Digital marketing is highly accessible to businesses of all shapes and sizes.
So if you recently started a business or maybe you have a small business that you’re trying to get off the ground and running. Of course, now you need to start getting the word out about your start-up. The great news is, digital marketing is highly accessible to businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Each day, new brands are launched in the marketplace. These brands have to compete with long-standing companies and millions of marketing campaigns. For start-ups, the only hope of being successful is in marketing better and more efficiently than old businesses. Startups often have a limited budget, which means that they have to make the most of their limited finances in reaching customers and developing revenue.
But digital marketing is really wide. If you know nothing about it, you can easily get lost in the noise, which means you can waste your efforts and have little results to show for it. On the other hand, if you do digital marketing the right way, you can increase your customer base, survive, and even thrive as a business.
Advantages of Digital Marketing Vs Tradition Marketing
Digital marketing can often be done at a much lower cost than traditional marketing. While print and television advertisements can cost thousands of dollars, an online advertisement may only cost a few hundred dollars. Also, a blog can reach thousands of readers for the cost of creating articles and paying for a server. Digital marketing allows start-ups to reach new clients and develop relationships at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing.
To get the right results, you need to follow digital marketing best practices.
In this blog post, discover seven top digital marketing best practices for new start-up businesses.
1. Inexpensive Customer Research
While established firms like Levers has years of customer research to back each product, start-ups are too new to know exactly what their customers want. Technology can be used to track, monitor and interpret buying behaviour. Through technology, companies can figure out which products and demographics work best for their business. Rather than waste millions of dollars on an ineffective television advertisement, the start-up can directly target the consumer that they know is interested in the product.
Startups are usually operating on relatively small budgets and need their money to cover more areas of business than thought possible. This leads to long hours, increases in your Starbucks budget, and constantly worrying about how to make your money work for you. Market research is a huge part of adapting to your market as you develop and keeping an eye on the competition. The problem for startups is that most of the available information is for brand new businesses that might not even have a model yet. This article aims to help the other guys: the startups that have been around a little while, have some users, but still don’t have enough money for dedicated business development and marketing teams. These 5 tools will conserve money while making sure you keep improving your business model.
Google offers a lot of easy-to-use tools to research your market before you decide to make changes, or to branch out. Each tool works a little differently, depending on what segment of the market is most important for your research.
Google Trends– Use keywords to see what the most popular trends are. You can compare different keywords that relate to your business to see what is on the rise and what is declining.
Google Adword– With a small budget, you can make some test advertisements. Try to make them similar, but change a few key words, interests, and topics and see what your customers are searching for and what market they are a part of.
Consumer Surveys– A relatively new paid tool that offers users the ability to target a huge audience for custom surveys. This paid option is great if you need a huge respondent base.
Meetup is actually a great place to start a focus group or meet with enthusiastic members of your market. Every market has a Meetup group. Do a simple search and you are just about guaranteed to find a Meetup in your area that is related to your product. Meetup is great because most meetings are free or ask for a small fee and provides you contact with many people who are happy to share their ideas and insights. It is also a great place to start networking. You might even meet a prospective partner or investor.
If you need to research on your competition, which you do, then Owler is an effective choice. Owler allows you to follow, track, and research competitors. It feeds you real time updates on news about your competitors, clients, and investments so that you can track the trends and react before it is too late. They are still in the early stages, but are accepting new users to give it a try, at a very low cost or free. This is a company to look out for in the near future.
The social giant’s ad service is a great way to get a grasp on the market size. You complete very detailed searches by using demographics and psychographics that allow you to hone in on a specific market. This provides you with a rough but surprisingly accurate estimate of your market size. The great thing is that it is free, since you don’t have to purchase any ads in order to get the information. This is a handy tool if you are thinking of branching out into another market, or if you feel that your current market is changing.
These 5 cheap tools will save money and give fairly accurate indicators of what smart business decisions you need to make – at prices that won’t leave you smarting.
