Marketing is advertising delivered through digital channels. Since the advent of the Internet, digital marketing has become a primary mode of advertising for certain industries. Digital marketing has opened opportunities for all kinds of businesses, large and small. Digital marketing helps attract leads and raise brand awareness. The impact is especially vividly seen in small businesses who don't have budgets to do expensive TV and magazine advertising. But online advertising is cheap, and the Internet doesn't decipher between a small business and corporation, so SMBs and SMEs can easily compete against big players.
Businesses engage in a wide array of digital marketing strategies and tactics. This article is intended to give you a comprehensive overview of all the strategies and tactics available so that you can choose the methods that work best for your business. This is a Part 1 of the article so read on and then stay tuned for Part 2.
Business is strategic, which means that it pursues a certain goal. If you just do things for the sake of doing them that's not business. Since business aims to gain profit, every single action that you take must lead to a result that can potentially bring financial gain. Marketing is a part of the business so it has to be strategic too. Before you even start to engage in different digital marketing tactics think about three things:
When you define the purpose, it's easier to choose the best tactic that will lead to the goal. You'll be more confident favoring some tactics and ignoring others. The information about your target audience can tell you a lot and guide you to the most effective tactic. You see, some tactics might bring great results for one type of business and audience but be the wrong choice for another type of business and customer profile. You need to do thorough research of your audience before you start planning. Create customer profiles and then try to put yourself in customer shoes and decide which tactics might impact you if you indeed were a customer. Lastly, your marketing budget determines what tactics you engage in. We all want to try the most effective tactics, but sometimes these are the most expensive ones. You can easily find yourself bankrupt if you don't define a marketing budget.
Search engines like Google an Yahoo are the two resources people go to find information. SEO helps you put your business right in front of the customers' eyes. Customers see your website on the first page of the search results and immediately perceive you as a leader in the industry. Not to mention that it's also more convenient for them to click on the first link than browse thousands of pages.
Search Engine Optimization is a complex marketing strategy that often incorporates other strategies into the plan. It's not a short-term tactic either. If you decide to engage in SEO, you need to be in there for the long run. On the positive side, when done right, SEO brings organic results and builds your reputation. The results from SEO are also long-lasting, meaning once you get to the first page of search rankings, it will take a while before competitors can overrun you.
Content Marketing is the type of marketing that involves creating and sharing of valuable materials such as blog posts, videos, infographics, white papers, ebooks and so forth. A blog can bring your site many visitors if you have a unique niche topic and produce great content. Apart from bringing traffic to your site, content marketing efforts establish your image of an expert. However, be careful with content marketing. There is too much content produced these days, and it's hard to stand out. The field is very competitive, and unless you have a niche topic, it'll be hard to capture customer attention.
Webinars and live events give you direct access to consumers. They are engaging, entertaining and contain tons of value. They are also more valued by the always busy customers, who increasingly prefer video content to written content. A few things to keep in mind about webinars and live events: once you get people on the webinar it's easy to make a sale, but the hardest part is to get people on the webinar. Webinars mean planning in advance and only a few dedicated followers will be willing to book the time on their calendars. For a webinar to be successful, you need to promise to the potential viewers that there will be tons of valuable content on the webinar that can't be found anywhere else. Live events are easier to throw, but they also require quite a lot of planning.
PPC advertising or Pay-per-Click advertising is a model of advertising that implies that the advertiser pays a fee every time a user clicks the ad link. PPC advertising is offered by most large search networks including Google, Yahoo, and Bing. The advantage of PPC advertising is that it allows you to outperform big players and put your business first despite a low budget. Essentially, you're hijacking the system, because even with a very low budget but a very smart strategy you can get to the first place in the rankings. As you might have probably guessed, PPC advertising requires quite a lot of commitment. You won't get it right the first time. The success of a PPC advertising campaign lies in continuous monitoring, analyzing and correcting.
Affiliate marketing works like referrals and word of mouth only in the online world and for a fee. Affiliate partners will advertise your business on their sites by either mentioning your product in a blog post or placing an ad on their site. Affiliate marketing can be pretty cheap and effective depending on the type of product you're selling. However, be aware that for the most part affiliate partners will mention that the post or link are paid and customers have less inclination to buy from such kind of posts. But you can get your name out there with Affiliate Marketing. We also recommend choosing very specific niche blogs that exhibit a high level of trust from the audience, even though their traffic might be lower.
Social Media is a crowded place, and yet it's a great avenue for business development. Social media channels have direct access to a consumer on top of being incredibly engaging. Again, this strategy doesn't work for every business, but it's a powerful way to build personal relationships with your customers. Social media marketing works well for B2C brands and personal brands. Social Media marketing is also free. Coupled with content marketing, social media marketing increases brand awareness and loyalty. It's a great way to keep customers updated on the news and promotions and ensure content distribution.
Sites are increasingly accessed through mobile devices. Mobile marketing is the strategy of reaching your customers on their smartphones and tablets. It's an overarching strategy that includes all other tactics and strategies but puts mobile users at the core of the strategy. We're listing mobile marketing separately because the pool of tactics that you use may greatly differ for mobile and desktop. If a significant percentage of your customers are contacting you from mobile devices, maybe it's time to look into those customers closer and adjust your marketing assets such as website and PPC campaigns to capture more mobile customers.
This article is Part 1 of the series "All Digital Marketing Strategies and Tactics for Business." Look out for Part 2 of the series next week!