May 05, 2016
There have been countless times when clients have come to us asking for help with digital marketing, completely unsure of exactly what they were asking for. There’s a common misconception that digital marketing is simple and virtually free. Quite to the contrary, digital marketing is a complex art form that involves a number of elements. Platforms come and go, but the following components remain the foundation of any strong marketing strategy.
In a digital strategy, your website is everything. Without a strong website, customers will be unable to find your business. Design is one of the most important factors, and usability is key. When designing your website, make sure it includes everything customers would be looking for, and present this information in a way they will understand it. In most ranking formulas, user experience is king.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the act of implementing a number of best known practices on both the front end and back end of your website to achieve greater visibility in search results. SEO looks at both the user experience as well as the search engine experience. Through implementing best practices, your website will jump to the top of a search engine’s rankings. The majority of consumers in America use search engines to identify potential places of business they might utilize. In this digital age, a business needs SEO strategy to ensure it’s reaching potential clients. Keyword research is an important element of SEO, and understanding how customers will search for businesses like yours is essential for rankings.
Content marketing is an online marketing practice that creates and disseminates valuable information to customers and also to potential ones. Many companies use blogs, but there is a wide variety of approaches. For instance, one might include videos, infographics, or quizzes within content to add interest. It is also important to integrate your keyword research throughout this practice.
Social Media Marketing
There are an ever-growing number of social platforms out there which can be valuable for customer interaction. For anyone starting out, we suggest sticking to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn at first. Posting on each platform 2-3 times per week is a good rule of thumb. When deciding what to post, consider what type of content your customers would be interested in interacting with. Additionally, if you regularly create new content, social media is a great place to share it with your audience.
While many sites offer services where you can display your ads directly, we suggest allocating most of your media spend on Google Adwords or social media advertising. Google Adwords allows you to upload ad groups and target audiences by certain characteristics such as location, income level, interests or demographics. There are a number of ad formats that you can utilize, but Google Adwords is by far the best established for digital advertising. That said, social media advertising is quickly becoming equally important. One relatively new aspect of this field is native advertising, which involves designing ads which blend in with the user’s typical newsfeed. When designing native ads, make sure to design ads that add value to your consumer.
Sending regular updates to your existing contacts is a great way to stay in your customers’ minds. You can send newsletters or even an email including recent blog posts. Make sure emails are adding some type of value to your customers and are not purely promotional. If they feel too much like sales emails, users will unsubscribe. Subject lines are another important part of email strategy, and should always serve to engage the recipient. Lastly, it’s important to be strategic about how often emails are sent. If you overwhelm your customers’ inboxes, they will likely unsubscribe.
It’s essential to regularly monitor the performance of your digital efforts and adjust your strategy accordingly. There are a number of free tools, including Google Analytics and Google Webmasters, that you can use to track your website’s performance. Make sure you track statistics regarding landing pages, bounce rate, and queries to understand how people are finding your website.
It is important that each of these elements work in tandem with one another. A well-developed digital strategy can do wonders for your business. If you are interested in learning more about what a digital strategy can do for you, we’d love to meet.