Digital marketing is a great tool for businesses of all types and sizes. By harnessing the power of the internet you can gain additional leads, promote and market your products or services better, build brand awareness, and have a more awesome online presence.
Don’t believe anyone that says digital marketing is just for the big companies though—it can also be a key to success for SMEs. However, just because you have a website doesn’t mean you’re going to reap all its benefits. You’re going to need an online strategy and utilise digital tools to truly make digital marketing work for you. If you run a small business, we’ve come up with several key tips to help you get started.
But first, what is Digital Marketing?
In a nutshell, digital marketing is composed of all online marketing efforts made for a brand. It’s a term that includes different channels such as social media marketing, email, content marketing, and website building and design. Digital marketing can have different formats and be facilitated through these channels. Digital marketing’s main goal is to generate more leads and build or strengthen a business’ online presence.
Looking at the different areas and channels involved is a great way to better understand and leverage digital marketing.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is B-I-G, which means you shouldn’t ignore it. Fact is, Facebook has over two billion active monthly users, and many other social networks have hundreds of millions of users. As such, your current and prospective customers are most probably on social media as well. How can you use this channel to connect with them? While individuals aren’t necessarily thinking about purchasing something, social media marketing allows you to start a conversation based on interests, among other things.
Social media marketing helps your brand target and attract prospects based on their interests, location, demographics, and preferences. When you are able to target so granularly, you can cultivate interest in those that have a real need (or at least curiosity) for your product or service. PearlyWhites, an Australian company that sells in-home teeth whitening kits, grew more than 10,000-percent as a result of embracing social media to reach potential customers. Jake Munday, its Managing Director, says he uses Facebook to target certain demographics that might be interested in his product. He can keep track of their social media efforts and drop campaigns that are not working, improving efficiency and budget-planning.
One important thing to note is that you don’t have to be on all social media sites. Analyse what you offer and who your customers and target customers are (their habits, preferences, demographics), and choose the social media sites which best fit the results. For example, if you’re all about food and your target markets are enticed by gorgeous food shots, go to Instagram which is a widely known photo-based social network where food photography is very popular. For more in-depth advice, do check out our previous post on social media marketing.
Content marketing primarily focuses on online content that educates, engages, and inspires. It’s not necessarily product- or service-focused. Instead, it delivers content (e.g. blogs, videos, photos) which offer something of value to readers/viewers (e.g. tips, trivia, news) which then tie back to your brand. The key here is generating online buzz around what your business offers. Content marketing is about putting the right message in the right place for your audience to see it.
One effective content marketing strategy is to create and deliver content that tells an engaging story. Remember that storytelling, when done right online or offline, is an almost intimate form of interaction between a brand and its audience. For your content marketing efforts to be successful, you should create buyer personas (to have a better idea of who you want to target), craft a distinct voice and tone, and determine the goals of your content. Once you have a foundation based on these factors, you should create a content calendar around specific keywords, campaigns, or objectives.
Be careful though and avoid delivering content that’s too promotional as they tend to lack authenticity. Also be sure to be consistent in creating and delivering content to fully utilise audience engagement. We recommend reading our recent blog on content marketing to answer your other content-related questions.
Website Design and User Experience
Websites are often one of the first key steps to building an online presence, and they must do more than look nice. It basically acts as your business’ online portal and HQ and is often viewed as the starting and ending points of many digital marketing campaigns. Your customers’ experience on your website has a lot to do with whether or not they come back (and convert).
However, you shouldn’t focus all your website efforts on the desktop; you should also make mobile devices a big part of your plan. Consider these statistics:
- 52-percent of users say that bad mobile website experience made them less likely to engage with a brand.
- Mobile users are five times more likely to abandon a purchase or task if the site doesn’t provide great mobile user experience.
Thus, it’s imperative that your site is easy to view and use both on desktop and mobile devices. You cannot ignore the latter as it is one of the key factors that dictate your audience’s level of satisfaction regarding your online efforts. As more and more of the population spend more time on devices such as smartphones and tablets, having a mobile-friendly digital marketing approach is now a priority rather than a mere option.
Email isn’t dead, not even close. To put things in perspective, it actually still has the best ROI of any digital marketing channel. According to recent research, 18-percent of companies reported an ROI of over $94 for every $1.35 spent on email marketing. The importance of email marketing for SMEs is huge—it’s an opportunity to customise messaging and offers as well as target certain people or groups more accurately based on segmenting. It also allows you to continue the conversation (from social media or content interaction) and offer content.
To continue fostering engagement on this channel (often measured by the amount of opens and clicks), it’s important to offer something relevant and offers value. Understand the threshold for your users with regards to how often you send emails. Be straight to the point, creative, and interesting. Make sure to come up with interesting titles for your email campaigns as well to encourage more clicks. Here are a few more tips on how to make an effective content title.
Digital Marketing Impacts Small Business
Adopting digital marketing initiatives creates digital engagement, which can lead to, well, more leads and conversions. More importantly, it helps you create an effective online presence which you can use to battle toe-to-toe with the bigger players of your industry via the internet. According to a recent report from Deloitte Access Economics, Australian SMEs that have mastered digital marketing are:
- One-and-a-half times more likely to be increasing revenue
- Eight times more likely to create jobs
- 14 times more likely to be innovative
Every business wants to have these numbers, and executing effective digital marketing projects can be your ticket to getting them. Again, if you want your business to survive today and in the future, you should take on digital marketing—the numbers don’t lie.
Get Started on the Right Foot for your Digital Marketing Journey
While it is indeed beneficial and even crucial to a business’ success, digital marketing can still get rather confusing and intimidating for the uninitiated. That said, it’s wise to call on expert help if you want to get started on the right (digital) foot. Curate Bee offers different services—from social media management and website-building to content creation—to help you jumpstart your digital marketing journey and gain success along the way. Consult with us today and find out how we can be of service.