Digital marketing is an art that has evolved throughout the times and has become essential in the age of technology. Businesses looking to expand their reach and generate new leads must adapt and become proficient in the various digital marketing strategies to thrive in today’s economy. But how?
In this article, we will learn what digital marketing is, how to create digital marketing strategies that best suit your needs, and explore the many methods there are to further fortify your online presence.
What is Digital Marketing?
Simply put, digital marketing is using any online resource to attract customers to your brand and generate leads. It first began with putting ads over the radio, but now this practice has greatly expanded to all sorts of mediums, like social media platforms, and has become more complicated with different methodologies to maximize impact within each route you go on.
How to Create Your Digital Marketing Strategy
It may seem overwhelming if you are new to digital marketing strategies, but fret not. There are general guidelines you can follow depending on your business model to obtain optimal results and acquire customers. Additionally, there are also professional consultants you can hire if you are having trouble finding your target audience and turning them into customers.
Generally speaking, the bare minimum for any business would be to have some sort of an online presence, whether that means a Facebook page or your own website and domain. But of course, different types of enterprises will have different resources and needs.
So with that being said, let’s dive deeper into the “how” of creating personalized digital marketing strategies.
Step One: Identify Your Business’s Priorities and Target Customer
There is no one-size-fits-all in regard to marketing strategy. You may find that one avenue works better than another for a variety of reasons. That is why it is important that you create an approach that takes into account your size, the service or product you are selling, and business goals, so you can better tailor your strategy to suit your specific needs. Furthermore, the steps you take should have your ideal client in mind. After having done market research (surveys, interviews, etc.), you should have a solid idea of where you can meet your target audience on the internet and how to make your brand more attractive to them.
Step Two: Choosing the Appropriate Strategy
Depending on your size and model, your digital marketing strategy will look different. Read below to see which one best applies to you.
Small-to-Medium Sized Enterprises
Perhaps you are a solopreneur, a mom-and-pop type of shop, or are scaling your once-tiny enterprise. If any of those terms apply to you, then you may have less financial resources to do a full marketing campaign with all the bells and whistles. But in reality, you may not even need a complex one if you have a straightforward product offering.
In this case, you should focus on building and maintaining your personal website and establishing a social media presence, since producing content there is free or at least relatively inexpensive. For instance, it doesn’t cost anything to create a profile and produce content on LinkedIn. Another way to attract clients is to start a blog that can inform your audience about your services. That is also a good way to separate your brand from others as you are able to add your own personality or spin on your business.
Of course, when you are generating more revenue and looking to scale, then you should implement more complex digital marketing methods to capture more clients.
The same strategies used in the last section apply here as well. It is equally important to utilize less expensive resources such as blog maintenance and content creation on social media platforms. After all, it is a cost-effective way to market yourself! However, if you are scaling and have enough resources, then you should invest in more traditional forms of digital advertisement to generate more leads. It can lead to new customers when you expand to new channels and increase your exposure.
Another aspect you may want to look at is your marketing funnel. A marketing funnel is your customer’s journey with you. Having better awareness of the customer’s journey when buying your product will give you better insight into what strategies are effective and what aren’t.
All of the above applies to this type of business model as well, except you will have more to take into consideration. By virtue of being a B2B company, it is likely that your product or service is more expensive, which will require a more detailed and thoughtful approach to customer acquisition. As a result, you may have to use a mixture of different digital marketing methods in addition to the fundamentals, like pay-per-click advertisements or search engine optimization practices.
Step Three: Implementing the Strategies
Now that you have identified your business type, goals, and strategy, you can move on to implementation! There are an endless array of different methods to use. These are the most important ones and how to use them.
