TABLE OF CONTENTS
3 Ways a Digital Marketing Strategy Can Completely Transform Your Business
5 Digital Marketing Myths You Need to Avoid
Can a 100% ‘Free’ Digital Marketing Strategy Still Be Effective?
Intimidated? Here are the Top Tools to Make Your Life Easier & Your Strategy More Effective
How Will You Know If Your Digital Marketing Is a Success?
3 WAYS A DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGY CAN COMPLETELY TRANSFORM YOUR BUSINESS
Digital marketing is essential for all businesses. The majority of interactions, communications, product research, and purchasing takes place online. It is a given that when we say marketing, we are generally referring to digital marketing. But many small business owners, even though they understand the importance of digital marketing, don’t have an effective digital marketing strategy.
Digital marketing is too important to leave to chance. You need a clear plan and a roadmap if you want to ramp up your revenue. Small business owners understand they need social media or SEO for example, but then they just jump in. They have multiple social media accounts and pepper their content with ‘best guess’ keywords.
To get the full benefits of digital marketing, you need to develop a strategy.
Here are 3 ways a digital marketing strategy will completely transform your business.
#1: Gain a Sense of Direction
A strategy will provide clear direction for your digital marketing, making it more effective and powerful. Before you dive into tactics, you’ll name your goals, get to know your audience, and revisit your branding. This will allow you to choose the tactics that will yield the most results for your business and establish realistic objectives for each.
You won’t waste time on channels that don’t resonate with your audience. And you won’t struggle, unsure of what’s working or what’s not. A strategy provides you with a road map and a way to recognize if you’ve strayed off the path.
All your digital marketing tasks will be guided by your strategy. It will make decision-making much easier and you won’t be tempted to follow ‘the next big thing’ in digital marketing.
#2: Get to Know Your Audience Better
A clearly formulated digital marketing strategy will help you gather data on your audience faster and more efficiently. You will know what you’re looking for and will quickly learn what works and what doesn’t. You’ll understand their pain points are and detect any subtle shifts in behavior sooner than you would without a concrete strategy.
You’ll gain a sense of what they’re searching for, what content gets more likes, what free digital marketing products get their attention, the questions they want answered, and so much more.
By interacting with them via social media, email, or conversational marketing, you’ll get insight into what matters to them. You’ll have both numbers and audience sentiment to inform your decisions going forward. This will not only help your marketing, it will help you refine and improve your products and services.
#3: Increase Your ROI
Devising a strategy before you jump into tactics will lead to increased engagement, more meaningful interactions, and in turn, more profits.
You’ll know what products to offer and what messaging to use in your marketing. Because you have the ability to measure every tactic, your digital marketing efforts will be more cost-effective. You will be able to focus on what works, and adjust when necessary.
No more spending on ads featuring keywords that your audience isn’t searching for. No more wasting hours creating written content when it’s been proven that your audience prefers videos and infographics.
Clarify your digital marketing goals and get to know your audience. Then, choose the best digital marketing channels and tactics for your business. Stick to the basics at first and then build upon those once you have feedback and data.
5 DIGITAL MARKETING MYTHS YOU NEED TO AVOID
Some small businesses put off digital marketing strategy development because they believe these common myths. See if any resonate with you and take steps to overcome them and bring your strategy to life.
Myth #1: “Only large companies need a strategy”
The size of your business doesn’t determine whether or not you need a strategy. All businesses should have a digital marketing strategy – no matter what their size, industry, or product/service offering.
Many people mistakenly believe that, “It’s only me running the business, I don’t need a strategy!” But if it’s just you, then all the more reason to develop a strategy. You need to conserve your energy, time, and resources if you are a one-person operation. A digital marketing plan will help you focus on the tactics that will get the most results for your business, saving you time and money.
Myth #2: “SEO is pointless for small businesses”
SEO is a major part of any integrated digital marketing strategy. But a lot of small businesses have given up on SEO because the big players rule the first page. Why try to rank for a keyword related to your product or service when Amazon, Booking, Yelp, large online publications, Google ads etc. dominate?
They also think that, just because keyword optimization has advanced in recent years (it’s not just about keywords, it’s about content), there’s no longer a reason to add keywords to their website.
Nothing could be further from the truth. There are SEO workarounds for small businesses, including ranking for lesser-used niche keyword phrases and pairing SEO up with a strong content marketing strategy.
If you have a clearly defined strategy, you will be able to monitor what’s working, and what’s not.
Myth #3: “You have to be a digital marketing expert”
Many small business owners believe that if you’re going to implement a digital marketing strategy, you need to be an expert.
