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How to Create a Digital Marketing Plan for Your Small Business

Want to create a new and improved digital marketing plan? This guide outlines the best marketing trends, strategies and tips to follow this year.

A digital marketing plan has to change and adapt to the newest technology and evolving customer demands. In this rapidly transforming online environment, last year's digital marketing strategies can become antiquated overnight.

And as a small business owner, you don't have the marketing budget to waste a single dollar on old strategies that don't offer substantial dividends. You need the right results, right now—before your competitors have a chance to catch on.

Marketing in 2020 has changed, and you should too. Whether you want a new plan or a modified version of an existing one, we're here for you. Here's how to make a marketing plan in 2020.

1. Focus on Content Creation

Why pay for PPC advertisements when you can get at the top of Google's search engine results page for free? That's the question many digital marketers asked themselves almost a decade ago. Now even the smallest ice cream parlors have their blogs, pumping out content like it's nobody's business.

And as 2020 rolls around, content marketing is as powerful as ever. But recent technological changes have altered the playing field. While any good digital marketing plan should create content, the way you format, compose, and optimize that content requires a fresh approach.

In 2019, Google upgraded its search engine algorithm with the BERT update. Before BERT, Google wasn't great at understanding user search intent. It just took everything literally.

If you searched for "ski place," you'd likely encounter a results page of obscure areas with that name. Try it now and you'll find ski resorts and the like.

In short, BERT has minimized the importance of keywords. Instead, you need to optimize for concepts.

Last year, Google also augmented its snippet feature. If you were lucky enough to earn one, you'd have the snippet and your traditional URL as well. But now you only get the snippet, and these have surprisingly lower click-through rates.

The first position on the SERPs continues to lose prestige as more users have come to understand that there may be other relevant websites further down the list.

You still have to play the digital content game... but getting the absolute top spot isn't as important as before.

2. Get Personal

Your buyer personas aren't just for show. As a small business, you need to leverage your customer data to enhance the efficacy of your marketing messaging.

And thanks to recent technological changes, it's easier than you may think.

Evaluate every step of your digital marketing funnel. What messages are your customers seeing at each stage, and how can you personalize them?

Personalized messages are an opportunity for your business to speak to a customer's direct needs and problems. Remember, whether you offer a service or a product, your business is offering a solution. If you can accurately convince a potential customer that you understand and can solve their plight, they'll be much more likely to convert.

Opportunities to personalize go well beyond a "custom" email with a customer's name in the greeting line. For example, during the awareness phase, you can segment your banner ads, opt-ins, and CTAs based on the content the visitor has viewed. Consider as well the segmentation of online newsletters and coupons.

3. Create Informational Videos

Content marketing comprises of more than blogs alone. Video is an important part of any content strategy, and in fact, it's on track to become the most effective medium.

64% of watchers are more likely to purchase your product once they see it on video. This could be through a product demonstration, but you can also make use of brand videos or interviews if it fits your public perception.

Video accounts for the vast majority of online traffic, so your consumers are more likely to engage with content on your YouTube channel than your blog. Plus, you can recycle this video content elsewhere. Hosting your video through a website player will increase the average session time, giving your domain a decent SEO boost.

For a more comprehensive overview of the power of video, check out this article.

4. Go Local

If your small business has a brick-and-mortar location or operates within a specific area, that's an opportunity to stand out. Indeed, competing on a national level is difficult even for larger players. But for a small business, it's nearly impossible.

Geotargeting will help you distinguish yourself from other businesses in your area. To do so, you'll first want to register with Google My Business. This is the tool that sometimes lands businesses on the right-hand sidebar of the SERPs.

But this also gets your business on Google Maps, opens the door to reputation management through online reviews, and can drive leads for both regional and national businesses.

Keep in mind that registering on Google My Business is only half the equation. You need to optimize it too.

Include keywords, photos, contact information, and make an effort to communicate with reviewers. In addition to enjoying the traffic that comes with social proof, you'll keep your listing fresh.

As more consumers are going mobile and leaving their desktops at home, geotargeting is a crucial digital marketing strategy for any business with a specified zone of operation.

Need Help With Your Digital Marketing Plan?

A small business doesn't always have the knowledge or manpower required to enact a digital marketing plan that works. After all, creating relevant, worthwhile content isn't easy. Nor is creating a functional website with cutting-edge SEO integration.

If you need help creating or executing your small business digital marketing plan, consider D2C Group. Get a free marketing consultation and discover how we can help your business thrive.

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