The chances for achieving long-term, sustainable business growth are significantly hindered without a strong digital marketing strategy. It’s no longer enough to place an ad in the local paper and wait for the public to rush to your store to check out the products/services offered. Today, as people spend copious amounts of their time online on social media and the internet, a focused digital approach is required to reach maximum audiences.
A focused digital media strategy revolves around a unique selling point or USP. Every digital marketing campaign must center on this USP for potential customers to understand what you’re offering and what they need to do to obtain the product or service you provide. Whether the goal is to generate traffic to your website, raise brand awareness, increase lead conversion, or improve your social media presence, it is essential to master the basics of digital marketing.
6 Digital Marketing Essentials That Every Business Needs in 2021
1. Social Media Marketing
A business’ social media account is often one of the first encounters a potential customer has with your brand – it is essentially an extension of your brand. A healthy social media strategy involves an active social media presence with plenty of value-adding content.
There are two methods for executing a successful social media marketing strategy: social media posts and social media advertisements.
Social Media Posts
Social posts can include images, videos, or text that provide valuable or relatable content to your target audience. Consistent and frequent posting not only increases your outreach but also helps with brand awareness. Posts should always align with your brand, grab the viewer’s attention, and offer something of value. For example, if you’re announcing new business hours, be sure to include an attention-grabbing image that displays your logo, branding colors, or fonts and clearly displays the new hours of operation.
Social media platforms are constantly adding new features, and businesses must stay on top of the trends to stay relevant as a brand. For example, the introduction of “stories” on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and now LinkedIn provides another avenue for businesses to reach potential customers through images, video, and graphics.
Maintaining a social media content calendar is a great way to keep up with a regular posting schedule. There are free tools available like Hootsuite or Buffer that allow you to plan, schedule, and post to one or more social media platforms and track engagement all-in-one.
Social Media Ads
In addition to your regularly scheduled social media posts, you can also purchase advertisements on various social media platforms. These ads look like typical social media posts but allow you to reach a broader audience that you can customize by age, location, interests, and more.
Another advantageous paid targeting method utilizes Facebook Pixel to generate a Lookalike Audience. A Lookalike Audience is a way to reach new groups of people who are likely to be interested in your company because they are similar to your existing customers.
2. Email Marketing
Email marketing is a great way to stay in touch with both potential and current customers. A robust email strategy targets specific audiences in all stages of the sales funnel. Lead nurtures help move prospects through the funnel by providing value-adding content for each particular stage. Newsletters keep current customers up-to-date with your latest news, blogs, and other relevant business information like new business hours, products, or services. Regular sales and discount offerings communicated via email encourage potential customers to buy and existing customers to come back for more. Automated emails such as abandoned cart emails entice buyers to return to your website to finish their shopping.
Successful email marketing campaigns contain attention-grabbing subject lines, personalized content through tokens, and well-written, well-designed content that appeals to your target audience and provides value. Tools such as HubSpot and MailChimp offer free and affordable solutions to streamline your email marketing strategy.
3. Search Engine Optimization
With billions of people online for hours each day, a significant digital presence is vital for businesses of all sizes. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of improving the quality and quantity of online traffic. An SEO strategist understands the ever-changing algorithms that search engine’s put in place to rank websites, implementing best practices to generate organic traffic for your site or online store.
A common myth is that packing your content with keywords is an overall SEO strategy. Keywords alone are not enough to boost your SEO. Seeing results from SEO marketing takes time and requires multiple strategies with regular maintenance and careful attention to changing trends and algorithms. There is no “set it and forget it” when it comes to search engine optimization. Because this digital marketing strategy requires more time and attention, it’s encouraged to consult an SEO expert to assess and maintain your SEO strategy.
4. Google Ads
Google is the most-utilized search engine in the world. Placing advertisements where the majority of the globe is already conducting searches is the best way to capitalize on Google’s tremendous online traffic. Google Ads offers a pay per click (PPC) model of pricing, meaning you pay for each click on your advertisement.
There are 5 types of Google Ad campaigns:
1. Search Campaign: These ads are shown to the user when they search for certain keywords. These text ads look similar to the typical results you’d expect from a Google search, but appear at the top of the page indicated by a yellow “Ad” icon.
2. Display Campaign: Unlike text ads, display campaigns placed in the form of banners across different webpages targeted at specific audiences. The ads link to your website and are used for both remarketing and helping visitors engage with your website.
3. Shopping Campaign: Shopping ads/free listings use product data from the Merchant Center, not keywords, to promote online or local inventory, boost your online traffic, and increase the number of qualified leads. With free listings, your product offerings are eligible to appear via the Shopping tab, Google Search, Google Images, Google Maps, and Google Lense.
4. Video Campaign: Video ads appear in YouTube videos and on websites and apps running on Google video partners. Placing eye-catching video advertisements where users spend most of their time consuming content drives traffic to your website, raises awareness for your brand, and generates more sales all by reaching the right audience for your offerings.
5. App Campaign: App campaigns allow you to promote application(s) via Google Search, Google Play, YouTube, Gmail, and within other apps and mobile websites on the Google Display Network using a few lines of text and assets from your app listing.
5. Analytics Tools
Analytics tools provide insight into how well your digital marketing strategy is performing. Monitoring analytics allows you to test and monitor different strategies and pivot as needed. These tools also provide a glimpse into consumer behavior. Analyzing consumer behavior and making data-driven decisions based on observations multiplies the effectiveness of online marketing campaigns.
6. Video Marketing
Video is an increasingly popular medium for connecting with both potential and existing customers online. Video marketing allows you to share more information in less time as you speak directly to the viewer rather than relying on the viewer to do the work. This strategy adds a more personal touch to an otherwise impersonal experience, improving both brand engagement and brand loyalty.
Video marketing strategies can take the form of online video advertisements, commercials, or posting videos on YouTube or other social media platforms. One of the most recent examples of trending and viral video marketing platforms is TikTok. Individuals and businesses of all sizes have seen overnight success generating record-breaking sales and establishing their brand worldwide.
What Digital Marketing Strategy is Right for My Business?
The short answer is: there is no one single approach guaranteeing success. A champion digital marketing strategy combines two or more of the above methods to increase website traffic, produce better quality leads, and generate sales. Results-oriented digital marketing requires constant attention, management, and knowledge of the latest trends.
Seeing the fruits of your labor takes time and is best achieved with the help of experienced digital media specialists who can manage and monitor your strategy, giving you valuable time back in your day. DreamSite Gurus, a Denver-based digital marketing agency, has years of experience helping companies implement and maintain digital strategy.