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How Small Local Businesses Can Leverage Digital Marketing to Get Ahead

By Jenna Bruce on Mon, Aug 28, 2017 @ 09:00 AM |


You’ve no doubt heard the story about David and Goliath. Goliath, a giant of a man, a trained warrior in fact, was set to fight a small, young boy. It should have been no match, as the only weapons David had was a small stone and sling. Well, if you know the story, you know that David brought down that giant with his stone and sling.

What is the moral and how does it apply to your business?

While some people may simply walk on stones, or even trip over them, others can use them to “kill” the competition. Think of technology as stones. Some people trip over technology, some don’t even really give technology much thought. Yet those that leverage the power of technology can overwhelm even their biggest competitors.

Here are some ways small local businesses can leverage digital marketing to get ahead.

  1. Be an Expert

Just because your bigger competitor has a bigger content marketing budget doesn’t mean they are creating the right kind of content. Many organizations still don’t understand how to use content marketing effectively.

Blogging is a great way for local businesses to get found in the search results. But don’t just focus on creating A LOT of blog posts, focus instead on creating quality posts that show off your expertise.

Share your knowledge and passion and offer real value to your blog’s visitors. If you can help your audience in some way and solve their problems, you can take their attention away from the big dog’s content that does little more than add to the noise.

  1. Personalize Your Social Media Marketing

There’s little doubt of the efficacy of social media marketing. But again, with everyone else and his uncle using social media to attract consumer attention, how can you gain the upper hand?


Personalized marketing techniques, like tracking consumer behaviors and targeting them based on their interests, is one of the most powerful ways to do social. Personalization can be as simple as using a prospect’s name in your bulk email messages, or as complex as targeting individuals that work at a specific company you'd like to sell your services to with Facebook or LinkedIn ads.

  1. Use Visuals

Did you know that last year Facebook reported 100 million hours of video were watched on their site PER DAY? Live feeds and video have become the hot trend for communication brand messaging.

There’s a very good chance your local competitors aren’t using videos and live-stream to their advantage, which is exactly why you should.

Also, consider using engaging graphics to grab attention and stand out from the crowd. The human attention span is getting shorter and shorter so you need all the help you can get to keep consumer attention on your offer.

  1. Email Marketing

Many businesses have ditched email marketing for social media marketing, and that’s good news for you. A study found that 91% of adults in this country like to receive promotional emails from companies they’ve done business with in the past.

Email marketing plan written in bright room.jpeg

The key here is to focus on helpful content including industry news, guides and links to all of that expert blog content you’ve developed. Don’t bombard your list with daily emails. Consider sending one or two a week, and only have 25% of your monthly emails be blatant sales promotions.

  1. Text Message Marketing

We already know the impact mobile has made on the marketing landscape. Over the last few years, much attention has been given to mobile browsing. But in the years to come, text message marketing will take precedent.

Did you know that 95% of Americans now own a mobile device and 98% of text messages are opened? That’s a hint.

If you haven’t given much thought or budget to a mobile marketing strategy, you’ll want to do so in the coming months. There are a number of SMS marketing services online that provide software that will allow you to create lists, draft messages and send them to your customers.

Who cares if you’re a small business with only a few stones in your pocket. As long as you know where to throw them and how hard, you can bring down even the biggest competitor.

Download the CMO's Guide to Integrating Print and Digital Media

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