Digital Marketing - A Small Business Primer

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital Marketing is marketing that promotes products or brands using electronic devices such as computers, smartphones and tablets. The use of digital marketing channels has burgeoned over the years.

We can break digital marketing channels into 7 major categories including: Search Engine Optimization, Pay-per-Click, Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Mobile Marketing and the new kid on the block, Native Marketing. These digital tools help bring traffic to your site where you can convert them to buying customers.

The importance of having a good Digital Marketing Plan has increased significantly over the last decade. It allows companies to tailor their messages and reach a specific audience. This makes it possible to market directly to people who are interested in the goods or services you are offering.

Why is Digital Marketing important?

The main goal of any kind of marketing campaign is lead generation. A company that uses a strong digital marketing strategy can reach a broader audience than they could with traditional methods. You can target prospects who are more likely to buy your product. Also, creating a marketing campaign using these digital channels is often more cost-effective than traditional advertising. It allows you to measure success daily and make adjustments accordingly.

Is Digital Marketing Effective For All Businesses?

Any business in any industry can use and benefit from digital marketing. Digital marketing involves building out buyer personas (the traits that identify your ideal customer/buyer) to identify their needs and then create content that will interest them to learn more. That being said, it does not mean that all businesses should implement a digital marketing strategy the same way.

Types of Digital Marketing

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization is the process in which a website’s visibility in search engines is increased. It involves using various techniques to increase traffic from organic searches on Search Engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, Duck Duck Go, etc. SEO can be done using technical and non-technical methods.

Technical SEO methods include things such as keyword research, site speed optimization, mobile friendliness, schema markup for structured data, internal linking structure, and much more.

Non-technical focuses on creating content that ranks naturally. For example, writing articles with relevant keywords in them can cause your article to rank organically within the search results.

By using SEO, you can drive targeted traffic to your website when visitors to your site display behavior that shows they are searching for relevant products.

The organic traffic your site receives from search engine optimization greatly affects your search rankings and organic traffic. Using keywords and phrases will assist you in increasing your website’s visibility and help establish lasting relationships with your customers.

Strong SEO strategies are essential to the success of digital marketing campaigns since visibility is the first step toward establishing a long-term customer relationship.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Search Engine Marketing is like SEO in that you are optimizing your website for search engines. However, it focuses on getting more visitors to your site by using paid advertising methods rather than organic traffic.

Google Ads and Facebook ads are a couple of major players in this area. SEM can be used with other forms of internet marketing or alone. The goal of this type of marketing is to generate leads and sales from people who are already searching online.

Pay-per-click Marketing

Google AdWords is one of the oldest pay-per-click advertising methods. This form of online marketing allows advertisers to bid on keywords or phrases in order to appear at the top of search engine results pages.

PPC ads are usually displayed above organic search results, but can also be placed below them if desired. Advertisers who use this service must have an account with Google. 

Native Advertising

The term “native advertising” is relatively new. It refers to content that appears on websites and mobile apps as if it were part of the site or app itself. You can find this type of content within blogs, social media posts, emails, search results pages, etc., and often looks like regular editorial content.

Native ads are an increasingly popular way for brands to connect with their customers. It allows you to place relevant messaging across multiple channels. It also help publishers monetize their sites by providing them with additional revenue streams. However, native ad formats have become more complex than ever before. Your company needs to understand how these ads work so you don’t end up wasting money on ineffective campaigns.

Social Media Marketing

The world of social media marketing is constantly changing and evolving. New platforms emerge, additional features are added and old ones disappear.

A good social media marketing plan goes far beyond having a few social media accounts.

Social media should to be integrated into every aspect of your marketing campaign in order to create a variety of sharing opportunities. The more you can engage your audience with your content the more likely they are to share it. This not only engages your customers but their friends and family as well.

There are many social media platforms you could use to advertise your company. We list below the top 10 sites that a social media marketer might use.

Not every one of the above listed social media sites is going to be a perfect fit for your company. It is important to understand your audience and where they spend their time so you can reach them.

Email Marketing

One of the best ways to get your message out is through email marketing. This marketing method has proven repeatedly to be a powerful tool for generating leads, building brand awareness, increasing sales conversions, driving traffic back to websites and more! It’s also one of the more cost-effective ways to reach potential customers in today’s digital world.

Before you think about starting an email marketing campaign, you should research email marketing services. Below we’ve listed some of the most popular.

  • Constant Contact — Many people find this one to be the most beginner
  • Sendinblue — If you want to grow your list, this is one you should look at
  • MailerLite — Super simple and easy to use
  • HubSpot —Great automation options but a bit pricey
  • GetResponse — All around great automated tool
  • AWeber — A lot og digital marketers use this one, it’s good for smaller lists
  • ConvertKit — Many bloggers, creators and influencers are known to use this one

Before You Begin Your Email Marketing Campaign

1. Identify Your Goal

Before launching any marketing initiative, it’s important to understand what you hope to achieve with this particular effort. What is your aim? Is it to generate more leads or increase sales? Or maybe you just need to get people talking about your business so they can find out more information on their own. Whatever your goals are, make sure you have clear objectives before starting your campaign. 

2. Know Who You Are Emailing

You may think you know what will resonate with your customers or prospects but unless you ask them yourself, you have zero idea of what they want. You need to understand their pain points, challenges, goals and aspirations so you can place yourself where they are in relation to those things. This means asking questions like: Who do I want my customer/prospect to be? Why did they arrive at our website? Where would they click next? How could we help solve their problem? 

3. Put yourself In Your Customers Shoes

This is a critical step because it helps you understand what motivates people like this person. It’s also important for understanding their pain points and frustrations with current solutions. You’ll be able to empathize better when designing products and services that solve these problems.

Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing has become a very popular way of reaching out to customers, especially in the last few years. The reason this method works so well is that people are always on their mobile device or tablet. They can do anything from checking emails to shopping online. This means that if you want your business to reach them, then they will have no problem finding you!

There are many ways for businesses to use mobile marketing and one of these methods is through the use of apps. Apps are great as it allows users to do things like shop online, find information about products and services, get discounts and even earn rewards points. It also makes it easier for companies to keep up with what’s going on around them by allowing them to stay connected with friends and family.

While in-app marketing, phone calls, and messaging are all good options for reaching your customers, they should not be the only ways you reach them. A complete digital strategy will encourage and allow your audience to use all your digital marketing channels.

Content Marketing

The term “content marketing” is a buzzword that has been around for quite a while now. But what does it really mean?

Content marketing refers to any type of marketing activity where marketers create or distribute written, spoken, visual, audio, electronic, or other forms of media content about products or services. This includes blogs, articles, social networking posts, videos, podcasts, email newsletters, etc., which are then distributed via online channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Reddit, Snapchat, Periscope, Vine, LinkedIn Pulse, and others.

Any business can use content marketing strategies to achieve goals, such as drawing attention to the company itself, getting leads, expanding their customer base, increasing online sales, boosting brand awareness or becoming more credible, and engaging an online community of users.

The most common form of content marketing is creating and sharing free content. This free content, if it’s high quality, can attract new customers. It helps companies create brand loyalty, provides information that consumers would be interested in, and creates the possibility of those consumers to purchase products from the company in the future.

The first step in content marketing is to identify the customer’s needs. Once your customer’s needs have been identified, you can package that information in a variety of formats. You can create e-books, newsletters, podcasts, guides, Q&A blog posts, and any other type of media that meets the need of your customer.

In order for content marketing to be successful, it requires a consistent delivery of high quality content and should have an effective content marketing plan to achieve company goals.

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