When done properly (and genuinely), digital marketing can generate big results, and help you grow your online business.
A few years ago, Spotify launched a very creative (and clever), personalized video: “A Year in Music: What Did Your 2015 Sound Like?”
The video and its message went viral on social channels.
It showed a personalized video featuring the user’s favorite, most played songs. And naturally, people were tempted to watch their ‘special’ videos.
To generate the video, the users had to log in. And, this amazing digital marketing technique won Spotify the following and loyalty of customers.
This is the power (and magic) of great digital marketing.
Whether you’re a small business or a big operation, if you want to stand out in the versus the competition, you need a strong online presence.
A presence supported by a strong digital marketing strategy.
You’ve put a lot of effort, energy, and investment in your business. And, obviously, you want to see it thriving.
With the skills of digital marketing, you can get the visibility, organic traffic, and conversions that’ll make your business successful.
In this post, I’ll help you start marketing online.
But before we begin, let’s talk about it…
What is Digital Marketing?
I won’t bore you with long definitions, so let us start with the simple meaning.
Digital Marketing is anything (strategy, effort, or tool) that helps you reach your target audience through the internet.
Digital marketing involves advertising your business and boosting its visibility through various online practices.
These include SEO, SEM, content marketing, social media marketing, online advertising, affiliate marketing, and email marketing.
According to Statista, 2.95 billion people use social media worldwide. And, the number is expected to increase to almost 3.43 billion by 2023.
Can you believe this? Digital marketing can give you access to billions of people across the world.
So, to grow your business and online presence, you should start focusing on digital marketing.
When you type ‘digital marketing for my business’ on Google, you will get 3,110,000,000 results in 0.57 seconds.
So, it’s understandable why business owners find the tons of data and extensive guides so daunting.
Which is why I’m writing this step-by-step guide for you.
We’ll explore all the necessary steps you should take to start marketing your business online.
And you don’t have to be tech-savvy to do any of this.
So, let’s get into it.
A Website is NOT Enough, You Need Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
You’re looking for ways to promote yourself online. So it should be a given you have a website by now.
But… a website is not enough.
To grow your online business, you need to ensure your website gets visibility. People need to find and engage with you.
And, that visibility can be achieved by SEO.
SEO is a process to optimize your content for search engines. Search engine optimization helps you in ranking your online content for a specific keyword.
For instance, at this moment of writing, when I type SEO on Google, the first page that pops up is The Beginner’s Guide to SEO by Moz, followed by SEO content by:
- What is SEO? By Search Engine Land
- Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide by Google Support.
- SEO Made Simple: A Step by Step Guide for 2020 by Neil Patel.
And, so on…
These are the pages ranking the highest for the keyword, ‘SEO.’
When it comes to SEO, there are two broad categories:
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
On-Page SEO practices focus on the click-through rate (CTR) and the time people spend on your website.
A higher CTR generally means a higher ranking!
For on-page SEO, the following elements are very important:
- Keywords research—The words that people use to search for something in a search engine. The best SEO strategy is to use a mix of short-tail and long-tail keywords.
- Crawl errors—Crawl errors are 404 errors, site errors, URL errors, content duplication, etc. They can slow the speed and lower the ranking of your website.
- Speed— Users don’t like slow sites. The optimum speed for loading a webpage should be 3 seconds. Websites with lower loading speeds lose traffic.
- Page optimization— This includes optimizing everything from the URL, H1, H2 to internal links. It determines the amount of time a user spends on your website.
Off-Page SEO comprises different elements like link building and online sharing.
These are crucial for the optimization of your website but are a little hard to implement.
The best way to achieve both is through getting your content out there.
Guest posting or posting on social media is a great way of driving the traffic to your website.
Invest Your Way Up With Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Search engine optimization can be hard to implement for beginners, and it takes time before you start seeing any big results.
Not everyone has the time and patience to wait for the results to show.
Search engine marketing allows businesses to get faster interactions and results super-fast through Google Ads.
To simplify it, SEM is the Paid version of SEO.
For these ads, you pay for every click. Sometimes, you may even have to pay in hundreds.
But SEM gets you visibility and a higher (actually, top) ranking on Google search result pages.
More on this down below.
Pro tip: if you want to avoid paying for no-use clicks, set up conversion goals in your Ad campaign.
‘Content is king.’
The famous quote by Bill Gates is popular for a reason. The internet is a marketplace for content. And your content helps you power your SEO game.
Great content is also something Google loves. In fact, it’s one of the ranking factors used to determine where it will place your content on its list.
