It has become exceedingly difficult to understand social media and the web regarding marketing opportunities for your business. The problem is not ease of use, per say. In fact, most things have become easier and more streamlined. Yet they are continually changing. Just when you believe you’ve got it all figured out, something hits you with a change and you need to figure that out now, too.
It isn’t just you. It’s everyone trying to utilize the digital marketplace. The good news is that, while far from easy, there are a few things you can do to make understanding and navigating these virtual marketing spaces simpler.
The very first thing you need to know is your own goals. What are you trying to accomplish through your digital marketing efforts? Each individual campaign should have no more than one or two goals.
Your goal may be to grow your email marketing list or increase website traffic. It could be to generate new business leads or create a higher lead to sale conversion. Keeping this goal in mind will help determine the areas of the digital marketplace you’ll want to focus on.
A lot of people jump into the digital marketplace with both feet. They register accounts on as many social networks as possible, host a website, and start a blog. The more places you are the better, right?
By spreading yourself and your company’s marketing team thin you will undoubtedly suffer across all platforms – unless you have a large team of marketing ninjas who never have to sleep, that is.
The better option is to target specific platforms where your target audience mostly is. Yes, all companies will want to host a website and start a company blog. But not all companies will want to necessarily be on the same social platforms.
The only way to be sure where your target audience mostly resides is by doing research. Host surveys ask previous customers (if applicable) and check out what the competition is doing that is or is not working.
To get started you should know what the most popular social platforms are. These are what you should limit yourself to unless you are a niche provider who could benefit from a social platform with limited viewer options. For example, a company who sells gothic clothing would fare well on Vampire Life, while most other businesses would not.
The most popular social platforms include:
If you haven’t already, you need to do two things. First, you need to figure out who your target audience is. These are the people who will benefit the most from your product and are already searching for something similar online. Second, you need to create a buyer persona. This is a semi-fictional representation of who your ideal customer is.
No matter what else your marketing efforts include, know that content is still king. The only difference is that content can now take many more forms than it did a few years ago. Blogs and article posts are still the most popular. But other options might include infographics, case studies, podcasts, videos, e-books, e-zines, magazines, press releases, white paper, or any other number of useful formats.
The most important thing is to create content which adds value to the customer. It should answer a question, provide useful knowledge about your general industry or specific company, or entertain them in a way which relates to them on a personal level.
Whenever possible your company should make use of landing pages. These are useful pages explicitly built to gather information from your customers by offering them something of value. This “thing of value” could be a download, exclusive web content, coupon, discount, or even a physical product. The choice is yours.
Remember when using landing pages to limit the contact fields necessary to receive whatever the item is. Use clear, easy to read font and use no more than a single graphic (besides your company logo). Check that what you want customers to do is obvious and straightforward to understand.
Every company wants to grow as quickly as possible, so it may seem redundant to say that shouldn’t be your primary goal. Instead, you should focus on maintaining your current customers and business relationships. Repeat customers are a vital part of success, and it is much more affordable to keep a customer than it is to bring in new ones.
This isn’t to say none of your marketing should be focused on bringing in new customers. Focus about 75% of your available time on your current customer base and 25% of available marketing time on generating new leads.
You may lag a little behind on the latest trends or a new update to Facebook or Google may fall under the radar. That’s fine because nobody can know everything. What is essential, however, is that you never stop learning.
If there is a certification you’re eligible to get that could advance your marketing efforts, get it. Read trending articles in the digital marketing sphere. Read books written by experts. Watch videos on how to.
Knowledge is an immensely powerful tool, especially in an industry with so much competition. That knowledge is what will set your company (and your marketing team) apart from the rest.
It takes a lot of work to digitally market your brand. Not only must you keep up-to-date on the ever-changing landscape, but you must be consistent and offer content of the highest quality. The truth is that when a small marketing team of fewer than four people (or sometimes even more) try to do this they end up lagging.
Outsourcing some or all your digital marketing is a great way to ease the burden on small teams. You can choose to have a digital marketing company handle all your related tasks, or only handle a portion of them. The choice is yours, but it is worthwhile looking into.
By adhering to these few things, you can ensure that you’re doing the best possible job at using the digital marketplace. Yes, it’s an ever-changing virtual space that can be overwhelming at times but remember that persistence will undoubtedly pay off.
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