You often hear marketers talk about ‘digital marketing’. But what actually is it and where should you start? Let’s have a look…
Digital marketing includes lots of different ways of getting your business out there and speaking to your potential customers, including:
- PR – promoting your company through online and offline media
- Online branding – building and strengthening your brand and awareness online
- Blogging – building relationships with customers, showing your expertise and adding value by sharing your knowledge
- Website strategy – your central content hub that you can drive all your marketing to
- Video marketing – informing, entertaining and engaging your prospects
- Email marketing – still the best way of converting prospects into customers
- SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) – includes keywords, optimisation your website, blgo and social channels and link-building to drive traffic to your website
- Content marketing – any form of content creation including news, video, images, e-books, ‘how to’ guides, tips and blogs
- Social media – hundreds of platforms exist, including Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Google Plus
- Adwords – running online advertising campaigns by paying to make sure your site comes up in searches
- Online advertising – these can be ads on websites, web banners, search engine ads such as Google, social media advertising or promoted posts
Basically, digital marketing does what it says on the tin – it uses all types of digital media to reach customers: TV, radio, the internet and mobile.
But you don’t have to do everything and be everywhere at once, it is important to be where your clients are and manage what you can do with the resources you have
Your website is the central hub
Think of your website as the central hub of your digital marketing, it’s where you host all your content (content = anything on your website) and should be changing continually. A well managed website will generate leads, turn prospects into clients and boost your SEO.
TOP TIP: make sure you monitor how many visitors and page views your website gets using Google Analytics so you can see what is working and what user journey your prospects are taking so you can adapt your strategy and be more targeted.
Branding & identity
Branding is really important even if you run a small business. It’s best to think about it early on so you can apply your visual identity to everything you do right from the start.
Having a marketing plan / strategy
Again, it’s worth doing this at the beginning. Think about your strategy and then work out a plan to achieve it:
- What content will you have on your website?
- How are you going to market your business both online and offline?
Then you’ll need to choose which channels to use to promote your business. But how do you do that?
Be strategic and targeted.
To reach your target market, you need to know where your customers are:
- Are you B2B (business to business) or B2C (business to consumer)?
- Where are your customers? For example, if your business has premises then your customers are likely to be local so it’s important to be on Google Places which is linked to Google Plus and YouTube and you could use local mobile marketing too.
- Are your customers professionals? Is what you do visual? Some companies are better suited to certain social media platforms than others. If you run a tax accounting firm LinkedIn will probably work better for you than say Instagram or Pinterest, which are visual.
- What are your aims? To raise awareness of your brand / increase leads / achieve sales? Make sure you set your goals at the start and measure your progress – otherwise you won’t know what’s working and what isn’t!
TOP TIP: Use different content on your social channels and for different target markets.
We all (me included) talk about social media and blogging A LOT but don’t forget about more traditional marketing methods, they are still effective and can be integrated and interconnected with the other channels you use:
There is no better way of communicating with your prospects than via their email inbox! The people on your list are already interested in what you have to offer and want to hear all about what you do so send them regular emails and tell them.
Often overlooked these days, advertising is still a brilliant way of boosting brand or product awareness, especially if you’re just launching and want to reach thousands of people. Be focused in your approach and advertise to your target market to maximise your return.
I hope this is a helpful introduction to the world of digital marketing, feel free to ask any questions in the Comments box below.
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