Digital marketing is very accessible now. There are simple tactics that anybody can employ that will make a measurable difference to your business. There are also many free resources that can help, including:
- Tutorials on social media platforms
- Step-by-step SEO guides on Google
- Easy-to-use SEO plugins for WordPress sites
- Free site audits
- Email marketing software
- Content management software
- And more!
Myth #4: “If you don’t see immediate results, it’s not working”
Some small business owners do actually create a digital marketing strategy, but then get discouraged and give up.
Digital marketing tactics take time to produce results. Social media, email marketing, content marketing, conversational marketing, and SEO are all long-term strategies. But if you consistently implement your tactics and measure your results, they will pay off in time.
Myth #5: “Email marketing is a thing of the past”
Email marketing features prominently in most successful digital marketing plans. It is one of the most powerful ways to convert leads and generate sales. Depending on which expert you ask, email marketing has an ROI of $38-$44 for every dollar spent.
It gives businesses direct access to their prospects, with the ability to communicate with them one-on-one via email inbox.
CAN A “FREE” DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGY BE EFFECTIVE?
There are two types of digital marketing strategy, free and paid. Most successful digital marketing strategies consist of both paid and free elements. Paid tactics include Google PPC ads and social media ads. But some ‘free’ tactics also come with a price tag, for example, the software used for email marketing, chatbots, or content management require an investment. There’s also the cost associated with hiring freelance designers or writers.
But is it necessary to pay for ads, third-party help, or pricey software? Can you implement a 100% ‘free’ digital marketing strategy?
If you consider the time and resources you will personally dedicate to digital marketing, no strategy is 100% ‘free’. But it is possible to implement a low-cost and effective digital marketing strategy without paid ads or outside help.
Use organic SEO to increase your rank on Google and other search engines. You can do keyword research and implementation on your own, without the help of paid experts or expensive apps.
Using free keyword builders, find niche keywords to rank for. Then, create valuable content around these phrases and topics and you’ll start to see results.
To improve your website’s on-page SEO, use a free online site auditing tool and, step-by-step, make the recommended changes.
Or, increase backlinks to your website by getting reputable sites to link to valuable content on your blog, or by guest blogging and including a link to your website in your post and/or bio.
You don’t have to be an expert writer to develop your own content.
Craft a simple step-by-step guide or how-to and get it on sites like Medium.
Or ‘interview’ thought leaders by providing a list of 5 questions and publishing their answers.
Record off-the-cuff videos and upload to YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok. With the proliferation of video content on social media, it doesn’t have to be professionally-produced to be widely shared.
Host livestreams on Instagram or Facebook or create simple infographics using a Canva template.
Produce a podcast and interview people related to your topic or go solo and share tips and advice for your audience.
Social media channels are making it easier and easier for people to create content. For example, Instagram Stories allows you to quickly add a filter, location, hashtag, or caption that looks professional and polished.
That said, followers are used to candid, authentic content in their feed and don’t expect expert copywriting or dazzling graphics every post.
Or, engage and interact with your audience on your own social media pages and on third-party pages and groups.
Email marketing can be labor-intensive for one person, but it’s not impossible.
You can create in-house email newsletters and seasonal emails and then send them out to your list using low-cost or free email marketing software.
Or, repurpose digital products and offer them as freebies in exchange for email addresses. Each person who opts in for a freebie will receive a series of 3-5 emails that provides helpful information and resources, plus a push to purchase a related offer in later emails.
You can craft these emails yourself. Check online for free tips, tutorials, and templates and use a subject line generator to help you get your emails noticed.
A no-cost way to implement a conversational marketing tactic into your strategy is to offer SMS or instant messaging as a way to get in touch with you or send offers via WhatsApp or other apps.
Bring Your Strategy to Life
Now that you know it’s possible to develop a cost-effective digital marketing strategy, what’s stopping you?
INTIMIDATED BY DIGITAL MARKETING? HERE ARE THE TOP TOOLS TO MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER AND YOUR STRATEGY MORE EFFECTIVE
if you aren’t sure how to build a digital marketing strategy, it can be confusing, overwhelming and intimidating. From SEO to chatbots, some of the tactics can be tech-heavy and demand specialized knowledge and skills.
But anybody can tackle the basic tactics found in a digital marketing strategy. It will take some patience and a bit of practice and research, but you can do it – especially with all the free and low-cost tools designed to help.
Here are some tools you can use to bring your strategy to life, broken down by each of the five key digital marketing channels.
The primary role of SEO in a digital marketing strategy is to increase visibility on search engine results pages and boost web traffic and conversion rates.
There are a number of tools and resources to help you at all stages of SEO implementation.
Semrush or Ahrefs offer free site auditing tools that will list the key things you need to do to improve your site ranking.
