The great thing about online or digital marketing is that everybody can do it. It marks out a level playing field where entrepreneurs can build an empire from their bedroom. A small website or mobile app can turn themselves into a billion dollar company. All thanks to digital marketing. You no longer need huge pots of money to fund TV, radio, and magazine advertising. You just need some basic knowledge, and some creative ideas. Here are the bare essentials.
A website – It’s now easier than ever to build your own website. And we still suggest that every single business have one. (Social media is not a replacement for a great website). It’s the first place that any prospective buyer or client turns to before making a decision. Use WordPress to build your own, or hire a professional web designer to create a bespoke version. Don’t rush this stage, it’s a crucial part of your brand identity.
SEO – ‘SEO’ stands for ‘search engine optimisation’. Essentially, it means getting your website as high as possible on Google’s search rankings. The biggest websites rely on Google for up to 50% of their traffic. So, if you want to reach a huge number of people, it’s essential. The techniques are numerous, but here are the fundamentals. Google are looking for relevancy (through keywords and great content). They’re also looking for authority (lots of traffic and links back to your website).
Email marketing – We have been using email since the 1980s. That’s a lifetime in internet years! Yet, it is still the most powerful way to connect with your community. In fact, most big businesses rely on it for their sales. As a small business, you should be collecting email addresses, and sending timely updates. Send newsletters, exclusive discounts, and personal recommendations.
Social media – Some companies have built their entire fortune through social media platforms. There is no better way to reach out and interact with your customers. Facebook and Twitter are the most obvious platforms. However, don’t forget about Pinterest and Instagram, which are currently showing huge rates of engagement and sales referrals. Managing an effective social media strategy can feel overwhelming. We often find it easier to outsource to a professional marketing company to handle the various accounts. Find out more about social media agencies, and see if your business would benefit.
Video – Some small businesses don’t understand the enormous potential of YouTube. It’s the second biggest search engine in the world, generating billions of views every day. You need a presence here. Start brainstorming unique ways to present your company in video form. YouTube videos are the most viral form of content. Make sure you have a plan.
Advertising – Last of all, you can give your marketing a real kick with online advertising. We suggest trying a few Facebook adverts. You can target them to a very specific audience using demographics and personal interests. From there, graduate to Google adverts. You’ll boost your traffic significantly, and learn more about your customers.
That’s all there is to it! Remember, this is simply an introduction to digital marketing. Keep digging, and keep learning!