Digital marketing is critical to the success of the majority of modern businesses. While digital marketing can be an extremely effective marketing tool, developing an effective digital marketing strategy can be overwhelming.
Here are a few suggestions to assist you in developing an effective strategy for your online marketing efforts.
1. Assess and Strategize First
Before you begin spending money, you should take a step back and consider your marketing strategy in its entirety. For many SMBs (small to medium-sized businesses), marketing is a patchwork effort to leverage as many digital marketing services as possible — which includes a plethora of options. Hennessey Digital, a digital marketing agency, defines digital marketing services as a “umbrella category” that includes the following:
- Website development;
- SEO (search engine optimization);
- PPC (pay per click) advertising;
- Social media marketing.
Utilizing these various online options enables the development of a diverse, affordable, and scalable marketing strategy. In other words, they are suitable for both small and large businesses. However, the abundance of options can also pose a problem. With so many options, it’s easy to overspend on marketing.
This is why, prior to spending a dime, you should develop a thorough and well-defined digital marketing strategy. This should include determining which online channels will best assist you in reaching your audience, how you should allocate your time and resources in those areas, and the metrics that will allow you to assess your effectiveness.
This may appear to be a great deal of preparation work. However, it is a necessary first step in developing a high-quality digital marketing strategy. Without setting the stage in advance, you risk squandering your marketing funds and receiving little to no return on your investment.
2. Use Your Website as an Online Content Hub
Content marketing forms a critical component of the majority of digital marketing strategies. The concept is simple: consistently create content that is relevant to your audience, adds genuine value, and establishes your brand as an authority in its field. When done properly, content marketing can assist you in attracting new customers and retaining existing ones.
If you want a strong digital marketing strategy, it should be content-driven. This is not an easy task, but it is one that requires an initial investment and can reward you for a long period of time.
A blog on your website is one of the most effective forms of content marketing. A company blog can double as an online customer database. It enables you to showcase your experience and expertise in your field. Likewise, it enables you to connect with your audience members’ pain points and demonstrate why you are a viable solution worth considering.
You can as well share high-quality website content can via social media (the online equivalent of word-of-mouth marketing.) It can also aid in your website’s organic search engine ranking.
Much like developing an effective digital marketing strategy, developing a company blog or similar website resources can appear to be a significant amount of work. However, the numerous benefits that blogging can provide make the effort well worth it.
3. Leverage Influencers
At times, digital marketing can feel isolating. It’s natural to feel isolated within your own sliver of the internet. There are, however, a few ways to leverage an army of online partners to help promote your brand.
Influencers comprise this army. Influencer marketing entails partnering with and promoting your brand through the use of influential online personalities.
This type of digital marketing capitalizes on the influencers’ followers’ loyalty and trust. Additionally, it is simple to scale according to your requirements. You could spend thousands of dollars pursuing a larger influencer with millions of followers, for example. If your budget is limited, you can target a network of smaller nano-influencers — those with audiences of 10,000 or fewer followers.
Do not be deceived by the numbers, either. Nano-influencer marketing has been shown to be an effective method of brand promotion. For example, nano-influencer accounts with fewer than 5,000 followers on Instagram typically have an engagement rate of between 5.3 percent and 7.2 percent. The percentage drops to a meager 1.1 percent for the platform’s largest influencer accounts.
4. Research Your Target Audience Online
You may believe that as a successful small business owner, you already understand your audience. However, if you want to be successful online, you must be willing to invest additional time and money in customer research.
Consider how your core customer demographic interacts with the online world. Pew Research, for example, reports that:
- Women use Facebook at a significantly higher rate than men;
- More than half of college graduates have a LinkedIn profile;
- 71% of those aged 18 to 29 use Instagram.
For every conceivable demographic, an infinite number of statistics are available. Even if you can’t find enough specific information about your target audience online, try directly contacting them. Solicit feedback about the online communities where your customers congregate and the topics or resources they might be interested in seeing you create.
Additionally, consider whether your audience is geographically restricted. If this is the case, you should focus your online efforts on those regions.
5. Set and Track Metrics
Marketing is never going to be an exact science. On the contrary, with so many digital marketing options available, it’s not uncommon for one strategy to achieve phenomenal success while another fails miserably.
This is why you must develop KPIs (key performance indicators) to aid in the direction of your efforts. By defining and establishing KPIs, you can determine whether your marketing is achieving the desired results.
With so much of modern life centered on the internet, it’s critical to invest in a strong digital marketing strategy. This begins with assessing your needs and resisting the temptation to diversify your online marketing efforts too quickly.
From there, critical factors such as audience research, content marketing, influencer marketing, and metrics should be considered. If you can incorporate these elements into your strategy, you’ll be able to develop an effective digital marketing strategy that is tailored specifically to your organization’s promotional needs.