2. Engage Clients
Twitter campaigns, social media posts, and webinars all provide an opportunity for engaging the client directly. Through digital marketing, customers feel like they have a personal, one-on-one relationship with the company. Once this relationship is developed, it takes a minimal amount of effort for the startup to keep their clients. Other than engaging clients, social media campaigns also help to drive traffic to the company’s website and market new offerings.
A customer engagement strategy is all about improving satisfaction while increasing conversions. The most successful engagement strategies attempt to meet your customers where they’re at. Choosing to message through the channels they use most and proactively reaching out.
Now more than ever that requires you to communicate digitally.
7 Online customer engagement strategies
Diving into online communication can be both a challenge and a benefit. You can more easily track the success of engagement, but the learning curve for digital channels can be frustrating without a clear method in mind. To help you find the best way to engage with your audience, here are 7 potential strategies you can utilize.
1. Build a community or group
There are several great ways to build an online community to more effectively interact and engage with your customers. Forums have been around for years and are still a widely used method of engaging with customers and allowing customers to engage with each other. Forums will likely still be around for the foreseeable future, but many companies are now finding it more advantageous to leverage social groups.
Customers are already on these social networks every day, so instead of relying on customers to regularly visit your forum to interact and engage with you, why not bring the conversation to them on their social networks of choice?
2. Host a webinar
A webinar is another innovative and effective way of engaging with your customers. They allow you to reach a large target audience on a platform that is very user-friendly and interactive. People love the visual aspects of a webinar with video of the presenter, slides, graphics, and other interactive options. .
Webinars also allow you to make a very personal connection with your current or potential customers. You as the presenter of the webinar can also be more passionate, entertaining, and engaging than you could otherwise be by just writing a blog post and short e-book.
Pro Tip: Allowing users to tweet or email their questions or comments to you during or after the webinar is a great way to encourage more interaction with your audience.
Planning to release an e-book, redesign your website, or launch a new product? Consider reaching out to your customers to help you co-create something or at least provide their input and suggestions.
While this would not be advisable in all situations, getting your customers’ input and assistance can really help you develop a much stronger bond. They will feel proud that they were part of the effort and process that made your product better.
When you encourage customer participation on a project, just be sure to reward the people whose ideas and input you implemented. Try to turn it into some sort of contest and recognize the people who helped. You can reward the key contributors with a prize, but sometimes recognition alone is a good enough reward for certain people.
4. Celebrate together
Did you just reach 5,000 registered users on your site? Did you attract 25,000 new visitors to your site last month? When your company reaches milestones like these, celebrate your success with your customers and make them feel like they contributed to your success.
The reason some people are so passionate about sports is because they feel as if they are literally part of their favorite sports team. When the team wins, they win. Instead of saying, “The Cowboys played a great game last night,” a real Cowboys fan will say “We played a great game last night.” That’s the mentality you need to develop with your customers—make them feel part of your winning team, and thank them for helping your site to be a success.
5. Offer exclusive content
Create content that is not available to the general public—content that is so special and exclusive, that only members can view it. Require users to log in to this area. You don’t necessarily have to charge for access to this content, but require users to at least go through a registration process to gain access to it. It will make them feel special and part of your exclusive group.
You may also want to offer special discounts and pricing to this group as well. A members-only forum where registered users can discuss industry-related topics is also a great way to build unity and engage your customers.
6. Respond to feedback
Part of successfully engaging with your customers is being sure to take the time and listen to them. It’s not enough to just have a conversation, you need to show that you value their insights. This is especially important with online communication, where the majority of your interactions, or at least the start of them, will be visible to other customers.
Be sure that you actively maintain your online presence and respond to both positive and negative feedback. This can include everything from social comments and reviews to email and direct messages. Then, if you do happen to make any changes based on customer feedback, be sure to shout out the user that presented the idea in the first place.
This is a great way to show that you’re actively listening to more than just the individual you’re responding to. And actually acknowledging changes that you make further solidifies this idea.
