It’s already March, so hopefully your digital marketing initiatives for 2018 are already well under way. If they’re not, we’ve compiled a list of five great ideas to help your small business get ahead online this year.

1. Local Search Marketing

For small businesses with a brick-and-mortar store, local search marketing is absolutely crucial for getting your company on the (online) map. If you don’t do anything else this year and you haven’t already done so, claim your free Google My Business listing. It will instantly boost your online presence and help people find you when they are in your local area.

2. Website Optimisation

When was the last time you updated the content on your website? Some small businesses create a website and then neglect to update it. Your business focus may have even changed since your website was created and you might be targeting different customers now. If that’s the case, your website content should reflect this.

Google’s recently updated SEO Starter Guide is an absolutely fantastic resource if you want to know what the search giant thinks when it comes to search engine optimisation.

3. Content Marketing

Content marketing goes hand-in-hand with website optimisation. For example, if you’ve got a blog on your website that is regularly updated with fresh, high-quality content, your SEO will receive a boost. The key with content marketing is to add tangible value to the people who consume your content. So rather than write a blog post so how great you are, write one that offers some useful tips and tricks to your followers. At the end of the day, it’s all about engagement and building trust between you and your online audience.

4. Social Media Marketing

Organic reach on Facebook is at an all-time low, but that doesn’t mean social media marketing is dead – far from it. Small businesses that want to stand out and don’t want to pay for the privilege should look to utilise live video. Even Facebook has highlighted how important live video is, so if you’re not taking advantage of it already, maybe you should be.

Don’t worry about trying to make your live video Hollywood-esque. Some of the best are more candid and serve to give your followers a sneak peek behind the scenes at your business, helping to put a human face on your brand.

[Related reading: Get seen in the Facebook News Feed with these 3 top tips]

5. Thought Leadership

You inevitably know a huge amount about your industry. Showcase that knowledge by writing some insightful, informative thought leadership pieces – eBooks, white papers, even longer blog posts. This kind of content is not only good for SEO, but also helps establish you as a leading voice in your industry.