Today, digital marketing has become the dominant mode for selling products and services, used by businesses worldwide. Yet, some small business owners still remain sceptical over the actual benefits of digital marketing as they perceive it as nothing more than mere gibberish and technobabble that’s not worth the trouble. On the contrary, digital marketing is not something out of Star Trek and is fairly simple once you get the gist of it. Still not convinced? Then, take a look at these digital marketing techniques below and see for yourself:
Establish your online presence
A website is like a window into your business with the blinds raised up so everyone can see what you’re up to 24/7. Conversely, by not having a website you’re effectively ‘lowering the blinds’ on your potential customers, which will make them suspicious of the quality and the overall legitimacy of your business. Surprisingly, according to one article, 59% of small businesses in Australia, Canada, and the U.S. still don’t own a website. With the birth of smartphones, this is even more troubling as people tend to check websites on the go, even of local stores, before venturing forth, and if they can’t find you online it’s like you didn’t exist. Another thing, your various digital marketing efforts (content marketing, social media, ads, and so on) are of no use to you if you don’t have a landing page to which you can divert all that traffic to. Thus, consider making a website which is both mobile-friendly and optimized for search engines to promote your business in the digital sphere.
Dabble into content marketing
Content marketing is somewhat different from your traditional advertising as it’s not based on cold hard selling but on providing valuable information that will ultimately entertain, engage, and educate your readers. In turn, this will spark their interest and lead them straight towards your website to gather even more information regarding your products and service and thus satiate their curiosity. Usually, content marketing is done on blogs, which are mere extensions of your websites, but are not limited only to that. Likewise, they make an incredible ‘wombo-combo’ by linking your social media profile with your blog, which in essence generates additional traffic towards your website. According to some, content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing and generates over three times as many leads.
Run data-driven campaigns
Running a digital marketing campaign without conducting any research beforehand will yield limited results. Why? Because, for a plan to actually work you need to take all the different variables into consideration: your target audience, popular trends, and all the current hot topics, to name but a few. Hence, in order to find out which of these variables correspond with your business the most, you need to analyse and review huge piles of relevant data. What’s more, data differs from region to region (due to cultural and geo-political differences between countries), and what works in the U.S., might not work for the Asian market. So, if you’re planning on expanding to, say, Singapore, you need to conduct specific media monitoring in Singapore to get the most relevant data for that particular campaign.
Influencer marketing is one of the largest growing trends on social media. By some estimates, in 2020 the ad spend of influencer marketing will reach up to $10 billion. In essence, influencer marketing comes down to finding the right people, with a wide reach on online networks, to recommend your products and services to their followers. Of course, celebrity endorsements has always been a well-known marketing strategy, yet what makes influencer marketing work so well is the fact that people are more likely to buy products which are reviewed by their peers, rather than by the brands themselves. Micro-influencers in particular work considerably well with small businesses as they have a more ‘niche’ fan-base comprising of a fewer, but more engaging, loyal followers.
Embrace Email marketing
Last but not the least, there is email marketing. According to this infographic, email marketing generates 174% more conversions than social media. So, how is that possible? Well, having thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook does not necessarily mean that you have thousands of interested customers. In fact, there could be a plethora of reasons why they followed you in the first place. However, with email marketing it’s a completely different story, as people are generally more open to the idea of buying your products and services as you’ve already won them, judging by their subscriptions to your mailing list.
All in all, digital marketing is one of those things that are easy to learn but hard to master. It’s not an exact science, hence the rules are constantly changing. Still, like with anything else, practice makes perfect.