13 digital marketing ideas for small business

Updated: May 3

Digital Marketing strategies for Christchurch
Easy and effective digital marketing strategies

Are you looking for some new ideas to market your small business online?

If so, you're in luck! Here are 13 creative digital marketing ideas that you can use to get your business seen and heard online.

With so many options available, there's sure to be one that fits your needs and budget. So what are you waiting for? Let's get started!

So in no particular order, here are our top 13 digital marketing strategies for small businesses for 2021.

Create a digital marketing strategy

We have listed creating a digital marketing plan first because it's one of the most critical marketing strategies you need to get right.

If you're spending any time or money on digital marketing without a plan, you may as well be giving your money to your Nigerian royal uncle.

Creating a digital marketing plan will help you determine what channels to use and structure for executing those channels.

It will also help you decide what goals your marketing efforts are tracking and how to track those goals throughout the year.

Lastly, it provides a place for everyone on your team to get answers about digital marketing so that nagging questions don't slow down progress.

Top tip

If you don't have the expertise or time to create a simple marketing plan, you can outsource it.

Directory business listing

Directory business listings are incredibly unsexy but essential for any local search marketing effort.

A digital directory such as Yelp, Google Places, and SuperPages is where people source customer feedback on local businesses.

Ensure that your business listing is complete and accurate by filling out all the requested information and offering photos of your business's best features.

Top tip

NAP stands for Name, Address and Phone Number. It is crucial that your digital business listing features accurate information about you and your business to show up when people search for your type of product or service.

Social media

Social media marketing is an essential digital marketing idea for small businesses because it allows you to connect with potential and current customers in various ways.

You can post updates about your business, share photos and videos, and offer discounts and special deals through social media.

You can also use social media to build relationships with customers by responding to comments and questions.

It is important to post regularly on social media platforms to get your small business in front of your customers every week - for free!

Top tip

Social media is a marathon, not a sprint. Don't expect instant results from your efforts on social media. Instead, focus on building up a presence, posting regularly and engaging with customers online periodically throughout the year.


If you have ever purchased a book from Amazon, you will understand the importance of customer reviews.

Customer reviews are a great digital marketing idea for small businesses because they help potential customers discover what other people think of your product or service.

They can also provide small business owners with excellent feedback and social proof.

With so many review sites available, you should get reviews on as many different sites as possible t boost clicks, conversions and sales.

Top tip

Encourage happy customers to leave reviews and request feedback on your digital marketing listing sites and encourage unhappy customers to give you a chance to rectify their problems.

Reputation Management

Getting reviews is one thing but managing them is another.

In the age of online customer reviews, reputation management is an integral part of small business digital marketing for 2021.

Reputation Management has become essential to manage your reputation to boost conversions and sales with potential customers.

You can manage all of the different review sites yourself or outsource the process to a reputation management company.

Whichever route you choose, ensure your business is proactive with checking and responding to reviews to keep your online reputation clean and happy customer comments flowing.

Top tip

Include a process for managing all negative reviews and responding to them quickly and professionally as part of your digital marketing strategy for 2022.

Online advertising

Digital advertising and promotion is a great digital marketing idea for small businesses because so many different platforms are available.

You can use online ads to promote your website, share deals and offers, target specific audiences, etc.

One of the main advantages of digital advertising is that you can track and measure your results using digital analytics tools, making it easier than ever before to see what's working and what isn't.

Types of online ads include :

· Social media platform ads

· Native ads

· Search ads

· Display ads

The list is quite extensive, and while digital ads are great for getting results quickly, they can also start accruing a considerable cost - quickly.

Top tip

If you're unsure where to start with digital ads, consider Google Ads or Facebook Ads as a starting point or read our digital advertising guide.

Video marketing

Video marketing is an excellent digital marketing idea for small businesses that can work incredibly well because video content engages an audience quickly and effectively.

When you struggle to capture your audience's attention in just a few seconds, try adding some engaging video marketing content to your digital marketing strategy.