Website Development and Design
Proper website development and design is crucial in building your brand and customer engagement. According to Hubspot, approximately 38% of people will leave a website if the content or formatting is unappealing. That is why it is necessary that you choose the right platform to build your website and also make it user friendly. If you don’t want to hire a developer or build your own from scratch, some common website building platforms are:
Some things to keep in mind when building a website are the functionalities you need. For instance, if you are building an e-commerce business, you may want to use Shopify. If you want something with more versatility, there is WordPress, which has an assortment of layouts and plug-ins for all your needs. If you want something that is simpler and low-maintenance, Squarespace may be just the platform for you. Whatever your needs are, make sure you choose the right platform to fit them.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is a very important practice that all businesses should implement. It is the way in which you can make your website, ads, and content more visible to more people, leading to more organic growth and profitability. While there are general SEO guidelines, the two more specific kinds are on-page and local SEO.
On-page SEO refers to optimizing your webpage to be seen and ranked higher on search engines like Google. Local SEO practices allow you to further target your niche or demographic to location, like if you want to rank higher in searches associated with your local town or city. Both of these practices are vital for online visibility and organic growth.
After using SEO best practices to optimize your website, you should focus on content creation. Whether it’s on your own website in the form of a blog, email copy, or content on other platforms, you should make sure that those texts are also optimized for readability, visibility, and that they provide value. After all, you don’t want to spam or drive away prospective clients!
A blog especially is a great way to generate new leads. Not only can you do it yourself, but it can drive more organic traffic to your website and allow your audience to learn more about your brand, as well as your offerings.
This is one of the most commonly known digital marketing methods. Digital advertising is just an umbrella term for paid social media and search services, as well as email marketing methods. It is one of the most popular digital marketing methods since it allows you to meet your customers where they are, all without having to be there yourself. And with modern technological advances, it’s never been easier to get in front of your target demographic!
Some popular social media sites to do paid advertisement on are:
To go further in depth, let’s take Facebook and Instagram, two of the world’s most popular social media sites. Because they are spearheaded under one company, you can use Facebook Ads Manager to control what you promote on both platforms. With that, you can also put out video or text ads that are within your budget. With over two billion users on the platform, there’s no doubt that that’s where you want your brand to be.
Additionally, you may want to consider purchasing ads on search engines like Google or Bing, both of which will give you access to a wide audience. Lastly, using a service such as MailChimp will give you direct access to your customer’s inbox, making it a very powerful tool.
Social Media Marketing
Given the many platforms available, you will be able to increase your brand’s visibility almost effortlessly. However creating social media accounts is by far the easiest part. The hard part is having a content strategy to follow and maintain. Social media ads can be relatively hands off, but putting out content requires effort and consistency. It requires that you hone in on your brand and what makes it different, and then putting out relevant content to attract your clients to your product or service. Some ideas you can post about are upcoming events, new updates to your offerings, or more personalized insights into your brand such as a funny origin story or the purpose behind your company’s beginnings.
Additionally, you can think more creatively by posting images and videos as they relate to your brand or even sell your item or service directly from the platform. This will make your brand more personable, stand out from the competition, and allow potential client’s follow along with your journey.
Step Four: Evaluate and Refine
It is important that you use analytics to measure which digital marketing methods are working and which aren’t. That way, you can see if there are inefficiencies or ways you can improve your strategy. For instance, let’s say you are buying Facebook and Twitter ads, but you are only getting significant traffic from Facebook. Instead of spending more money on Twitter ads, you can put more into the former, since it seems like that is where your target demographic is. Alternatively, it may mean that your Twitter ads can be improved to better reach your target audience on that platform. With analytics, you can accelerate your company’s growth and generate sales with more efficiency and less waste.
Can a Digital Marketing Agency Help You?
Now that you are armed with all the necessary knowledge to implement your customized digital marketing strategy, you are ready to get started. However, if you feel that you are overwhelmed or confused, it may benefit you to seek professional assistance. Digital marketing can be tricky and complex, and oftentimes require a great deal of trial and error. You may not have the luxury of time or financial resources to experiment, which is completely okay.
If this sounds like you, a digital marketing agency may be just the thing you need. An agency has the experience and expertise necessary to execute a successful campaign. To see how your business can benefit from a winning digital marketing strategy, contact SEO Design Chicago today!