3 Quick Tips That Will Help Kick Off Your Digital Marketing Strategy
There is a reason why Denver was recently named one of the top 10 cities for entrepreneurs and startups. Right now, Denver ranks second in the rate of entrepreneurship in the United States, and fourth in the rate of high-growth company density. The city is experiencing something of a boom, offering a young, often higher-income social atmosphere. The unemployment rate is low, which gives people more money to spend on what they want and need. As there is money in Denver, there is an opportunity to seek out investors and customers in the area. The year 2017 saw investors in Colorado invest $1.1 billion! For that matter, the more that new business owners flock to Denver, the more others will follow them, both due to the competition and the fact that some can benefit each other. Of course, even when a business is based in Denver, it isn’t necessarily limited to Denver. The vast space around the city allows business owners to set up supply warehouses, while the city itself is bustling but still offers the real estate necessary for storefronts. Some businesses, however, do not need to take up much space at all, because they are primarily based online.
However, a base on the Internet is not only required of ecommerce businesses. It’s crucial for any business to have a strong online presence today — otherwise, they will not succeed. Where once print advertising was how people learned about the businesses they would eventually depend upon, now everyone searches for businesses and products online. Therefore, it’s important for a business to have a strong digital marketing base.
As Timothy Weaver, CEO of Sure Exposure, Inc., says, “Great companies are built on two things – innovation and marketing.”
Nonetheless, it can be difficult to navigate digital marketing, and how best to advertise your business. Therefore, today we’re looking into the best ways to market companies online.
Search Engine Optimization: The Key To Initial Noticeability
Most people — 93% — begin their online experiences with search engines. Everyone can use search engines, including those who may find writing difficult for whatever reason; by the end of 2020, it’s estimated that 50% of all online searches will be made via voice. Think about when you have a question or are looking for a product or business that can satisfy a want or need of yours. You immediately turn to a search engine, and unless you’re doing in-depth research or are looking for something more obscure, you’ll probably end up clicking on the first few links that pop up; and if you’re satisfied with the first link you click on, you may not look for anything else. This is why it’s so important that small businesses are prominent in search engine results. This is usually accomplished through a digital marketing tactic called search engine optimization, or SEO. SEO essentially uses content, like articles, lists, and blog posts — sometimes even videos — to make websites more prominent in search engine results. This prominence is achieved through the repetition of certain keywords and key phrases. If a website is selling flowers, for example, it may host SEO content that uses the phrase “flowers for sale” multiple times. This ultimately will result in people looking for what the website sells, and finding the website. An advantage of this kind of content is that it is organic, and therefore targets a specific user — the ideal customer or client, if you will — rather than casting a wider net over everyone. Therefore, its conversion rates will be higher, and users won’t feel as if they’re being bombarded with unsubtle ads. It provides the search engine results a business needs while providing appealing content for the business’s website.
Website Layout: Keeping Up Appearances
Once a person is pulled towards a business’s website, one step is accomplished. However, a website can easily put off potential customers or clients if its layout is unattractive or difficult to use. Many small businesses do not prioritize website design, which means that they offer dated websites, which by visual design alone will put people off. Think about it — why would a user see a business as professional if its website is unprofessional? In fact, it’s believed that 38% of Internet users stop engaging with a website if its layout is plain or ugly. A website also needs to run smoothly. If it’s slow-loading or difficult to understand, users will often grow frustrated. This is why it’s important to utilize the services of a professional digital marketing firm, rather than attempt to build your own website. A small business owner should view his or her website as the business’s first foot forward. That first impression can easily make or break a sale.
Email Marketing: Finding The Balance
Email marketing is similar to print advertising, in the form of direct mailers. However, the fact is email marketing can potentially be more appealing and effective if the right subject lines are created. Email marketing can be complex, as some emails are filtered into spam or separate folders. With that being said, lots of people don’t empty their inboxes as often as you would think, and therefore are more likely to stumble across your email advertisements, even if by chance. An email advertisement should be concise, clear, and eye-catching. It will also include links, which can easily lead the recipient to the necessary website or websites — which can lead to a sale closing in a short amount of time.
More Advice From the Experts
EAT: Stephanie Hooper of Infront Webworks says, “Intent research (not keywords) and learning how to best fulfill the user’s needs is the goal while also establishing trust. Focusing on EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness) for a company and the content they publish will also be important. Companies with a poor reputation, customer service issues or other trust issues will struggle to compete. Proof of expertise and credentials will make a difference. These can be defined with structured data markup. Put your expertise, awards, conferences, partnerships online. Feed them to Google to improve understanding and credibility.”
Paid Advertising: Himanshu Sharma of Optimize Smart says, “The success of a business can be measured by its ability to do and scale ‘paid advertising.’ Over the years I have worked with countless businesses both big and small. The businesses which are making boatloads of money are those who do paid advertising. Spending thousands or tens of thousands of dollars a day on ads. And because of that, they become million dollars or multi-million dollar businesses within a few years. And some within few months even with a team smaller than 5 people.”
