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Digital marketing covers a broad range of platforms and methods of communication including social media, websites, email, mobile apps and blogs. Therefore, a digital marketing strategy will be multi-faceted. With so many different elements, a digital marketing strategy should be tailored to the individual business and how it communicates and interacts with its customer base.  

For small businesses, online marketing has five key areas: search engine marketing, content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, and local search marketing.  

Search engine marketing is essential for small businesses as it enables them to compete for visibility with larger companiesThe majority of people use search engines to find information about businesses, brands and products, so it is incredibly important to rank near the top of the search results for the words that best relate to your business and/or products.  

Professional search engine optimisation services exist to help businesses to achieve a higher ranking.  

Content marketing is based around the idea of giving potential customers valuable and useful information about a product or service along with relevant industry information. Companies that are able to inform their customers often achieve higher sales, making content marketing a powerful sales tool. Similarly, social media marketing is an important element of any digital marketing strategy. However, it requires a great deal more tailoring and personalising to truly benefit from this type of marketing.  

Email marketing is based on the idea of building a large and relevant mailing list of previous and potential customers. This list of names and contact information is incredibly valuable, particularly when the customers have opted into the list out of choice.  

According to a large proportion of marketing professionals, such as James Hopkins, creator of the Lifestyle Marketeer programme, a long and established email list is perhaps the most important element of a marketing strategy for small businesses, so it is well worth investing the time and resources into building one.