The internet has leveled the playing field. Small business can compete with big businesses through digital marketing. Here are some tips for building your digital marketing strategy.
How to Take Your Digital Marketing to the Next Level
Small businesses are now realizing that most of their customers and target market spend a lot of their time in the digital world. The challenge is if they fail to connect with them there, they are essentially invisible to their market. Consumers have wholly changed the way they conduct their lives, relying on the internet, social media, and email to communicate, shop, and entertain themselves. It is more critical than ever for small businesses to take their digital marketing to the next level.
Elements of an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy
The readily available tools and technology through the internet allow any small business to compete for the attention of consumers. The internet has leveled the playing field, enabling small businesses to gain the same level of visibility as larger enterprises only with the added advantage of local presence.
Regardless of the size of your business, you have access to the same toolbox and blueprint to create an effective digital marketing structure that includes:
- A high-quality website
- A professional blog
- An active presence on social media
- An email and content marketing program
You don’t need to be a computer genius to develop an effective digital marketing strategy, but it does require an investment of time and resources. It’s worth the effort because the return on investment (ROI) can be significantly higher than traditional marketing.
A High-Quality Website
Most small businesses have a website. The issue is whether your website is appealing and dynamic enough to attract and keep the attention of visitors or is it nothing more than an electronic brochure with no differentiating value.HowtoTakeYourDigitalMarketingtotheNextLevel
For many of your potential customers, your website creates an immediate impression. The question is, does it create a lasting impression, engaging visitors to learn more about your business and why it’s different from your competitors.
An investment in web design, search engine optimization, and data analytics will generate a solid ROI.
A Professional Blog
Your website needs fresh and relevant content to be engaging and compelling. The best way to deliver content for the highest level of engagement with your visitors is through a blog. Creating content around your business solutions also positions you as an authority in your field or industry. Adding fresh content each week keeps your visitors coming back and, by adding calls to action (CTAs) to your content, you can capture email addresses to further engage with your visitors.
You can equip your blog with a social media publisher that automatically posts your content to your social media sites. That creates opportunities to have your blog posts shared among your networks, which can increase traffic to your website.
Active Social Media Sites
If you are not actively engaged on social media, your customers and target market may question whether your business even exists. Popular social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn offer the opportunity to expand your digital influence and build social capital.
The key to developing an effective social media presence is to actively participate in the conversation and demonstrate your value as an authority in your field. You must refrain from self-promotion and selling, which can drive followers away. The goal is to build a following by offering value to the community that will pique their interest in your business and cause them to visit your website.
Email and Content Marketing
It’s no longer appropriate to simply blast out emails indiscriminately. People will treat it as spam, which can hurt your reputation. However, if through the CTAs on your website and your interaction on social media, people choose to opt-in by offering their email addresses, you can build a reservoir of qualified leads who want to engage with you. The key is to deliver content through your blog posts or emails that are relevant to their interests. When their engagement with your content increases, they may be ready for some personal contact, such as a phone call or an email inviting them to meet with you.
With content marketing programs such as MailChimp and Vertical Response, you can segment your leads by demographics or interests and deliver more targeted content, making it more likely they will continue to open their emails.
The Time for Action is Now
It takes time and resources to build an integrated digital marketing strategy, but you don’t have to implement it all at once. Build it incrementally, starting with your website. Continue to add elements such as social media and content marketing. But it’s essential to realize that your top competitors are moving in the same direction, so the time to get started is now.
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