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.
When business is slow, it's important to take note of what may have changed recently (analyzing trends) and what was going on in your business last year at this time (year over year comparisons). Looking at the data can help you realize whether your slow down is a result of the natural progression of your business or the result of changes to your business or the overall market. If you're unsure about changes that you've made recently or about something going on in the market, ask your customers how they feel about those new services or the restructured pricing that you implemented.
Your customer should be at the center of your business and your marketing messages. If you take the time to identify your customer and create a customer profile (also called an avatar) that embodies your ideal customers or clients, you can create more directed messages that speak to that specific customer group.
Nowadays, everyone is online. Whether you do business online or not, your customers are looking (searching) for you there. They want to know as much about you and their potential experience as possible before they walk in your door or pick up the phone. They want to interact with you via social media or email or another platform. Your customers are also looking for information, sometimes even from the front door or parking lot of your shop. If you don't provide that information, it will come from either generic search results or your competitor.
If you create a strong website that provides information about your business and your industry at large, you'll gain greater access to your audience and the ability to communicate with them directly. Your website should educate your clients about the experience they will have with you and the products and services that you offer. Whether you sell online or not, a website is always an opportunity for education.
A digital marketing strategy is a plan to increase brand awareness or grow sales using digital channels. Digital channels include everything from your own website and email campaigns to social media and blogs. A good digital marketing strategy helps you reach your customers wherever they want to interact with you by providing several opportunities to learn about, interact with, and possibly even purchase from your business. You can hire a marketing pro to create your digital marketing strategy as part of a larger marketing plan or on its own. Either way, your professional will most likely provide you with a comprehensive plan that leverages your website, email list, social media, and outreach.
Social Media planning is important for any entrepreneur or small business trying to build a following for their products and services. If you know how and where to spend your time and create a social media strategy around your business, you can leverage your social media presence to increase your brand awareness and grow your audience. If you operate without a strategy, you can waste valuable time and resources on a platform that does nothing for your business.
Tracking your marketing campaigns while they run is always a good idea. Tracking campaigns allows you to make changes midstream, especially for social media and other digital campaigns. It is also a good idea to compare all of your campaigns at the end of the year to measure the results against one another and determine what you want to run again v. what was not beneficial. December is a great time to review what worked and didn’t work in your marketing for the current year and to create a plan for the year ahead. If you do the comparison review first, you can use the things you learned this year to make next year even better for your business.