7. Engage across multiple channels
When working with your customers online, you need to be flexible. This doesn’t just mean providing more channels for engagement but allowing conversations to transition between them.
For example, let’s say a customer question starts as a comment on your latest Facebook post. Now after reviewing, you realize that you’ll need to ask about potentially sensitive info to provide a solution. So, rather than keeping the conversation going publicly, you instead send a direct message.
Or you can even list out a support email address or phone number to give the customer the best option. The key here is to be consistent between platforms. Your messaging, follow-through, and timeliness should all remain the same.
As long as you don’t lose track of your conversations, this flexibility will be perceived as positive engagement.
Finding the right engagement strategy takes time
Technology today offers so many great ways to interact and engage with customers online. Take advantage of all the free tools and resources available today and devise a plan to better engage and interact with your customers.
Just know, it might take some time to find the strategy and channels that work best for your customers. Set parameters for success, be willing to pivot when engagement isn’t clicking, and be sure you listen to your customers.
3. Use Metrics to Drive Success
More consumers are using mobile devices to get online and find out about products. Because of the widespread access to traditional computers and mobile devices, online marketing is one of the most efficient ways of marketing to consumers. Also, it offers real-time metrics for the startup to gauge the success of their campaign. Instead of trying to guess the number of newspaper readers who looked at a print ad, the startup knows immediately how many viewers are reading and interacting with their advertisements.
Startups can now customize their marketing approach to specific locations and demographics. These sophisticated tools allow digital marketers to find out about the customer’s buying behavior and identify new opportunities. Also, digital marketing makes it easier to discover which offerings are useful and which products should be created to match the consumer’s needs.
Here are four ways to determine digital marketing success based on website behavior:
1: Website visits
This one is simple – which of your digital marketing campaigns are putting the most eyes on your website? Although this is a rather shallow metric compared to e-commerce and web form conversions, it’s still important to measure visits per marketing channel.
This is especially helpful when you view traffic trends over time. For example, you’ll want to measure traffic from Organic Search (SEO traffic) over time so you know if your SEO efforts are working. Plus, you’ll be able to spot potential problems early on if you see a sudden drop in SEO traffic.
2: Page Views per visit
Website visits are important, but they don’t really indicate whether people are engaged by your business. What if nobody who visits your sites clicks around to your various products and pages?
Fortunately, Google Analytics can show you how visitors click through your site while also providing average numbers of page views per visit.
Pay close attention to which webpages your customers are visiting most. You might find that online customers are more attracted to certain aspects of your business or specific products in your inventory. If you’re promoting your blog, you can also get ideas about the topics your visitors find most interesting.
3: Time spent on the website
How much time are people spending on your blog or website, and which of your digital marketing campaigns is bringing in the most engaged visitors?
Analytics can track this, too. Again, time spent on your website doesn’t directly lead to sales, but folks who spend more time browsing are more likely to later buy.
4: Bounce rates
In the world of digital marketing, bouncing is bad for several reasons.
If any of your campaigns have high bounce rates – meaning people hit their “back” buttons as soon as they land on your website — then there’s probably a serious disconnect between your marketing strategy and your landing page. Just as bad, though, Google might interpret websites with high bounce rates as low-quality or spam, resulting in an SEO penalty.
Use Google Analytics to measure your bounce rates over time to spot trends in each of your marketing campaigns.
Knowing how to measure the success of your digital marketing campaigns will save you a lot of stress down the road. You won’t need to guess whether you’re wasting your time with various campaigns. You can adjust or turn off campaigns that aren’t working, or you can sharpen campaigns to really hone in on your goals.
And one more thing — always know how you’ll measure a campaign’s success before you launch it. Yes, this requires a more carefully constructed game plan for your marketing efforts, but you should never launch a digital marketing campaign that doesn’t have a specific goal.
