6 Types Of Digital Marketing Entrepreneurs Need To Consider
With 24/7 connectivity maintained by 4.33 billion active internet users worldwide, it’s important that you’re making the most of digital marketing.
It can be hard to wrap your mind around everything that falls into the category of digital marketing. We’re going to try to clear that up for you. Because there are some types of digital marketing entrepreneurs can’t afford to miss out on.
Why Is Digital Marketing So Important?
Digital marketing levels the playing field and reduces barriers to entry. It also provides the opportunity to be more targeted. Unlike traditional marketing, you can refine your target market and measure the impact of every bit of engagement.
Digital marketing includes SEO, social media, email and content marketing, and PPC campaigns. The common goals of all these tactics? Making your brand more visible, reaching targetted segments of your audience and engaging with them.
1) Website Design
Your website is the face of your business. And if it doesn’t look good or explain the value you bring to a customer clearly, you can bet they’re going to head elsewhere.
Like with any design, you have to balance form with function. Everything from icons, to images, colours, fonts, content, and structure should look as if they are exactly where they are intended to be. And they should all support easy navigation so that your customers get a clear understanding of your offerings and can take action (e.g. learn more, or buy now).
Include the following pages where applicable to your site’s structure to make sure that information is readily accessible:
- Home Page
- Product/Service Detail Page
- About Us Page
- Contact Details
Your website should also be responsive, mobile-friendly and able to load quickly so that customers can view it easily, no matter what device they are on.
Another way to optimize your site is by adding an SSL certificate (this will ensure your site is secure and improve your site’s SEO ranking). Once your SSL certificate is installed the padlock indicating your site is secure will be displayed to the left of your URL and https protocol will be activated. This will allow for secure connections from a server to a browser.
With all these pieces in place, remember it’s still important to monitor and tweak your site regularly. Do audits of what’s working and what’s not, and consider adding or removing different components. Tools like hotjar can be really useful here, by providing you with insights on how your customers browse your site.
2) Social Media
54% of social browsers use social media to research products. This reinforces how effective it is to use social media for marketing. It’s a trusted source for gathering information to make purchase decisions.
Whether it’s through social media advertising or social media management, these channels have proven to be very effective for raising brand awareness and creating engagement. Social media not only allows you to learn about your target audience, but also lets you reach and engage with them in real-time.
Let’s take at some of the most popular options:
With over 2.4 billion active users per month, Facebook is a must. Having a page and optimizing it by using the best layout for your business’ goals is just a starting point. You can also develop a content strategy to make your brand more discoverable. And this can be as simple as curating content and posting the occasional original post. Reviews are also a great feature of Facebook, so invite your customers to leave reviews and be sure to reply to them regularly. 79% 18-49 year olds are Facebook users and 68% of those between the ages of 50-64 are as well according to Sprout Social.
Instagram has 500 million daily users and 1 billion monthly active users. It can be used in similar ways to Facebook, from paid ads to organic engagement. Optimize your profile by adding a catchy description, which includes any branded hashtags you have and your website. You can also consider an alternate link to drive traffic to specific pages of your site. Later’s LinkInBio feature allows you to “add a link in bio or tag products in Instagram posts to turn your feed into a clickable, optimized landing page”. Another feature you’ll want to use is Instagram stories to experiment with different types of content and figure out what your audience connects with most. 2 additional tactics that can help you increase your brand awareness through Instagram are influencer marketing and hashtag strategies. 72% of those between the ages 13-17 are Instagram users and 68% of those between 18-29 are as well.
Twitter has 145 million monetizable daily active users (that’s the number of users who see ads). So you’ll want to make sure your profile makes it clear what you’re about. Make sure you’ve got a well-designed profile and cover image. And include your shop link in your bio or pin it to the top of your profile. Twitter is most often used for 4 particular goals: increasing direct sales, providing customer support, increasing brand awareness and tracking industry trends. And not necessarily all of these at the same time! Pick your priority or priorities and focus on getting content up regularly to work towards these. Keyword alerts and RSS feeds can be great tools for helping to find content to post that’s relevant to your brand. And when posting, make sure to do so with a consistent brand voice. A little wit and humour goes a long way on Twitter! 38% of 18-29 year olds are on Twitter. And 32% of 13-17 year olds.
