Are you considering paying for online marketing advice? You should, because it’s worth it. However, if you’re looking for cheap and fast results, you might be better off hiring freelancers or using free online resources instead.
As a business owner, you’re always looking for the best ways to grow your company. One approach that can help you reach more customers is through digital marketing. If you’re unfamiliar with this term, it refers to the various forms of online marketing and social media strategies that businesses use to attract customers toward their products or services.
To get started, simply follow these steps:
Step one: Set a benchmark for yourself.
The first step in the right direction is to set a benchmark for yourself. What does that mean? It means that you’re going to keep track of your performance from week to week and evaluate whether you’re on the right track or need to make some adjustments. Let’s say, for example, that you decide to focus on attracting and converting more organic traffic into paying customers. (Note: you can also choose to focus on converting paid into organic traffic, if that’s what you’re optimizing for.)
You can do this by tracking the results of your efforts in Google Analytics or other similar tools. (Make sure you set up these tools correctly and provide good quality analytics data, though!)
Step two: Identify the main performance metrics.
The second step in the right direction is to identify the main performance metrics. To achieve your goal of increasing your organic traffic, you should focus on measuring the following:
- the number of organic visits to your website (this is known as the ‘organic traffic’ within Google Analytics)
- the number of subscribers to your blog
- the number of times people click on an affiliate link from your blog (this is known as ‘click-through rate’ or ‘CTR’)
- the number of times people engage with your content (e.g., likes, comments, shares, or clicks on a buy button)
- your website’s loading speed (this is known as ‘site speed’ within Google Analytics)
You can also measure the following for marketing purposes:
- the number of new leads that arrive at your website via email or social media (this is known as ‘lead generation’ within Google Analytics)
- the number of times people visit your social media accounts (this is known as ‘social media traffic’ within Google Analytics)
- your click-through rate on paid ads (this is known as ‘paid traffic’ within Google Analytics)
- the number of visits to your website from mobile devices
- the number of conversions (e.g., sales or signups) that occur on your website (this is known as the ‘conversion rate’ within Google Analytics)
If you’re curious as to why you should track these things, here are a few reasons:
- to see how well you’re doing overall (you can also choose to view this information in terms of dollars/euros/pounds, if that’s how you keep score)
- to identify any trends or patterns that arise from your analysis
- to determine if you’re reaching your target audience (you can also choose to see this in terms of audience shares)
- to identify the main elements that drive results (this can help you determine what changes to make to get better results)
Step three: Set up automated daily tasks.
The third step in the right direction is to set up automated daily tasks. What does that mean? It means that you’re going to create a set schedule (e.g., once a week on Tuesday or once a month on the first Tuesday) that’s going to help you keep track of your performance throughout the year. (Remember: being consistent is one of the keys to success!)
The most effective scheduling tool is a digital calendar, like Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook. Both of these tools can help you keep track of due dates, events, and responsibilities. (You can also use special apps for your phone or tablet to track tasks and responsibilities.)
Step four: Monitor and evaluate your performance.
The fourth step in the right direction is to monitor and evaluate your performance. Are you following all of the steps so far? Great! Let’s say, for example, that you decide to track your results in Google Analytics. (Remember: don’t think of this step as measuring ‘how much’ you’ve accomplished. Think of it as ‘whether or not’ you’ve accomplished what you set out to do.)
After you’ve set up your benchmark and main performance metrics, it’s time to start analyzing the data. First, look at the metrics that relate to your goal of increasing organic traffic. Are you seeing the results you’re after? Awesome!
Next, look at the metrics that relate to your goal of increasing your conversion rates. Are you seeing the results you’re after? If not, then it’s time for some retooling. Are you doing everything else correctly? Are you engaging with your audience in the ways that are most effective?
When you evaluate yourself on these terms, you’ll be able to determine if you need to make some adjustments or adopt new strategies. (Of course, you may also conclude that you’re doing all of this correctly and continue on the path of growth!)
Step five: Identify your target audience and determine what they want.
The last step in the right direction is to identify your target audience and determine what they want. This is a crucial step, because if you don’t know what your target audience is searching for or trying to achieve, then it’s difficult to provide them with valuable content that’ll help them navigate their way to success. (Note: not all businesses will have a clear idea of what their target audience wants or needs. If this is the case for you, then take some time to find out what they want and need. You may consider using tools like Google Keyword Planner or Ask.fm to find the most popular keywords. From there, you can explore different marketing strategies and find the one that’ll help you reach your target audience.)
Once you’ve determined your target audience (e.g., with the assistance of a qualified market researcher or consultant), it’s time to figure out what they want. Think of your target audience as a group of people that you want to attract toward your product or service in order to generate sales. You can use a variety of tools and methodologies to define and analyze your target audience. (There are also a variety of tools out there that can help with analyzing marketing charts and performance reports.)
The single most important thing to consider about your target audience is their needs. For example, you may decide that your target audience is entrepreneurs and small business owners who are looking for ways to grow their businesses. In this case, you’ll want to create content that’s relevant to their situation. (You may also want to consider creating separate accounts for different types of entrepreneurs (e.g., ones who are just starting out versus experienced business owners).)
You can also group similar target audiences together (e.g., millennials and Gen Z) in order to create content that’s relevant to a broader audience. (This can be a very effective strategy, especially when creating marketing material for digital marketing campaigns.)
The purpose of this article is to introduce you to online marketing and to help you determine whether or not this approach is right for your business. However, keep in mind that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to marketing. Tailor your approach according to your unique industry, goal, and target audience.