No matter what industry you operate in or the size of your company, digital marketing is essential.
Effective marketing strategies have always been based on the number one principle of reaching and connecting with an audience in the right place and at the right time. In the digital era, the right place is now online and focusing on your digital marketing efforts is one of the best ways to grow your business.
Why Your Business Needs Digital Marketing
Even the barest amount of competitor analysis will show you that the majority of businesses in your niche have a clear, defined web presence. Whether that consists of a website, digital ad strategy, or a social media presence, these brands have figured out ways to connect with your target customers.
Digital marketing is now so commonplace that consumers actually look for a company’s web presence to learn more about brands, services and products. If you want your small business to succeed, you simply can’t afford to be without one.
There are several reasons why you should be taking advantage of the opportunities that digital marketing can bring:
- When compared to traditional methods, digital marketing will help you reach a larger audience, allowing you to focus targeted efforts only on the prospects that are most likely to respond.
- The digital realm evens the field between companies; with the right techniques you could compete with much bigger brands
- Digital marketing is more cost-effective than the outbound marketing methods you may currently be relying on.
- As a business development strategy, digital marketing has the potential to improve both the quality of your leads and your conversion rate.
- Digital marketing strategies are flexible and can adapt and change as and when you need them, leading to more measurable results as a consequence.
- Most importantly, you can engage your target customers at every stage in the buying and decision-making process.
Implementing Digital Marketing
The sheer number of options and strategies that are associated with digital marketing makes it an approach that every business owner can adapt to fit the needs of their companies. If time or financial resources are scarce, it’s possible to find techniques that are both cheap to implement and require little day-to-day management.
On the other hand, if you have the budget to implement digital marketing on an enterprise level, you can adopt comprehensive, omni-channel strategies.
The ultimate digital marketing strategy for you, then, isn’t defined by cost or the number of techniques involved. Instead, it’s one that is created with a clear understanding of your business, the products and services you offer, and the needs and wants of your target demographic.
The most effective strategy is also the one that’s the simplest to execute, even if it’s comprised of several complex strands. In this regard, it’s helpful to think of the tactics of pro casino gamers as inspiration. Ask the best players in the world what strategies they use to sustain their high-roller careers and they’ll most likely tell you that they stick with basic formulas that can be adapted as necessary.
Building a Strategy
When it comes to creating a digital marketing strategy, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Being such a personalised method, it can take trial and error to discover which digital marketing techniques are the most beneficial to implement in your business.
While you do need to define a strategy, you also need a plan with the flexibility to shift and adapt with:
- Changes in SEO patterns
- Consumer, industry and seasonal trends
- Changes in KPIs
A successful strategy isn’t set in stone, so be prepared to monitor it and make adjustments where necessary – particularly during its early stages.
Equally as important is to remember that if you don’t have a clear understanding of your target customer and why they purchase your products or services, your strategy won’t be effective in the long run.
Dig deep into the behaviours of target demographics and allow what you find to inform your strategy. Understand what their buying needs are as well as what their prime concerns are in socio-political issues. Remember that digital marketing is based on building a relationship with the consumer, so demonstrate cultural awareness if you want to strengthen your connection.
Making the Most of Social Media
Love it or hate it, if business success is your aim you’re going to have to integrate social media into your web presence.
As with all things digital marketing, figuring out which platforms are the most effective for your business requires trial and error, but there are certain things you can to do maximise the potential that Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have as business development tools.
When sharing content, always do so with the intention of showing your authority as a knowledgeable expert and demonstrating the authenticity of your company. Sharing the values and mission of your business, for example, is a great way to introduce your brand to new consumers.
If you want to take things to the next level, it’s always worth trying new tactics:
- Create live videos that offer a behind the scenes look at life in your company.
- Share emotion-based storylines – give your audience an idea of why you started your company, who your most valued staff members are, or the positive changes you want to make with your products or services.
- Take your audience on the journey behind the creation of your star products or services.
- Inform consumers with ongoing education about your mission and the causes that inspire you.
Understand the Value of Mobile
Mobile marketing is an untapped market for many small businesses. According to Statista, over 4.78 billion people across the world are mobile users and that number is set to grow year on year. Further research from Convince & Convert shows that 40% of online consumers consult social media or search channels when making purchasing decisions.
Smartphones are integrated into daily consumer habits, so you need to optimise your digital marketing efforts to ensure you’re reaching as many people as possible. Keep your mobile marketing strategy on track with:
- A fluid website that is responsive to both desktop and mobile devices
- Clickable calls to action, phone numbers or business locations across your content
- Fast-loading webpages
- Tailored ad content on social media or mobile-friendly platforms
Digital marketing, as with any other marketing approach, is at its best when it’s aligned with your company’s core mission and purpose. Each technique you implement should call out the benefits of a relationship with your business, how you address the real needs of your customers, and demonstrate that you know what makes them tick.
Rather than waiting for customers to come to you, digital marketing will help you follow your customers, ensuring that your business is best placed to respond to their demands.