Digital Marketing for Small Businesses: How to Do it in 2021


Digital marketing for small businesses is no longer a distant dream for some time.

Although a good portion of micro and small business managers still look with suspicion on the potential to promote themselves online, the reality has shown more and more successful examples.

I have already said and I will repeat that I am an enthusiast of digital marketing in smaller companies. After all, they are what drives a country’s economy.

I believe that you are thinking more seriously about investing in online stocks for your business – and for that, now, receive my congratulations.

In return for your initiative, I prepared complete content with all the necessary tips to get off to a good start.

Let’s see how it works, then?

Advantages of digital marketing for small businesses

Small companies are characterized by having lean structure and budgets.

Another thing that I learned over the years that I helped start several smaller startups and businesses is that this is not an obstacle to adopting conscious strategies.

On the contrary: when a small company invests heavily in digital marketing, the results are usually very good.

Find out below the main benefits of this action.


Imagine that you want to promote your company on offline media, such as on a billboard.

How would you know how many people saw your ad in a day or a month?
How do you assess the impact of this promotion model other than by the number of new customers?

Or, still, how to know if these new consumers were really conquered thanks to this strategy?

This type of difficulty does not exist in digital marketing, because in it, all actions are measurable through analytics tools .

That is, in addition to knowing how many people saw your ads and content, you can also know their respective age groups, genders, regions and access devices.

You have much more information about the effectiveness of your actions and, with that, you are able to make decisions that have a better chance of success.


A print ad will always be the same once it goes to paper. On the internet, most campaigns are fully customizable.

This means that you can, at any time, modify texts, keywords and other points that you deem necessary, adjusting the ads according to the performance shown.

If it is below expectations, based on the numbers, it is possible to make changes and improve performance.

A different situation would happen in an offline medium, in which there is no margin for error, nor for changes after the campaign is run.

Rapid implementation

Let’s go back to the example of the billboard.

From the order with the company responsible for its production to the placement of an advertisement in this media, how long would you need?

A lot, no doubt. In digital marketing, this problem also does not exist, since campaigns on social networks, such as Facebook or Instagram, can be created and displayed instantly.

And not least: all this at a much lower cost, when compared to the main offline media.

Read: How much does website maintenance cost?

What are the biggest challenges of digital marketing for small businesses?

One of the conclusions that can be drawn when reading the document is that companies understand that it is important to have a presence in the digital environment, but they still do not know exactly how to do this.

With this difficulty, other challenges appear, especially for small companies not so mature in online marketing, as I highlight below.

Analyze Big Data

Capgemini’s research reveals that less than half of the companies interviewed use analytics significantly.

And if that happens even in more structured corporations, in SMEs in general, the scenario is probably even more challenging. After all, data alone does not say anything.

You need to collect them from the right sources and then structure them so that they make sense and guide decisions.

There are several tools on the market for this, part of them with an acquisition and maintenance cost.

Some examples are:

Adapt to different platforms

For an SME that is still underdeveloped in its digital strategies, understanding what the nuances are between each channel can be a time-consuming process.

Even mastering social media marketing effectively and knowing the differences to what you do on a website can take time.

In this case, the ideal is to have the support of a specialist or, in the absence of one, take advantage of the large offer of online content on the subject.

Right here, on my blog, you can find out about how to do digital marketing in your company on different channels and media.

Increased competition

According to a survey by HeroSpark , published on the Small Businesses Big Business website, 2020 is the year of digital entrepreneurship in Brazil.

Therefore, the perspective for the coming years is that of increasingly fierce competition for MEIs and small companies in general.

The good news is that, in this scenario, those who do what you are doing now will survive: getting informed to act in an increasingly online and competitive market.

What are the main metrics to monitor marketing actions?

Before, I highlighted the ability to measure results as the main advantage of digital marketing for small businesses – and it was no accident. After all, this is the big “leap of the cat” that differentiates the strategy from traditional offline solutions.

With the right tools, it is possible to have total control over the results of your actions without depending on external agents or companies that do this.

It is business intelligence , previously a privilege of large corporations, now accessible to all who are willing to collect and interpret their performance metrics. Know the most relevant of them :.

ROI – Return on Investment

Every investment is made considering an expected return and, in digital marketing, it is no different.

Therefore, in its strategies, it is essential to measure the so-called ROI, the Return on Investment .

An advantage of this metric is its simplicity in calculating it. To do so, simply apply the formula:

  • ROI = (Revenue – Costs) / Costs x 100.

