What gets businesses noticed in a noisy digital age

The small-business landscape is increasingly becoming digital and small-business owners now required to have an online presence. However, I often hear from customers – new to digital and social media – who ask how they can to stand out from the crowd and attract new consumers.

I’m pleased to share with you key tips to help you, as a small-business owner, build a successful content marketing strategy to gain customers in the midst of a “noisy” digital age.

Be yourself and be relatable

Many businesses utilise paid digital content, like ads on Google, or promoting their posts on Facebook. While paid digital content is often effective and generates clicks, this is outside the financial reach of many small businesses. In addition, once you stop funding these expensive marketing tactics, the results disappear.

Lots of small businesses ignore the benefits of interest-generating organic content; that is, genuine and homegrown content that organically drives people to engage with your small business. This content can drive consistent, long-term engagement with customers, and doesn’t have to be a difficult task to create!

Writing on current trends and using hashtags can elevate the level of engagement to your content. For example, some small business owners have been writing content around the upcoming Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast next year, dramatically raising the level of relevance and engagement with readers. This encourages consistent interest in their content, and draws new readers or viewers into the loop.

Another small example to make your content more relatable and engaging is emojis, which increase social intimacy, build rapport, and let your personality shine through your content.

Engage directly and build relationships

If you’re not currently email marketing – you should be! According to one study, email marketing is 40 times more effective at getting new customers than Facebook or Twitter. Plus, 77 per cent of users claim that they prefer to receive marketing messages via email*.

Email marketing and social media are two key platforms to communicate with your audience. On your social-media platforms, instead of products or sales promotions, try pinning your best performing posts to the top of your profile: you’ll appeal to your audience’s inborn curiosity and desire to be part of a community, which will in turn generate further engagement.

Put your business out there

A fantastic alternative to paid content is also just to put your business out there, and make the most of the relationships available to you.

Have you noticed how YouTubers are always collaborating with different content creators? That’s because they’ve realised that by uniting their forces they will not only get more eyeballs to their content, but also boost their influence and reach an audience that would be difficult to connect with otherwise. Small business owners should also be making use of this powerful tactic!

If there are other small businesses that you’re close to or with whom you’re eager to work, try reaching out, and discuss featuring one another on your social media. If you have a trusted relationship, sharing posts or even follower lists can be an effective way of finding new customers and generating new interest.

Also try reaching out to friendly bloggers, and look to build a rapport – this can pay dividends in attracting like-minded readers to your small business!

With these tips, I hope that small-business owners can stand out from the crowd, attract new business, and master their online potential.

Nicolette Maury, Vice President and Country Manager, Intuit Australia

* www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/marketing-and-sales/our-insights/why-marketers-should-keep-sending-you-emails