Digital marketing is the promotion of services, products or brands via one or more forms of electronic media such as facebook, twitter or instagram.
Many businesses have some form of digital presence. A website, Facebook page, Twitter account yet businesses know they need to be online in order to compete with others. But far too many businesses think that creating a Facebook page is the end-game, expecting revenue to pour in after the hour they spent getting their page up and running.
It is possible and essential to use digital marketing tools to grow your business. But it takes work, time and, most importantly, a strategic plan in order to be successful with it. The secret of using digital marketing to grow your business is not just a fancy new tool. It’s also a way to increase your revenue.
Firstly, it is important to identify your audience and discover what digital platforms they are using. In banking we refer to this as KYC or Know your customer. The need for KYC in banking is linked to compliance and money laundering but beyond that there are benefits to knowing your customer. Digital marketing allows you to have customer insight that used to be reserved for big companies with lots of money. Now anyone can reach customers where they are and make it easy for them to find you. You can reach the audience at every stage in the buying cycle through various digital platforms.
Here are the basic elements of a digital marketing strategy
- Social – Choose the platforms that make sense with your overall business goal and brand voice. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+
- Mobile – Don’t underestimate the importance of mobile. Mobile adoption is high and constantly growing. Neglecting mobile platforms is a huge missed opportunity.
- Online – Through targeted advertising and retargeting, it is possible to reach your current and potential customers, where they are. Online, on social platforms, on mobile devices and email. Through online campaigns you can provide special offers, strengthen your brand, educate the portions of your audience that know they need your service but don’t know what value you bring and introduce your business to those that might not know they need you yet.
- SEO/SEM – Make it as easy as possible for those looking for your product or service to find you through organic and paid search on the most popular search engines; Google, Yahoo and Bing.
On a second note, it is important to educate your audience, provide value and create a relationship with them. Giving them incentive to stay connected with you through valuable information and incentives to use your product or service.
- Create a blog – Sharing tips, helpful information and education for your audience with no direct incentive. Let your audience know you are a trusted source for information regarding the service or product you are providing. If they know they can trust you, they will be more likely to come back to you when it is the time to buy.
- Email campaigns – Having constant contact with your audience provides an opportunity to share information and unique offers.
- Web presence – Make sure your website accurately represents your business and the value you bring to your customers. Also, make sure your web site is indexed on the search engines through SEO. If people cannot find your site, they won’t know your value.
- Social personas – Social platforms give the business a more personal side and encourages interaction. Two way communication makes the audience feel engaged and connected to you in a way traditional advertising cannot do.
Finally, and most importantly, create clear and measurable digital goals that align with overall business goals and are “trackable”. This makes measuring ROI more attainable. You can easily track any of the digital marketing pieces mentioned above. Knowing how effective your advertising efforts are coupled with the ability to test in an effort to constantly improve is a huge benefit of digital marketing.
- Google analytics –URL tracking, traffic patterns and referring sources are easy to identify and quantify. With Google Analytics, these tools are free; however, other companies like Omniture, Adobe and Webtrends offer paid services that provide more in depth reporting.
- Facebook analytics – Tracking engagement, likes, shares and total reach helps to easily gauge the effectiveness of your Facebook interactions.
- Sprout Social/Sumall.com – Analyze social traffic patterns and the importance of the conversation between you, as a business, and your customers. These tools combine metrics from multiple social platforms and present them in an easy to understand format.
Whichever way you decide to tackle your digital strategy, make sure you keep your audience at the center as they are the source of your revenue. Find them where they are, give them an incentive to keep in touch with you and make sure you can measure your efforts. Following these three strategies will help your business grow and will help strengthen the connection with your audience.
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