What are some online growth tips for SMEs in 2022?

In 2022, marketing has become more creative than ever. Most of this is due to the COVID-19 pandemic that led to marketers finding new ways to reach their clients.  More effort is being put into new marketing technologies for digital marketing than traditional marketing. Although, do not neglect the power of traditional media because it is still relevant. 

For those of you who want to succeed in the online world, I have compiled 12 Tips for your Online Growth based on my experience:

  1. Use free CRM software.
  2. Customer loyalty programs.
  3. Vouchers/gift cards.
  4. S.E.O.
  5. Social Media Marketing.
  6. Online Advertising.
  7. Free Directory websites.
  8. Sell something on your website.
  9. Give away free resources.
  10. Understand your customer data and utilise it.
  11. Improve your website.
  12. Online Newsletters.

Please note that the following words will be used interchangeably 

  • “Client” and “Customer”
  • “Company” and “Business”
  • “Asset” and “Resources”
[BLOG] 12 Tips for Online Growth poster- Ndolena
[BLOG] 12 Tips for Online Growth poster- Ndolena

1. Use free CRM software.

A CRM software is a Customer Relationship Management software that is used by businesses to interact with current and potential clients. This powerful tool can give you great insights about clients and allow you to make better decisions in the future. This software can help you to plan projects and chat with all involved parties as they also observe the progress of the project. There are great ones out there such as Monday.com, Asana, and Hubspot.

Here is a brief comparison of Monday.com vs Asana vs Hubspot.

Send/Receive e-mail on the platformYesNoYes
PricingFrom 0$ to 16$ per month.From 0$ to 25$ per month.From 0$ to 1200$ per month.
Non-profits options10 first seats for free and a 70% discount per seat from the 11th seat.1-Year Subscription via TechSoup.40% discount, premium-level software, nonprofit-friendly onboarding, 1,000+ integrations
Customer support24/7Only for Premium24/7
Data retrieved from Monday.com, Asana, and HubSpot.

2. Customer loyalty programs.

Loyalty programs make your customers feel valued for what they give to your business. The abovementioned CRM software will assist you immensely when it comes to creating customer loyalty programs. This includes birthday discounts, exclusive offers, free shipping, premium support, cash rewards, etc. 

3. Vouchers/gift cards.

Digital vouchers/gift cards are the way to go in 2022. Your client wants to be able to gift their relatives, employees or loved ones with your products. What classier way than a gift card? Especially if they can simply pay for it online. 

Vouchers/gift cards and coupons are similar but differ in certain functionalities.

Voucher / Gift cardCoupon 
A preloaded amount that can be spent by the holder.Discounts from the total amount as a percentage or a set amount
Can be digital.Can be digital.
Used for multiple purchases.Usually used only once.
Voucher vs Coupon

4. S.E.O. 

Search Engine Optimisation (S.E.O.) is the practice of ensuring that your website always appears in the first results when someone is looking for the product or service you offer. You may have noticed this on engines such as Google Search and Bing Search. S.E.O is a complex practice that needs to be done by professionals although you can learn it yourself, too. 

5. Social Media Marketing.

Social media has become more dominant than traditional media. Social media is more successful because it is a two-way communication platform. So, this means that you get to understand your client’s needs quicker and in real-time. Some of the methods you can use to make the most of social media are: affiliate marketing (where you pay someone a commission/reward for advertising such as social media influencers), posting regularly especially concise videos on platforms such as TikTok, Youtube, Instagram (Reels and Shorts) and make sure you use relevant hashtags

Here is a brief comparison of TikTok vs Youtube vs Instagram.

No. of users1+ billion2.6+ billion1.4+ billion
AudienceAges: 25-34.Female: 57%Ages: 16-64.Female: 46.1%Ages: 18-44.Female: 49.3%
AdsIn-Feed AdsYouTube + PartnersIn-Feed Ads
Type of contentVideoVideoVideo/Photo
Top FeaturesVideo Editing, User watermark. Video Editing, Brand watermark, In-video links.Video/Photo Filters, Tag Users, Stickers.
Data retrieved from Statista & Omnicore.

6. Online Advertising.

This includes but is not limited to search engine display ads, e-mail marketing, banner ads, and social media advertising. Some of the best providers of such are Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Bing Ads, and LinkedIn Ads. 

I have attached below a brief comparison of the platforms. 

PricingNo minimum. Depends on your goals. Usually from 1$ per day*. Depends on your goals. Usually from 0,05$*. Depends on your goals. Usually from 10$ per day*. Depends on your goals.
Level of difficultyModerateEasyDifficultModerate
Data retrieved from Google, Facebook, Bing, and LinkedIn.

