Editor’s note: Josh R Jackson is a contributing editor at BestMarketingDegrees.org. To celebrate the launch of our New Digital Fundamentals Certification, Josh joins us this month to discuss how Digital Fundamentals are essential for small business marketing strategy.
When Apple was still a small business incubating in the basement of Steve Jobs’ parents, its first computer didn’t even have a keyboard or monitor. Much less did the fledgling startup possess a huge advertising budget or Internet connection in the 1970s. What they did have was an innovative product manufactured by an expert: a vision to simplify the personal computer for a broad audience, as well as an intriguing selling point—its unique price tag of $666.66.
Apple knew that to make a solid product, they needed be experts. They knew that in order to sell their product, they needed relevance to the current interests of a specific audience. And they knew that in order to catch that audience’s eye, they needed to package everything into a simple, single price point.
How they accomplished this comes down to a mastery of any great small business marketing strategy’s most essential elements: Expertise, Relevance, and Attraction.
In fact, by communicating their fundamental expertise in computing, their relevance to both computer hobbyists and future computer users, as well as their ability to package everything together with a memorable and attractive price tag, Apple was able to demonstrate not only a fundamental mastery of marketing strategy, but a mastery of their market.
Now, it’s not 1976 anymore. Businesses like Apple have fundamentally changed the technological landscape we must navigate in order to compete (or even participate) in an increasingly digital marketplace of ideas. But while the technology may have changed, principles remain the same. We still have to demonstrate expertise, relevance, and attraction in order to execute a great small business marketing strategy and master our markets.
Today, mastering the digital fundamentals is one of the easiest, best, and most cost-effective ways for a small business to model fundamental mastery of their market.
That’s because amping up a small business marketing strategy by honing and combining skillsets in digital advertising, social media marketing, mobile marketing, and email marketing tends to move users seamlessly through a small business’s marketing funnel.
Enlarging online presence is an essential step in every small business’s digital marketing strategy. The easiest ways of doing this are digital advertising and social media marketing: it can cost as little as $41 to put up a digital ad that will expose your small business to thousands of potential clients. And it costs nothing but time and a little creative energy to maintain social accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat. The more social profiles and the larger a small business’s following, the bigger their online presence will become.
Email and mobile marketing have become, perhaps, the most fundamental digital skillsets for generating leads and conversions. Executing these strategies on a large scale can be expensive, especially for small businesses early in their journey. But one of the best ways of generating leads is simply growing an email list and sending email newsletters to local individuals who care about your business. This step is neither cost-prohibitive nor time consuming, and gives you a big head start for later expansion.
In terms of mobile, continually optimizing your website for mobile viewers by using Google’s guidelines is the best and least expensive way to capture the fastest-growing segment of media users in the world. Creating a free and useful app with purchase options is also a great way to move users down your funnel, creating a seamless buyer’s journey.
Like most things that cost time and effort to develop, the payoff can be huge. But crafting a small business marketing strategy that brings all the digital fundamentals together requires a fair amount of expertise, relevance, and attraction.
The good news is that online education has made learning these skillsets a profoundly manageable task. Moreover, by learning and using them to amplify an online presence, small businesses intrinsically model the expertise, relevance, and attraction necessary to hold attention within their own marketplace, and build a thriving platform in the competitive digital age.