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The FutureProof Blog

Digital Marketing Checklist for Small Businesses & Start-Ups

If you have a strong presence online, it can mean that your small business is successful, and the business next door isn’t. With the ever-increasing competition, it’s vital that small business owners use every tool they have, to reach their target audience effectively. Having said that, digital marketing can be complex, time consuming, and sometimes a little overwhelming, especially for small business owners without experience or expertise in this area.

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I love checklists. I write them every month, every week, sometimes every day !! So many FutureProof Digital clients are just starting out, so I thought a detailed post, a Complete Digital Marketing Checklist for Small Businesses, would be helpful. Everything on this list we’re doing for our clients every day, so if you have any question why not drop them in our Facebook Group for Small Business Owners.

For roughly a year now we’ve been working with a tour operator on the Aran island of Inis Oírr in county Galway. In this post we’ll be using them as an example because they’re the perfect illustration of the concepts we’ll cover. The business had been operating for many years, but had never really done any marketing, so we approached the task as though it were a start-up.

Table of Contents

Benefits of a Digital Marketing Strategy

Large companies spend huge time and resources on planning and strategy documents, it’s just a good idea. Writing down a digital marketing checklist ensures that you cover every aspect of promoting your business online, leaving no stone unturned. A comprehensive approach maximises your chances of success and minimises the risk of missing out on crucial opportunities, even if you choose not to implement a particular tactic, at least you’ve considered it.

A checklist provides a clear and organised structure, making it easier for you to plan and execute your marketing, saving you time and effort… a roadmap to follow. A checklist helps you measure and track your progress. Tick off each item on the list, you can monitor your achievements and identify areas that need improvement. With a data-driven approach you make better decisions and get better results.

Digital Marketing Checklist for Small Businesses & Start-Ups

Write a Strong Business Plan

Your business plan is the foundation of a successful digital marketing strategy for small businesses… for all businesses. It’s your roadmap, guiding your marketing in a coherent and purposeful direction. A well-crafted business plan outlines your business goals, target audience, your competition, budget allocation, and the strategies you’ll employ to achieve your marketing objectives.

Start with a clear definition of your mission and vision. What problem does your product or service solve, and what value does it bring to your customers? Next, conduct thorough market research, and identify who those customers are, their demographics, interests, and pain points. This knowledge will help you tailor your marketing, to reach and engage your ideal customers effectively.

Competitor analysis is also critical. Examine what your competitors are doing in the digital space. Identify their strengths and weaknesses. Uncover opportunities that will differentiate your brand and offerings. Determine how much you can realistically invest in digital marketing. Be mindful of allocating resources wisely and ensure that you’re maximising ROI. Marketing should be somewhere between 10 and 15 percent of turnover, but in year 1 and 2 this could be 20% or more.

Your business plan should also outline specific digital marketing strategies. Consider the channels you’ll utilise, social media or content marketing for example. You’ve already identified who your customers are, so these channels must be chosen based on matching demographic audiences. Lastly, include key performance indicators (KPIs) in your business plan. These metrics will help you gauge the success of your marketing campaigns. KPIs might include website traffic, conversion rates or social media engagement. But, at the end of the day, return on investment (ROI) is the only metric that matters.

We did this for Wanderly Wagon last year. It’s mostly web design and SEO we do here, but when we get the chance to take a business from zero to 100 and have control of everything it’s hugely rewarding.

click here to view Wanderly Wagon Marketing Proposal…

Write a Strong Business Plan

What's Your Business Name... & Domain Name?

Seems obvious right ?… but selecting the name of your business is hugely important, and not as easy as you might think. Your business name should be memorable, it needs to reflect your identity. It should be unique and not easily confused with other businesses. Remember, this name has to be available as a domain name for your website and also available as social media handles, so make these two important choices together. To make the right choice of domain name, consider the following factors;

  • relevance to your brand.
  • keep it short, memorable and easy to spell.
  • avoid hyphens and numbers.
  • choose the right domain extension.
  • check for trademark conflicts.
  • think about future growth and global implications.