Plan ahead, aim at your target, and you’re more likely to get good news wh
4. Developing the Right Digital Marketing Approach
When creating a digital marketing strategy, companies have to tailor their approach carefully. Digital marketing allows all aspects of the advertisements, emails, and content to be integrated into each other. From creating a website to posting a webinar, these techniques must be planned out in advance for them to be effective.
Among the different methods available, startups can use these key elements:
- Creating a website that showcases their brand
- Video marketing
- PPC campaigns
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Search engine optimization
To start with, the business needs to make a website that is attractive and easy to navigate. It should place the brand as an authority in the field. Within the website, most companies will also want to include a blog or similar content-focused section. This part of the site can then be used to boost online visibility and brand awareness.
For startups operating on a limited budget, it is important to utilize search engine optimization (SEO). This technique is used to drive organic traffic to a website. The search engines scroll through websites to pick up on keywords. These keywords, backlinks and other metrics are then used by the search engine to decide if the website will be useful to a reader. Web sites that are considered higher authority and more useful are ranked higher in the search engines. Since most people will only click on the first three results in the search engine listing, it is important for businesses to appear in the top results.
For SEO to be effective, companies also have to develop backlinks to their site. These links can come from other websites, social media or blogs. Each backlink is an indicator to the search engines that another website found the company’s page to be interesting or useful. As a result, a page with more backlinks will rank higher than a page without any backlinks.
5. A Mobile Optimization Strategy Is a Necessity
Search engine technology and online users are constantly evolving. While a basic website was effective a decade ago, current users are now interacting with companies through their mobile devices. Because of this, smart startups must create a mobile optimization strategy. At the very least, their website must be designed so that it is easy to read and navigate using a mobile device.
Mobile search is now a larger portion of searches than desktop searches. As a result, Google changed their ranking algorithms to make sure that websites are designed with mobile devices in mind. If websites are not mobile friendly, then they will not be ranked as highly in the search engines.
Mobile Optimization: What It Is & How to Do It Successfully
Any marketer who is striving to expand a brand’s visibility and reach online should evaluate their mobile optimization efforts. Mobile optimization refers to the strategic approach of updating your website to deliver an ideal and engaging experience to users who are visiting the site from their mobile device. Truly optimized content offers amazing experiences across channels – including both desktop and mobile devices.
Year after year, the functionality and sophistication of mobile technology continues to increase. Along the way, new functionalities are introduced and they continue to change our lives. With more customers using mobile devices and channels than ever before, marketing experts across industries are looking to implement mobile strategies such as push notifications, mobile email, and app development.
Why Is Mobile Optimization So Important?
Today’s marketers are faced with the challenge of optimizing content across multiple channels, and mobile is one of the most important because of the huge part it plays in consumers’ daily lives.
Optimizing for mobile encompasses the entire customer experience, and when done properly, it compliments every interaction a customer has with your brand.
According to 52.2% of all worldwide web traffic was generated through mobile phones. That is up from 50.3% in 2017, and 43.6% in 2016. Focusing on the mobile aspect of the user experience is central these days merely because of the role that mobile devices play in all of our lives.
The mobile shift is happening, but it certainly isn’t just starting. Organizations are allocating resources and budgets to take advantage of the mobile shift, and for good reason; mobile allows unprecedented access to current and potential customers. However, not all organizations are adequately prepared for today’s mobile realities.
Tactics to Improve Your Mobile Optimization
In today’s consumer landscape, if an organization is not strategically optimizing its marketing efforts for mobile, it is likely falling short in reaching customers, and missing out on sales.
If you feel your company may be lagging behind the mobile curve, here are six mobile optimization tactics that you can utilize for improving your mobile marketing efforts:
1. Optimize Email for Mobile Usage
While it may seem like an obvious channel for marketers, brands all too often neglect email marketing as it pertains to mobile. Marketers need to be sure they’re sending mobile-friendly emails; whatever of the email content, from a welcome email to a purchase confirmation, customers expect to be able to easily read and navigate the email regardless of the device they’re using at the time.
