Having an online presence is vital for the survival of any business. With the internet at our fingertips and the constant growth of different technologies, social media, online communication, and eCommerce, it’s more important now than ever to invest in the right digital marketing strategies.
Digital marketing is a form of marketing that utilizes the internet and online-based digital technologies (cell phones, desktop computers, digital media platforms), to promote products and services.
The good news is running a business doesn’t take a business degree. Less than half of business owners have a degree or marketing background; what they do have is passion for their product or service and for their customers. Marketing is a way of taking that passion and relating it to your audience.
Here are some digital marketing tips to get your digital marketing off the ground.
- Create a Google My Business listing.
- Create a responsive website.
- Understand your target audience for digital marketing.
- Find the right social media platform.
- Start a blog on your website.
Whether your business is fully online, or a brick-and-mortar store these steps can help boost your digital marketing.
Create a Google My Business Listing
Creating a Google My Business listing is a simple, free digital marketing tool. When using Google, a My Business listing will pull up the most relevant page on the right-hand side of the screen. There you can see the business’s information, website, address, phone number, hours, and location. This is an easy way for customers to find the details of the business quickly, like how to contact the location and where to shop.
Here is an example of a My Business listing on Google. On the right, you can see the My Business listing from TomKin Consulting. All the important information is easy to find in one location. To create a listing go to Google and search for your business. If there is already a listing you can “claim the listing” and edit it with the information you would like to show. You can also create a new listing if you would like to start from scratch.
Create a Responsive Website.
Having a website is the core of digital marketing, it’s where your customers go to find all information regarding your business. Responsive web design is an approach to web design that makes web pages render well on a variety of devices and window or screen sizes. Responsive layouts automatically adjust and adapt to any device screen size, whether it is a desktop, a laptop, a tablet, or a mobile phone. Mobile activity accounted for over half of World Wide Web traffic in 2020. This is why having a website that is visually and mechanically effective for all devices is crucial.
Example of a responsive website on four different devices.
Having a mobile-friendly website does not mean scaling down the pages to fit the screen size but, in some cases, demands the change of the entire layout of the website. If your website is not mobile-friendly, customers are more likely to find another site that makes viewing easier and more aesthetic. You can test your responsive website using the mobile-friendly testing tool. There are also professionals that can help you design an effective website for all screen sizes. Here are some of the benefits of having a responsive site:
- Provide a better user experience.
- Visually appealing on both large and small screens.
- Increases the amount of time visitors spend on your site.
- Improves your ranking on search engines.
- Links well with social media.
Understand Your Target Audience for Digital Marketing
As with any marketing, the key to digital marketing is understanding your customers. Who are they? What do they like and dislike? What are their preferences? What strikes their interest? Where are they located? Answering these questions and nailing down specifics will help your digital marketing strategy become successful.
It’s important to understand your day-to-day customers but also the customers online. The target audience for digital marketing can be different than the target audience in direct mail marketing or word-of-mouth. Getting the idea of the differences is the start to an effective digital marketing campaign.
As an example, if you run a building materials company that sells materials in-store but also ships and supplies materials to other construction companies throughout the state or country, your digital marketing efforts should be focused on the audience you don’t normally reach with your store location. Understanding your non-local or online target audience is important in knowing what strategies will be more likely to reach the customers and encourage them to do business with your company.
Your audiences may overlap depending on your business, but it’s good to remember that different customers are active on different platforms. For instance, the customer base you are trying to reach on social media might not be the same base as the one you target through email. It’s vital to do research to discover what strategies will reach these audiences.
Here are some steps you can take to better determine your target market for digital marketing.
- Is your target audience a business entity or a customer? (B2B or B2C – explain what this is)
- Create your ideal customer profile.
- Conduct surveys and get feedback.
- Use Facebook Ads to find your audience.
- Look at what content is working best.
- Look at what your competitors are doing.
Find the Right Social Media Platform
Being active on social media is a great way to engage customers and get your brand out there for free. However, it can be hard to keep up with all the different platforms. For each post to be effective you may need to delegate a percentage of time each week to work solely on social media to keep your account engaging and relevant. A seldomly used social account can be just as unproductive as not having an account at all. But what platforms are worth spending your time on? Again, you want to keep in mind your target market and how each platform can benefit your business.
Find a platform that your target market uses and start there. Doing research can be beneficial to finding the right platform. Here are some statistics to get you started:
Facebook: Facebook has 2.7 billion monthly active users. 86% of people ages 18-29 use Facebook. 54% of Facebook users are female. On average, Facebook users spend 35 minutes a day on the platform.
Instagram: Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users. 67% of people ages 18-29 use Instagram. 51% of Instagram users are female. An estimated 71% of U.S. businesses have Instagram accounts. 83% of Instagram users say they discover new products and services on Instagram.
Twitter: Twitter has 330 million monthly active users. 38% of people ages 18-29 use Twitter. On average, Twitter users spend 3.39 minutes per session. 67% of B2B businesses are using Twitter as a digital marketing tool. 77% of Twitter users have a better impression of a brand when they respond to a tweet.
YouTube: YouTube has 2 billion monthly active users. 81% of people ages 15-25 use YouTube. On average, YouTube users spend 11 minutes and 43 seconds per day on the platform. Over 70% of YouTube views are on mobile devices.
Snapchat: Snapchat has 381 million monthly active users. On average, Snapchat users spend 30 minutes per day on the platform. Snapchat is only mobile and is in 2nd place for overall mobile usage.
Start a Blog on Your Website
A professional blog is a form of content marketing. Content marketing is a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material that does not exactly promote a business but is intended to grab interest and lead viewers to the brand’s service or products. Blogs provide a platform to bring fresh content to your website and incorporate SEO, which helps place your website higher in search engine results.
In your blog, you can write about the topics related to your business and subjects you know your customers will want to read about. As an example, if you run a brewery, your blog post could be about a recipe or dish that goes well with the beer you have just released. This gives the audience a new recipe and a reason to try your new product. Here are some of the benefits of having an effective blog:
- Drive traffic to your website.
- Boosting Search Engine Optimization
- Develop relationships with new and existing customers.
- Help search rankings.
- Show your expertise.
What is Better, Digital or Traditional Marketing?
Some businesses stick to traditional marketing, (radio, newspaper, direct mail, signs, billboards), and others rely solely on digital methods (social media, SEO, email marketing, digital advertising, content marketing). Depending on your business, one can be more beneficial than the other. Digital marketing is the best option for most, however, there is still a place for traditional marketing. If you want to reach an older or local audience traditional methods may be more productive and stand out better. Think about the goals you want your business to reach and decide what area your advertising dollars would best be spent in. The biggest advantage of digital marketing is that you can reach your target audience in a cost-effective and measurable way.
What Do I Write About in My Blog?
Are you stumped on what to write about? Keeping content original and consistent can be a challenge. In some cases, you may want to hire a content creator to manage these areas of your marketing. In other cases, you can pinpoint a popular niche your business is in, these areas are broad but can lead to many topics your customers might be interested in.
- Health and Fitness.
- Personal Finance.
- Business and Marketing.
- Technology and Gaming.
Other ideas can be from your personal experience or some of your customer’s experience. Here are a few blog ideas to get you started.
- Share the success story of one of your customers, especially how it relates to your products or services.
- Compile a list of the best tools or apps or software for business owners in your industry.
- Answer a set of the most frequently asked questions you receive in your business.
- Record a video (or video series) demonstrating how to do something.
- Write about what made you want to become a business owner.
I would include a short closing paragraph just to wrap up the article and tie everything together.