The domain extension comes right at the end, shown in the diagram below. In Ireland, as a small business, it’s a choice between .ie and .com. Choose your domain extension based on where your customers are; 90% in Ireland go with .ie and if they’re 90% from outside Ireland (a tourism business for example) go with .com.

learn more about domain names…

Choosing a Domain Name

Business Branding & Brand Guidelines

Effective branding is the cornerstone of a successful marketing strategy, online and offline, for all businesses, especially start-ups. It’s about more than just a logo; it encompasses every aspect of your business identity. Your branding should convey your values, your mission, and what sets you apart from the competition.

It’s helpful to collect all of this into a single document, and a file on your computer. It’s handy for quick access and extremely useful for new staff. Let’s use Wanderly Wagon as an example again. Their Branding Guideline Document featured everything from colour, font and logo to “brand phrases” and even merchandise mock-ups.

click here to view Wanderly Wagon Branding Document…

Do I Need a Business Logo?

Maybe. A business logo can be an element of your brand identity. But sometimes the name of your business in your brand’s font can be a good option. If you do decide on a logo, consider your niche, target audience, and the message you want to convey. Whether it’s a minimalist, timeless design or a bold, colourful emblem, your logo needs to align with your brand’s personality and values. Ensure that it’s versatile enough to look good on both digital and print materials. The Wanderly Wagon logo below uses their font, colour scheme and icons in combination.

Canva has a great DIY logo maker to get you started…

Wanderly Wagon Logo, FutureProof Digital

Designing Digital Assets

Consistency; your customers need to recognise your brand wherever they find it. Your digital assets; website graphics, social media branding, post and stories, even email receipts should all reflect the same visual identity. Your brand guidelines specify colour schemes, typography, etc and these should be used in every corner of your online presence. You’ve seen Wanderly Wagon’s brand guidelines, and their logo, above, now take a look at the Facebook banner image we designed for them…

Wanderly Wagon Facebook Banner

Print Materials; Business Cards & Flyers

With so much of your activity taking place online, it’s easy to overlook the importance of physical print materials. Business cards and flyers are tangible representations of your brand and leave a lasting impression. All of the same rules of brand consistency apply and high-quality printing is also crucial to convey professionalism, so invest in well-designed and well-printed materials. Below is a flyer that Wanderly Wagon use to entice customers as they arrive on the island.

learn more about custom graphic design…

Wanderly Wagon Print Flyer

Your Small Business Website

The importance of a website for small businesses and start-ups cannot be overstated. A well-designed and effectively managed website serves as the online face of your business, and if you sell a product, your digital marketplace. I’m sure I don’t need to tell why a website is so important, but let’s take a look at just a few of the reasons.

Online Presence and Credibility

Almost every customer turns to the internet looking for information about businesses. A website provides a professional and easily accessible online presence, enhancing your credibility and trustworthiness. It’s an opportunity to showcase your brand, your products, and your services on a platform you have complete control over.

24/7 Accessibility

Unlike your shop, that might be open for 8 hours a day, your website is available 24/7. Potential customers can learn about your business, make inquiries, or purchase products at any time, increasing your customer base and revenue streams, working for you while you sleep.

Reaching a Global Audience

A website extends your reach far beyond your local town, your county, or your country. It allows you to tap into a global audience, especially valuable for e-commerce businesses and those offering digital products or services. It enables you to compete with businesses all over the world and expand into new markets, never before possible.

Marketing and Branding Hub

Your website serves as a central hub for all of your digital marketing. It consolidates your online presence, allowing you to integrate various marketing strategies; content marketing, your social media strategy or SEO. This centralised approach streamlines business activity, saves you time and makes it easier for customers to find and engage with your brand.

Data Collection and Analytics

Your website offers you the most valuable insights into customer behaviour that you will ever have. Using analytics tools you can track website traffic, user demographics, and engagement metrics. This data helps refine your marketing strategies and make more informed decisions in the future, improving the performance of your business.

Web Hosting

Professional hosting is the foundation for the success of your website. It plays the pivotal role in your website’s performance, security, and reliability. We use SiteGround Web Hosting exclusively here at FutureProof Digital, and we set-up all our new clients with them… we wouldn’t trust that to a company we didn’t believe in. Listed below are the ingredients that make up “great web hosting” and that’s what SiteGround delivers.

