Prepare for a statistic that will blow your mind! There are 4.95 billion Internet users globally, and every day, another 500,000 people get online. When you consider that number, you begin to understand the scale of opportunities for online businesses.
Pretty much any business can harness the power of the Internet, which means that getting to grips with online marketing is of huge importance. If you’re not using digital marketing, or it’s being used ineffectively, then you will be missing out on new business.
To help you get on the right track, we’re going to start with a quick overview of what digital marketing is and then get into the range of marketing strategies you can use to connect with your online customers. From techniques to get more Instagram views through to increasing your Facebook following, we have the answers!
What About Traditional Marketing Techniques?
Offline marketing still has its place, but you need a different strategy when it comes to securing online customers. Because how people shop and choose services has changed, it also requires your marketing strategy to change. Your customers are online, and that’s where you need to find them through the use of digital marketing.
Your Digital Marketing Questions Answered
Let’s begin with answering some of those burning questions you might have about digital marketing.
What does Digital Marketing Mean?
Digital marketing refers to any type of marketing that happens online. It could be through social media platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, but it could also relate to search engines, email, and websites. The purpose of digital marketing is to connect with your current customers and generate new leads.
Digital marketing offers opportunities to get your message across through a range of different communication mediums depending on the platform you’re using. This could include images, words, video, text, and multimedia.
As we’ve said, it’s hugely important to use digital marketing to leverage your business and build your brand. There is now an expectation that a company will have a website and a presence on at least one social medium platform. Without these in place, the business will likely be missing out on a considerable number of potential sales.
The Benefits of Digital Marketing
You may have already developed a sense of the benefits of digital marketing, but if you need a reminder, here are the key reasons your business needs to get active online.
Digital marketing allows you to be very specific in communicating with your target audience. It will enable you to get your product or service right in front of your audience and feel confident that you’re doing so. When you compare this to traditional marketing such as newspaper advertising, you really have little idea whether the readers are those that you want to connect with.
Social media platforms have targeting functionality. That means that you can narrow down your digital marketing to location, gender, age, hobbies, behavior, and more. You can also identify keyword searches that your audience uses and use those keywords when creating a Pay Per Click (PPC) advert. It’s that specific.
Digital marketing is generally considered to be much more cost-efficient than offline marketing. It allows you to track the digital marketing campaigns every day, and if you’re not getting the results you’re looking for, then you can easily make changes.
You might be surprised at how cheaply, for example, you can buy likes for Instagram or set-up competitions to encourage followers on Facebook.
Using PPC and social media advertising is budget reliant. However, you’re able to set a maximum spend to ensure that your costs don’t spin out of control. And with no contract, you can stop and start the advertising as needed.
Allows Small Business to Be Competitive
Digital marketing levels out the playing field. A Facebook account is essentially the same whether you are just starting out or if you’re a huge corporation. Whether you’re a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond, digital marketing allows you to be competitive.
There is a learning curve, of course, and you may find that seeking professional advice on SEO tactics (search engine optimization), for example, makes sense. Effective SEO can help to ensure that your website is the first one that people see when they search Google for words relating to your business.
Easy Analysis of Results
Using digital marketing makes it easy to analyze your sales and learn more about your audience. With a whole range of tools to measure your online success, you’ll be able to see the number of shares, impressions, clicks, and time that people spend on your page. When you compare that with trying to assess the success of offline marketing, then digital wins hands down.
Quick and Straightforward to Make Changes
Once you develop a digital marketing strategy, it’s quick and easy to change. The beauty of being online means that you’re in control, so whether you want to stop, alter or amend the activity, you can.
It’s also fluid, so be prepared for it to evolve over time. For example, let’s say you’ve created an online advert, but it’s not generating enough leads or sales. That’s no problem when you use digital marketing. You can pause your ad or change it. Also, as digital marketing is so easily measured, by looking at the effectiveness of each tactic, you can refine your strategy to use more of what works well for you.
Connect With Your Audience
Digital marketing allows you to form a connection with your audience. By engaging with your audience, you are a part of your customer’s entire journey with you. Social media is the perfect place for talking to your audience; it “humanizes” your brand or business and forms connections.
The Different Types of Digital Marketing
Next, let’s explore the different types of digital marketing because there are quite a few, and it’s ever-growing! Don’t feel daunted by the list. You don’t have to use all of them; in fact, starting small is a good idea and allows you to develop your skills before moving on to the next option.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization
SEO relates to the promotion of your website to rank highly on search engines. The ultimate aim is to reach page one of Google because most consumers and customers never venture past page one. However, it isn’t easy to rank highly for everything! This is one area where there can be real advantages to hiring an expert. SEO is an ever-changing field, and so it takes time to develop skills and keep them up to date.
SEO can be split into On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO.
On-page is all about how you design your website, and it includes the content, the structure of the site, and the use of keywords. These are the terms that your customers use to search for your goods or services on search engines such as Google.
Don’t expect to find your keywords, use them in your content and suddenly reach page one. It takes time. First of all, you will need to research your keywords for their search volume to see what your customers are looking for. Then, you’ll need to use those keywords in your content, so the search engine picks them up.
The second method is called “Off-Page SEO,” which relates to activity that is off the website itself. It involves backlinks (or inbound links), writing guest posts on other websites, and generating interest from different brands, businesses, and web users. Every time your website is mentioned by someone else, for example, or your product or service is, it helps to push your business up the search engines.
This relates to the written content on your website, which could include blogs, articles, and newsletters. Content marketing is essential to gain leads, generate brand awareness and improve web traffic. A business blog is a great idea, or you could consider developing a free e-book to educate your customers on a product, service, or business.
Content also relates to audio, such as podcast or video content. There are many opportunities out there, and mixing things up will keep your customers coming back to your website.
Social Media Marketing
Social media platforms are vital for driving brand awareness and increasing your traffic. They generate prospects and give you that human touch that your audience loves! Of course, different platforms work for different audiences, so research which is best for you.
If you’re a very visual business, such as a florist, then Instagram or YouTube should be excellent platforms as they’re all about the image and video. If you operate on a business-to-business model, then LinkedIn will surely be a key social media platform for you to use.
Social media platforms also make it easy to assess how well your digital marketing performs.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
We’ve already mentioned this option, but to provide you with a reminder, PPC is a paid advertising method to drive traffic direct to your website. A good example is Google Ads. You pay to be placed at the top of Google using keywords, so when your audience searches for what you sell – you pop up!
It’s easy to manage, you set the budget, and you can pause your campaign at any time. There are also paid ads on Facebook, promoted posts for how to get more followers on Instagram, Twitter ad campaigns, and sponsored messages on LinkedIn
Email marketing is a fantastic way to connect with your audience because it provides the opportunity to showcase new products, new services, special offers, events, and more. Using targeted emails, you can welcome new customers, send out loyalty promotions and send out follow-up emails to website visitors who don’t quite complete their purchase.
There’s so much more you can do with email marketing, and building up a database is easier to do than you think. Whenever a new customer purchases something, you’ve captured their email address (don’t forget to ask them if they want to hear from you).
You can also create a pop-up message on your website asking customers to subscribe to a newsletter and use this to capture their email addresses. Once you’ve got a sizable database, use it, don’t forget to use it; this is another digital marketing opportunity.
Our Digital Marketing Summary
The information provided is just an introduction to digital marketing. While you can get started straight away, developing your skills, and carefully assessing the results is essential. We recommend starting with one element at a time, getting the results you want, and then moving on to the next option.
Digital marketing is essential to your business, and when carried out with a clear strategy and a flexible approach, you will see fantastic results!