CAC – Cost of Acquisition per Customer

Nobody argues that the goal of every company is to win more customers. On the other hand, increasing the volume of sales implies an expense that must be calculated.

One way to do this is to measure the Cost of Acquisition per Customer , the CAC. Its formula consists of:

CPC – Cost-per-click

When advertising on Google or Facebook, you will come across a metric known as Cost Per Click (CPC).

Through it, you know how much your company spends for each click that leads and visitors give to your paid media content. This is an important metric, as it helps you understand how well your conversion funnel is structured.

A high CPC indicates that few people are interested in what your company has shown on the internet. So, pay attention to this indicator whenever you run campaigns .

Its calculation is made using the formula below:

CPM – Cost per thousand impressions

Top of the funnel strategies, that is, in order to attract a large volume of people, have a reliable indicator in CPM.

Let’s imagine, out of 10,000 people initially attracted, your company converts 2% of them into customers.

That would be the account to close 200 sales in a month.

In this sense, the success of a campaign can be measured by this metric. Here’s how to do your calculation:

CPL – Cost per lead

Leads are people who already know your company and, therefore, have already consumed your content or clicked on your ads. So, this is a type of potential customer to become an MQL, or a qualified lead for marketing .

The way of calculating this cost is similar to that of CAC. The formula is as follows:

Therefore, try to measure these two indicators in parallel, since a higher CPL than the CAC shows that your company is failing when closing the deal.

Conversion rate


In tools like Google Analytics, conversion rate is one of the most reliable metrics for whether a digital strategy is, in fact, being successful.

After all, it is what indicates that leads are being converted into customers through content, going through the various stages of the sales funnel .

The conversion rate is calculated using the ratio between the number of accesses and the number of conversions. Therefore, it is shown in percentage values.

The formula is:

For example,

let’s say that your site had 25,000 hits in a month and, for that period, had 600 conversions.

In this case, we have:

600 / 25,000 = 0.02%

Read more about what is a digital marketing agency

6 tips for doing digital marketing for small businesses

It is not enough to have intimacy with numbers. Although they are your best partners, since they do not lie, it is necessary to consider other factors to develop actions in digital marketing that bring good results.

Remember that you are dealing with people and, therefore, it is essential to invest also in building credibility.

The online consumer is extremely attentive and demanding. Thus, whoever is not ready to serve you efficiently, is left behind. Want to know how to do this? Check out the following tips.

Research opportunities

Could it be that sales are not going well because you are pushing too hard in a market without many possibilities?

Sometimes, the best thing to do is to change the focus, and that means going in search of new growth opportunities.

This is what, for example, companies that open new fronts of activity on the internet do, launch new products or services and invest in promotions and merchandising .

Build your online presence

It will not be overnight that you will have a return investing in digital marketing.

In SEO , for example, it can take a while for your content to be indexed and ranked by Google robots and appear prominently in search results.

Until then, build your online presence, looking to invest in paid campaigns, answering people’s questions in forums, generating good backlinks and, if possible, supporting events.

Make a practical marketing plan

Although a business plan and, consequently, digital marketing, requires some effort, it does not necessarily have to be complex. In the context of SMEs, the simpler the better.

While the best is an objective, there are cases where it really does become the enemy of the good. Therefore, try to plan your actions so that they are applicable in your day to day.

Consolidate your brand in the potential market

Let’s say that your business is launching a website or its social networks today.

How to build a good reputation online when your company is not yet featured in Google searches?

For this, it is worth betting on strategies such as guest posts on more prestigious blogs, answering questions on social networks and, again, investing in ads.

Rest assured that, over time, Google robots will notice that your brand deserves prominence.

Sell ​​benefits, not just products

Increasingly, companies guide their strategies by the attitude known as customer-centric. In it, what matters is not whether the company sold or not, but whether the customer, in fact, had his pains resolved or his problems solved.

Thus, in order for your digital marketing actions to be effective, be sure to consider, first of all, your client’s success .

After all, he’s (almost) always right, isn’t he?


Digital marketing for small businesses may be challenging, but at the same time, it can be quite a rewarding endeavor.

As long as your company puts into practice the tips I gave you here, keeps an attentive attitude to the market, and focused on learning, it will hardly be successful.

I say this because I have seen several success stories of companies that started a digital marketing strategy from scratch and achieved fabulous results. Now, it’s your turn to shine by investing in stocks over the web.

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