Digital marketing is crucial for businesses, especially in an age where people spend more time online and visibility becomes a necessity to thrive in the market. BETH WALKER explains the basics.
When I tell people I work in digital marketing, they often respond by saying they don’t want to sell their products or services on social media. The reaction is common and understandable.
These days social media isn’t always very kind – both literally and figuratively – and the algorithms are unpredictable. It’s also why I like to say that a business should use social media as the ‘icing on a multilayered cake’ when planning for a well rounded digital marketing strategy.
Planning an effective strategy
Digital marketing is a strategy of using the internet to market your business. The goal of your digital marketing strategy is to create and optimise information that helps your ideal customers understand everything about your business. This is a broad concept; so let’s take some time to break it down.
Digital marketing includes content marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO), social media marketing, website development and design, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, lead generation, lead nurturing, and email marketing.
To ensure your digital marketing strategy is successful, it’s important to analyse each action so that you can know if your efforts are reaching your audience and if they are interested in what you are promoting.
What is content marketing?
Content is the most time-consuming and often the most expensive part of a digital marketing strategy. It’s how you engage and excite potential customers. When you provide valuable information and keep your audience informed about your company, you are effectively sending a message that your digital spaces add value.
The internet creates a lot of ‘noise’ and content marketing helps you showcase your business as one which will not waste the time of customers.
As a business owner, you know the best type of content your customers need and by using keywords, you can create important content. When you develop a library of business assets that are well written, authoritative, relevant, and attract your audience’s attention, you will quickly become known as an authority in your industry.
Content marketing covers social media, lead generation, lead nurturing, and email marketing., with content marketing assets that include web page content, blog posts, infographics, whitepapers, E-books, videos, podcasts to name a few.
Website design and development
Your most important digital asset is your website. It’s vital for a website to convey a clear message and to be easy to navigate. You users should not be overlooked when finding a visually appealing design.
It’s also necessary that your site follow SEO best practices, which can be accomplished with both on-page and technical SEO.
When your website is fully optimised you have better opportunities to rank higher in searches. Incorporate SEO into your website content, meta descriptions, and titles for key terms your buyer persona is using to search for businesses like yours.
Finally, you’ll need to integrate your website to Google Analytics and Search Console so you can ensure your site is found on Google.
Who to trust?
If you start searching for the terms and strategies highlighted in this article, you’ll find thousands of get-rich-quick pitches, hundreds of websites with people claiming to be experts, and a deluge of videos and webinars. Each will have a different way of doing things.
So whom should you trust?
The truth is, there are many great digital marketers with great ideas. The best way to know who to trust is to see who is transparent. If marketers are willing to teach you what they know to help you get started, that’s helpful.
You’ll also want to deal with experts who can prove that their methods work with case studies. Will a digital agency tell you how blogging is helping them expand their own reach? Can they explain how their email marketing impacts growth?
If a digital agency cannot transparently show that its strategies work, why should you waste your time with them?
The next step
Find resources that will help small business owners, writers, and entrepreneurs create a comprehensive digital marketing strategy, especially those that will help you understand and create a simplified digital marketing strategy.
Learning the ropes will take the guesswork out of implementing current digital marketing best practices. You’ll remain confident that you aren’t missing steps like connecting your website to Google Analytics, developing a buyer persona, and establishing a multi-channel content marketing strategy.
It is critical to find digital marketing experts who are available to help and answer questions at every step you take.