Google’s Keyword Planner helps you choose the right keywords for your paid ads, but this knowledge can also be applied to your organic SEO. Their SEO Starter Guide is also a valuable resource. And optimizing HTML code is easy when you use free or low-cost plugins like RankMath (our preference) or Yoast.
Content marketing’s role in digital marketing is to help you attract and connect with your target audience and convert them into leads.
There are a number of tools that can help you develop and publish content.
Your website builder (e.g. WordPress with Divi) can help you layout and publish landing pages, sales pages, and blog posts, allowing you to customize the design.
There are also a number of tools to help you write or edit your work, including Grammarly and Hemingway Editor. Or, if your audience responds more favorably to visuals, you can design infographics with the help of Canva, or produce and edit videos using software like Premiere Elements or PowerDirector.
You could also hire freelancers from sites like Fiverr or Upwork to help but be very careful.
Social Media Marketing
Social media’s role in digital marketing is to use channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to market product/services, increase brand awareness, engage with current customers, and attract new ones.
Social media and content planners like Planoly, or local marketing platforms like PromoRepublic, can help you manage your social media posting schedule, maintain brand consistency across all platforms, and track the performance of your posts and overall social media strategy.
Still one of the most effective and popular digital marketing channels, email marketing allows you to communicate directly with prospects and customers. There are a number of tools that can help, including email marketing software like ConvertKit, Drip or ActiveCampaign which can automate your communications.
Another valuable tool that will help you motivate people to actually open your emails is a subject line generator.
Or, research trending topics for your newsletter on sites like BuzzSumo or Ubersuggest.
Conversational marketing’s role in digital marketing is to use channels like SMS, chatbots, and instant messaging to engage with current customers, educate prospective customers, and market products/services.
There is chatbot software that you can easily integrate with your website including Intercom, Zendesk, or Tidio.
You can also use some of WhatsApp Business features to help you engage your audience, accelerate sales, and provide unbeatable customer support.
Simplify Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Use these and other tools, and the tasks associated with digital marketing will become easier and more manageable.
HOW WILL YOU KNOW IF YOUR DIGITAL MARKETING IS A SUCCESS?
Once you start implementing the tactics in your digital marketing strategy, how will you know if they’re successful? Each digital marketing channel will use different tools to evaluate, so we’ll break it down by the 5 most popular: SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and conversational marketing.
It’s essential that you track performance to see if the strategy is helping you achieve your goals. Then, you can refine each tactic for better results in the future.
There are a number of ways to evaluate your SEO performance.
First, with paid SEO, simply go into your Google Ads account and see how your ads are performing relative to the goals you set. The minute you launch your ad, you’ll start getting valuable feedback.
The easiest way to see how your organic SEO efforts are faring? Google your targeted keywords and phrases and see if they’ve moved up in rank.
You can also periodically run site audits on Semrush or Ahrefs to check if your score has improved.
There are many ways to get feedback on content performance.
For your blog posts, and other website content, go to your Google Analytics and the control panel of your website builder. Here, you’ll find information about site visits, amount of time spent on page, and more.
If you have a freebie digital product (e.g., step-by-step guide or mini course), and you want to know how it’s doing, check how many people provided their email address and opted in. You can find this information on your email marketing platform.
Social Media Marketing
Social media provides many ways to evaluate performance.
The most important is audience feedback. Did they like, share, or comment on your post? Every social media channel provides excellent metrics on post engagement, impressions, new followers, lost followers etc. Make sure you have a business-specific account and get familiar with the analytics tools.
You can also compare the performance of your social media channels, side-by-side, by using content planners or local marketing platforms like the aforementioned Planoly or PromoRepublic.
Your email marketing software can provide valuable information about how people are interacting with your emails. The key metrics relate to delivery, engagement, and conversions.
By doing this, you’ll understand what you’re doing right and what needs your attention. For example, your emails are being successfully delivered, but recipients aren’t opening them. You might need to adjust your subject lines or the frequency of email delivery.
Conversational marketing also provides many opportunities to evaluate the performance of your tactics. For example, WhatsApp Business provides conversation insights, allowing you to view all pertinent metrics.
Or, if you have a chatbot on your website, simply visit your chatbot software and you’ll find analytics, including chat volume, satisfaction ratings, and more.
These, and other digital marketing tactics, can constantly be tweaked, revised, and tested. That’s the beauty of digital marketing.
How is your overall strategy performing?
Each channel and tactic can be analyzed and evaluated individually, but how is your overall digital marketing strategy working out for you? Review your digital marketing goals to determine if your chosen tactics are delivering. If they’re not, you may have to adjust or replace them altogether.
If you don’t know how to create a digital marketing strategy, book a call with Premium Web to see how we can help. We’ll recommend the best digital marketing tactics for your business based on your goals, audience, skills, and budget.