Five digital marketing strategies for your business
Engage your customers online by developing a digital and social media marketing strategy.
You’re probably already familiar with the importance of a solid online presence, but be sure you’re making the most of digital marketing with these strategies.
To improve your site's ranking, apply search engine optimization (SEO) to your content so customers can find it. Here are some tips:
Publish valuable, unique content. One of the most important things you can do for site visibility is create high-quality, engaging content that interests your target audience.
Choose keywords that consumers search and you can rank for. Tools like Google Keyword Planner and Wordtracker can help you find keywords that people use online. Choose keywords most relevant to your business and individual pages, and pay attention to the level of competition, which is usually available through a keyword tool.
Create content for humans, not robots. Using too many keywords on individual pages can harm your search ranking. Make sure your keywords are relevant to your customers so search engines don't penalize you.
2. Sponsored search
It can be incredibly hard to rank for certain keywords using organic (unpaid) SEO strategies. One way to cut through the clutter is to pay for sponsored searches, also called pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns.
"Sponsored search is the way to get into the game you can’t get into organically," says Tracy Henry, SEO/SEM project manager at 3M.
Start your PPC campaign by bidding on popular keywords through a search engine that advertises, such as Google. When people search your keyword, they'll see an ad for your business or a link to your content. This will help drive people to your website, and you only pay for each time someone clicks on your sponsored ad.
3. Targeted email marketing
"If they're already a customer, they're already on the mailing list," Henry says. "In which case, the best practice is to keep them posted on things highly related to the way they interacted with you before."
For example, if a customer previously purchased children's items from your clothing shop, send an email to notify him or her of your back-to-school sale. If prospects provide their email addresses, send them discounts, coupons, and first-time customer deals.
"It's all about fostering the relationship to make them trust you enough to become a customer," Henry says.
The government has established regulations for commercial emails, however, so make sure you abide by the CAN-SPAM Act. Here are some tips for business owners from the Federal Trade Commission that can help you follow the law.
4. Social media as part of your long game
Not every post or tweet will lead to an immediate sale, and that's OK. Social media is about more than making cold sales – it’s about maintaining ongoing conversations with existing customers, demonstrating your credibility, and encouraging long-term engagement.
While most social media channels are free to use, you may need to consider a paid promotion to reach your target audience and build your follower base over time.
Businesses that publish 15 or more blog posts a month receive five times more traffic than those that don't blog, and small businesses with 10 employees or fewer report the largest traffic increases from posting more often, according to a HubSpot survey.1
Blogging can also boost lead generation: HubSpot found that B2B businesses that blog once or twice each month generate 70% more leads than those that don't.
Perhaps most importantly, though, blogging can help you build a reputation as a thought leader. By posting helpful and creative content on your blog regularly, you can show off your expertise to customers and prospects.
Henry says the key is posting relevant information. Write how-to articles or answer frequently asked questions. Then, use your social media channels to promote your blog by writing short, captivating posts with images.
"The blog should be about your industry and where you see yourself," he says. "You should be adding to the larger conversation."
1 "Marketing Benchmarks from 7,000+ Businesses." HubSpot. http://offers.hubspot.com/marketing-benchmarks-from-7000-businesses
Take your business to the next level with digital marketing
As you create your business plan, think about how digital marketing can help you build brand awareness, engage customers, generate leads, and position yourself as an expert in your industry.
Make sure your online presence matches your in-person experience.