Whether you have an online business or a brick and mortar location, digital marketing can help drive revenue for your company. Digital marketing can help put your business in front of customers who would not otherwise find you. I typically recommend that clients spread out their marketing budget across various digital channels, but you can leverage digital in whatever ways make the most sense for your business. Detailed below are some of the options available as digital marketing channels. This is a quick guide to help you make decisions about where you spend your digital dollars.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - SEO is the on-site optimization of your own site and link building outreach for other sites that link back to your site. If you do your own SEO work, start by determining the keywords for your business. Once you have the right keywords, use them throughout your website content (both copy and images). SEO can be time-consuming or expensive, especially if you need to re-write the copy for your entire site, build a library of articles or blog posts, and find other websites willing to link to those articles and blog posts on your site. Despite the time and potentially money involved, building a great site that is both customer-friendly and optimized for search is one of the best things you can do online for your business.
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM) - Also called Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and similar to SEO, search engine marketing involves determining the keywords that make sense for your business and leveraging those words to get in front of your customers and potential customers. You can use the Google Adwords tool to determine and plan your keywords and to start your marketing campaign. If you've never run a Google Adwords campaign, take some time to learn about the tool and how you'll measure and manage your campaigns. If you're so inclined, you can even become certified in Google Adwords. It doesn't take that long and it's worthwhile if you plan to use SEM often as part of your digital marketing strategy.
- Social Media Marketing (SMM) - Social media marketing spans everything from FB and Instagram posts to sponsored Pins on Pinterest. The most important thing to understand about SMM is that each business and business owner is different. Choose 2-3 platforms that come naturally and that best show off the features and benefits of your products and services. As a general rule: Visual brands should be on Instagram and Pinterest. Lifestyle products and brands should be on Facebook and Pinterest. Personal brands should be on Instagram and Twitter. Facebook is not necessarily a requirement, but if you only have time and energy for one platform, Facebook might be the best platform for you. As for the 'marketing' portion of social media, you can only advertise on the platforms where you participate. Do not expect customers to find and follow you if you only ever post ads. Social media requires (a lot of) audience engagement before promotion.
- Sponsored Posts - You can work with bloggers to promote your products through sponsored posts on their blog. The fees range from providing them with free product to $250 or more per post, depending on their audience size and specificity. When you are researching bloggers for your sponsored posts, do a lot of research on the audience. How well does their audience line up with yours? How often does their audience engage with their brand? How often does their audience make a purchase based on their recommendations? If possible, talk to some other brand references to find out how other posts went and what you might be able to do to ensure a successful blog campaign.
- Display Ads - You can promote your products and services on blogs and other websites where your audience can be found. Like with sponsored posts, take the time to learn about the audience and conversion rates for any site where you might place a display (also sometimes called a banner ad).
* If you are struggling with a marketing plan and prefer to create a simple version of a digital marketing plan, check out Tamara's mini course "Create a Simple Digital Marketing Plan" on Skillshare.