Digital marketing is critical for the majority of modern businesses to succeed. While digital marketing is a highly effective tool for marketing, developing an effective digital marketing strategy can be overwhelming.
Here are a few pointers to help you create an effective strategy for your online marketing efforts.
1. Assess and Strategize First
Before you spend money, you should take a step back and evaluate your entire marketing strategy. Marketing for many SMBs (small to medium-sized businesses) is a patchwork effort to leverage as many digital marketing services as possible — which includes a plethora of options. Digital marketing services are defined by Hennessey Digital, a digital marketing agency, as a “umbrella category” that includes the following:
- Website development;
- SEO (search engine optimization);
- PPC (pay per click) advertising;
- Social media marketing.
By combining these various online options, you can create a marketing strategy that is diverse, affordable, and scalable. That is to say, they are appropriate for both small and large businesses. However, the abundance of choices can be a hindrance. With so many options, marketing can easily become an expense.
This is why, before investing a penny, you should create a comprehensive and well-defined digital marketing strategy. This should include determining which online channels will best assist you in reaching your audience, how your time and resources should be allocated in those areas, and the metrics that will allow you to evaluate your effectiveness.
This may appear to be a significant amount of prep work. However, it is an essential first step toward developing an effective digital marketing strategy. Without pre-planning, you risk wasting your marketing dollars and receiving little to no return on your investment.
2. Use Your Website as an Online Content Hub
The majority of digital marketing strategies include content marketing as a critical component. The concept is straightforward: create content that is consistently relevant to your audience, provides genuine value, and establishes your brand as an authority in its field. When done correctly, content marketing can help you acquire new customers and retain current ones.
If you’re going to have a successful digital marketing strategy, it should be content-driven. This is not a simple task, but it is one that requires an initial investment and can pay off in the long run.
A blog is one of the most effective forms of content marketing on a website. A company blog can be used in conjunction with an online customer database. It enables you to demonstrate your experience and expertise in your area of expertise. Additionally, it enables you to empathize with your audience members’ pain points and demonstrate why your solution is a viable one worth considering.
Additionally, social media platforms allow for the sharing of high-quality website content (the online equivalent of word-of-mouth marketing.) Additionally, it can aid in the organic search engine ranking of your website.
Similarly to developing an effective digital marketing strategy, developing a company blog or similar website resources may appear to be a substantial amount of work. However, the numerous advantages that blogging can provide far outweigh the effort.
3. Leverage Influencers
Digital marketing can be isolating at times. It’s natural to feel isolated within your own internet sliver. There are, however, a few strategies for leveraging an army of online partners to assist in brand promotion.
This army is composed of influencers. Influencer marketing entails collaborating with and promoting your brand via prominent online personalities.
This form of digital marketing capitalizes on the followers’ loyalty and trust in influencers. Additionally, it is easy to scale to meet your needs. For example, you could invest thousands of dollars in pursuing a larger influencer with millions of followers. If your budget is limited, you can focus your efforts on a network of smaller nano-influencers — those with 10,000 or fewer followers.
Likewise, do not be deceived by the numbers. It has been demonstrated that nano-influencer marketing is an effective method of brand promotion. For instance, nano-influencer accounts on Instagram with fewer than 5,000 followers typically have an engagement rate of between 5.3 and 7.2 percent. For the platform’s largest influencer accounts, the percentage drops to a meager 1.1 percent.
4. Conduct Online Audience Research
As a successful small business owner, you may believe that you already understand your audience. To succeed online, however, you must be willing to invest additional time and money in customer research.
Consider how your target audience interacts with the online world. According to Pew Research, for example:
- Women are significantly more likely than men to use Facebook;
- Almost half of recent college graduates have a LinkedIn profile.
- 71% of those between the ages of 18 and 29 use Instagram.
There are an infinite number of statistics available for every conceivable demographic. Even if you are unable to locate sufficient specific information about your target audience online, try contacting them directly. Solicit feedback from your customers regarding the online communities in which they congregate and the topics or resources they might be interested in seeing you create.
Additionally, consider how geographically restricted your audience is. If this is the case, you should target those regions with your online marketing efforts.
5. Set and Track Metrics
Marketing will never be a precise science. On the contrary, given the breadth of available digital marketing options, it is not uncommon for one strategy to achieve phenomenal success while another fails miserably.
This is why you should establish KPIs (key performance indicators) to guide your efforts. By defining and implementing key performance indicators (KPIs), you can determine whether your marketing is achieving the desired results.
With so much of modern life occurring online, it is critical to invest in a strong digital marketing strategy. This begins with an assessment of your needs and a refusal to diversify your online marketing efforts prematurely.
From there, it’s critical to consider critical factors such as audience research, content marketing, influencer marketing, and metrics. If you incorporate these elements into your strategy, you can create an effective digital marketing strategy that is tailored to your organization’s promotional needs.