You don't need to spend big money on a digital video camera or editing software; instead, you can use services such as Wistia to create polished videos for next to nothing.

Top tip

Digital marketing ideas for small businesses don't stop once your video is complete.

Make sure that you share it with your audience on social media and link back to your website from the description.

Search Engine Optimisation

Search engine optimisation is an excellent idea for small businesses' digital marketing. It helps improve your ranking on search engines (such as Google search) and get more people visiting your website.

The more traffic you have coming to your site, the better the chance of getting conversions and sales.

SEO is a complicated topic, but it's probably best that you leave it up to your digital marketing services provider to get the best results.

Top tip

Learning to do SEO yourself may be tempting. Still, it's not the best idea unless you're great with things like "meta tags" and other complicated digital marketing ideas for small businesses.

Email marketing

Email marketing is a great marketing tactic and crucial for every business owner and local business owner. It lets you connect with individuals interested in your product or service, even when they aren't visiting your digital properties.

With 90% of adults using email and 83% checking their emails at least once a day, digital marketers and small business owners need to get email marketing right.

Top tip

Use an email marketing campaign that encourages individuals to visit your website and get in touch.

Articles and blogs

Two digital marketing ideas for small businesses that can be highly effective are writing blogs and content marketing.

As well as helping you to target search engine traffic, a small business owner who creates high-quality articles and blog posts has the opportunity to rank on the first page of Google search for their chosen keywords.

Ranking higher on Search Engines means you will receive more traffic from organic results, helping you get more leads and sales.

Ensure that your digital marketing strategy includes a regular business blog on your website.

Top tip

If you feel you might struggle to put pen to paper consistently, then this may be a task that is best outsourced.

Digital influencers and digital consultants

If your digital marketers aren't sure which digital marketing ideas for small businesses will work best, don't worry - digital influencer agencies can help you.

These agencies specialise in connecting brands with digital influencers who have an engaged audience that love to engage with their digital marketing ideas for small business.

They can also brainstorm digital marketing ideas, create digital marketing strategies and help you to develop digital marketing content that will appeal to digital marketers.

Top tip

Influencer marketing immediately conjures up Instagram selfies and B grade celebrities, but this is no longer the case.

Influencers can be someone who writes a blog with a similar audience to your customers, and having them mention your company and a relevant post with a link to your website could create a massive spike in website traffic and sales.

Optimise your website

No matter how much traffic you drive to your website, it will not help you unless your website is optimised to convert visitors into leads or (even better) sales!

By adding solid call-to-action and lead magnets, optimising your website will help you to increase your number of conversions and sales.

Top tip

The number one reason for online marketing is to drive traffic to your website. Make sure a visitor either buys something from you or leave their contact details, so you have a chance of selling to them via other strategies such as email marketing.

Create some valuable content to share/give away

If small businesses want to get traffic and conversions, they should include valuable content in exchange for customer information.

Content marketing usually involves creating valuable content that small businesses can share with their email lists or social media profiles.

Top tip

Creating content is an excellent way of engaging with customers, allowing them to get in touch and boost your lead generation process.

Engage in link building

Okay, we are starting to nerd out a bit here, but link building is an essential and vital digital marketing idea for every small business website.

Link building involves partnering with other websites that provide links back to your site and improve your rankings in the search engines.

Top tip

Gaining links from high authority sites will increase your digital marketing results.

Utilise digital marketing tools to save time

Utilising the best digital tools available will enhance your digital marketing efforts, save you time and improve results.

Many digital tools available will make your small business's digital marketing efforts more straightforward and more effective.

As well as saving them time, efficiencies can be improved, which means you'll get more out of your budget without compromising on results.

Try these free digital marketing tools from My DMA.

Final thoughts

Now that you've read through the different options, it may be time to stop reading and start taking action.

We know how overwhelming or confusing marketing can feel sometimes.

If this sounds like something you want to do, take a look at our done for you digital marketing plans for small businesses here!

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