Conversational Marketing: Kate Rooney of Design Pickle says, “Conversational marketing is one of the biggest opportunities for businesses to create a more personalized customer experience (and move prospects through funnels faster). Instead of relying on static forms to capture leads, implement targeted messaging and chatbots to engage with buyers in real-time. Conversational marketing provides a more enjoyable experience for customers and prospects — while allowing you to capture qualifying information on a large scale. Win-win! “
Customer-Centric: Robin Nichols of AB Tasty says, “While AI, VR, IoT and a bevy of other tech acronyms will take customer experiences to new levels in 2020 and beyond, professionals must keep centered on what should always drive their strategy – customer needs. “
Know Your Audience: Tony Hardy of Canny says, “When looking to create a website, digital marketing, or advertising campaign, knowing your audience and who you’re trying to reach is key. If you aim for everybody, you’ll end up hitting nobody. Narrow your focus, and speak directly to the audience that will have the biggest positive impact on your business.”
Keep Up With Tech: Navneet Kaushal of PageTraffic says, “Increase of chatbots on websites as well as rich lead profiling and AI becoming reality. Evolution of Word of Mouth Into Influencer Marketing and data driven marketing. Success in digital marketing requires a keen eye to observe what is working and what is not. Thankfully there are lots of tools available today to help predict as well as confirm what is trendy. The figures point out that the mobile phone is probably the most trendy gadget and that will greatly affect digital marketing and so many other industries. This is closely followed by AI that seems to be making headway in influencing the way a lot happens within the digital world.”
Gather Data: Lenny DeFranco of SevenRooms says, “In our data-driven environment, the key to hospitality marketing is using guest data to target and personalize offers. Guest data is what reveals preferences and makes marketing compelling. To improve the efficiency of their marketing efforts, hospitality operators need to prioritize data-gathering abilities in the software they plug into their tech stacks.”
Keep It Simple: Kira Krostag of Site Smart Marketing says, “Keep it simple, but quirky. Try to keep your social media posts visually simple and easy to read. Most users participate in social media on their phones, so don’t forget to triple-check how the post looks on a smartphone and tablet. This means bigger text, fewer words, and clear imagery that gets your point across as they are quickly scrolling by. You have just a few seconds to grab a user’s attention, so the ‘quirkier’ the post, the better.”
Form and Function: Anna Colibri, Founder and CEO of Colibri Digital Marketing, says, “When it comes to digital marketing, your website is the center of the universe and a resalable asset—so choose designers, developers, and marketers who will not only create a beautiful and functional website for you, but will make sure it’s optimized for search and social and backed up with a clear marketing strategy.”
Nate Leadholm, CEO & Founder of Max Effect Marketing, says, “The key to all digital marketing, advertising, & websites is data & modern looks is the # one contributor to your businesses success. You must treat all three as living entities. Always updating & refining. If you’re not doing it, your competition is!”
Omni-Channel Marketing: Lucia Gonzalez, Marketing Manager at Flame Analytics, says, “With the explosion of e-commerce and online retail, customers now expect the shopping experience to be cohesive and connected. The industry buzzword for a seamless shopping experience is ‘omni-channel marketing’. The omni-channel customer expects everything to be readily available at his or her convenience.”
Be Authentic: Alessandro Bogliari, Co-Founder & CEO of The Influencer Marketing Factory, says, “Gen Z wants authenticity and to be yourself, they can’t stand anymore the perfect Instagram aesthetics. That said, if you want to reach them, you have to create native content (for example for TikTok) that can work for them: drop the corporate and formal voice and play the fun card, it will help to get the right feedback and interest from younger generations.”
Video: Andre Palko, Founder, Success Publishing and Marketing, says, “Video has been (and remains) a hot trend in small business marketing, yet individuals including business owners, career professionals and job seekers are just now discovering video’s effectiveness. Career brand videos (personal branding videos) are gaining traction as a way to get instant online visibility as well as establish trust and credibility.”
Shelby Henderson of Home Business Magazine says, “Small businesses should consider building a presence on the TikTok app. TikTok gives the user various ways to market themselves through a series of social media challenges and through hashtags to engage with audiences. Younger generations use this platform to consume news and content which they share with like-minded individuals. It’s a valuable tool for connecting with the youth.”
Provide Value: Daniel Rowles, CEO of Target Internet, says, “One of the greatest ways of creating any type of content, whether it’s a blog, video or podcast, is to answer questions your audience may have about the area of business you operate in. So rather than just talking about your product or service, give them something of value to get them onto your website or social platforms. There is no better place to start than with www.AnswerThePublic.com that allows you to start with a keyphrase and see all the related questions people are asking.”
Gain Knowledge: SEO consultant Kevin Mahoney says, “Digital Marketing is a broad term. I decided years ago to do my best at becoming the best professional I know at SEO (Search Engine Optimization) exclusively and let that spill over into everything else Digital Marketing which allows me to always have marketable value to sell to clients.”
Use Analytics: Geoff Gurevich, Director of Digital Strategy for AgencyPPC, says, “My biggest tip for all marketers – never sacrifice the analytics! As the saying goes, ‘you can’t improve what you can’t measure.’ In practice that means, get your conversion tracking in order and track all activities of value. Spending a few hundred dollars on call tracking for your website, for example, can (and should) save you thousands of dollars in misspent ad spend and countless hours moving in the wrong direction. Not only does good tracking allow you to optimize assets and campaigns effectively, but during times of uncertainty you’ll be able to quickly identify what has changed and whether something can be done.”
While digital marketing can be intimidating, it’s important to know that there are resources available. Using a third-party service for digital marketing leads to effective marketing strategies, as well as less time spent on trial and error. As an entrepreneur, you’ll have no time to waste — so don’t!