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10 digital marketing tips for small business owners

The following article is part of the Small Business Ad Academy, offering marketing and social media advice for small businesses, presented by Chase Ink®

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The proliferation of digital marketing and social media resources has made it easier than ever to pitch to Main Street--without Madison Avenue budgets.

Mickey Mantas, ‎global agency and partner education consultant at LinkedIn, says these options let you be selective in how you spend digitally, and only "build a presence on the platforms that best represent you and your company." Don' t think of it as a one-time campaign; it'll evolve and grow as your business does.

Chase assembled a panel of digital marketing experts—from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Yelp—to help you plan your 2017 social campaigns. Here are some of their suggestions:

  1. Go mobile: We consume virtually all information on-the-go, so your marketing platform should be "mobile-centric" instead of just "mobile-friendly." Messaging that isn't designed for mobile access and search will be less valuable in 2017.
  2. Create compelling content: Our attention spans continue to drop—now just eight seconds, on average, according to a Microsoft study. Grab readers' attention with information tailored to their needs and they'll come back for more. "Put your products, services, business and employees in your content," says Christian Eberhardt, sales manager at Twitter. “Use imagery and video to drive engagement."
  3. Dive into data: Modestly-priced data-mining software can unearth sales and other customer information within your spreadsheets and reports, for insights you can act on: Personalizing offers and improving customer service.
  4. Think big (without spending big): No business is too small for digital marketing. These resources let you spend wisely, to elevate visibility and reputation. Facebook's Global Head of Financial Services Strategy, Neil Hiltz says, "if people aren't aware of you, they're not going to buy your product." Focus on keyword search and search engine optimization to attract more attention.
  5. Pay the piper: Relying on organic means to find your audience stack the odds against you. Amplify your presence, impact and reach through paid advertising on key sites. Consider using the Chase Ink Business Preferred card, because of the flexible rewards you can earn purchasing these types of ads.
  6. Build a profile: Spending a few minutes on your LinkedIn and other social media profiles—and amplifying that visibility with well-placed, paid social media posts—will raise your digital profile and attract new customers better than traditional networking would.
  7. Ask permission: Nobody wants spam. Earn the respect of your customers, prospects and influencers through permission marketing—a selling approach that requires explicit agreement to receive emails, newsletters or texts. Send "push" content only to those who want it, and leave everyone else off your distribution lists.
  8. Try "buy" buttons: Consumers can make purchases in one click, without even leaving Facebook, YouTube and other social media sites. These "buy buttons" are gaining popularity and increase the likelihood of a completed purchase, while freeing you from investing in costly app development.
  9. Look locally: A hyper-local paid strategy targets customers by zip code, neighborhood or street name, connecting you with the audiences you most care about.
  10. Email often: The so-called death of email marketing has been greatly exaggerated. In fact, email continues to be one of the most useful, cost-effective marketing tools: 78% of consumers aged 35–44 rank it as the communication platform they most prefer, according to MarketingSherpa. Used appropriately, it can be a powerful marketing tool.

With Chase Ink Business Preferred, earn 3X points on advertising purchases made with search engines and social media sites and in other select categories.

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