Digital marketing for the Small Business

Getting Started with Digital Marketing

Facebook for Business – What you need to know!

For those of you who are contemplating starting a new business getting your sales and marketing going as quickly as possible can be really challenging. In this series of five articles, we are going to look at simple ways for you to launch your digital marketing presence and how to start connecting with new clients and drive sales immediately.

Launched in February 2004 Facebook Zuckerberg created a social networking platform that was based on user generated content.  The popularity of this format allows us all as individuals to create content and connect with others online in a way that we have never seen before.  Today Facebook users exceed 1.69 billion. Source .   Facebook for Business will allow your customers to link with you.

For those launching a business in Ireland Facebook gives you access to an audience of approximately 3 million people in Ireland.   Who are these 3 million Irish Facebook users?

  • 3% are females aged 25-34
  • 3% are under the age of 25
  • 1% are aged between 25 to 44 years of age.


Top 5 tips for using Facebook for your Digital Advertising.

  1. Ensure that you create a Facebook “Business Page”. This will give you a whole range of advertising features not available to you if just using a “personal page”.
  2. Potential customers love images. Use attractive photographs and images that give your potential customers a real sense of what you do and what is for sale.
  3. Start selling through Facebook with the shopfront feature in the programme.
  4. Utilise the FREE Facebook Business Tools so that you can sell your products, add appointments, and showcase your menu.
  5. Consider expanding the capability of your business by connecting to some of the commercial apps available through Facebook.
Creating Content for my website

Making digital content engaging and interactive.

Creating great content for your digital marketing campaign can be challenging.  Identifying the things that are of interest to your customers or clients is the starting point for connecting with your customers, hopefully driving traffic to your website and the icing on the cake is succeeding in getting customers to grow your digital profile by enabling user generated content that can be shared on multiple platforms by the users.

To get started create a user-friendly survey through or or some of the other online survey creation software that is free to use.  Include questions about the things that are important to your client base and the type of content that would interest them.  As an example, garden enthusiasts may be interested in the best time to plant bulbs or new varieties to add colour to their garden.  Keen cyclists or walkers may be interested in new routes beside water from Waterways Ireland or countryside routes from ordnance surveys Ireland.

Thinking logically your customers or users are probably going to be looking at your content in their free time. Customers like to be heard and love to post their photos, selfies or other items.  Use themes that are fun, enjoyable and those that create excitement for your users.  Allow them to share this content with others.  For those using Opensource web design software or WordPress enable the social sharing plugins or apps to make sharing possible.  More ideas here.

5 tips to enable user generated content.

  1. Create a public Facebook Group where your customers can post content that is of interest to them. Examples here of 9 of the best Facebook groups.
  2. Create a Facebook Post that allows your customers to comment on the subject. Click here for more details.
  3. If using a WordPress website, you can install the plugin for enabling user submitted posts. Details here.
  4. Encourage customers and clients to use hashtags in order to connect social media content for a specific event, conversation or new product etc. Click her for further information.

You may also consider user generated content software. More information here;

Using Google My Business

Google my Business

Year in Search: Trends That Shaped 2020 - Google (

In 2020, worldwide searches for support small business doubled compared to the previous year.  Customers want many products and services delivered from local suppliers. Who wants their Chinese Takeaway spending 35 minutes in transit going cold or their Spider Man birthday cake turn to crumbs on a long trek over bumpy roads? For a whole range of products and services customers are looking to buy local.

In an article of June 2020 in the Irish Times Conor Pope talked about how the lockdown has encouraged Irish consumers to buy locally sourced goods.

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business is a free business tool that lets you easily connect with customers across google search and maps.  You can enable your customers to see you locally and make your business visible to your customers.  You can post images, updates, business information such as opening hours, announcements and products.  You can customers to the review.  Positive reviews help you grow your business and gives new customers the confidence to spend money with your business.

5 tips for creating a great google my business listing.

  1. Add as much information as you can within the fields provided within your Google my Business Account as your customers will want to know more about you.
  2. Use great images as you are now getting an opportunity to put your best foot forward in terms of making a good impression. Original images are a great way of standing out.
  3. The cover image you use should best represent your business and should be logoed if possible.
  4. Encourage your customers to post reviews as this will encourage new customers to buy.
  5. Understand the difference between Google My Business (A Dashboard) vs. Google Places for Business (Google Maps Platform) vs. Google+ (Social Network). Read more here

Using Instagram for my business

Instagram for Business

Instagram the photo and video sharing network is now owned by Facebook.  You can set up a basic personal account and post your personal profile privately so that only your followers can see the content that you have posted.  To increasing your digital marketing presence for your business you can set up a business profile that anyone on Instagram can see.

The top 20 most followed Instagram accounts is made up of a selection of celebrities, pop stars, football players, designer brands, National Geographic and topped off by Instagram’s own official account.

For new and emerging small businesses not on a global scale, getting started on Instagram and growing a digital presence needs to take a practical approach in terms of target following and what you are trying to achieve.

Instagram has provided information of the types of things that can be achieved by small businesses.  In Instagram’s words “Businesses are using Stories to express the creativity of their brand and inspire interest and action throughout the customer journey.”

5 tips for creating a great Instagram Account.

  1. Set up your Instagram Business Account and start compiling content that is of interest to your audience. Developing a calendar of content that is timely and relevant will mean that your followers will have a reason to interact with your content.
  2. Use Hashtags wisely and plan appropriate tags that will help your audience find you. Perhaps using the hashtag tool to identify hashtags for your business.
  3. Encourage your followers to act or have some form of call to action. You can set up a call-to-action button when setting up your profile.
  4. When you have posted content join in discussions with your followers or users and ensure that your response times are timely and relevant.
  5. Connect your business or brand with other Instagram accounts that are potential influencers of your products or services. Getting celebrity endorsement can really drive your numbers and popularity.

Google Ads
Should I use Paid Ads in Google

Google Ads

Let us imagine that you have built a castle in the middle of a vast forest containing many castles.  You want people who are interested in castles to know about your castle and to come and visit you there.  Perhaps your castle does afternoon tea, birthday parties and sells relaxing breaks.  At the entrance to the forest there is an information centre with pigeonholes containing sorted information on different attractions.  On Monday morning a visitor to the forest wants to have afternoon tea and takes all the information on afternoon tea venues from the pigeonhole and selects one castle to visit.  The information has location, opening times, name of castle and how to get there.   The visitor selects a neighbouring castle because your castle was not listed in the pigeonhole.  Some visitors find your castle by accident, but you want more visitors.   You decide that to get more visitors that you need to put your information in more pigeonholes.

Advertising online and google ads work in a similar way.  You can connect with potential visitors or customers when they are doing searches through key words and appear as one of the options that they may consider.  These searches are being done through laptops, mobile phones, tablets, smart phones etc.

5 tips for creating effective Google ads for your business.

  1. Do good research on the keywords that your customers are searching for. Use online Keyword Planners to find the most effective and popular keywords that your customers are using to find businesses like yours.
  2. Learn how targeting works in terms of using the keywords, Ad locations, locations, times for advertising and the type of devices that your customers will likely use.
  3. Decide a reasonable budget and monitor the budget and the results that you get from different budgets.
  4. Use the facilities in Google Ads to manage and monitor the ads in a single location.
  5. Use effective images in your Google Ads to help attract more visitors to your website.