A digital marketing strategy is a critical part of your company’s overall marketing mix, especially in today’s COVID world. In simplest terms, digital marketing is how you connect with your customers using digital technology and media to meet your business objectives. Some standard digital marketing tools include websites, mobile apps, social media pages, search engines, online advertising and email. But, what’s the best strategy to use for your business?
Here’s what you need to know to get started.
Consider implementing these successful strategies as part of your digital marketing plan:
- Search engine marketing. Many small businesses use keywords (words used by people searching for your business or industry) on their websites to create more visibility after a person conducts an Internet search. And while that’s a good strategy, it can be expensive to hire a marketing firm to help you get the keywords you need.
Alternative: Offer content that answers your customers’ questions and other relevant information people would expect to see on your website. Additionally, create a Google profile and ask your customers to leave reviews. Work with local media and influencers to backlink articles and blog posts to your site. For example, if you own a Mexican restaurant, ask a local newspaper or popular blog if you can include your business in an article about the best places to eat on Cinco de Mayo — or write an article and submit it.
- Content marketing. This strategy focuses on informing, not selling. The idea is that the better you tell prospective and existing customers about your products and services or share ways they resolve a customer’s “pain point,” the more likely they will buy them. People will see you as an expert and feel more comfortable and confident with your brand.
- Social media marketing. How you use this marketing tool is dependent on the type of business you have. The most critical aspect of any social media strategy is strengthening your customer base and inviting repeat business. For example, a local gym may use social media to update clients on class schedules or fee changes. You should also listen and engage with your followers — don’t just sell to them. And finally, the type of social media platform you use depends on your customer base. For instance, if you serve other businesses, you may choose to spend more time and money on LinkedIn.
Warning: You may want to hire a marketing firm to help you get started. Learn what you can and then move things inhouse after you feel more comfortable with the process.
- Email marketing. Promote your products and services electronically in many different ways — newsletters, promotional updates, general messaging and more. The most critical part of email marketing is building a list of existing and prospective customers, which is also the most challenging part of this strategy. Ask customers to use their email to subscribe to your newsletter or require that they use an email address to accept a special offer or order something online. Unfortunately, getting prospective customer emails maybe a little more complicated — you might consider buying a list from a reputable firm. As your list grows, it becomes a more valuable way to reach your customers consistently and inexpensively.
Caution: Buying a list is an expensive way to reach prospective customers and it may not always be what you want. Network with other businesses like yours to see how they’ve successfully obtained emails from prospective customers.
- Pay-per-click marketing. This strategy focuses on paying to target online ads for your company on the Internet, such as Facebook Ads and Google Ads. You only pay if a person clicks on your ad and you control how much you want to invest. Your ads may show up on web pages, browsers, promotions before videos, or mobile apps.
Digital marketing is the marketing of the future.
Don’t limit yourself to one or two types of digital marketing. Instead, try as many options as possible to what works best for your business. Set your budget and work within it to maximize your marketing strategies to achieve your goals. And if you need help developing a digital marketing plan, reach out to a professional for assistance — doing everything in-house maybe a little too overwhelming at first. Track your results so you know what’s working and adjust where necessary.