Digital Marketing Channels for Small Businesses

According to Pew Research Center, 85% adults are using the internet daily.  That figure shouldn’t be too surprising, but it leaves one wondering what exactly people are doing on the internet?  Businesses need to consider all digital marketing channels in order to reach their customers. 

Not only should businesses implement an array of digital marketing strategies for their business, but they need to ensure they’re interconnected.  The customer journey to a purchase decision is changing with the internet, so businesses need their marketing materials to match the customer journey of research, reviews and recommendations. 

Does your business have a marketing strategy that implements some of the most vital marketing channels? 

Marketing Website

92% of business owners believe that having a website is the most effective digital marketing strategy.  Count First Call Web in as part of the 92%.  Websites are a perfect place to tie the majority of the needed marketing strategies all into one hub of information. 

Having a website isn’t enough.  Websites need to be appealing, provide valuable content to its audience, rank well online, be mobile friendly, tell a compelling story and so much more.  Learn more about what your website needs to be considered a marketing website. 

Content Program 

The content program is simply what and how you display the message of your business to your audience of customers.  Your website should have a clear message of what problem you’re solving for them. 

At the end of the day, your business is selling a solution that makes your customers’ lives easier and that needs to be apparent right away.  Your home page should have the value proposition front and center in an easy-to-read headline with images and/or video to make it more appealing.

As a customer explores your website, you need to consider the different stages of decision making.  If they’re learning about your website, you should have blogs, videos and reviews for your customers to learn more about your services and products.  

Other customers might be coming back again, so you’re going to want to encourage them to leave you reviews to boost your SEO ranking.  Then of course you need your website to be structured around SEO so it can be found in the first place!  Because in an internet forest of websites, no one is looking if no one is clicking.

Search Engine Optimization 

What is SEO? SEO is a website strategy to tell search engines like Google what your website is all about and how the content of your website would be valuable to the user searching for solutions and answers to their questions or keywords.  It sounds like a lot, but it’s actually straightforward.  Let’s go over a few of the quick aspects of SEO. 

  • NAP: Name, Address and Phone Number.  Customers need to find your business and contact you.  Simple, right?
  • Google My Business: The most popular review engine on the internet is Google My Business.  This free to use service allows customers to review your business, which tremendously helps your Local SEO efforts.
  • Local Citations: We promise all you speeding ticket drivers should want these types of citations.  Local citations are websites similar to GMB where you can leave reviews or find the NAP of businesses.  Think of websites like Yelp, Angi’s, Bing Reviews, Yellowbook, etc. This category will vary from industry to industry.
  • On-Page SEO: This aspect includes keyword optimization, meta descriptions, internal linking, SSL, loading speed and much more.  This SEO strategy is a little more advanced and could require some assistance of an expert.
  • Off-Page SEO: One could argue this is one of the most difficult SEO aspects to implement.  In short, off page SEO is driving clicks back to your website. Strategies that help with this are local citations, pay-per-click, backlinking and social signals.  Don’t expect this one to happen overnight, but it is worth the time investment in the long run. 

You’re officially an SEO expert! Or maybe not.  At least you now know the basics of SEO.  SEO is one of the best ways to find new customers.  Your website won’t reach its full potential without fully optimizing the SEO capabilities.  Just like SEO is part of websites, let’s take a look at another digital marketing channel that is part of SEO. 

Social Media 

Building your brand identity to connect with your customers is the name of the social media game.  Today more than ever, customers want to buy from businesses that not only solve their solutions, but they like.  Sharing the story on social media of your business and people who work there is a great way to build your brand. 

Obviously, there are more benefits to social media than simply brand identity.  You can share promotions, new products/services and community events you’re hosting.  Meet your customers where they’re spending their time on the internet and places like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram dominate.  If your social media is failing to gain traction, consider some social media paid advertising to get the ball rolling.

Email Marketing 

An untapped potential of digital marketing is email marketing.  Small businesses often shy away from email marketing because they don’t realize its potential and don’t have the time to figure it out.  First Call web comes bearing good news, it is effective because of how little time it takes!   

Email marketing is one of the easiest automated marketing mechanisms a business can implement.  There are marketing automation platforms like Active Campaign that can enroll a customer who opts into your email list and sends them customized emails to grab their attention and give them content they requested.  Content examples include free eBooks, guides, product information, newsletters and more depending on your industry. 

Building a list of qualified customers who are interested in your business or have purchased something in the past 24 months is the most difficult part of email marketing.  Many businesses already have a list of customer emails and don’t even utilize it!  Whether you’re starting from scratch or have a list, email marketing is a cheap and time efficient digital marketing strategy to stand out from your competitors. 

Reputation Management 

Collecting online reviews have been mentioned in the SEO channel, but it’s important to revisit the topic because it falls under so many categories.  Reputation Management is the strategy of building positive reviews online to stand out as an authority in your field.  The reviews not only help with being found online, but it helps give customers the confidence in making their purchasing decision. 

It’s important to have a review funnel in place to start collecting reviews.  Many businesses just hope their customers leave reviews, while others have a proactive plan in place.  Asking for customer reviews through other marketing channels like email marketing, social media and even on your website is a great place to leverage these channels to their full capabilities. 

Paid Lead Generation 

Don’t let the word paid scare you away.  Paying for advertising will lead to more money for your business when done effectively.  Google Ads and Facebook advertising are two great paid lead generating platforms that allow you to track how you are spending your money.   

Google Ads gives you the capability to use your money effectively by setting up conversions for customer actions like phone calls or sales on your website.  Facebook advertising is great for building your social media presence, but also driving the right audience back to your website.   

Learn more about these two great advertising options in one of the most vital digital marketing strategies for businesses who have valuable website content that have a history of making sales. 

Google Ads Explained for Small Business Owners 

Analytics Reporting 

Tracking the results of each individual marketing channel is essential to make any marketing strategy work.  If you don’t accurately track your results, your business won’t be able to make adjustments or invest more in the most effective strategies. 

Each marketing channel can require a different type of tracking tag, but it can be done and then compiled into one clean report.  Learn more about how to increase your reporting skills: SEO Tips: 5 Popular Analytics Tools.  

Here is a brief list of key performance indicators you could be tracking for each digital marketing channel:

Marketing Website 

    • Page Ranking 
    • Clicks 
    • Impressions 

Content Program 

    • Blogs Published 
    • Average Session Duration 


    • Page Ranking 
    • Clicks  
    • Impressions 
    • Engagement Rate/Bounce Rate 
    • Page Speed 

Social Media 

    • Followers 
    • Engagement Rate 
    • Likes 
    • Posts 
    • Website Clicks 
    • Phone Calls 

Email Marketing 

    • Number of Contacts 
    • Open Rates 
    • Click Rates 

Reputation Management 

    • Number of Reviews 
    • Average Rating 
    • Local Citations 

Paid Lead Generation 

    • Impressions 
    • Clicks 
    • Conversions 
    • Return on Ad Spend 

Knowing which digital marketing channels will work best for your business isn’t possible until you have implemented the practice and tracked the results.  It also doesn’t make sense to dive into all strategies at once. 

Each business is at a different stage of growth development and only use the right marketing channels for your stage.  Having said that, the above are some of the basics each business should consider. 

This marketing framework was developed by Duct Tape Marketing, one of the leading Small Business Marketing organizations in the Nation.  First Call Web is a certified Duct Tape Marketing organization because we have received the training and resources to help other small businesses succeed under this model. 

If you need help with developing your marketing strategy, implementing some or all the recommended digital marketing channels, First Call Web is happy to help.  Call for a free consultation today.