Ad - Web Hosting from SiteGround - Crafted for easy site management. Click to learn more.
Ad - Web Hosting from SiteGround - Crafted for easy site management. Click to learn more.

Speed & Performance

Every business needs a hosting provider to offer high-performance servers with advanced hardware and software optimizations. Faster loading times are crucial for user experience and search ranking. Slow websites have increased bounce rates and lower conversions. SiteGround is known for its cutting-edge technology and server optimizations. They utilise SSD drives, content delivery network (CDN) integration, and a unique caching system to deliver your website in lightning-fast times.

Reliability and Uptime

Professional hosting services typically guarantee a high level of uptime, often 99.9% or more. Your website has to remain accessible to visitors at all times because Downtime can result in lost revenue and damage to your reputation. SiteGround boasts a remarkable uptime record… you’re accessible to visitors around the clock.

Website Security

Robust security measures to protect your website from cyber threats, malware, and hacking attempts. They often include features like firewall protection, regular security updates, and backup systems to safeguard your data. SiteGround takes security seriously, offering advanced security features; automated daily backups, free SSL certificates, and a web application firewall (WAF) to protect against online threats.

Easily Scalable

As your business grows, your website’s hosting needs may change. Your hosting provider needs to offer scalable solutions that allow you to easily upgrade your resources as your traffic and demands increase. SiteGround’s hosting plans are designed to grow with your business. You can easily upgrade your resources as needed without hassle.

Customer Support

Customer support is invaluable, especially when you encounter unexpected challenges that could affect your website’s functionality. SiteGround’s customer support is highly regarded, and personally, I have never received better service from any company. They provide 24/7 support through multiple channels, including live chat, phone, and ticketing. Their knowledgeable support team is always ready to assist you. It’s the number 1 reason I choose SiteGround.

Ad - Web Hosting from SiteGround - Crafted for easy site management. Click to learn more.
Ad - Web Hosting from SiteGround - Crafted for easy site management. Click to learn more.

Why you should choose WordPress

If you’re reading this post you’re probably starting a business or looking to improve how your business performs online. Choosing WordPress for your website is the strategic, long term decision. Wix or Shopify are options; set up quick, low up-front costs, but they are both short term options. The number of businesses that move away from WordPress is tiny, compared to the number that move to WordPress from Wix or Shopify. WordPress is the number 1 content management system (CMS) on the web and it offers you and your business countless advantages.

WordPress is User-Friendly

WordPress is known for its user-friendliness. It’s intuitive, and is accessible to everyone, even those with no technical expertise. You don’t need any coding knowledge to create and manage a WordPress website, which is exactly what entrepreneurs and small business owners need. We go one step further. Our clients get an admin dashboard custom made just for them, with everything they, right at their fingertips. This is the dashboard for a client in the medical sector.

WordPress Admin Dashboard

WordPress is Customisable

As we can see above, WordPress is highly customizable. We don’t use themes or templates, we need more freedom than that, but if you’re going the DIY route they have enough flexibility to design a website’s appearance and functionality for your specific needs. We build every type of site you can think of, and WordPress can do it all; simple service based sites, E-Commerce stores, large directories, festivals and events, political campaigns. WordPress can handle anything. Look at this video header…

here’s 10 more reasons to choose WordPress from Yoast…

Diablos Vape Club Video header

WordPress & SEO

WordPress has serious SEO capabilities. It’s built with search engine optimization in mind, making it easier to optimise than any other CMS or a code based website. We also use specialised software, RankMath SEO, to further optimise our clients content. We’ll take a close look at SEO later, as well our copywriting services.

learn more about our SEO process in this post…

WordPress Growth

WordPress excels at scalability. As your business grows, you can easily add new content, features, products and pages to your website. Its scalability means that your website can grow alongside your business without significant hurdles. The number of visits or sales doesn’t mean that you need to “upgrade” or change platform.

What is Crocoblock?