Imagine an email is originally, and successfully, viewed on a desktop computer, but then the customer wants to show their friend a featured product on their mobile device. If that email isn’t optimized for mobile, that negative experience could mean losing both potential customers, and possibly more if they share on social media. Every email must be viewable and engaging, regardless of device.
2. Create Engaging, Mobile-Centric Experiences
Mobile optimization and marketing strategies must be carefully implemented or brands risk alienating their customer base. After all, marketers are reaching customers on one of their most personal possessions: their mobile phones.
Brands must provide highly personalized, engaging, and mobile-centric content across all of these channels in a way that is consistent as the user jumps from one interaction to another. Beyond ensuring their website is mobile responsive, brands can increase the personalization of product recommendations and in-app messaging, and automatically trigger personalized responses as the app is used, boosting conversion rates and increasing the number of active customers.
In addition, brands must also ensure their customer service and assistance support is mobile-centric. FAQs and contact information must not only be available, but also built to accommodate a wide range of screens for maximum effectiveness. After all, customers tend to have short attention spans when using mobile devices. As such, if they must search or zoom in for assistance, they are likely to simply navigate away, or close the app altogether. All customer experiences, from shopping to buying to customer support, must be mobile optimized and streamlined.
3. Utilize Mobile Messaging Tactics
Remember all those people you would see on their mobile devices if you walked down a street or sat down in a coffee shop? Many of them would likely be using text or SMS messaging at the moment you saw them. More than 4.2 billion people worldwide use text as a communication method, and billions of texts are sent every day. This level of usage represents a major opportunity for marketers to reach their customers in one of the most impactful ways yet: intelligent SMS marketing. Adding mobile messaging to a marketing strategy allows brands to reach their target customers even when they are offline. These mobile messages, whether in or out of app, can work within existing omnichannel strategies to create maximum value for customers.
4. Track Mobile Behavior
In order to best optimize mobile experiences, marketers must know the mobile behaviours and preferences of each target audience segment. Capturing data directly from the mobile device is, obviously, the best way to do so. Tracking app events, from installation to key interactions, can provide detailed information critical for segmentation and setting up triggered events across all mobile channels.
5. Test & Retest Mobile Tactics
To be successful in the increasingly mobile world, marketers must to continue to test and retest their mobile strategies, and optimize them according to the results. Mobile tactics change fast and often; one that worked six months ago will no longer be as effective or impactful today. Real-time data and insights provided by tracking data will allow marketers insights into how their customers interact with their mobile devices and into the performance of their mobile marketing programs.
6. Make Every Word Valuable
Mobile phones aren’t the ideal conduit for long form reading, so keep that in mind. Leverage images, videos, and other forms of visual content to supplement your writing. Keeping viewers engaged on your site will help them along on the customer’s journey.
More than ever, customers are initiating relationships with brands through mobile by engaging via social media channels, downloading apps, or visiting mobile sites. When a visitor lands on your site, you need to take advantage of every second that you have their attention. Be direct, engaging, and let them know what separates your brand from the competitors.
The role mobile plays in today’s digital marketing world will likely keep growing as mobile usage continues to skyrocket. By implementing key mobile optimization tactics and strategies, marketers can deliver exceptional experiences through every channel and every device.
6. SEO Is Still Important
While some people thought that SEO was dying just a few years ago, it is still important for websites. Google may have updated their algorithms, but SEO is still the best way for the search engines to decide what a site is about and how useful it is. As long as there are search engines, the search engines will need some way to determine the topic and usefulness of a website.
6 SEO tactics still alive and kicking
SEO is continuously evolving. The volatility of rankings is probably what leads to the proclamation that SEO is dead. Instead of just hammering what not to do, we offer a few cutting-edge strategies that are helping sites rank today.
1. Focus on the long-term
SEO is a long-term game. It’s always had a more long-term focus, but today that timeline seems to stretch even farther.
