Digital marketing plan ideas for your business
Whether you’re in the process of launching a new business or already have one, having a strong online presence for your brand is extremely important.
If you’re a small business owner with little experience in online marketing, creating a strategy to boost your online presence may feel overwhelming. But with the right steps and direction, you can achieve your goals. Most people think of Google and Facebook ads when they think of digital marketing but there are tons of free (and effective) ways to digitally market your business.
To get started on some ideas, we are going to look at:
Master search engine optimisation (SEO)
SEO is essentially a marketing strategy that uses a variety of innovative methods to organically rank a website at the top of the search engine results page (SERP). This high ranking builds value, establishes authority, increases visibility and drives traffic towards the featured web page.
In order to accomplish the aforementioned purpose, SEO generally employs three major techniques. These are:
- On-Page SEO – content creation, keyword research, page layout, image optimization, and UX/UI design
- Technical SEO – site loading speed, inter-device operations, search engine crawling, data security and page indexing
- Off-Page SEO – link building, local listings, social media, influencer outreach, and directory profiles
While Adwords is considered a short-term marketing solution – something that you can start right away to produce revenue in hours, it does cost money, so if you don’t have a budget for Adwords, SEO is the way to go.
SEO gives you access to the same traffic as an Adwords search campaign without the expensive cost-per-click of a paid marketing platform. It’s the ultimate source of free traffic – as long as your website stays optimised, the sales will keep on coming.
Social media is where your customers are, plain and simple. The average person spends over 2 hours every day on social media. Here are a few simple ideas to get rolling on social media:
Create a Facebook business page
Facebook pages are free and quick to make, and if you advertise on Facebook later on you’ll need one. Might as well make one now and start building a following! A lot of people say organic social media is dead and they may be right. However, you can still ask your Facebook friends to follow your page and make your network aware of your business.
Create an Instagram profile
Instagram marketing works better for some businesses than others. Usually, fun B2C businesses like fashion or cosmetics do well on Instagram, but if you’re selling oil pipeline widgets you’re not likely to find the same success. Think about your product or service and if you think it makes sense, create an Instagram profile.
Publish on Pinterest
Like Instagram, Pinterest is more effective for highly visual consumer goods as well as online publications like travel blogs. For example, if we search “Korea” we can find images with links to various travel blogs that are all probably displaying ads or have affiliate links. It’s a great way to distribute content and get links out there. For a deeper dive into Pinterest, click here.
Try out influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is simply partnering with someone influential in your industry to market your product or service. If you have a lipstick line, Kim Kardashian would be an awesome influencer for you. Working with an influencer that appeals to your target market is key. Instagram influencers are what people usually think of when they think of influencers but there are influencers on YouTube, LinkedIn, Reddit, and other platforms as well.
Content marketing ideas
Write for your audience
The best pieces of content are the ones directed at your key audiences. Understand your customer: know their pain points, what gets them psyched, and what keeps them up at night. Killer content addresses your audience’s needs and concerns!
Add a visual element to ALL your content pieces
People get bored with text fast! To keep visitors reading, it’s essential to have images breaking up your text paragraphs. Don’t overlook the importance of a visual element, even in predominantly text-based blog posts. You can see some examples of highly visual business blogs here.
Video is an incredible marketing strategy when it comes to promoting a new product or service or drawing in and retaining the attention of users. The retention rate for visual information can reach 65% vs. 10% for text-based info. Plus, customers who view product videos are much more likely to convert than those that don’t. Video content is a powerful tool, whether you’re trying to demonstrate how your product works IRL or educating visitors.
Write a blog
Everyone and their mom (and their mom’s dog) might have a blog now but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to get into the game. If you take it seriously, work to improve your writing, and post regularly, you’re already ahead of 80% of your competition. The classic adage “80% of success is showing up” definitely holds in the blogging world.
Start a podcast
Podcasts are hot right now and for good reason. They’re simple and cheap to produce. They’re popular and easily accessible to anyone with an interest. I like them because it gives me something educational to do in the car and with services like Anchor. FM you can produce a high-quality podcast completely for free. However, the barrier to entry is so low, that the market is getting pretty saturated. Plus, reaching high download numbers is probably going to take a year or more, so it’s a long-term strategy. However, if you’re passionate about your topic and are willing to play the long game, they can be incredibly lucrative on their own. Top podcasts like Joe Rogan can make $75,000 per episode.
Start a YouTube channel
YouTube has exploded in the past decade yet it is still an untapped market in many respects. Producing high-quality videos is a lot more technical and difficult than recording a podcast, creating a barrier to entry that discourages some competition. Make no mistake though, there are over 23 million YouTube channels to compete with. The keys here are high publishing frequency, entertaining and informative content, and high production quality. Like podcasts, successful YouTube channels can become businesses in their own right.
A webinar is a live video conference typically used to present a product or service and can include a video of the speaker, screen shares, and slide decks. Think of it as a live online presentation, although some people now present pre-recorded webinars as well. Webinars work best within the context of a larger marketing plan. After all, you need to bring people in to sign up for your webinar first. Webinars are typically a mid-funnel marketing tactic used after you’ve already generated some base interest. There are a handful of free options to choose from, although usually they become paid after you hit a certain critical mass of attendees.
Try out email marketing
Email marketing focuses on retaining existing customers, as well as gaining new ones. It’s an excellent technique for building brand awareness, keeping your company top-of-mind, and encouraging repeat purchases. A core part of email marketing is developing and refining your campaigns, as well as growing your audience. Like content marketing, email marketing also focuses on providing users with valuable information — otherwise, people wouldn’t stay subscribed.
The idea is that, while these users may not need your services or products now, they’ll remember your brand when it’s time to make a purchase. That brand awareness encourages them to choose your company when they’re ready to buy.
For example, an HVAC marketing strategy may use email to build a relationship with homeowners and businesses by sharing tips for maintaining a heating and cooling system, lowering energy bills, and more. In comparison, a medical equipment marketing strategy could use email to highlight design advancements, industry conferences, and wholesale discounts for products.
When those subscribers need service, whether maintenance, emergency, or installation, they have a higher chance of choosing that HVAC business because the company’s proven itself as knowledgeable and trustworthy.
One of the benefits of this strategy is that you can also segment your audience and personalise your email campaigns. For example, you may create a campaign for users that purchased a certain product or visited a particular webpage.
What is email marketing’s goal?
The main objective of email marketing as a digital marketing initiative is to stay at the top of mind for potential customers, and provide current clients with beneficial information, like relevant industry news, and personalised content, like product coupons, that keep them coming back.
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