Crocoblock is a comprehensive toolkit and ecosystem for WordPress that allows us to create and manage dynamic and feature-rich websites. Crocoblock extends the standard capabilities of WordPress with a huge range of additional software solutions and tools. With Crocoblock we have the ability to create dynamic templates and display dynamic content; listings, portfolios, events, and more.

learn about Custom Post Types…

With Crocoblock we can offer design and development options only open to large companies in the past, companies with huge budgets and resources. Recently we worked with The Strokestown Poetry Festival on a website redesign. Using these features we developed an interactive system of “Events” and “Speakers,” all integrated with an advanced ticketing system.

Strokestown Poetry Festival Homepage Map and Speaker Section

Design Freedom with Elementor Pro

Elementor Pro, a powerful WordPress page builder, gives us the degree of design freedom and flexibility described above. We can create complex layouts and designs and the real-time editing feature provides instant visual feedback, ensuring every aspect of the site is our design vision… and yours. We tailor each element to match the unique style and branding of your business., and the focus on responsive design, ensures the site appears and functions seamlessly across all devices. Below is the perfect example of what’s possible using the advanced software we use. This is the Wanderly Wagon homepage; motion graphics, interactive map, advanced booking system, dynamic images galleries and more.

Wanderly Wagon Homepage 05.09.2023

Professional Web Design

Sorry for the shameless plug !! Choosing a professional web designer is important. You can get a website up and running yourself, but if you want to maximise its visual, performance and conversion ability then you’ll need to employ a pro. In the long run it will save you time and money Hopefully you’ll choose FutureProof Digital. Below are some of the things you should look for.

Web Design Portfolio

Always review a designer’s portfolio, assess their past work, and see if they are the right fit for you, your industry, or your niche. Their website’s aesthetic should align with your brand and vision, so make sure their design style resonates with you, and your business. Technical skills are crucial; read about their project, and read their blog if they have one (bit of a red flag if they don’t). Make sure they can deliver what you need. Here’s 2 examples from our portfolio…

Strokestown Poetry Fest.

Location :

Wilderhut

Location :

check out our full portfolio…

Effective communication is key; the designer should listen to your ideas, ask questions, and provide clear explanations. But make sure you listen to them too. Remember, if they’re any good, they know way more about this than you do, and their expertise will help you massively. And always read reviews.

Pricing & Timelines

At this stage you might have a shortlist, and some prices; don’t just go with the cheapest. Exclude those more than 20% outside of your original budget and pick your preferred option from the remainder. They should give you clear expectations for project timelines, and if they tell you 2 weeks, that’s another red flag !! Make sure all the details of the project are documented.

Data Analytics for Small Business

Data is not just a buzzword; it’s an important tool for all businesses, not just the big players. It can significantly impact the success and sustainability of a small business, even a start-up. In an era where data is everywhere, harnessing the power of analytics can provide a competitive edge, through informed decision-making.

Data analytics offers small businesses the ability to make decisions based on evidence rather than intuition (but don’t ignore your intuition altogether). By collecting and analysing data, you gain valuable info on various aspects of your operation; customer behaviour, sales trends, operational efficiency, and financial performance. Armed with this information, business owners like you can make strategic decisions with confidence, heading off risks and maximising opportunities.

Understanding your customers is the most valuable asset you have. Facebook isn’t a social media platform, it’s in the business of big data and analytics, that’s where their profits are. Small businesses can utilise data too, to gain a deeper understanding of their customer base. Analysing purchase history, demographics, and preferences, allows you to create tailored products or services that align with customer needs. This personalised approach enhances customer satisfaction, increases retention and grows loyalty.

Data analytics is not limited to customer-related insights. With data, you can also optimise various operational aspects of your business. For instance, an analysis of your supply chain data can help streamline inventory management, reduce costs, and improve overall efficiency. Below is a basic example of a small business analytics report, again from Wanderly Wagon, their Google Search Console report.

