[dropcap]M[/dropcap]any small businesses do not have a digital marketing plan.  In order to build and grow successful businesses small businesses need to invest in digital marketing.  According to the 2016 Small Business Technology Impact Study, small business should have a business website and social media involvement.

Here are five (5) essentials digital assets to build your customer base:

1. A website
In order to grow your brand and customer base, you must have a website.  Social media platforms are great tools to promote your business.  However, you need your own digital home. What if your favorite social media platform shuts down? Or even worse, goes out of business?  They will take your followers with them and you will not have access to your customers.  How will you communicate with your customers or followers?

Having your own website gives you the ability you to collect your customers’ and potential customers’ emails address and enables you to communicate with them directly. This gives you more control to interact and engage with your customers.

2. Email Contact List
A growing email contact list is an essential to taking control over the delivery of your message to your customer base. You will be able to communicate with your customers whenever you have an event, hold a sale or introduce a new product or service.  Unlike social media posts, you’ll be able to send customers messages directly to a place they go every day, their email inboxes.

3. Email Marketing Campaign Platform
An email campaign platform services helps you deliver rich content messages that engages your customers. There are several benefits to running email campaigns:

1) It can strengthen your relationship with your customer base.
2) It increases traffic to your website where you can sell products and services and boost your sales.
3) Recipients can easily share the information with friends and family. This will also increase your reach.
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4. Online Referral Program
As a small business owner/entrepreneur, you probably rely heavily on word of mouth and referrals to get new business. It’s one of the best ways to get new customers. In this digital age, every small business owner needs to harness the power of this effective marketing tool with a formal online referral program.

Customers trust referrals and recommendations from friends and families. These recommendations are trusted more than advertising. Research shows that people are four types more likely to buy when referred by a friend.
An online referral program will enable friends and family to systematically refer more customers to you. Once you set up a good online referral marketing platform, you can have a steady stream of referrals for new customers.

5. Social Media Platforms
You need a social media presence. Customers like to share good news about new products and services they’ve discovered through social media. Visibility in social media is an excellent way to promote your business by building awareness of your business in the marketplace.   You should use social media platforms to drive traffic to your website, so you can collect the contact information of people interested in your products and services.

So as you have probably demised, a coordinated digital marketing strategy is all about driving traffic to your website and building your customer or potential customer list.  In order to accomplish this you need these five digital assets.
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