Digital marketing is a powerful thing. It is the driving force behind small, modern businesses. Best of all, it has helped bedroom entrepreneurs turn their startup ideas into million dollar companies.
When you’re first starting out on the path to running a business, digital marketing is your best weapon. It’s relatively affordable (compared to traditional marketing). It’s highly targeted, allowing you to niche a very specific niche. And, it’s incredibly effective.
For a lot of traditional business people, however, digital marketing seems like a foreign language. It’s not easy to adapt to a new system. And, for newbies, it’s a whole new skill set to learn. Whatever your experience, it’s something that every business owner needs to think about. Luckily, it’s all fairly straightforward, and we’ll take you through the process step-by-step. Essentially, digital marketing is a wide web. Each of the components that we’ll explain here are intricately weaved and connected.
There is no miracle answer or silver bullet when it comes to online marketing. It’s a complex mix of all the points listed below. Are you ready to get stuck in?
- Set a target market
Before you do anything else, set a specific, and targeted customer audience. Who exactly are you trying to reach here? You can get very specific. Most of the platforms we’ll talk about here allow you to reach out to a highly targeted niche. Online, you can target the exact demographic and gender you’re looking for. You can choose locations and personal information. On some platforms, you can even reach out to people with specific likes and dislikes. With that in mind, start creating an image of your ‘ideal customer’. What are their core demographic info? What are their hobbies, careers, and dreams? Now, go after them.
- Your own website
Remember we said that digital marketing is a complex web of connected factors. Well, your website is right in the middle. It’s the heart and soul of your online presence. If you’re putting your time and money into digital marketing, you’re surely looking for sales or income. That should all come from your website. It means every single marketing channel must lead back to the sales page on your site. Simple. You can build your own site (with WordPress or Drupla), or leave it in the hands of the pros.
- Social media
It’s a tricky world out there in social media marketing. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all very effective at building a community and driving traffic. But, it’s not easy to build a presence there. You’ll have to start from zero, and develop loyalty and trust. Every platform is different, and needs a unique approach. With that in mind, we suggest starting with just one social media outlet, and building the numbers. Your goal here is engagement. Interact with customers and your target audience. Social media is a two-way street.
Social media platforms are useless if you can’t use them to share and connect with customers. One of the best ways to do that is by using content. Whether it’s written articles, videos, photos or infographics, we love to devour and share content online. It’s what drives social sharing. Done correctly, you’ll expand your reach significantly. You’ll drive tons of new traffic to your website, as your content explodes across the web. Outline a content schedule, and post regular, compelling pieces of content.
SEO is the trickiest aspect of digital marketing to get your head around. It stands for ‘search engine optimization’, and it’s all about getting as high as possible on Google’s results page. When someone searches for something related to you and your products, you need to appear! The fundamental aspects of SEO are relevancy and authority. You need to show Google exactly what your site is for by using targeted keywords in your text. Secondly, you need to build your authority. Do this by growing your community, increasing traffic and sharing, and generating links back to your website.
There are very few shortcuts in the world of digital marketing. We’ll be honest, it’s slow-going in the early days, trying to build visitors and followers one-by-one. But, there is one solution: digital advertising. By using targeted online ads, you can reach right into your audience’s world, and market to them. The two best options here are Facebook ads and Google adverts. Each work on a pay-per-click basis; in other words, you only pay when someone clicks through to your website. We often suggest hiring the experts here. A good pay per click (PPC) management agency can improve ROI for any online business. Start experimenting yourself, then bring in the big guns!
Emailing might seem like a medieval form of communication in the modern, digital world. (You know we’re all using Snapchat now, right?) But, all the biggest digital marketers still rely on emails for the biggest portion of their income. Quite simply, email marketing drives huge sales. Why? Because it’s personal, direct, and you already have permission. You’re preaching to the converted. Start collecting email addresses on your site. Then, send timely updates and sales alerts using a mass-mailer like MailChimp.
Online PR is all about creating a buzz and excitement about your product or business. The best PR companies will reach out to all the tastemaker blogs in your relevant niche. They’ll secure media coverage on influential websites and news forecasters. It’s a great way to give your business a more professional seal of approval. It will also drive tons of traffic to your site, and help establish you as a leader.
The last piece of the puzzle is mobile marketing. You may not know this, but more than half of all internet access now takes place on a mobile device. Your first step is creating a ‘responsive’ website, that adapts to whatever device opens it. Secondly, start thinking about a mobile app to strengthen your business proposition.
This is all a gentle introduction to world of digital marketing. Each of these categories deserves an entire eBook of its own! So, use this as your starting point to learn more and conquer the internet!