It seems that rankings, and traffic from rankings, take a long time to acquire. A lot of it has to do with the authority of your domain. Take almost any keyword result today and you’ll notice the rankings tend to be dominated by authority sites. These sites have a lot of value in the eyes of Google.
As for exactly how long it takes to rank on page 1 of a Google search result (let alone get to the top of page #1!), Ahref’s study reveals all. According to them, almost 95 percent of newly published pages don’t get to page 1 within a year. And for that ~5 percent of pages that do, it takes anywhere between 2–6 months.
2. Create high-quality content and promote like crazy
They not only increased the quantity of posts they were writing but focused heavily on promotion too. These posts were more so written for the search engines, aka they were similar to the style of posts already ranking, only better.
3. Write for the search engines (But not like you think)
Earlier we said that writing for the search engines is dead. And the old school way of writing for search engine robots is dead, but there is a differentiator in the purpose for the content you create.
For example, content that’s written for traffic and rankings will be different than content that’s intended to get a lot of traction across social media. Your content strategy needs to account for these different types of content.
For search engine oriented content you can take a look at what’s currently ranking and create something a lot better (per the example above). Our post, Comparing Open Source vs and Closed Source Software was written to rank in the search engines, as you can see from its pitifully low number of social shares.
On the other hand, our post 8 Biggest Content Marketing Trends that Will Dominate 2017 was written for social media. We wanted to jump on the “what’s going to be trendy next year” bandwagon, and it performed splendidly.
4. Do topic research, instead of old-school keyword research
As I’ve mentioned before, keywords are on their way out. As the search engines get smarter it’s more important that your content be topically relevant, than be perfectly optimized for certain keywords.
The new keyword research is known as topic research, Rand sums it up nicely.
When trying to determine topics to write about, we’ve found the following process is much more effective than classic keyword research when it comes to determining whether the topic is worth pursuing or not:
- Download all of the keywords I’m ranking for from the Google Search Console.
- Sort that keyword list by their rankings. This will illuminate the keywords that I’m ranking for in top positions with little to no backlinks.
- Take those keywords and run them through Ahrefs.
- With that data, I can then determine the average Keyword Difficulty (KD) of those keywords.
Now, when planning out what content to write I can find topics and keywords with a similar keyword difficulty, and I’ll be able to rank quite high and very quickly without many backlinks.
5. Relaunch or edit your old content
Chances are you have some older content that forms the backbone of your site’s traffic. If these posts have been plateauing, you can actually reinvigorate that content for a boost in ranking.
For example, we found that the traffic for our post 7 ecommerce Case Studies You Need to Steal From had been stagnating. Instead of chalking it up as a loss we decided to update that content instead.
All it took was some additional internal links, a few content updates to make it up to date, and a little optimization, and boom, the traffic started to grow again. Check out the results for yourself:
6. Run tests to improve your CTR
Optimizing your click-through rate is a hot topic in SEO. Rand Fishkin did an experiment with it, so did Larry Kim of MobileMonkey (Previously Wordstream), and more recently Matthew Barby shared his thoughts.
Some of the results were staggering. Although most of the experiments involved the manipulation of click-through-rates, the results are still pretty impressive.
Testing your existing titles and meta descriptions are a great way to improve the traffic to your site without any other SEO methods.
7. Content Should Be a Major Part of Any Digital Marketing Strategy
Each time someone plays an advertisement in the newspaper, they have to pay another fee to place the ad. In comparison, content marketing can provide a relatively cheap or free way to market a business continuously. Consumers want to find out information about products, and they will search for that information online. When the user arrives at the company’s site, the business has an opportunity to turn their quest for knowledge into a sale. Once the content has been added to the website, it can continue to attract clients for free.
Content does not have to be in the form of an ordinary blog. Infographics, webinars, GIFs, memes and images can all form a part of the startup’s content strategy. If something can be liked or shared, it can become a part of the company’s online content. Each share on social media delivers free advertising and new prospective clients for the startup.