Wanderly Wagon Performance Report

Analytics Tools

There are so many options for small businesses looking for analytics tools. Each tool serves a unique purpose, and when you put them together, they provide a comprehensive view of a small business’s digital footprint, enabling more informed decisions and improved performance. Listed below are the tools we use on a daily basis, for every client, and how we use them.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a comprehensive web analytics tool. It offers a wealth of information about website traffic, as well as user behaviour, and what’s even better… it’s free !! Google Analytics tracks everything; website visits, page views, bounce rates, conversion rates and everything in between. Small businesses can use Google Analytics to understand how users interact with their websites, identify popular content (then replicate it), track the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, and make data-driven decisions to improve conversion rates.

learn more about google Analytics…

Search Console

Google Search Console focuses on a website’s performance in the Google search results. Another free tool, it tells you how Google views your site, your indexing status, search queries that drive traffic to your site, and any technical issues that may affect your rankings. Small businesses can use Google Search Console to check that their website is discoverable and to address any issues that might hinder their visibility, but the most valuable feature is search queries. Match your content to the queries and discover terms you rank for, but where content is missing. These should be your number 1 targets.

learn more about Search Console…

Social media Analytics

Social media platforms offer built-in analytics tools that provide data on the performance of your social media marketing efforts. These analytics tools, Meta Business Suite for example, will tell you about audience demographics, engagement metrics (likes, shares, comments), and the reach of your posts. By analysing social media data, small businesses can refine their content strategy, identify the best-performing posts, and understand their audience’s preferences. This information will help optimise your social media campaigns and improve ROI. Below is a Meta Business Suite report from our client, Wanderly Wagon in Galway.

learn about social media analytics…

Facebook and Instagram New Likes

Google Data Studio

Want to combine all of your data into a single report? Google Looker Studio (formerly Data Studio) to the rescue. It will take some time, and learning, to set this up, but it will be extremely useful when you have. Data Studio allows you to import data, in real time, from a variety of sources and use it to create your own graphs, charts and tables. Below is another Wanderly Wagon example.

Wanderly Wagon Analytics Report

Quick recap; You have a brand, you a have domain and name web hosting, you have an amazing website and better analytics than every other business in your field. So, what’s next? Most businesses generate sales and leads via their website, so you need to focus all of your efforts promoting that; social media, SEO, email marketing, digital advertising. Onwards…

Social Media for Small Business

These days, social media isn’t optional. It offers small businesses a free, dynamic platform for growing brand visibility, engaging with customers and driving business expansion. Unlike traditional marketing, social media channels provide a cost-effective and targeted platform for a small business owner to promote their products or services to their audience. Direct and meaningful interactions, build strong relationships with customers, fostering loyalty and trust.

learn more with Hootsuite…

Facebook

Facebook remains the most popular social media platform, offering an unrivalled global reach and a diverse audience. Yes, it is losing some ground in younger age brackets, but in terms of buying power, the average Instagram or TikTok user doesn’t come close. Every small business should launch a Facebook business page on day 1 and engage with customers through posts, preferably once a day, and comments. We’ll look at Facebook advertising later. Below is an extremely successful post from a recent Wanderly Wagon campaign. The post was shared by “Visit Galway” in early April and again by a page called “Ireland and Peg’s Cottage” a few days later. These pages have a combined following of more than 280,000 and the post was shared again more than 100 times. The share by “Ireland and Peg’s Cottage” alone received more than 1600 likes. All without a single penny spent.

Buffer Facebook Marketing Guide…

Visit Galway Post

Instagram

Instagram is ideal for businesses with visually appealing products or services, or businesses with a very young target market. The platform is completely image-centric and encourages small businesses to showcase what they sell, or what they do, creatively. Features like Instagram Stories and Reels provide the perfect platform for engaging video content, how-to-guides and promotional offers.

To really take Instagram to the next level, consider using a tool like FlexClip. It is an easy-to-use online video editor that allows you to create stunning visuals for your Instagram feed, Stories, and Reels.

Meta Business Suite

Meta Business Suite (formerly Facebook Business Suite) is another free tool, this time for managing and scheduling posts across Facebook and Instagram, and trust me, it will save you hours every month. It streamlines social media management and reduces duplication to zero, allowing small businesses to plan and schedule content, respond to messages, and track performance metrics in one place. Why work in Facebook and Instagram, when you can manage both in a single platform.

here’s Neil Patel with more info…

Search Engine Optimization for SMEs

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be an online presence game-changer for small and SMEs and start-ups. If you learn it, and implement the correct strategies your business will generate traffic, leads and sales on tap, for free !! It’s a long road and there’s no quick fix, but in terms of sustainable growth for your business it’s the only game in town.

