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How to use digital marketing to reach and engage your target audience – without paid ads

Picture for Emma Gibb Emma Gibb

January 22nd 2024

If you’re a small business owner looking for digital marketing methods that won’t break the bank, we are here to help! This blog post shares four ways to help you elevate your digital presence, engage your audience and drive business growth.

4 Budget-Friendly Digital Marketing Methods For Small Business Owners

Social media

Social media is probably what comes to mind first when you think of how to reach potential and current customers. Although it can be more difficult to get organic reach nowadays (and paid advertising definitely has its place), if you use social media effectively you don’t always need to create ads to see results.

  • Choose social media platforms where your target audience is active.
  • Use a social media calendar to plan activity so you can maintain a consistent posting schedule (we even have a free 2024 social media calendar you can download).
  • Engage with your audience – like and reply to comments, answer questions, encourage conversation.
  • Make sure posts have an eye-catching visual. News feeds are busy and attention spans are short – what would stop you scrolling?
  • Use Instagram Reels, TikTok and YouTube Shorts to reach a new audience. Short form video is king (more on that below).

Content Marketing

By creating valuable and relevant content you can attract and retain your ideal customer, building trust and loyalty. This is the main idea behind content marketing. The most important thing is to really know who it is that you’re trying to reach: what are their interests/pain points/questions/challenges? When you know your audience, you can create content that they find interesting and helpful, which should result in higher levels of engagement and reach.

  • Create content that entertains, inspires or educates your audience. Storytelling content can help to connect with your audience.
  • Create blog posts. Blog posts should be at least 300 words to help with SEO. Make sure you have a good title (with relevant keywords), make it easy to read (bullet points can help with this) and speak to a specific audience. Don’t forget to add a call to action.
  • Create video content. This tends to get the most engagement on social media, particularly short form video. CapCut is a great app for creating video content (although it has been said that Instagram and TikTok prefer content to be made in app).
  • Canva is a free tool that can be used to create engaging visuals for social media and websites. There is a wide range of social media templates you can use to create visuals or text-based posts.
  • Make use of user-generated content. Encourage your followers to share their experiences, reviews and photos or videos related to your brand. Make sure you credit the original creator. (It is also a good idea to ask permission before sharing).

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a highly effective way to connect with your audience and promote your content, and is probably the most effective way to increase conversions.

  • Consider creating automated messages, such as a welcome email for new subscribers.
  • Build a targeted email list. Put the link to subscribe in email signatures and share it on your social media platforms. You can also offer incentives to join email list, like a free download.
  • Segment the list based on customer behavior, preferences, or demographics. This can help to improve engagement and conversions.
  • Use customer data to personalise email content, such as product recommendations, offers or tailored content based on past purchases or interactions. Personalisation boosts engagement and conversion rates.
  • Regularly analyse metrics like open rates, click-through rates and conversions. Experiment with different subject lines, call to actions (CTAs) and sending times to optimise the performance of your campaigns and improve the effectiveness of your email campaigns.

Local SEO

As mentioned in our previous blog post on Search Engine Optimisation, local SEO is an effective way to connect with nearby customers.

  • Claim and manage your Google Business Profile. Use the range of features to promote your products and updates.
  • Identify and integrate location-based keywords naturally in your website content, aligning your blog with the specific keywords and phrases potential local customers are using in their searches.

If you want help getting started with and making effective use of social media, content marketing, email marketing or SEO why not get in touch.

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