A digital marketing plan is crucial for all modern businesses. People spend so much time online; any company that doesn’t put time into marketing their products and services online is missing out on a huge opportunity.
Of course, the traditional offline methods of networking, business cards and print ads still have their place, but combining them with the internet will give you the very best chance of success.
Here are some practical digital marketing tips you can start employing in your business today.
The idea of content marketing is to provide your potential customers with useful, helpful content related to topics surround your industry. Examples of the kind of content that works perfectly are “how-to guides,” “answering common questions/problems,” and “in-depth, unbiased product reviews.”
Producing the type of content that addresses the problems your target audience is already searching for is an excellent way to make them aware of your business.
Too many businesses focus their online marketing on finding only customers ready to buy a product/service and searching for that specific product or service. Content marketing allows you to get in front of potential customers at all different buying cycle stages.
Let’s say you own a business that sells security equipment. At the beginning of their buying cycle, a potential customer will be searching the internet to determine which type of security camera would be best for their requirements.
At this point, they have no idea of the specific CCTV cameras they want to buy, which is where you can gain a leg-up on the competition with content marketing. If your business creates content that answers this potential customer’s question, you will have gained an amount of authority and trust in that customer’s eyes. When they come to purchase their CCTV system, they will think of your business.
Of course, you can also use the content to steer them towards a sale where it is appropriate. Still, the most successful content marketing strategies focus on providing value to the target audience.
The content you produce online can come in several forms: articles, videos, podcasts, newsletters, and more if you get creative. The key is to decide which format best suits your target customer and your business. You then need to decide where to post the content by analyzing where your target audience consumes content online.
For example, a fitness-clothing company would probably realize that YouTube videos are an excellent avenue for their content because video is the best format for most fitness-related topics. They could also decide to use Instagram since their clothing is aimed at gym-goers in their twenties, and this age-bracket is highly active on Instagram.
Email, Messenger, and Push Notifications
Almost every digital marketing article on the internet mentions email marketing because it really can be super-effective. The premise behind email marketing is simply to get your target market to hand over their email address and their permission for you to send them email messages.
Once you have somebody’s email address, you can send them emails relating to your business. Emails are a cheap way to contact your potential customers and lets you direct them wherever you wish.
There are two crucial factors to an effective email marketing campaign:
- Fill your list up with only targeted, potential customers for your business.
- Provide value in the emails you send. Don’t constantly bombard your audience with sales pitches.
Rule one means you need to be strategic about how you go about getting hold of email addresses in the first place. You need to be sure the addresses that build your email list are from people who may be interested in your business’ products.
An email competition for a PS5 will build your email list at lightning speed, but you’re probably going to be left with a list filled with people who have no interest in your business (unless you sell PS5s or gaming equipment, of course).
A more relevant approach is required. A common way of collecting targeted email addresses is to offer something for free that is closely related to your products/services. To gain access to this freebie, people need to sign up via email. Free samples, e-book guides, webinars, conferences, and video-courses are some of the things you could offer.
Once you start building your email list, it’s time to build trust with your new audience by sending them regular emails relevant to your business and whatever it was they initially signed up for.
This is where rule number two comes into play. The majority of your emails should help your audience and not always trying to get them to buy things. The best marketing emails provide value first before naturally and subtlety leading on to a small pitch.
It is worth noting that building an email list requires software to collect and store addresses and then send multiple emails. There are several email marketing software providers out there with different features at varying price points. If you’re after a reliable, free option, then take a look at Mailchimp. If you want something with more advanced features at a reasonable price, ConvertKit is superb.
Messenger and Push Notifications
Email marketing used to be the very best way to communicate with your customers on a more personal platform. Nowadays, people’s inboxes are filled with emails from different businesses, making it easy to get lost in the crowd.
This isn’t to say email marketing isn’t highly-effective because it is, but there are some similar methods you may wish to use as well.
Instead of asking somebody to sign up with their email, you can get them to use Facebook messenger instead. From there, you can get in touch with them via messenger with future content. Messenger provides great open-rates because people tend to get way-fewer messenger messages than emails, and messenger also has a more personal feel to it.
Another method to look into is push notifications. If you have a website, you can set a small pop-up to appear that lets your visitors opt-in to receive notifications from your business. You won’t have any personal details, but you will be able to send small notifications to all of these people any time you wish.
Push notifications don’t give you much room for content, so they are best used for drawing attention to content elsewhere. For example, you can send a notification about new videos on articles when you post them. You can also use push notifications to make people aware of sales and special offers.
But, like the other methods here, be sure to use them sparingly and strategically.