SEO can be described as a combination of numerous different strategies; a comprehensive approach, that includes content marketing, local SEO, Google Business Profile, technical optimization and strategic link building. These strategies combined, establish a strong online presence and compete effectively in a digital landscape.

Content Marketing Strategy

A well-crafted content marketing strategy is at the core of effective SEO. Think of it as content not directly targeting a sale. This post you’re reading now for example, is a classic example. You are my target audience, this post is designed to interest you. Of course, I would like you to be a FutureProof client, but I’m not screaming “buy me, buy me” on this page. It’s long term; I’m planting the seed in your mind that I’m an expert, I know what I’m talking about, and when you need my services, I’m in your mind.

It also feeds a ranking factor theory known as “topical authority.” It goes something like this; if you publish a single post, about anything, you are unlikely to rank, unless it’s an extremely niche topic. But, if you publish numerous posts, in a broad topic area, then they are all more likely to rank. The more broad the topic, the more posts will be required to develop topical authority, niche topics will require less posts.

Below is our Wanderly Wagon example of this. The business is located in Clare and Galway, and their customers are tourists, so they’re our topics. This is the post archive page.

Wanderly Wagon Post Archive Page

Local SEO

Local SEO is way more important to an SME, than it is to a large company. If you have a physical location, like a shop, or work in a specific geographical location, you need local SEO. Optimise your online presence to rank in local search results with a Google Business Profile, local keyword optimization, and positive customer reviews. Local SEO helps connect with local customers, drives foot traffic to your shop and generates leads for service providers.

Google Business Profile

A well-optimised Google Business Profile should be a high priority for locally based businesses. It contains all of the information your customers need; business hours, contact details, customer reviews and more, readily available in Google Search and Google Maps. You should regularly update and optimise your profile because Google uses it for business ranking way more than people think. We recently took a deep-dive into Google Business Profile in this post, click here.

Link Building for Start-Ups

Link building is as important as it is mysterious and complicated. One of the key pillars of SEO, it’s the practice of acquiring high-quality backlinks from reputable websites. For start-ups, building a strong backlink profile can be challenging, but if you can do it, the ranking improvement can be dramatic. Focus on creating valuable content that naturally attracts links and reach out in your industry and customer base to earn links from relevant and authoritative sources.

what is link building?…

Why are Links so Important?

Search engines like Google consider various factors when determining the ranking positions of websites, and links from other websites play a significant role in this process. Google treats a link like a vote. “Domain Authority,” a metric developed by Moz, measures the quantity and quality of inbound links. Websites with higher DA have better chances of ranking higher in search engine results.

learn more about domain authority in this post…

SEO Tools

There are 100s of SEO tools on the market. Small business owners, if they’re serious about rankings, should be looking at how tools and software can enhance their online presence and compete effectively in the digital landscape. We use Moz Pro (example below) but AHRefs and SEMrush are also excellent. Check out this list of the 32 Best SEO Tools for more options. Below is an extract from a Moz Pro Ranking Report followed by some of the features SEO software have, and what you can do with them.

Moz Pro Ranking Report
  1. Keyword Research: Identify relevant keywords and phrases that potential customers are using in search engines. By optimising your website’s content around these keywords, you can increase your chances of appearing in search results for relevant queries.
  2. Competitive Analysis: Analyse your competitors online strategies. This insight helps small businesses understand what their competitors are doing well and where they can improve to gain a competitive edge; we call it “gap analysis.”
  3. On-Page SEO: Recommendations for on-page optimization; optimising meta titles, descriptions, header tags, and image alt tags. Your website needs to be structured and formatted correctly to maximise search engine visibility.
  4. Technical SEO: Small businesses sometimes lack technical expertise. SEO tools can identify technical issues on your websites, like broken links, slow page speed, or crawl errors. The monthly reports will list everything you need to fix.
  5. Backlink Analysis: Monitor your backlink profile, identifying both quality and toxic backlinks, and those of your competitors. This information is the key to building a strong and reputable link profile, and no SEO strategy is complete without this.
  6. Content Optimization: Analyse the content on your website. The software will suggest improvements to enhance readability, keyword optimization, and overall quality. This leads to more engaging and SEO-friendly content.
  7. Performance Tracking: How do you know what you rank for, and in what position? You could Google hundreds of terms each month, scroll until you find your result, and then write down the number? Sounds silly right? SEO software will track every search term you’re targeting, and report on your ranking positions each month.