*This is not a standard amount everywhere, it is merely a suggestion to see some type of results. 

7. Free local business directory websites. 

A free directory website allows you to list your company details so that potential clients can reach you. It is almost like Yellow Pages, but only digital and free. You need to take advantage of these free resources because they can significantly increase your chances of being exposed to the right clients. Yelp, Google My Business, Bing places, etc. A lot of them are out there and waiting for you[1]. It is even best when you find a directory that only lists businesses like yours i.e. your industry. 

[1] https://www.business.com/articles/50-free-websites-to-list-your-business-2/

8. Sell something on your website. 

Selling on your website is also a great way to increase attention and traffic to it. This becomes even more exciting when you give discounts on certain conditions. Moreover, your website should then be transformed into an e-commerce website if it is not already. Ndolena Design can assist in this matter.

9. Give away free resources. 

Giving away free resources such as e-books, tutorials, advice, images, etc.,  on your website can attract a lot of visitors. This sounds like the opposite of the above point (“Sell something on your website”) but trust me, viewers love free things. If you can offer something for free, it gives them the opportunity to “have a taste” of your services/products. If they are happy, they will be more than willing to buy the paid version of the same type of asset. 

10. Understand your customer data and utilise it.

Any transaction or interaction with your clients is an important data point because it will help you to understand your clients, and make decisions to improve the way you serve them. Analytics tools and software allow you to see through the behaviours of your existing and potential clients. A highly recommended one is Google Analytics. It tracks traffic to your website or app and tells you everything about it: where they saw your website or app from, which device they’re using, which country they’re from, what link they click on the most within your app or website, and so much more. Google Analytics is fairly comprehensible but still requires some training or professional assistance. 

11. Improve your website.

If your website is not user-friendly, you will be missing out on so many opportunities. You can use free tools that can analyse your website and tell you what you need to improve: Google PageSpeed Insight, SEOptimer, Neil Patel SEO Analyser. But I am guessing you probably will not have the time to do such technical work. This is where Ndolena Design comes in. We can assist with improving the UI/UX of your website. We can also assist in redesigning your current website as well as designing a new one. 

12. Online Newsletters.

Newsletters, also known as e-mail marketing, sound annoying and a lot of people ignore them but they are very effective because they show up constantly until you buy their products/services. It is also an effective method to announce promotions, offers, changes/updates in the business and overall inform clients. Many platforms can be used for mass newsletter distribution such as Zoho Campaigns, Sendinblue, MailChimp, and Sendblaster.com. Most of these are paid services. 

Bonus tip: Organise your books.

As a business, you need to have a method to manage your payments. Wave Invoicing allows you to manage your invoices, bills, and quotations in a very simple and organised manner. It even sends receipts to clients when they make a payment. All of that for FREE! Visit Wave Invoicing for more information. 


Genial Ingele is a business analyst and entrepreneur who constantly researches business development and offers solutions to business problems.

He obtained his bachelor’s degree in software development (BCIS) at Monash University, a renowned South African university. In 2021, he studied business management practice (PGDip) at the University of Cape Town, the best business school in Africa (according to Top Universities, 2021).

He started a Digital Marketing company in Johannesburg, South Africa, called Ndolena Design (pty) ltd. in 2018. This company offers Online Growth as well as Branding services. 

Ways to contact him:

Personal E-mail: [email protected]. Sales team: [email protected]
Contact number: +27 72 686 0058.
Visit www.ndolena.co.za for more information  LinkedIn & Twitter

In conclusion… 

In 2022, marketing has become more creative than ever. There are many ways to grow your business online, it is up to you to see which way is more convenient. I have given you 12 tips you can use at your convenience and feel free to contact me if you require more information. 

You may e-mail me at: [email protected] or e-mail my sales team at [email protected]

#marketing #onlinegrowth #onlineadvertising #googleads

Useful links

Here are links to the tools/services I mentioned.

Use free CRM software: Monday.com, Asana, Hubspot.  

Social Media Marketing: TikTok, Instagram, YouTube.

Online Advertising: Google Ads, Bing Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Facebook Ads.

Free Directory websites: List of directories, Yelp, Google My Business (now Google Maps)

Sell something on your website: Ndolena Design

Understand your customer data and utilise it: Google Analytics

Improve your website: Google PageSpeed Insight, SEOptimer, Neil Patel SEO Analyser.

Online Newsletters: Zoho Campaigns, Sendinblue, MailChimp, and Sendblaster.com