The benefits of being a digital native are endless. With platforms like Instagram and YouTube, you can create content whenever you want, wherever you want, and share it almost instantly, allowing you to keep your audience engaged and interested for longer.
Traditional marketing, on the other hand, relies heavily on expensive TV advertising, which is often overlooked by busy viewers, who prefer to get online to discover new content.
But creating engaging content isn’t just about having pretty pictures with captions; in the right spaces, with the right target audience, you can use online marketing to grow your business in a whole new way – beyond what you could do with a TV commercial.
The Power of Instagram Stories
Instagram is the ultimate example of the power of an online marketplace. Through a simple and intuitive interface, you can discover a variety of content, from brands and businesses that you’ll want to work with or buy from to personal accounts that you’ll want to follow, all within the realm of one simple app.
In early 2018, TikTok, the popular app that allows users to create short-form videos, surpassed Instagram in terms of daily average users, becoming the second-largest social media network globally. Together, these apps provide a digital landscape that is constantly changing and expanding, with new platforms and networks emerging, challenging the popular social media sites of today.
The Rise of eCommerce On Insta
Traditional retail businesses such as clothing stores and fashion boutiques have been among the quickest to realize the power of Instagram, with many experimenting with online stores within the app, often using it as a one-stop-shop for all their products.
The most successful of these businesses have committed to providing the best customer experience by embracing a digital native approach, using social media platforms to increase engagement and drive purchases, and implementing in-house marketing strategies, such as customer loyalty programs and in-app shopping carts.
While these businesses have embraced the power of the internet, others have been slow to adopt new approaches, fearing that they’ll hurt sales in the short term. With so much competition in today’s digital world, this short-term thinking can prevent your business from prospering.
Why Should You Try Online Marketing?
With the right tools, techniques, and a bit of creativity, you can use online marketing to grow your business in a way that wouldn’t be possible through traditional marketing. And perhaps more importantly, you can use these platforms to build a community, engage with potential customers, and generate interest in your product, all while building a stronger brand identity.
Here are just a few of the many benefits of online marketing:
While traditional TV advertising has the advantage of reaching a wide audience, online marketing allows you to target your audience more precisely and increase the odds of getting a response. With a few clicks of a mouse, you can create a landing page, pop up a banner ad, or find an appropriate place for a paid YouTube video to appear.
With so many digital marketing tools at your fingertips, it’s easy to see how you can target the right audience, no matter where they are – even if they don’t have a computer or mobile device (e.g., tablets and smartphones).
While TV advertising is incredibly effective, especially when used in conjunction with other forms of marketing, it’s not always the cheapest option. Paid search ads on Google cost money, for example, and display ads on social media sites can be quite the budget buster.
On the other hand, creating and publishing content on blogging platforms like HubSpot, where you can track the success of your blog posts in terms of views, clicks, and conversions, is relatively cheap. In fact, you can do this on your free time, since you’re likely earning money from another source already.
Since the majority of people now get their news and entertainment from digital platforms, the audience for your content is likely already familiar with your brand, products, and services. Simply put, the more you can do to engage with and entertain your audience, the more likely you are to grow your business successfully.
To increase engagement, you can become a contributing member of the communities where your target audience congregates, establish yourself as an expert in your field with valuable content, and encourage your audience to interact with you through social media, especially platforms like Twitter and Instagram.
Generate More Leads
As an entrepreneur who wants to grow my business, the first thing I do every day is hunt for potential customers and leads. Today, when I log on to my email, I expect to see at least a few messages a day from leads, vendors, interested parties, and other people who want to do business with me.
This is how most businesses operate today, but it’s quite possible that your business will generate less than this. After all, everyone has a busy day, and it can be difficult to get out to meet new people, especially when you’re just setting up your business.
If you can use online marketing to engage with your audience and make them want to get in touch, you’ll dramatically increase your odds of generating leads and growing your business successfully.
Grow A Loyalty Program
One of the biggest benefits of online marketing is the ability to create loyalty programs very easily. As a business owner or operator, you can form a group with your customers, provide them with special discounts, offer them freebies, and engage with them through interactive elements, like quizzes and tasks that require them to stay within the app or website.
To create a loyalty program, all you need are an email list and a digital marketing platform – neither of which you need to pay for. This option allows you to put a business building block in place, free of charge.
Then, when someone signs up for your loyalty program, you can send them a welcoming email, asking them to choose a few favourite products from your brand. You can also encourage them to share their favourite products with their friends, becoming an online store that they’ll want to return to time and time again.
This is one of the most effective ways of generating sales, getting people to come back for more, and attracting new customers to your business. At the end of the day, a business’s success is often measured by how much they can grow while maintaining a high degree of loyalty among their audience.
YouTube For Business
If you’re looking for an even cheaper option than social media, you can’t do better than YouTube, which costs nothing to use and allows you to upload and promote your videos for free.
But beyond these obvious perks, what else can you do with a YouTube channel? Plenty, actually, and it’s a great opportunity to build a business with a focus on educating and entertaining your audience, while also promoting your products or services.
One of the best things that you can do for your business is to create a video that answers common questions about your industry, products, or services. By recording these answers and publishing them on YouTube, you’re giving your potential customers and followers a simple, convenient source for the info they need. Plus, you can always add more videos if you discover more common questions – creating a knowledge base that will make you a valued resource for your industry.
Creating video content doesn’t have to be expensive, since you can easily record yourself answering questions, explaining concepts, or demonstrating how to use your products or services. Plus, tools like Camtasia make short-form video creation a snap, allowing you to record yourself talking, then refine the footage into an engaging video.
Build An Influencer Campaign
An influencer is someone who is largely recognized for their influence in a chosen field, often due to their large social media following. Since influencers are popular on social media, gaining their support can dramatically increase the odds of getting your content in front of a broader audience.
To build a successful influencer campaign, you need to identify the right influencers for your brand, determine the kind of content you want to pitch to them, and then negotiate a deal that will be beneficial to both parties.
It’s imperative to choose the right influencers, since they can elevate your brand and product, or expose you and your business to a completely new audience. It’s also important to find the right balance between pitching too much and too little – offering too much and the content becomes irrelevant; too little and the audience doesn’t get enough value.