With the Internet penetrating nearly every aspect of our lives, the need for businesses to promote content that appears in search results has never been more important. Digital marketing helps businesses to make themselves more visible and reach customers, but with competition fierce in the online sphere, it can be tough. To drive customer engagement, raise brand awareness, and generate leads, having an effective digital marketing strategy is the number one priority.
Hubspot defines a digital marketing strategy as “a plan that helps your business achieve specific digital goals through carefully selected online marketing channels such as paid, earned, and owned media”.
Including digital marketing in your marketing plan is key to growing your business, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, digital marketing has been proven time and time again to be cheaper than traditional marketing — even if you’re a small business. With this in mind, below are some of the most crucial, cost-effective components of a successful digital marketing strategy to help your business thrive.
Regardless of your industry, social media is one of the most important marketing tools to include in your digital marketing strategy. It’s a cost-effective method of creating brand awareness and accelerating business growth that allows you to reach millions with the click of a button. One of its most notable perks is that it opens up a direct line of communication with your target audience. Monitoring comments, likes, views, and shares gives you access to valuable customer feedback and allows you to interact with them in real-time.
Online chat features on social media platforms are another element to consider incorporating into your strategy. As well as being able to respond to customers (happy and unhappy) you can seek their feedback by utilising the likes of polls and asking them to rate your services, letting them know that you listen and care. In recent years, there has been a rise in influencer marketing as a way to boost brand visibility and increase followers. Running paid advertising campaigns on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram can also yield quick results.
You could have the most engaging content possible, but without optimising it for SEO, potential customers might not ever see it. Despite the fact it’s proven to be one of the most effective long-term strategies for generating highly-targeted traffic, there’s no getting around the fact that businesses have to work hard to get ranked higher in search results. While the process isn’t as complex as some would think, it’s important not to take shortcuts and to be patient.
Researching relevant and frequently searched keywords is a good starting point, but bear in mind that ranking highly for competitive keywords is not a short-term project. You’ll need time (research shows that it usually takes around six months to a year to see the impact of your SEO efforts), high-quality content, and a results-driven approach. One of our top tips for small businesses in particular when it comes to SEO is to set up a Google My Business account. In addition to listing your business, it’s an easy way to connect with customers across Google Search and Maps and invite them to leave reviews.
Like reviews, customer referrals can do wonders for your brand’s reputation. Although the majority of happy customers will be willing to do so, they may need a little nudge. Your existing clients are there to utilise, but they’re not your only resource. To get the most referrals possible, leverage your entire network. That includes past customers, industry connections, former and present colleagues, and even family and friends.
Of course, you don’t always have to ask for referrals directly. Hosting an exclusive event and inviting both your existing network and your prospects is a proven way to attract new clients. Not only does it paint your business in a great light, but you might even see some clients do the selling for you.
Want direct access to your core audience? Email is one of the most important aspects of a marketing funnel because it ties all of your marketing techniques together. Say, for example, you’ve launched a social media contest, sending subscribers an email is an easy way to invite them to enter. If you’re looking to drive traffic to your website, you can send a product-focused email, tracking the results and retargeting those customers with a paid ad.
One of the best things about email marketing is that you can automate almost the entire process. By sending tailored messages to new and existing customers, you can strengthen your relationship with them. Do a good job of targeting their interest and you can convert prospects into customers, and turn first-time buyers into recurring customers.
Want to create content that people engage with? On our content marketing course, you’ll learn how to maximise reach, improve customer loyalty, and increase purchases.
by Emma Gibbins | 29 Mar 21
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