But most importantly, content is how people discover brands and businesses.
But what exactly do we mean when we say “content”?
If you’re a local business owner, content marketing can be used to fuel your growth.
With it you can answer questions your clients and customers might have.
Use it to attract and reach more potential customers.
Make more sales and increase the number of eyes on your business, brand, product, and services. And that’s just the beginning.
With content marketing you can do so much more.
This is why as a local business owner you should be creating and posting content online. You can use social media, online videos, blog posts, podcasts, and more to connect with your customers and clients.
Plus, there are many unique ways you can use each method listed below to market and grow your brand and business online.
Different Content Marketing Methods:
One of the most popular digital marketing options is social media. Just about everyone on the planet has a social media account.
And there are a number of different social media platforms you can choose from to reach the most amount of people.
Social media apps and websites are great because they store valuable information.
You can use that information for the benefit of your company.
And easily find the analytic data you need to determine where and who you need to market to in order to have the most exposure.
Social media also gives you the chance to reach out to your clients and customers.
You can interact with them, talk to them, and make the business more personalized to your support base.
There are a number of good video streaming websites and YouTube that frequently see billions of visitors on a regular basis.
These sites are a great way to market your business and website.
By making creative videos, videos that relate to your clients, you can effectively market your business.
And if your videos are well-received, they may even go viral and reach millions of people across the world within a very short amount of time.
Clients who enjoy your videos can even subscribe to you and follow your uploads over time.
All the while building and generating a loyal following for your brand, business, products, and services.
Eventually, there will be a number of viewers who enjoy the videos you release. And it’ll lead to more and more interest in what you have to offer.
What you are reading right now is a blog post. And it is another way you can use the internet to market your products, services, and business.
Creating blog posts are a great way to get the information you want out to your customers and clients.
Your blogs can be anything you want. But make sure what you post relates to your business.
By writing blog posts, they allow you to do a number of things.
You can create informational posts, posts about your products and services, and you can also create tips that can help your clients.
Through blogs, you are able to communicate what your business is about while being informative and helpful.
Blogs can also be used to make it easier to find your website through means such as SEO which is a tool used by professional web designers to help drive traffic to your site.
Podcasts are audio files that you can use to share information through computers, phones or other portable audio devices.
Local businesses can use podcasts for a variety of different reasons and how they see fit.
Including sharing information about new products, company information, or general business-related information.
Introducing podcasts to your marketing plan also comes with numerous benefits.
Businesses are using podcasts to get more potential customers into the door.
And it’s a powerful marketing tool. As podcasts have become the new talk radio for mobile device users on the go.
Having your own website is like uploading your store or business onto the internet.
Websites are your own little piece of virtual real estate.
And with it you can offer your services and products at the convenience of your client.
A well-designed custom website can be a huge benefit for your local business because it allows you to reach more potential customers not only in your community but across the world.
Plus, without the internet and websites, you’d only have access to your local community and clients.
But keep in mind, it‘s important that you create a well optimized website.
One that’s easy to browse and presents the information you want in a structured way to your customers and clients.
Having a great website design company like us here at Red October Firm help you during this process can make it easier for you.
We’ll create the online storefront your business needs for success. So, find a content marketing solution you love and…
Start Making Online Content
Content marketing can and will work for you and your local business.
But in order to be successful, your strategy for creating and sharing content must be in line with your business goals.
And now that we’ve covered the different content marketing solutions available to you, the question is which one(s) will you use in your local business?
How Can You Market Your Business Through Content Marketing?
By creating content that drives traffic. You should write and post the things people (your targeted customers) are looking for.
A strong content marketing strategy focuses on:
- What kind of content will you post? (Cheat: Keyword research).
- How frequently will you post? (Cheat: As much as possible).
But make sure it’s good, relevant content. Don’t just post to post or check it off your list.
Content marketing helps you in engaging your current customers and attracting new ones organically. And, (bonus) it produces massive ROI.
So, if you haven’t done it yet, start focusing on blog content creation.
If blogging isn’t your thing, you can create content in many other forms.
The most popular one is through a Youtube channel and videos, or a podcast. You can even post pictures and downloadables if that attracts your customers and clients.
But to put it simply, explore what works for you in your niche. Find what your target audience is looking for, and fill in that gap with your content.
So, your content strategy is ready, and your content is also ready, now what?
Now is the time to publish and market your content. Once you publish your content on your website, spread it around through social media.
Social media marketing will give your content a great boost and enhance its visibility.