A strong digital marketing strategy is made up of many different components. From social media to search engines, it can be difficult to know where you really need to focus your attention. While each piece of your digital marketing strategy is important for effectively promoting your business online, some elements will be more crucial than others.
For example, the content you create is arguably the most important part of your digital marketing efforts. Content not only helps you build trust and connect with your target audience, but also acts as fuel for your other marketing techniques. It’s the base upon which you promote your business online, so it’s essential to give it the attention it deserves.
Let’s take a look at three reasons why content is so important to your digital marketing strategy!
- Content can help educate your audience, ensuring that they’re making smart purchasing decisions.
- Strong pieces of content can help you become more visible online, both on search engines and in social media.
- Quality content can be linked to all over the web, increasing traffic to your website and building authority with search engines.
1. Content Educates Your Audience
Education is the first step a potential customer takes when deciding whether a product or service is right for them. Before they can make a choice, they need to fully understand the options available to them. This means you need to have content that properly educates audience members on what you can provide.
Educational content typically takes the form of blog posts, product pages, your home page, and your company’s ‘about’ pages. However, it may also include tutorials, reviews, and other content that provides your customers with the resources they need to make educated purchasing decisions. Educational content should focus on teaching your target audience more about your business and offerings.
To educate your audience through the content you create, you want to focus on the questions or concerns they may have. When addressing your target audience, consider what problems they might be trying to solve and how your products or services relieve those issues. Your educational content should focus on the solutions you provide, and how you can make their lives easier.
2. Content Fuels SEO
Search engines are a go-to resource just about any time someone has a question or concern. This means that optimizing your content to appear in relevant searches can help you attract new leads to your website. However, in order to fuel your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy, you need to have strong content.
SEO revolves around keyword placement, backlinks, and website visitors, and your content enables you to create web pages that fuel each of these components. Without content, you’d have nowhere to place your keywords, no page for your visitors to read, and no information for other websites to link to. However, if you’re creating awesome pieces of content that your target audience is excited to engage with, you’ll find it’s not hard to reach the top of the search engine results lists.
For an example, see this search engine query about content marketing:
Content creation and SEO should always go hand-in-hand. When you consider your readers first and foremost, you will be able to create content that provides clear value to your audience. If your target audience is engaging heavily with the content you create, your SEO strategy will be that much more successful.
3. Content Drives Social Media Strategies
Your social media platforms are one of the best ways to connect with your target audience. As a powerful tool for establishing genuine relationships with your customer base, social media gives you a direct pathway to have conversations, get feedback, and push new leads to your website. However, this is all fueled by strong content creation.
Your content enables you to take your social media conversations deeper. While there is only so much you can say in a Tweet or Facebook post, great content encourages your audience to follow through to learn more. This helps you establish a better connection with your target audience. Plus, you can also gain more visitors to your website, where you can collect their information and bring them into your sales funnel.
Your social media strategy should leverage content that provides a high amount of value to your target audience, such as this example from Buffer’s Twitter profile. While content is crucial for developing strong connections, you also need to remember that your audience wants information they can participate in. If you’re simply posting links to your content, you can’t expect to see high amounts of engagement.
Bonus: Content Builds Backlinks
Backlinks, or links from an external website back to your content, are an important part of bringing new traffic to your site. A backlink back to your site can encourage a visitor of another article or website to click through and learn more about you.
Of course, you’ll only see backlinks when your content contains ideas, opinions, or information that is worth sharing. If you’re creating mediocre content or simply relaying information that your audience can find elsewhere on the web, you’re going to struggle to get other websites to link to you. This means that you’ll have a more difficult time attracting new attention and establishing authority online.
