Digital marketing is one of the most affordable and accessible ways for an entrepreneur to market their start-up, yet so many leave it out of their initial marketing plan.
For those of you unfamiliar with the term, digital marketing refers to any advertising delivered through digital channels such as search engines, websites, email and social media. While many entrepreneurs understand the value and necessity of having a website to promote their product or service, most don’t realize that a website is only the beginning.
Once you have a website, how you attract, engage and generate leads from that website is where the real fun begins. Below are 5 digital marketing strategies all entrepreneurs need to consider within their marketing plan.
Content marketing is an advertising strategy which uses content developed by you to drive users to your website. The easiest way to implement content marketing into your plan is to develop a section on your website which is updated on a regular basis with blogs or news items about your industry, products and services.
By adding a blog to your website it positions your business as the thought-leader in your industry. It also has a positive effect on both your social media and search engine optimization. Search engines love content so the more you update, the more likely you’ll be to receive higher rankings. On social media, sharing your blogs with your followers not only gives you something to post once a week, but also has the ability to get shared and reach an even greater audience of friends of friends.
Search Engine Optimization
No, search engine optimization is not dead and yes it should absolutely be a part of your marketing plan. Search engine optimization is the process of affecting the visibility of a website in organic search results.
While other aspects of digital marketing can yield results rather quickly, SEO is more of a marathon than a sprit. It could be between 6 months and 2 years before really seeing the positive effect of a good SEO strategy and that’s only if that strategy considers all the important SEO factors.
Determine a set of 5-10 keywords which you believe your audience would enter when searching for your business and optimize your website for those keywords. Do this by writing blogs pertaining to those keywords, adding those keywords in the content of your website and editing the META information of your website.
Often times Google ads are confused with search engine optimization. While the two do work hand in hand they are in fact two different digital marketing strategies. Google ads which can be purchased through Google AdWords are the search results which appear above the organic listings. These ads look very similar to the organic listing however feature a small green “Ad” icon to differential them.
Google ads are purchased on a pay-per-click (PPC) basis meaning each time someone clicks the ad and visits your website, you’re charged a fee. Costs for ads can range anywhere from $1.50/click to $9.00/click but costs can be kept within budget by setting a maximum daily and monthly budget per ad.
Of the 5 digital marketing strategies discussed within this post, social media is probably the most utilized and well-known by entrepreneurs. The only issue, most entrepreneurs are not optimizing all the benefits social media has to offer or are flat out using it incorrectly for business.
Social media is not meant to be a direct sales tool for your business. It is meant to be a tool you use to connect with your followers, build brand awareness, share information about your products or service and answer any questions.
Using social media as a direct sales tool is similar to standing outside your store front with a megaphone screaming about your awesome products or service… trust me, no one would buy.
Engage with your new and current customers by sharing thoughtful information that benefits them. Blog posts, testimonials and customer reviews are the perfect examples of engaging social media posts.
No digital marketing strategy is complete without an email marketing plan. Email marketing is a way to reach customers directly via e-mail, often through email marketing software.
Build your email marketing list by adding areas on your website where users can subscribe. Clearly state in those areas how often they would receive emails, what the emails would include and information on how they can easily unsubscribe.
Using email marketing software such as: MailChimp, Constant Contact and Campaigner, send emails to list subscribers on a regular basis detailing information about your latest product launches, recent blog posts or sales and promotions. All email marketing software provides details on who opened the emails, who clicked a link and who unsubscribed so use this information to follow-up with customers personally to provide them additional information.