Grow Crazy with Social Media Marketing & PPC
Honestly, I have stopped keeping track of social media networks. I mean I have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Youtube, Snapchat… how many platforms can one handle?
But the truth is… social media is expanding, and it is only wise to join it in its expansion.
Now, I said above…
That you should post your content on social media to market it.
So, what am I doing here talking about social media marketing again?
Another way of using social media is to tell your story, the foundation of your business, and the idea behind your brand.
Create content. Create a context. Connect.
Make your presence stronger (and, noticeable) on the most popular and populated platforms of social media.
This is the best way of getting organic, natural traffic and driving sales.
Right now, Instagram and Youtube are two of the most popular social media platforms.
You can also increase your chance of gaining visibility on social media and making it to the news feed of your target audience/customers using paid advertisements.
You can also choose PPC marketing.
Pay-per-click marketing helps you in reaching customers. This is a sneaky but very successful way of reaching clients by blending in their social media posts. You can reach them on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram through PPC marketing.
You can also use it for Google Ads. Google Ads is an advertising network that allows businesses to form and post an online ad. This lets you gain top ranking on Google SERP as well.
The cost per click for Google is $1 to $2.
Since your ad will be on the top, you may end up spending a lot on it. But, you don’t need me to tell you it’s totally worth it.
Email marketing is a great way to directly communicate with your audience and customers.
With a huge 4400% ROI, email marketing is THE boss of all the digital marketing methods.
Email is a more permanent, professional, and productive way of connecting with your clients and prospects.
Have you noticed everyone, including us, use lead magnets, free courses, webinars, etc.?
This means that we are not the only smart ones.
Email marketing is a popular method of digital marketing for businesses and converts way more than any other form of advertising.
So, how can you make your email marketing effective?
Emails today are more personalized to add a personal touch. They start with the subscriber’s names and reference to his or her interests or history.
For a strong email campaign, you need strong email content writing.
Taking personalization one step further there is also segmentation. Segmentation allows you to personalize the experience on a more sophisticated level.
For instance, someone visits your website to purchase bags, and another person visits to buy belts.
Segmentation allows you to separate and identifies the customers based on their interests and purchase histories.
And then you can send marketing content that will result in more engagement.
For great email marketing, you must use great tools.
Gmail is the simplest option, it lets you make lists and send emails. However, email marketing is a hectic process, and Gmail doesn’t allow you to automate your campaign.
Therefore, you need a tool that will help you in personalizing your content and schedule your email campaign.
These tools will also help you when it comes to segmentation, and will save your time, effort, and money.
And all things considered, MailChimp is hands down one of the best free tools for email marketing.
“MailerLite” is another free option if you’re not a fan of MailChimp.
Grow Your Online Business – Steps to Take for Digital Marketing
Let me emphasize it for you one more time.
Your online business NEEDS to have a strong online presence backed by the power of online marketing.
Digital marketing is a process that helps you reach your target customers/audience through the internet.
The process has many steps, and you can go as deep and as complex as you like.
But if you’re just starting, here’s what you need to do right now:
- Learn the basics of SEO and use the best practices to optimize your website. A free (and amazing) tool for SEO audit, keyword research, and driving traffic is Ubersuggest by Neil Patel.
- To up your SEO game, use SEM (paid SEO) and get the visibility and organic traffic to help your business grow. Try SEMrush for search engine marketing.
- Create content for search engines as well as your target audience. This is the best way to get organic traffic. For content marketing, you can try using HubSpot. The tool can help you create content to drive sales.
- Next, use the gigantic reach of social media to connect with billions of people. For social media marketing, a tool like Buffer can help you manage your social media accounts and automate the hectic processes.
- PPC plays an important role in getting you the right spot in front of the right audience. By spending on Google Ads and social media ads, you can ensure more visibility and more traffic. Or try running Facebook Ads for its targeted and strong PPC features.
- Email marketing is the best way of marketing. It ensures massive ROI and real conversion compared to other modes of marketing. MailChimp is a free email marketing tool that can help you automate your email drip campaign.
Digital marketing can help you grow your online business. You can use the steps I shared to form a plan and start marketing your business online.
Marketing online will give you the greatest access to your target audience.
I hope this post helped you in figuring out your digital marketing strategy.
And how do you intend to start? Which mode of digital marketing do you find the most profitable?
Share it with me.
I’d love to hear your views. And what’s working for you.
RileyAdran Riley is the co-founder of Red October Firm, a photography and graphic design studio in Bloomfield, CT. He's been in the web design and SEO industry since 2015. His mission is to help others share and do what they love online. That way, they can build and connect with even more people.
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