As a business owner, you need to actively establish a strong online presence, otherwise you will lose potential sales and more.
In today’s world, digital marketing is absolutely essential as it’s one of the best ways to grow your business, no matter your company size or industry. Almost anyone and everyone interested in your business will check it out online. People will immediately turn away if a) there’s no website at all (not legit, they think) or b) the website is poorly designed (looks ugly and/or is hard to navigate). One click on the back arrow and they’re gone. But, a good website is not the only aspect of your business’ digital existence! To build your company and revenue, however, you need to incorporate good digital marketing strategies.
Digital marketing includes a website optimized for mobile, search engine optimization, content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and more. But first, you must plan your marketing strategy for your business, so that you can effectively catch those growth opportunities and boost revenue.
Digital Marketing Plan
Develop your brand: Your brand identity is the personality of your business and what it promises your customers. Your logo is it’s “face”. Get it right from the beginning by partnering with a designer to bring your logo and associated brand guidelines to life. They will define your brand and how it’ll come through online. Think about your unique selling points and value proposition. What’s your brand voice? What do you stand for?
Create buyer personas: Who does your business want to reach? Dig into your target market analysis and create a few customer avatars. Think about the demographics and motivations that will have people choose your company. Researching your ideal customers will give you information that will help you make more strategic decisions and help keep you focused on their needs.
Define your S.M.A.R.T. goals: Use this acronym to help you set your digital marketing goals. Make them specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely goals to guide your strategy. What are your company’s short and long-term goals for growth?
Choose and brainstorm strategies: Which digital marketing techniques will offer the most value for your business? For ideas, see the options below.
Set a budget: Research digital marketing pricing to build a realistic budget for your business.
Brainstorm strategies: Based on your chosen techniques and budget, plan out your strategy to accomplish your goals.
Launch and Track: When you’re ready, launch across all channels and make sure they include tracking information. For example, your website should feature a Google Analytics tracking code so you can monitor the results of your page retention and search engine optimization efforts.
Digital Marketing Strategies
A Mobile-Friendly Website
It’s important for your website to work well on mobile devices. Actually, consider it critical to your business since more than half of all searches are made on a smartphone, and mobile-friendly sites show up higher in search results. And if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, visitors are 5 times more likely to leave. If you decide to advertise online, know that the majority of traffic comes from people on their smartphones.
So what elements make for an effective mobile-friendly website?
- Quick to load. Almost half of your potential visitors will leave your mobile website if a page doesn’t load within 3 seconds.
- Easy to navigate. On a small screen, it can be hard for people to find what they want and the more they have to look around, the more likely they’ll get fed up and leave. Make sure your site menu is simple and keep everything easy to read, so people don’t have to zoom in.
- Effortless to take action. Ensure it’s quick and easy for visitors to contact you or search for your services. The most important principle of website usability is “Don’t make me think!”. Every page should be as self-evident and obvious as possible. Make it easy for your visitors to “get it” without any effort at all.
We recommend working with a web developer to ensure your website has responsive design, which means the layout is flexible and adapts to different screen sizes, resolutions, and devices. They will also ensure your website has been optimized so search engines actually recognize each of your web pages.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is the process of improving your website to increase its visibility for relevant searches. By optimizing individual web pages with keywords and phrases related to your business, the more you can rank higher and earn more relevant traffic from search engines.
You cannot just include a keyword within your page’s content so many times and automatically rank for that word. Google (and other search engines) do look for keywords on your site’s pages, but the page’s content has to actually add value and not just read like it was written by a robot. It’s important to incorporate keywords and phrases in a natural way.
On-page optimization elements:
Header Tags: “H1” is the title of your page and it should include the page’s target keyword. This will help both users and search engines understand what your page is about. Each subheading introduces a new sub-topic. An <h2> is more specific than the <h1>, and the <h3> tags are more specific than the <h2>.
Internal links: When you link to other pages on your website, you ensure that search engine crawlers can find your site’s other pages, you pass ranking power to them, and you help visitors navigate your site.
Image optimization: Images are the biggest reason for slow web pages, so be sure to compress your images.
Alt text: Alternative text within images is for web accessibility, to describe those images to the visually impaired via screen readers. With alt text descriptions, visually impaired people can understand what the pictures on your website show.
Meta descriptions: Like title tags, these HTML elements describe the contents of the page that they’re on. This is the page description you would read on a search engine page.
This is a way your business can reach, engage, and connect with potential customers through content. This informational content can include blog posts, infographics, videos, and more. This is not sales-orientated copy, like what’s on the Services page of your website. This content provides value. It is considered part of your sales funnel because high-quality, relevant and valuable information makes people more likely to take action. Each piece of informational content is a great way to add another unique keyword to your website. As well, interesting content is one of the main reasons people follow brands on social media.
Social Media Marketing
Don’t make the mistake of thinking your business doesn’t need a social media presence, it does! Social media is an essential way to reach your customers and grow your brand. Recent statistics show that more than half of the world now uses social media. Using social media for brand building increases brand awareness, creates a real human connection, establishes you as a thought leader, and keeps your company top of mind. The social media platforms you choose depends on your target audience and their platform preferences.
Social media posts and ads are great ways to drive traffic to your website. By sharing great content from your blog to your social channels, you’re more likely to have visitors come back to your website over and over again. Social advertising is an inexpensive way to promote your business and distribute that great content. There are powerful targeting options available so you can reach your intended audience and make the most of your budget.
Email marketing is as strong as ever. Actually, it’s even more so as more companies have shifted to digital channels for communication because of the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to HubSpot, email marketers are sending 27% more emails than they then did pre-coronavirus, and open rates on marketing emails continue to rise.
An effective email marketing strategy can convert prospects into a customer, and then turn them into loyal clients. An advantage of email marketing is that you can automate the entire process. To grow your email list, you need to get permission for each inbox. Some companies choose to give something away for free while others simply offer a newsletter, a free download, or a seasonal sale opportunity. Be sure to follow through with great content, as you’re running an email list to engage customers and make sales.
Make sure people remember you, so don’t let your emails lapse for too long. Try to send at least one a month. There are several email marketing software options for small businesses out there, all with flexible templates and automation tools. You can also segment your audience and personalize your email campaigns.
With digital marketing strategies your business can reach its goals, which probably includes increased traffic to your company’s website. The more visitors you attract and retain on your mobile-friendly site, whether through SEO, content marketing, social media, or email marketing, the more opportunities you have to tell potential customers what you have to offer. The result is more leads, conversions, and increased sales.
If you’re just starting a business, check out How to Register a Business and learn about New Business Financial Planning.