There are very few businesses that wouldn’t benefit from exploiting the power of digital marketing, yet many start-ups only scratch the surface when it comes to taking advantage of the opportunities that exist in this area. It’s true that there are several critical factors involved in successful entrepreneurship, and your focus may well be on the business structure, product sourcing, and logistics rather than the marketing. However, unless you get your marketing strategy right, you could have the best service or product in the world and still fail because so few people would know about your business. You may think you’ve taken care of the marketing side of things once you’ve created a website, signed up for some social media accounts, and placed a few adverts, but if you truly want to harness the power of digital, there’s plenty more you can be doing.
Search engine rankings
Search engines rule the web because they are the tool that everyone uses to find information, new websites, and products they wish to buy. When a search is performed, the searcher will concentrate on the first few pages of results and rarely go any further down the list. If they’ve put in an accurate search term, they’ll have found what they’re looking for very quickly, within the first few results, so there will be no reason to look further. That means that if your website is languishing down on page ten, you have very little chance of being viewed. You could have exactly what someone is looking for, but unless you can capture their attention by being in the top results from their search, they will never know, and you will fail to win a new customer.
Cracking the code to effective search engine optimization
In many ways, optimizing your site for search engine retrieval is like trying to crack a code, because there are so many variables that contribute to how your site is ranked. Search engines use algorithms that assess each site for relevance to the query that’s been submitted but getting to the bottom of how these algorithms work is no easy matter. Search engine companies like to play their cards close to their chest when it comes to the precise parameters used by their algorithms. Therefore, you have to work on what they do tell you, and for maximum effect use the services of an expert SEO business. It’s perfectly possible to create an optimized website yourself if you follow the basic rules for SEO and keep up with the latest changes to search algorithms. However, this is both a time-consuming and skilled task, so it could well be more cost-effective to employ an SEO expert to manage this critical function for you.
There’s a great deal of emphasis on the use of social media for marketing purposes, but you need to look behind the hype to find the activities that will work best for your business. Many marketing guides will say you need to have a strong social media presence, and it’s true that being active and making a valuable contribution will increase your online presence. However, the true power of social media comes with its influence on engaging with potential customers and bringing in sales. Building up your Facebook likes may feel like a worthwhile enterprise, but do those likes translate into sales? You could be devoting many hours per week to your social media profiles without your work having any influence on your turnover. When you take into account the value of your time, you could be investing hundreds of dollars a month into a profile that has very little effect on increasing your revenue. The real secret to exploiting the power of social media is in using the targeted advertising facilities they offer. A Facebook ad can be tailored to be shown to a precise demographic of your choosing – in other words, you can show your advert to your ideal customers, those people most likely to be interested in your business offering. If you compare the cost of your time to the price of an ad campaign, you could well find that the ads will not only work out cheaper, but are far more likely to win you new customers.
Harnessing the power of mobile
You know that mobile devices are becoming more widely used to access information and make purchases, but have you considered the potential in using mobile technology as a marketing tool? Making sure your website is optimized for mobile is just the basic requirement these days. What you also need to be doing is looking at the ways mobile can give you a competitive advantage. One effective method is using SMS, to create a mass text campaign. The beauty of using text is that it is an opt-in service, so only people who are genuinely interested in your business will sign up to receive texts. That means you have your target market on tap, ready to receive news, special offers, and discount vouchers via their cell phones. That’s a powerful form of marketing, and given the increasing use of mobiles, it can only grow in the future.
Email marketing is one of the older digital methods, but still one of the most effective. Like SMS, email is an opt-in service, so you have your target market ready and waiting to hear from you. One of the best ways to build your list is to offer a lead magnet, which could be a free eBook, a help guide, an online course; anything that gives customers an incentive to sign up and agree to receive your emails. Once they’ve signed up, you need to send regular messages – daily if you can – that contain useful and interesting information, engaging stories, and a personal touch that makes readers feel you are talking to them as individuals. Calls to action are good, but only emailing when you want to get a sale is boring for customers, and they will be less likely to engage.
These are just a few of the ways in which you can use digital marketing to promote your business. If you want your enterprise to thrive, make use of all the digital tools at your disposal to gain an edge over your competitors.