If you’re reading this, I assume you’re either a business owner or an internet marketer who specializes in inbound marketing.
You might also be an owner of a local business who wants to grow their business using digital marketing.
If that’s the case, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to discuss the ins and outs of effective digital marketing so you can grow your business using the internet to connect with customers.
Why Online Marketing?
In today’s world, customers have more choices than ever when it comes to where they spend their money and what products they want to try. Thanks to the internet and online marketplaces, businesses have the opportunity to market their products to people all over the world and not just to their neighborhood. With more customers coming from outside of the traditional geographical location, online marketing is more important than ever to expand your business’ reach and potential revenue.
Digital Marketing versus Traditional Marketing
When we talk about traditional marketing, what usually comes to mind is the practice of marketing a product or service in printed materials such as magazines or newspapers. The key concept behind traditional marketing is to spread the word about your product or service through traditional, non-digital means.
However, with the rise of online marketing, digital marketing has evolved to mean using various digital tools to engage with customers and prospects at a moment’s notice. That could include anything from email marketing to social media campaigns and website design.
Because of this broad definition, it’s extremely important to have a digital marketing strategy that’s tied to a business’ goals and objectives. Otherwise, you’ll just be throwing money at a ‘bucket’ hoping that it produces good results.
The Four Main Types Of Digital Marketing
As we mentioned above, because of the broad definition of the term digital marketing, there are several different ways businesses can use the internet and digital tools to market their products or services. Here are the main ones:
1. Email Marketing
Although email marketing is considered ‘old school’ because it was one of the first forms of digital marketing, it’s still one of the most popular ones. Why? It’s incredibly easy to set up, allows for extremely broad campaigns, and delivers highly targeted, relevant messages to consumers. If you want to learn more, check out this fantastic guide to email marketing.
Setting up email marketing doesn’t require a lot of effort and it doesn’t cost much. You can get started with a simple email marketing tool like MailChimp for free. From there, you can get more advanced tools that can do A/B testing and segmentation down to the user level. All of this makes email marketing extremely customizable and versatile.
2. Social Media Marketing
If you’re not familiar with social media, it’s basically where you can share content and engage with customers and prospects online. The key to effective social media marketing is to consistently create content that’s both relevant and interesting to your target audience. You don’t need to be limited to just getting followers, you can use social media to generate leads and make sales.
The two biggest social media platforms are Twitter and Facebook. On Twitter, you can use the hastag # or @ to find and connect with people interested in your product or service. On Facebook, you can create ads that target people based on their interests. Essentially, you’re trying to get someone to ‘like’ your page so you can have their email address or phone number.
There are many different types of social media platforms. To learn more, check out this massive, comprehensive guide to social media marketing.
3. Website Marketing
A website is an excellent place to attract new customers and encourage existing ones to return. With a solid website, you can gain credibility, create brand awareness, and gain valuable insights into your target audience’s behavior. To maximize your website’s ROI (return on investment), you can use tools like Google Analytics to track the effectiveness of each part of your site. From there, you can optimize your website to convert more traffic into leads and sales.
One of the simplest ways to get a free website is to sign up for a free trial of Squarespace. Once you’ve created your website using Squarespace, you can use their inbound marketing software to track and analyze website performance and find out what content is most effective. For tips on how to build a website that converts, check out this comprehensive guide from the digital marketing experts at HootSuite.
4. Search Engine Marketing
If you’ve ever shopped online, you might have noticed that there are several options at the top of the page when you search for a product. This is because businesses that sell products online use various tricks to appear at the top of the search results page when a customer types in a search query. Essentially, search engine marketing is a form of online marketing that aims to drive organic traffic to a website. It doesn’t involve paying to have your website listed at the top of search results.
To get started with search engine marketing, you’ll need to do a little research into your target audience’s behavior online. You can start by looking at where they come from (i.e., which search queries they use to find your product) and how often they visit different websites. From there, you can devise a plan to increase the odds that their online search will lead them to your product.
Where Do I Start?
Since we already went over the benefits of digital marketing and how different forms of digital marketing can work together, it’s time to talk about where you should begin. If you want to get the most out of your online marketing efforts, it’s important to start with the basics:
1. Website Design
No matter what type of business you have, you’ll need an online presence that looks professional and trustworthy. To accomplish this, you’ll need to hire a web designer who can help you create a mobile-friendly site that looks great on tablets and smartphones. Once your website is up and running, use your web designer’s help to set up automated email campaigns so you can quickly and easily send out new product announcements and alerts about special deals and discounts.
2. Content Strategy
Now that you have a steady stream of traffic coming to your website, it’s time to figure out what content will make the biggest impact. In today’s world, content is King and Queen – it always will be. When it comes to marketing a product or service online, especially in today’s world of heavily scrutinized reviews, customers demand compelling content to guide them in making purchase decisions.
To create content that will resonate with your audience and compel them to action, there needs to be a clear connection between the type of content you’re creating and the goals and objectives you’ve set for your business. For example, suppose you’re trying to grow your hair care business and you set a goal to earn at least $20,000 in revenue this year. To achieve that, you might decide to create products that can help women with their hair care and styling. From there, you can develop content around hair care and styling that will connect with, and hopefully, inspire or even help, your audience to succeed.
3. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Once you’ve got a good base of content published, its time to dive back into your digital marketing metrics and analyze the results of your content strategy and website design. To do this, you’ll want to set up key performance indicators (KPIs) – metrics that will help you track the success of your content strategy and website.
If you want to learn more, here’s a good place to start:
a. Visitor Activity
Whether you realize it or not, every person you talk to is a potential customer, and every customer is a potential advocate. The more traffic your website receives, the more customers you’ll have, and the more customers you’ve got, the more you’ll grow your business. That’s just logical.
You’ll want to track the following metrics to see how your website is performing: