The world of digital marketing is exciting, ever-evolving and, in my personal opinion, life-changing. To be perfectly honest, working in digital marketing can be frustrating at times – it often leaves you feeling like you simply cannot keep up - so I have compiled three digital marketing tactics to help you out right now.
True experts, however, know that being proficient in every aspect of digital marketing is nearly impossible. Experience has taught them that as soon as they think they have it all figured out, something changes or a new product launches, disrupting everything they worked so hard to learn in the process.
One of the digital marketing industry’s biggest change factors is the way Google rank websites. Terms like “Hummingbird,” “Penguin” and “Panda” seem harmless – pleasant, even – to the general public. To digital marketers and SEOs, however, they are the bane of our professional existence.
Because Google’s search algorithm is constantly evolving, it's important for you to keep up and adjust your strategy accordingly. Don’t get discouraged with new changes and developments – take them as challenges and master them!
"If you are more dedicated to rolling with the punches than your competitors, you will reap the benefits while they struggle to get back on track."
3 Digital Marketing Tactics You Should Be Doing Right Now
Rather then bore you with every element and detail of digital marketing, I'm giving you my top three suggestions on what you should be doing to market your business online. Even with all of the ongoing changes to digital marketing, I'm confident that, if you are able to master – or at least build a solid foundation in – these three areas, your business will be positioned for long-term success.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. Instead of pitching your products or services, content marketing delivers information that makes your buyer more intelligent; a form of “non-interruption marketing.”
As more and more of your content is indexed by Google, your website will reap the benefits through increased traffic. And we’re not talking about visits from individuals who have no desire to do business with you. We’re talking about traffic from prospective customers. There’s a HUGE difference between the two.
So how can you get started with content marketing? Start a blog! You can blog about anything that's relevant to, and consistent with, your business. Once your first blog post is up, share it across your social media networks to create traffic for your site.
Remember: Content marketing is NOT about selling – it’s about adding value.
2. Social Media
Social Media Marketing involves the use of websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social networks to promote your business, and engage current and prospective customers.
Taking the time to develop and execute a well-planned social media strategy can result in huge increases in new customers, customer loyalty, brand awareness, brand advocacy, website traffic and more.
Want to know my favorite thing about creating and running social media campaigns? It’s fun! Every day is a fresh challenge to add value to every social network you participate on. Can it be time-consuming? Absolutely! But the rewards far outweigh the time invested.
Another great thing about social media is the ease with which you can get started. Start by doing some online research and talking to your customers to figure out which social networks are right for your business.
From there, create free business accounts (not personal accounts) on those networks. Most of them walk you through the setup process step-by-step, and will help you build a profile that serves as a strong representation of your brand.
Finally, put yourself in the shoes of your target audience – what content will they find interesting and valuable? What are they likely to “like” or share with their friends and family? For example...
If you own a chocolate shop – don’t post daily updates about why people should buy from you. Instead, post a link to a study that shows the health benefits of regular consumption small amounts of dark chocolate. If it’s two weeks until the New Year, post links to recipes for delicious desserts and libations people can create using chocolate. Your followers will appreciate your approach, and they will reward you with more business and increased loyalty!
The key is to make sure you are consistent with your updates – don’t post twice per day for two weeks and then take a month off. Pick a posting schedule that works for you and stick with it.
3. Email Marketing
Email marketing is your direct line of communication with current and potential customers. The best part? They have given you permission to send marketing communications about your business! Reward them with personalized offers, useful content and important updates about your products or services.
Simple messages about how much you appreciate their business go a long way, too!
From there, you’ll need to start building your email list. But don’t download your contacts from Gmail and import them into your account – doing so is illegal, as it violates the CAN-SPAM Act (which governs all commercial messages). Adding every email address from the stash of business cards you’ve amassed through years of conferences and networking is a big no-no, as well.
Instead, you’ll need to get people to give you permission to send them promotional emails. You can do this by creating an opt-in form to add to your website. The top email marketing companies make this extremely easy; so don’t worry if you’re not incredibly tech savvy.
You can then send out a link to join your email list via social media, your other marketing initiatives and, oddly enough, email. That’s right – there's nothing wrong with sending your contacts a link to join your email list. Just don’t send it to one contact and BCC your entire address book! Only send the link to people you know, and regularly interact with.
As you get better at email marketing, you can start to focus on email segmentation. Your buyers are not all the same - they vary in age, gender and personal interests. Sending the same message to such a diverse audience is a quick way to drive people to click “unsubscribe.”
To combat this, break your list apart into meaningful groups. For example, you may have a male list and a female list, a customer list and a prospect list, or a student list and a professional list. With those unique audiences in mind, you can develop emails targeted specifically to their interests.
Segmenting your emails will not only make your readers happy, it will dramatically increase your open rates and clicks, as well!
Honorable Mention: Your Website
Having read my top three digital marketing recommendations, you might be asking why I made no mention of your company website. I purposely omitted marketing your business through your website from the list because, to me, a great website is a must – modern businesses simply cannot survive without them.
Think of your website is a sales representative that never sleeps. Every second that ticks by, your website is online and ready to sell your business to prospective customers.
If prospects can't find your site, they may not do business with you out of fear that your company is not legitimate. If they do find your site, but they find its design and contents to be irrelevant, unprofessional or downright boring, chances are they won't make a purchase.
For these reasons, having a great business website takes precedence over the digital marketing recommendations outlined above. After all, you wouldn't invest your time and hard-earned money to drive leads to your worst salesperson, would you? Digital marketing is no different.
Every business should focus on creating an engaging, professional website before investing in marketing to drive potential customers to it.
One last note
Before you dive headfirst into digital marketing, be sure to take your time and do your research so you fully understand every tactic you plan to execute.
Plus, if you ever have questions or need help launching a digital marketing campaign for your business, we would be happy to sit down with you for a free consultation!
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