As a visual search engine and a social media platform, Pinterest can help brands with SEO and raise brand awareness. Since most Pinterest users are coming to Pinterest for inspiration, they’re especially receptive to your ideas and suggestions. Pinterest boasts about 335 million active monthly users. 35% of 30-49 year olds are on Pinterest as well as 34% of 18-29 years olds. So how can you make the most of it if your target audience is pinning away?
Set up a business account and link your other social accounts. This will make sure that pins from these sites are attributed to your business. And you’ll be able to monitor related analytics. Add a Pinterest Tag to your website so that you can track conversions and get insight into what your customers do on your site after they have seen your pins. Consistently pin a variety of content about your products (images of customers using them, product photos, tutorials, etc.) And use “Shop The Look Pins” to allow customers to easily make purchases.
The power of LinkedIn, and it’s over 500 million users, is in networking. Not just who you know, but who they know. This makes for great word of mouth marketing and targeted lead generation. Set up a detailed company page – those with a completed page receive a higher number of visitors. As do brands that post at least monthly.
Once you’ve set up a company page, encourage your employees to connect. And publish content (curated and company updates) that adds value. You can also publish original content on LinkedIn. It’s not possible to publish directly to your Company Page, but team members can publish from their profile.
Other tactics to boost your company’s profile is to be active in LinkedIn groups and to use showcase pages which allow you to highlight different areas of your business (e.g. brands, initiatives). You can also use LinkedIn’s multilanguage tools to connect with followers in 20 different languages.
The largest group of LinkedIn users are between the ages of 30-49, followed by 18-29 year olds and then 50-64 year olds.
3) Search Engine Optimization
Creating a great website and setting up great social media profiles are just 2 parts of your digital marketing to-dos. Now you have to make sure it’s easy for your target audience to find you. That’s where SEO comes in.
Search engine optimization is the process of improving the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. And how do you get this traffic coming your way? You develop a key-word strategy. You figure out a set of keywords that your customers are searching for and you optimize your content to include these.
When you’re getting started with SEO, or digital marketing in general, it may be difficult to justify paying for a tool.
Fortunately, there’s plenty of free options at your disposal:
- Google Keyword Planner is a great option that will provide you with keyword suggestions and ranges of search volume (how many people are looking for those keywords).
- Keyworddit provides keyword ideas from Reddit. If you don’t have a lot of insight into your particular industry or niche, this tool is really helpful. Enter a subreddit (a specific online community) and Keyworddit will mine the threads within it to provide you with suggestions.
- Google Trends is useful for figuring keyword popularity over time – very useful for seasonal marketing!
- Keyword Surfer is a Google Chrome extension that you can use to see the estimated global and monthly search volumes for any query typed into Google.
- Keywordtool.io is an autocomplete scraper that allows you to view results by location. And bonus – the data is scraped from a wide range of places other than Google (YouTube, Bing, Amazon, etc.) giving you more insights.
Once you figure out a set of keywords, develop a plan of attack. You can use them in your URL for unique pages dedicated to each keyword, title tags, meta descriptions and heading tags. You can also use them Using them in your website content and blog posts.
A word of caution though – if you overuse keywords, that’ll be considered keyword stuffing and won’t be in your favour. For more info on the dos and don’ts of SEO, we’ll tip our hats to Moz’ Beginner’s Guide.
4) Email Marketing
When social media seems to be such a dominant force you might question whether you need to bother with email marketing. The short answer is yes! Building out email lists is a valuable way to segment and target your customers. Rather than the direct sell, email marketing allows you to build and nurture relationships over time (i.e. don’t bombard your customers).
Let’s tie some stats into this – for every $1 you spend on email marketing you can expect an average return of $42. Pretty impressive.