Backlinks, like the example below, can also contribute to your SEO strategy. They show Google and other search engines that you create content worth recommending. The more backlinks you have, the more authority a search engine will assume your page holds:
To encourage backlinks, you want to ensure that your topics are unique. While there may be similar content already available online, you want to put your own spin on each piece. Adding your unique perspective can ensure that your information stands out, helping you attract more attention. You can also increase your number of backlinks by focusing only on creating high-quality content. This includes developing harder-to-create pieces like infographics or videos. Since they take more effort to create, other sites will be less likely to produce them as well, instead choosing to link to your content.
Your content is the foundation of your digital marketing strategy. Without it, you’re going to struggle to attract the attention you need to collect leads and convert them into paying customers. When you create great pieces of content, however, you’ll be more successful in your other digital marketing efforts.
Let’s recap the four main reasons why content is so important to your overall marketing strategy:
- It educates your audience to make smarter purchasing decisions.
- You can fuel content with SEO, helping you attract more leads through search engines.
- Content can be shared to enhance your social media strategy.
- With great content, you can encourage other sites to link to your website.
How do you think great content will improve your digital marketing efforts? Let me know in the comments section below!
8. Think Beyond Basic Pay-Per-Click Ads
Ten years ago, pay-per-click ads were the main way that businesses conducted their online marketing strategy. Today, this technique has a far lower impact than other marketing techniques. Paid advertisements tend to be more promotional than educational. Readers are also used to ignoring advertisements, so these ads tend to reach far fewer people than most businesses would like. Instead of pouring thousands of dollars into a limited ad campaign, companies can embrace social networks, informational content and brand building tactics.
Advertisements can still be useful, but they are only one of the tools that are available to marketers. Engaging consumers online takes time, and ads are limited in their engagement options. While a pay-per-click ad may bring in a few additional clients, it cannot be the company’s only source of lead generation.
9. Optimizing the Conversion Rate
Some startups believe that digital marketing does not work because they do not generate leads. Part of the problem is that these startups forget to optimize their conversion rate. A social media post may bring people to the website, but it will not create a sale unless the company optimizes the website. There should be an option for subscribing to an email list, buying a product or filling out a contact form on the site. A call-to-action in the bottom of an article or a button for signing up make it easier for the website visitor to become a paying client.
10. Traditional Marketing Versus Digital Marketing
The main reason to use digital marketing is that it is a low-cost way to reach more potential buyers. Consider some of the costs of traditional marketing:
Direct Mail: $3,000 to send 5,000 postcards
Local and Network Television Advertisements: $200 to $600,000 for a spot
Radio: $70 to $250 for a spot
These costs do not even include the cost of making a radio or television advertisement. Depending on the business and the advertisement, a product can cost several thousands of dollars. Startups are often unable to afford even one television advertisement, and a single ad has a very limited reach.
In comparison, digital marketing offers a much lower cost. They generate more than 50 percent more leads than traditional marketing and allow startups to compete with large corporations. For digital marketing, startups can expect to pay just:
Pay-Per-Click: $250 to $500 a month
Blog Writing: $40 for a 300-word post
Social Media Ads: $100 or more a month
Search Engine Optimization: $1,000 per month
Social Media: $1,000 or more per month
Different marketing agencies may charge less or more than these figures. In some cases, startups can eliminate marketing costs almost completely by writing blogs and connecting to social media on their own. Even when these marketing techniques are outsourced, they are still drastically cheaper than traditional advertisements. Also, these advertising techniques can reach a broader audience and deliver a better return on the investment.
11. Digital marketing allows startups to:
- Boost their visibility
- Increase online conversion rates
- Reduce their marketing budget
- Generate leads
- Increase Sales
- Develop a brand awareness
- Increase online conversion rates
- Improve customer engagement
- Influence purchasing decisions
- Track their return on investment
In a recent survey, CB Insights found that 17 percent of startups failed because they did not market correctly. Digital marketing has to be done as soon as the startup is formed. From the beginning, digital marketing needs to be a core part of the startup’s business strategy. For the business to be successful, it has to reach out to new customers, develop leads and convert leads into sales.