Digital marketing forms the backbone of today’s economy and while it can be a daunting prospect, the benefits from utilising a number of online channels to sell your products and services far outweigh the minimal effort it actually takes to produce effective digital content. Digital marketing is a skill everybody should have irrespective of their job profile, and in today’s world, it has become like a language; a medium for communication and promotion. Whether it’s posting a selfie on Instagram, updating your status or sharing a link, digital marketing is everywhere and controls many aspects of our day to day lives, so it is vitally important that everyone learns how to effectively market their products and services in the digital age.
Once you start to observe how the behaviour of those around us has changed because of the internet, you will see that digital marketing is everywhere and everyone is a digital marketer is some way, shape or form. Traditionally, newspaper, TV and radio companies were the only ones with the power to publish, and because they had the power to spread ideas and information, they were the only ones creating the information. This concept has drastically changed in the past two decades as more and more people have access to the internet, and for many, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more are just one click away. Now individuals and businesses have the power to publish anything they want for the whole world to see, and we are able to express ourselves and communicate information in a number of new and exciting ways.
Utilising digital marketing can be a powerful and effective means of communication that can drive sales and breed success. To help you out with your own digital marketing, we have put together a list of the 5 most important digital marketing principles.
1. Understand Your Target Audience
While still similar to conventional marketing in a number of ways, digital marketing allows you to understand and interpret your audience in a number of new ways. The goal of both forms of marketing is to get potential and existing customers to engage with your brand and ultimately purchase your products or services, and you can’t do that without having a good understanding of the people you are selling to. Modern information technology allows you to get real-time results and analytics from your audience by having people fill out simple online surveys and feedback forms. Social media, email, forums and blogs are also a great way to drive interaction with potential customers and find out what they want, and combined with tools such as Google Analytics, you are able to find out exactly what markets have the most potential, allowing you to tailor a digital marketing campaign to a particular audience with a high chance of success.
2. Learn By Example
Digital marketing, like all other aspects of managing a business, comes down to the amount of effort you willing to put in — the more you do, the better the results will be. Having determination and drive to succeed are your most important assets, and while you don’t necessarily need a huge budget, you need to be willing to try new things and learn from the results. The best way to start on your digital marketing journey is to explore how other companies are already doing it in order to see what you can learn. Companies that are growing fast and have a strong following from their customers must be doing something right, so that’s always a good place to start.
3. Explore Multiple Channels
Millennials are changing the face of social media and digital marketing and have realised that different forms of digital marketing work better with different audiences. While millennials prefer mobile apps and simple push-notifications, older customers are likely to prefer emails and direct website advertising. Emails, apps, blogs, social media, push-notifications and viral campaigns are all great ways to connect with a wide audience and all target slightly different markets. The most important thing is to keep at it! An online presence that starts strong and tails off after a few months is not a good advertisement of you or your business.
4. Utilise SEO and Google
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is one of the most crucial aspects of any digital presence and ensures that your website ranks highly when people search for your products or services using Google, Bing or Yahoo. SEO is often described as being a moving target as it is a constantly changing field of digital marketing and is often difficult to get right. Search engines try to provide people with the best results for what they are looking for, and if you aren’t able to show them that your content is worthwhile, then the search engine won’t show it to others. We have a great article here on how you can make the most of SEO for you and your business, and we recommend checking that out before giving SEO a go.
5. Let Your Customers Build Your Brand
Customers are the most valuable asset a business has, as without them, there’s no business. While not an option for everyone, brand ambassadors can be a highly valuable asset to you and your business. Creating offers or reward structures for loyal customers and those that are willing to promote your business to others can make it possible for anyone in business, whether small or large, to achieve success by letting the customer spread the word, so you can focus on other important marketing channels.
Like all good things, digital marketing takes time and effort in order to achieve great results, but sometimes it’s worth paying to get a quick result. Many platforms such as Google, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter allow users to utilise an online advertising form called pay per click (PPC), where for a fee, other companies will do the work for you and deliver your content to as many people as possible across their platform. PPC adverts are targeted at specific audiences and are based around keyword searches and a number of other factors. While PPC can often be expensive, there are a number of great tools out there to help you on your way including Google Analytics and AdWords.
It can be difficult to get started, but once you do there will be no looking back. Digital marketing is the future and in order to be successful, individuals and businesses must embrace and learn how this new form of marketing can drive success. Ultimately it is all about sales, and it doesn’t matter how much you design and plan your marketing strategy if they aren’t able to increase your sales figures. We recommend keeping a close eye on your online marketing expenses compare to the increase in sales, and utilise marketing automation to compare how well your campaigns stack up against each other.
Keep refreshing you digital marketing and social media campaigns, testing new ideas, analysing trends and exploring new channels to find out how you can best promote your products or services. The key thing we hope you take away from this is to stay active and never stop learning. The digital world is constantly changing and if you keep at it and are determined to achieve success, you and your business will get the best out of it. If you feel ready to take your marketing to the next stage, get in contact with the team at Capital Planning and find out what we can do for you.