So how do you build your lists? There are lots of options you can try. We’ve included a few below:
- Adding a pop-up or slide-in form on different pages of your website
- Adding a pop-up survey on your site to gather feedback
- Strategically place sign up fields on your website that provide an offer in exchange for an email (e.g. 15% off)
- Promote your email newsletter and its benefits on your social media
- Run ad campaigns with the goal of generating sign-ups for your email list
Once you have some precious emails collected you can start running campaigns to test out which approaches work best.
Here are a few campaigns to consider:
- Welcome email series – thank your customers for making a purchase and highlight the benefits of your product, examples of how it can be used and how to get support if they need it.
- Product update/launch emails – build up some excitement and anticipation by sharing details about new features, behind-the-scenes previews and information on when and how customers can gain access. If the new offering will impact the service or product they are using in any way be sure to communicate about this as well!
- Newsletter – a regular email (weekly, bi-weekly or monthly) to share helpful content, company updates and promotions, if any.
- Abandoned cart series – a set of emails to encourage potential customers to complete their purchase. Highlight benefits and make offers if possible for a discount if the first couple emails don’t nudge them along.
- Lead nurturing emails – emails to build trust and establish and nurture relationships with your leads. Be sure to be specific about the actions they have taken that have prompted your email recognizing that they’re interested in what you have to offer and that you’d like to provide more value. Follow-ups with relevant and targeted content increase the likelihood of potential customers staying engaged.
Email automation tools like MailChimp or Constant Contact allow you to run and optimize your campaigns. They also provide valuable metrics (e.g. click-through rates, open rates, bounce rates) to see what’s working.
5) Pay-Per-Click Advertising With Google
PPC or Pay-Per-Click advertising with Google can be a very effective digital marketing tool. But it’s not necessarily for everyone. It requires readily having a budget available (if not organic reach may be what you want to focus on). And an audience actively searching for keywords related to your business.
If there’s a ton of competition for the keywords you have in mind, you need to be prepared to spend a bit to drive awareness of your products or services.
PPC campaign options include Google Ads and the Google Display Network.
These ads atext-based and helps those searching for specific terms tied to your brand, product or content, find you. They can be more effective for those with a limited budget, and selling a product or service which people search for when they are ready to purchase.
Google Display Network Ads
This approach positions your ads in sections on relevant websites. This helps you get in front of the right people at the right time. They’re effective for increasing brand awareness, staying top-of-mind if you have a longer sales process, and if you have a visually striking product. Since potential customers are going to see what you’re selling in this case, if it looks good that definitely doesn’t hurt.
Whichever option is the right fit for you, these ads will help drive interested customers to a landing page or specific page on your website (however you set up your campaign flow). And this in turn helps them get one step closer to making a purchase.
6) Content Marketing
Content marketing involves the use of different types of content (videos, blogs, and social media posts) to generate interest in products or services. And it does this without explicitly selling a brand. This allows for building up trust and relationships with potential customers.
It’s also a cost-effective way to get organic engagement and website traffic. Content Marketing Institute has found that it gets 3 times more leads than paid search advertising. And studies show that people can recall 65% of the visual content they see almost 3 days later.
Along with blogs, which 55% of marketers favour as their top inbound marketing priority, videos, infographics and podcasts are among popular content. And of these video ranks #1 as the most popular content marketing tool.
Where does content fit into your digital marketing?
Think of it this way. You can’t make a wall with just bricks. Simply stacking them won’t work. There should be something that keeps them together. Like cement. If you think about your products or services as bricks, the content is the cement. As long as you supply high-quality and relevant content to your audience, they’ll keep coming back to you. And at some point, that brand loyalty will turn into an intention to buy and a conversion.
Getting Started With Your Digital Marketing
If you are planning on getting into digital marketing, the six areas we’ve highlighted are important for you to consider. But don’t worry, you don’t have to master them all at once. Start with your website and go from there. Master the day and then your digital marketing strategy 😉