marketing is the blanket term that covers any “action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising,” according to Oxford. But now, in our technological world of constant information and change – especially considering the after effects of the pandemic – it's imperative to understand digital marketing for small business and have digital marketing strategy to reach local and extended audiences alike.

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What is digital marketing and how does it vary from traditional marketing?


If you’ve ever seen a billboard, an ad in a magazine, or heard a commercial on the radio – you’ve encountered traditional marketing. It refers to a form of promotion that reaches an audience offline. “Companies use marketing channels such as print, broadcast, telemarketing or direct mail to engage their audience and broaden their reach. Companies that invest in traditional advertising spend a great deal of time and creativity crafting successful marketing campaigns that generate substantial revenue,” says Lucid Advertising.



Traditional marketing brings many companies to success – and continues to serve a purpose in many marketing strategy plans. Yet, digital marketing is how many brands expand from local to global, putting their products and services before the eyes of many, across countries and demographics at a rapid pace.


If you’re reading this, we have no doubt that you have encountered digital marketing strategy and its tangible components. Quick hint? Some of those artifacts are websites, digital ad placements, e-mail, social media – all these channels are a part of the digital marketing schema.


Unlike traditional marketing, digital marketing has more serving power to reach audiences near and far. Think about a single Tik Tok video posted by a user in California. With the appropriate SEO, the viewer reach of that asset can make it to the East Coast, or even another country within minutes – opening up the marketability of a company. Digital marketing removes the bounds and limits that exist in traditional marketing. So now is the time to think of how to develop digital marketing strategy as a startup or as a growing small business.

What are the elements of digital marketing strategy?

Here are some of the channels that are incorporated in a company’s digital marketing strategy. Take a look:

  • Website: Owned domain and platform where your potential and current customers can see your content.

  • Blog: Owned area where you can update audiences on business news and industry related content to establish authority, boost SEO and experiment with content mix.

Read Digalyne's Blog: The Digatal for More Blogs

  • Social Media: Media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.) that allow you to engage with current and potential customers, build brand awareness and loyalty and keep abreast with social listening.

  • E-mail Marketing: Owned channel where you can grow lists and develop segmented, targeted communication right to the audience’s inboxes

  • Search Marketing: Whether voice or regular search, optimization for the search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo!, DuckDuckGo, etc) allows for potential customers to find you when they’re looking for services or answers to industry related questions.

  • Online Advertising: Ad placements on sites or platforms to expand reach strategically to similar audiences of other brands.

  • Mobile Marketing: Marketing optimized for mobile use including cell phones, tablets and other smaller, smart devices.

How do you implement digital marketing strategy for small business?

Building a digital marketing plan takes some time, but it helps you, your team and your audience remain engaged with the company purpose. Small business digital marketing strategy can be intricate or simple, but the bottom line is...every company needs a plan. The priority for developing the strategy and overall digital marketing plan is to establish and be clear about the goals of the digital marketing – key performance indicators (KPIs) and the 5 W’s (Who, What, When, Where, Why).


According to KPI.org, key performance indicators are critical barometers that assess the progress of digital marketing and its intended results. The KPIs provide a strategic focus and help to create an analytical basis for decision making. Management Consultant and Educator, Peter Drucker, says “What gets measured gets done.” So true. When setting a KPI, the following questions should be asked to help small businesses determine if the measurement is strong. Also consider that success can be measured with a similar lens when creating a S.M.A.R.T goal. Ask these questions:

  • Is this goal specific?

  • Is this goal measurable?

  • Is this goal achievable?

  • Is this goal realistic?

  • Is this goal timely?


The W’s


Who: The target audience(s). Understand exactly who the ideal receiving audience should be or at least a niche segment.

What: Determine the product, service, or promotion that you’re focusing on with any given campaign.

When: How long will you promote this product, service or promotion. Is it an ongoing campaign (evergreen)? Or is it a finite timeframe, like a Black Friday sale?

Where: What channels will you use to promote?

Why: Remember the “why". Why is this campaign relevant to your small business growth strategy or digital marketing plan?

The Process

Now that your small business has established the 5 W’s, the channels, and the goals, build the core of the digital marketing plan. Here you’ll find six steps to success for the build:

  1. Plan: Assess your budget and other resources to help you decide what components your organization will move forward with.

  2. Attract: Decide on creative ways to use your preferred channels collaboratively to design experiences that will lure your audience.

  3. Engage: Continue to better understand and interact with your audience by opening conversations, actively pursuing social listening and empowering clients, customers, and fans to content share.

  4. Monetize: Pursue brand loyalty and advocacy by implementing ambassador programs, selling ads and subscriptions, and enticing customers and clients to purchase from your organization.

  5. Optimize: Always have an ear to your audience. Tailor products, user experience, and copy to the who the audience is and how they behave, speak, and enjoy content.

  6. Manage: Regularly review how your marketing is performing against the KPIs and ensure that it continues to be relevant to your audience. Trust the data. Make adjustments as needed.


Ready to elevate your digital marketing efforts for your small business or brand? Opt to do-it-yourself (DIY) and start here. Otherwise, gain custom, done-for-you or done-with-you services from the experts here at Digalyne Consulting. Get started now!

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