As business gets more competitive there are digital marketing channels that act as a 24/7 low-cost salesperson, who never complains. Digital Marketing can accelerate and amplify your online actions and get your message in front of specific people, on a specific day, at a specific time.
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Digital marketing is growing every day, and there are only 5 key channels, web pages, email, social media, content, and paid ads. The good news is four of these channels have free options. However, the paid advertising is arguably one of the fastest ways to get traffic.
Digital marketing can be effective either with a do it yourself approach, hire a freelancer to help once in a while, or hire someone to regularly monitor and improve your digital efforts.
This includes websites, focused landing pages, and funnels. Funnels are basically multiple landing pages linked together to create a value path or sales pipeline for potential customers.
Your website is your digital headquarters, the first place people go to learn more about your organization. All other digital marketing efforts should come after this, and build on it.
If your website has implemented search engine optimization (SEO) it can bring in free customers from the search engines. This holds true for online business and local businesses with 'brick and mortar' locations. The search engines do the best they can to understand the search intent and connect them with the best websites.
SEO builds on your website design, it's the science that attracts people to the art. There are more than 100 factors for the Google algorithm to match the right website to each online search.
The foundations for good website SEO include quick loading, secure (https), mobile responsive, buyer intent keyword research and strategy, a good Title tag and meta description (with keywords), and a good Header tag strategy (H1-H6, including keywords or symantec keywords).
You can get a free SEO audit of your website at many different places online, one of my favorites is Neil Patel's website.
You can do some free basic keyword research at https://www.wordtracker.com. Between 75-90 percent of online searches never visit the second page of search results.
Email marketing is still relevant, though many consumers are becoming resistant to it. An email list of qualified customers can do wonders for upcoming product launches, sales, or contests.
Email marketing has become so popular with businesses that there are now laws in place that govern how you do it. These include...
Most experts recommend providing value in the emails. However, some experts claim if a customer has expressed interest in your brand, they might enjoy just hearing about your everyday activities.
Social media can help small business reach and engage with influencers. The more popular social media sites include Facebook and Instagram (mostly B2C), LinkedIn (mostly B2B), and Twitter (personal, professional, and political). Besides politics and general news, Twitter has a good amount of engagement for music, sports, tech, travel, food, and health.
Twitter thoughts - Twitter allows you to create lists of profiles. This allows you to create custom feeds. You can create a custom list (feed) for your potential customers and another for the influencers you want to engage with and a third for your competitors you want to keep an eye on. This gives you more control over what you see, making it easier to engage with important profiles and find and share specific content. Another thing I like about Twitter is the hashtag use. It turns Twitter into a social learning platform.
The reason I separated content from web pages is because you don't need any web pages or even social media to do content marketing. You can use other organization's platforms for your content marketing, by being a guest or develop a presence on one or more of the following. The main disadvantage of this is that you have less control of the content you post.
If you have your own website you have more control over your content. Not tech savvy? There are some easy drag and drop websites that don't require coding,
Medium- This is a free blogging site with about a 150 million monthly visitors.
Quora- This is a question and answer site where people go to get questions answered, and people go to share their knowledge. It has about 500 million monthly visitors.
Reddit - This seems like a combination of Quora and Twitter. It has groups, news stories, and Q & A posts depending on the group. It has about 1.3 billion monthly visitors.
Content marketing can be more effective if planned ahead of time and lined up with upcoming events in the market you serve.
The big digital platforms for paid advertising are Google and Facebook (FB). Both of these can be tried with a daily spending limit of just a few dollars. If you want to take extra precautions use a prepaid card with a monthly limit/allotment.
Google's platform has great potential, from the point of view you can set the ad to show only on searches for specific keywords, which is similar to qualifying a lead, depending on the market and keyword. However, I have heard some people say it is too complicated and they did not receive a return on their ad investment.
Facebook has become advanced with their look alike audiences where they can find people similar to who you want to market to. I've heard podcasts with FB ad experts claiming that FB can actually find better leads than most beginners, because it's in their best interest to get your ad in front of people who will click on it, then FB gets paid. The FB retargeting pixel is another advanced paid advertising method. This tags people that visited your website so you can get your ads in front of them when they are on FB.
All of these tools have a free entry level option, if they are not totally free.
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