Email Marketing Strategy

There’s marketing gurus out there that will tell you that every business needs to collect email addresses and run campaigns, but personally, I think this is nonsense. Small businesses, especially in the service sector, could spend their time and money better… I think. The exception is E-Commerce. If you’re selling products then you should transfer the email addresses of your customers into an email marketing platform or CRM system.

Segment your email list based on demographics, purchase history, and engagement to create personalised campaigns; maybe not right away, but in the future. Clearly define your goals, whether they involve product promotion, brand building, or re-engaging inactive customers, as this sets the direction for your strategy. Craft valuable and relevant content, including newsletters, product updates, educational material, and promotional offers. Ensure that your emails are visually appealing, mobile-responsive, and that subject lines, preview text, and call-to-action buttons are optimised.

nobody knows more about email that MailChimp…

Digital Advertising for Small Businesses

You have to invest in your marketing, and these days, digital advertising is essential for small businesses to reach their target audience and grow revenue. Incorporating Google Ads or Facebook Ads (or both) into a digital advertising strategy helps small businesses to expand their online presence, connect with a broader audience, and drive conversions effectively. We are using both every day, each platform offers distinct benefits. Google Ads targets the intent of the buyer, while Facebook ads target the type of buyer.

Google Ads

Google Ads, and Bing ads work the same, is a platform for paid search advertising. It enables businesses to display their ads in Google search results, reaching users actively searching for their products or services in real time. With Google Ads, businesses can set specific budgets, target relevant keywords and measure the performance of their campaigns with detailed analytics. This precision and control makes Google Ads the number 1 tool for attracting potential customers as they are shopping for what the business has to offer.

Ben Heath – Google Ads.

Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads provide the perfect platform for small businesses. They have the largest user base and the most extensive ad targeting options. Businesses can reach specific demographics, interests, and behaviours. Additionally, Facebook’s advanced analytics allow businesses to track ad performance, optimise campaigns, and view data on their audience’s behaviour and preferences.

Ben Heath – Facebook Ads.

Management, Maintenance & Learning

The various aspects of your digital marketing strategy have to be managed; campaign execution, content creation, and social media engagement. Always monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess the effectiveness of your efforts and make necessary adjustments to optimise performance and achieve your goals. Digital assets; your website, social media profiles, and email lists, require ongoing maintenance. Regular updates and content optimisation is essential to keep your online presence current.

The digital world is continually evolving. Staying updated with the latest trends, algorithms, and technologies is essential. Continuous learning allows you to adapt your strategies and tactics to remain competitive; reading industry blogs, attending webinars, and participating in online courses will expand your knowledge.

Digital Marketing Checklist for Small Businesses

Thank you for reading this Digital Marketing Checklist for Small Businesses. I hope you have learned strategies to optimise your website, leverage social media, implement effective content marketing, and track your marketing efforts. By implementing the strategies and techniques outlined in this checklist, you are well-equipped to navigate the ever-changing landscape of small business marketing and drive success. Remember, digital marketing is an ongoing process, and it requires continuous monitoring, refinement, and adaptation to stay ahead of the competition.

We do this work for clients every day. If you think FutureProof Digital would be a good fit for your business, get in touch and we’ll have a chat about what you need.

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About Adam Bermingham
This blog is dedicated to helping you stay ahead of the curve, with insights into the latest trends, tools, and best practices. Whether you’re a business owner, marketer, or web designer, we have something for everyone. We bring you expert advice, tutorials, and case studies to help you optimise your online presence.

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