How digital marketing helps small businesses

How Digital Marketing Helps Small Businesses | Grow Green | Hero image

Whether big or small, digital marketing is one of the best ways to grow your business. That’s pretty much a fact these days.

That being said, using a Digital Marketing agency isn’t for everyone. 

Let’s be honest. For a lot of small businesses, paying a monthly retainer won’t fit in your tight budget

But, that doesn’t mean you can’t still benefit from our insights, and have a go yourself. 

In my opinion, you’d be missing a trick if you don’t focus on digital marketing as a small business owner. And here’s why

Table of Contents

The digital age keeps growing

Just look around you. 

People are completely engrossed in their devices. 

Whether scrolling through social media, watching YouTube or aimlessly clicking, we spend almost 6 hours a day glued to our screens.

This trend doesn’t show any signs of slowing either. Over the last year, our screen time increased by 1%. 

With that in mind, it’s pretty obvious that a strong online presence will help your business grow. No matter what size it is. 

I understand that for small business owners it can be difficult to prioritise marketing. You have a million and one things to do every day, marketing can sometimes slip down the to do list.

But, investing in promoting your business has amazing benefits. Let’s look at an example.


I’m sure you’ve heard of Moonpig (which kind of emphasises the point).

Founded in 2005, they originally focused on word of mouth and traditional marketing methods to grow. It wasn’t until 2009 that they decided to invest in digital marketing. (Social media, SEO, etc)

And, it paid off.

In 2010, Moonpig’s sales skyrocketed. Growing by over 100%. Not just that, but the company’s website received over 1 million visitors per month, and its social media following grew to over 100,000 fans.

Now I’m not saying that word-of-mouth or other marketing methods are bad. They’re actually some of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal.

Personally, in my experience, nothing will ever beat word-of-mouth for sales conversions.

But, in our digital world, the opportunity to grow (and grow fast) lies in digital marketing channels, like; SEO, PPC and Social Media.

Get to know your customers 

The thing is, there’s so much conflicting information available, it’s really difficult to know where to start your journey.

At Grow Green we always begin projects with a deep dive. This helps us to understand who our clients are; their goals, ambitions and targets. 

But, just as importantly, who their ideal customer is.

Outlining your ideal customer is so important. Because different people buy in different ways. 

They will be on different devices and platforms. Searching at different times of the day and buying different products.

To get yourself going. I would suggest putting some time aside and asking yourself these questions:

  • What am I looking to achieve through digital marketing?
  • Who is my ideal customer (age, sex, location, etc)? **There could be more than one**
  • What does a conversion look like for me?
  • What sets my business apart?
  • How much am I willing to spend?

If you do this, I guarantee you’ll have a much better idea whether digital marketing is right for you. 

Not only that, you’ll have the perfect foundation of your digital marketing plan. 

You just have to start.

What marketing channels work best for small businesses? 

Local SEO: Boosting Your Visibility in the Community 

I’m sure you’ve heard of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – you might not have heard of local SEO. 

Where SEO is the process of optimising your website to appear higher on search engines like Google. Local SEO focuses on location specific search results, like “Digital Marketing Agency Brighton”.

For example, If I search “Kebab Shop” on a night out in London. Google knows that I don’t want to see spots in Manchester, or even a different London borough. It gives me takeaways near me to choose from.

Searching Kebab Shop | how digital marketing helps small businesses

This doesn’t just happen automatically. 

The first options you see will be businesses who have invested in Local SEO. 

For many small businesses, with physical locations, great Local SEO can be make or break. So, let’s take a look at what you can do to improve:

  • Create an enticing Google My Business profile (Don’t forget about Bing and Apple either)
  • Get amazing positive reviews (Social proof is always important – would you eat somewhere with bad reviews?)
  • Make sure your address, contact and business information is right (Everywhere!)
  • Create separate landing pages and listings (if you cover multiple locations)

Let’s look at an example.

Recycling in London 

While working at an East London recycling company, we realised that there was a massive opportunity for growth by focusing on local search. 

They cover every London borough. Due to this, it was logical that business owners would be searching terms like; “business recycling Hackney” or “get rid of my waste Lewisham”.

With the size of London, there were thousands of searches made every month, and we wanted a piece of that pie.

We created a new landing page for every London borough, targeting commercial and transactional keywords related to their services. 

Not only did this help to increase traffic by over 50% in 6 months. We saw the number of leads increase too. 

Harnessing the Power of TikTok Search 

I know what you’re thinking. TikTok is just for viral dance moves.

If you are, then you don’t get TikTok. 

Yes. There is a lot of that on there. But, TikTok is the fastest growing social media platform in the world. Doubling its users in that last year alone!

There are now 1.6 billion global TikTok users. And, the demographic leans heavily toward the younger generations.

But none of that is what makes TikTok so interesting.

They are the first social media platform to go after the search market, and challenge Google’s dominance. (Not that they admit it)

Recent reports have shown that Gen Zer’s are using TikTok over Google 40% of the time. And, it’s easy to see why.

Just search “Things to do in London” in Google. You’ll see things like “Tower of London” (in four separate results) and Tower Bridge (Not sure what you’re actually supposed to do there except cross it).

From the same search in TikTok, I saw a prison themed cocktail bar. 

It’s not difficult to guess which a young person would prefer.

This has made TikTok an incredibly important platform for anyone looking to market to younger generations. 

Just don’t forget to optimise your posts for search. 

I think it’s worth mentioning that Google is aware of this. And have heavily hinted that they will be prioritising short-form video as a search feature going forward. 

How well this will do, remains to be seen.

Social Media Advertising: Reaching Your Target Audience 

Obviously TikTok isn’t the only Social Media platform out there. There’s Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram, maybe even Parlour… 

Not sure about the last one.

Every business is different, that’s why it’s so important to know your audience and where they’re looking. Especially if you’re investing in ads.

Social media is free. So it’s great to post about your business. All. The. Time.

Most people will check out your socials before visiting or buying anyway. The best advice I can give. Keep it personal and true to your brand.

For a lot of small businesses, social adverts are an incredible chance to promote your products to a targeted audience. Especially one that’s already engaged with your brand.

When done right, the ROI can be enormous. Bringing you bundles of new customers.

But be wary. And do your homework first. I’ve seen so many examples of bad social media campaigns that haven’t delivered.

The last thing you want is to throw money away.

If you’re not sure, why not discuss with an Agency first to see what they can offer. At Grow Green, we would only charge for what we produce, rather than a percentage of your ad spend. 

Transparency is important to us, so that our customers get the most from their ad spend.

Does digital marketing benefit small businesses? 

The short answer: Yes

So long as you:

  • Assess your budget. 
  • Know your ideal client. 
  • Make a plan. 
  • And, Keep going!

When done right, digital marketing is one of the best routes to increasing customers and revenue.

When you combine SEO, digital advertising and Social Media, you’ve got a winning formula. You just need the time to put it in place.

We know time can be tight, so if you want a free consultation. Or just some friendly advice, reach out, and we’d love to help.

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