According to research by Deloitte, SMBs with high levels of digital engagement – such as the use of digital marketing strategies – report better business outcomes, including a 20% increase in annual revenue. Other benefits of digital marketing include better growth prospects, more diversified sources of revenue and a bigger customer base.
ut the digital marketing landscape is so vast – where should SMBs start on their quest to upskill? Here are five ways you can boost your skills in the digital marketing arena.
1. Sign up for Some Personal Development
There are many digital marketing courses on offer these days, from one-day workshops to postgraduate degree programs and everything in between. Some providers run free trial courses – investigate what’s available online or in your region. Many local councils also run digital marketing workshops as a way of supporting SMBs in their area – check local council websites to find out more.
Try: General Assembly for short and long courses in a range of areas.
2. Seek Expert Advice
SMB owners can’t be expected to know everything. If you’re happy to pay for advice on product design or HR, for example, why shouldn’t you seek professional input into your digital marketing strategy? You can engage a digital marketing professional to provide anything from a broad overview and action plan through to a cutting-edge, fully executed campaign. Your budget will determine the type of professional input that’s right for your SMB.
Try: Expert360 to find high-quality consultants.
3. Be Digitally Engaged Yourself
There’s no better way to stay abreast of the latest in digital marketing than by keeping your finger on the pulse. Sign up for Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram and watch how companies you admire – both locally and overseas – are using these platforms to boost customer engagement. Keeping an eye on what your competition is doing in this space can also help you stay ahead of the digital marketing curve.
Try: Getting started on a new social media platform suited to your business.
4. Run Brainstorming Sessions In-house
The digital world is changing all the time, and it’s likely that members of your team use the internet, social media, apps and other technologies in vastly different ways. Brainstorming digital marketing ideas with your team may uncover new strategies that you’ve never considered, and which just might work for your small business.
Try: The Stepladder Technique to brainstorm with the team effectively.
5. Use Free Resources
The great thing about the internet is that there’s an abundance of free content available on almost any topic you care to imagine – including digital marketing. Search for free e-books, infographics and ‘how to’ guides from digital marketing agencies. They won’t tell you everything, and you may have to provide an email address before downloading, but content like this usually contains a range of actionable strategies you can implement immediately.
In this fast-paced era, staying ahead of the curve is never going to be easy. Yet employing simple strategies to keep abreast of the digital marketing landscape is time and energy well spent.
Try: The Content Marketing Institute for actionable tips and advice.