Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
It seems like it was just yesterday when the go-to marketing strategies for small businesses were print advertisements in the local newspaper, flyers, direct mail, and small billboards. Today, those traditional marketing strategies are still being used. However, digital strategies are helping small businesses reach their target audiences faster, engage with them more effectively, and gain valuable insight into their buying behavior and preferences. And in many cases, digital efforts are proving more cost-effective than traditional marketing efforts.
If you run a small business, some form of digital marketing is probably part of your overall strategy. The primary digital strategies include a company website, social media profiles, and promotional email campaigns. As these and other strategies evolve, business owners and their marketing teams must stay abreast of the latest trends to remain competitive in the market. This blog post from Balboa Capital features a guide to digital marketing.
What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing is a type of marketing that involves the use of digital technologies to promote products and services. It involves a wide range of strategies and tactics, such as search engine optimization, content marketing, social media, email marketing, and more. Business owners and digital marketers use these tools to build relationships with their target audience and create awareness about their brands. They also use analytics to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns and make adjustments accordingly.
With digital marketing, you can track your performance in real time, measure the success of your campaigns, and adjust your strategies as needed. You can also target specific audiences and customize your messages for maximum impact. These benefits make digital marketing a formidable and proven tool that can help you increase your reach and grow your customer base.
How to create a digital marketing plan.
In this digital age, creating an effective digital marketing plan is essential to help you reach your ideal customers, increase your online presence, and drive sales revenues. However, creating a successful online campaign requires careful planning and execution. No two businesses’ marketing requirements and budgets are the same. Still, every plan should include strategic business goals and objectives, a SWOT analysis, the desired target audience, a list of digital strategies and channels, and timelines for creating and deploying strategies.
Once your plan is complete, you must budget your marketing dollars accordingly. If you have an in-house marketing team, this is excellent news. In most cases, in-house teams fully understand the brands they work for and can create marketing projects more quickly. They also have a more significant say in how marketing dollars are allocated and can recommend the best strategies based on the budget. However, if you don’t have a marketing expert or team on your payroll, you need to find a resource that knows your industry.
Depending on the size and scope of your plan, you may need to contract with multiple marketing resources or a small firm. For example, website design, content writing, search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, social media marketing, and email marketing are highly specialized disciplines. They, therefore, need individuals who focus on them exclusively.
Types of digital marketing.
We have already mentioned some of the most widely used types of digital marketing, but it would be beneficial to explain them in greater detail.
Search engine optimization.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing website pages (landing pages, blog posts, etc.) and content (infographics, videos, etc.) to increase visibility and rankings in search engine results. It involves various techniques, including keyword research, link building, content optimization, and more. SEO can help improve your website’s visibility in search engine results. In addition, optimizing your website for relevant keywords can help your website’s landing pages and blog posts appear in front of the right people at the right time.
Content marketing involves creating and distributing relevant, targeted content to a defined target audience to drive profitable customer action. Content marketing is used by businesses of all sizes to reach their target audiences, build relationships with them, and ultimately drive sales. It can be used in various forms, such as blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, ebooks, and webinars. Content marketing is an effective way for businesses to engage with their customers on a deeper level while also providing valuable information that can help them make informed decisions.
Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is an online advertising model in which advertisers (business owners) pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. It is a way of buying visits to your site rather than attempting to earn those visits through organic website traffic. PPC campaigns can target specific audiences and drive qualified leads and sales. They are highly targeted, cost-effective, and can provide immediate results. In addition, they allow you to reach potential customers who are actively searching for the products or services you offer.
Email marketing is a powerful tool for businesses to reach out to customers and prospects. It can help you build customer relationships, increase brand awareness, and drive sales, including upsells. Email marketing allows you to send personalized messages directly to your existing customers who gave you digital permission to send them promotional emails. If you use email marketing software, you can also track the performance of your campaigns in real-time and adjust accordingly. Remember to adhere to the commercial email rules outlined in the CAN-SPAM Act. If you don’t, you will be at risk for some sizeable financial penalties.
Social media marketing.
Social media marketing is creating and sharing content on social media platforms to reach and engage with your target audience. It involves creating text-only posts, images, or videos that resonate with your target audience. On-target social media posts are more engaging and can receive more likes, comments, and shares from your fans and followers. Lastly, you can add links to your posts that, when clicked, send users to your website to provide them with more information about your products or services.
Digital marketing is an ever-evolving field that requires a wide range of knowledge and skills to be successful. From understanding the basics of SEO and content marketing to mastering the art of social media, digital marketers need to have diverse skills to stay ahead of the competition and gain market share.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.