5 Digital Marketing Strategies to Elevate Your Small Business

Ask any marketing expert and they’ll all agree, having the right digital marketing strategies is key for moving your business to the next level. But ask any small business owner and they’ll tell you- reaching that audience is not as easy as throwing up a couple of posts on Facebook. To truly excel at digital marketing, you need a game plan. These 5 simple strategies will help solidify your company’s digital footprint and keep consumers interested in your business.

  1. Define your audience as precisely as possible

    . It’s not enough to say your target is, hikers who live in the area. That’s way too broad, and anything you market will come off as a stab in the dark. Take that audience one step further, and then further from that; for example hikers in the area in need of waterproof footwear. Then further: hikers in the area who need waterproof, all-terrain footwear. Bingo! Work on marketing to a niche audience, and you have a better chance of the right customer taking notice of your marketing.

  2. Utilize the art of the medium

    . Once upon a time, a catchy magazine or radio ad was just the thing to get people knocking on your door. Now, with the ubiquity of social media in so many facets of our lives, it helps to have digital strategies that creatively get your message across. Think memes, YouTube “viral” videos, Facebook groups, infographics. Great, organic digital marketing content that can be shared by users with just one click of the mouse, or tap of the finger. Does your content stack up?

  3. Driving traffic

    This is the golden goose of digital marketing: getting eyeballs on your content.  Along with your social media strategy, it’s smart to utilize your mailing list, website, and even print or radio ads that further drive consumers to your digital ads and content.

  4. Evaluate your channels

    There are dozens (or more!) types of social media these days, ranging from Facebook all the way down to local-based apps. To attempt to master all of them is a recipe for disaster. Instead, look at the message your marketing is trying to convey, and then see which social media channels that particular message pairs best with. Focus your energies on one or two channels only, and become experts in that channel’s algorithms and own distinctive language.

  5. Provide value at every turn

    If your social media strategy is simply to announce your most recent coupon or trumpet your own business, you’re risking consumers turning a blind eye whenever they see your logo. Instead, find ways to give value. Don’t just write about your own business triumphs in your newsletter; share the successes and great ideas of your competition, or a helpful article you found online. Engage with your customers around the holidays on social media. Write a Q&A for an online business magazine. It keeps your business at the forefront and ups your digital “authenticity”. Give, give, sell, and then give more.

If you’ve found any of these strategies helpful, we want to hear about it! Follow Terrapin Networks on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


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Got a Great Small Business Idea? Here’s What To Do First.

Are you a budding entrepreneur in Michigan with a great small business idea? Here’s what you need to do first.

Do you have a great small business idea? Every year in Michigan, thousands of new small businesses open their doors. In fact, there are 28,443,856 small businesses in the U.S. today, as of a survey conducted in 2016*. Around half of those businesses will close their doors within 5 years.

Are you thinking of trying your hand at beating the odds with your small business idea? What if you could peer into a crystal ball to see if your business idea is really worth its salt?

You might not be able to see the actual future, but the Michigan Small Business Development Center, operated out of Grand Rapids, has a great tool for anyone who’s thinking of taking the leap into entrepreneurship. They host a page on their website titled “Test Your Small Business Readiness”, and it should be your first port of call before drawing up a business plan and seeking out possible investors.

Of course, not all beginning businesses need the same type of treatment. That’s why SBCD’s page is divided into four components, titled, “I Want To Start a Business”, “I Have Started A Business”, “I Want To Grow My Business”, and “I Have an Advanced Tech Business”. Visitors to the page can select one of the four quadrants, which will take them to a dedicated site that is more tailored to their needs.

What types of needs, you may ask? Here’s the simple breakdown of each page, with SBDC’s descriptions of each. On each new site, you can register for training, acquire the appropriate forms, or request a face-to-face meeting with a registered SBDC consultant that can help guide you through the process of turning your business dreams into reality.

I Want To Start a Business: Partner with certified small business consultants to learn everything you need to know about starting a business in Michigan.

I Have Started a Business: From business education workshops to marketing, HR and operations counseling, access the tools you need to succeed.

I Want to Grow My Business: Looking to expand or transition your business? Our expert consultants can help you strategize for future growth.

I Have an Advanced Tech Business: Is your company developing advanced technology? We’ll help you develop and execute a successful commercialization strategy.

For more information or to get started on your entrepreneurial journey, head to The Small Business Alliance: Michigan.


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Three Times Cloud Based Business Apps Saved Your Company

By now, if you’re a small business owner or manager, you’re well aware that cloud-based business apps are where it’s at in terms of getting work done, staying on top of your daily schedule, and managing your crew. Smartphones and tablets have revolutionized small business management, and these three awesome cloud-based business apps lead the way. Now get back to work!

  1. When Evernote saved that great workbook pdf you found while you were awake and googling at 3 in the morning.

We’ve all been there; can’t sleep, mind full of ideas and thoughts, and have turned to the All Mighty Google as if it were a modern day magic 8 ball. While hopping from page to page, you stumbled upon some crazy handy pdf (workbook, checklist, whitepaper) and saved the whole thing straight to your Evernote. Boom! Tomorrow’s lunchtime reading, complete.

  1. The time QuickBooks automatically recorded all your business transactions so you didn’t have to

Intuit’s QuickBooks, both for business and their excellent Self Employed version, is choc-a-bloc full of handy integrations and time saving “rules”. Stop at the same gas station every week to tank up? QuickBooks recognizes the transaction from that specific gas station in your bank account and saves it right to your business expenses.

  1. Every time the MailChimp app saved a new work acquaintance to your marketing list

All the big dogs know that direct email marketing is where it’s at these days. You don’t need to live at the mercy of Facebook’s ever-changing algorithm to reach your followers when you can get with them directly via their email. After you meet that fascinating new contact at a networking event or party and get their permission, you can add their email address straight into your Marketing List on the phone. Super handy.


Want even more great cloud-based business apps that are geared toward small business owners? We stumbled upon this handy list from PC Mag with another 25!


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Hacked! How Does It Happen? Listen to Tim on WTCM with Christal Frost

You very likely have heard about the recent Yahoo data breach of over 1 billion users. It’s some scary stuff, and it means that there are a lot of people out there who very rightfully should be concerned, and need to know how to secure their stuff.

Listen to Tim on Christal Frost’s show on WTCM, as they discuss the hack, ways to protect yourself, and other big profile hacks (as in, a very recent political hack by Russians).



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