Digital Marketing Basics
Utilize SEO, Paid Search, and Social Media to Brand Your Business
When you’ve been running a business for twenty years, or you’re gearing up for the launch of an exciting new project, digital marketing is essential to your overall marketing strategy. It used to be that having a physical store and running some mail campaigns was enough to get local brand notoriety, but things have changed. It’s not just beneficial to have a digital presence; it’s necessary.
Everyone is familiar with email, but figuring out how to use email to market to current and prospective customers is a whole different thing than sending messages to friends or coworkers. There are a lot of tools out there like Mailchimp and Marketothat help you build automated marketing series, but you’ve got to start with a plan and a list before you can do much else. We’ll talk a little bit more about building a list using other marketing tactics, but a current customer list is a great place to start. When thinking about the content that you want to send to customers, ensure that it’s something of value to them. If you’re marketing for a company that provides services, say a dog-walking business, sending your customers a newsletter that highlights local parks, fun dog-related news, and offers for partner deals would be a high starting point. As your list begins to grow, you can segment out customers and prospects, then provide unique content or offers to each. With email marketing, it’s essential to stay compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act, to provide valuable content, and to make sure that you’re not sending TOO many emails.
SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” SEO, also referred to as organic search marketing, has to do with where your website appears in a Google (or another search engine) search. There are a TON of factors that play into where your business lands, but one of the keys to getting good results is creating fresh content that includes the key topics that you want to be found for. For example, if we go back to the dog-walking business, creating a blog where you share updates about local events and tips for training. The important thing is that the content is original and fresh, so that search engines find a reason to continue sending people to your site. The Beginners Guide to SEO from Moz is an excellent resource for learning the ins and outs of SEO.
Paid Search Basics
Paid search has some similarities to SEO, but you have more control over where your business lands and what keywords your website shows up within a PPC strategy. With Google Ads, which appear above the organic (non-paid) search results, you can pick which keywords you want to show up for and bid on them. Some keywords can be highly competitive, so it’s recommended that you mix broad keywords with long-tail keywords that are specific to your business and location. Continuing with our example, you could build a landing page to capture email addresses and use long-tail keywords such as “dog walking Portland OR” or “dog walking [x] neighborhood.” Sending people
who are looking for your service, but haven’t yet heard of you to your website can be a great way to collect email addresses for your list.
Social Media Basics
The most prominent social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, with messaging platforms like Snapchat and WhatsApp growing daily. Social media is a great place to engage with current customers and reach customers who aren’t aware of your brand yet. Social media channels are designed to be fun and engaging, so it’s really important to show the fun side of your brand here. Posts should always include images or videos, be reflective of your brand, and offer interesting or entertaining content. A lot of new businesses make the mistake of trying to sell to customers through social platforms, but only 5-10% of your overall posts should be related to selling. This is another great channel that you can use to drive visitors to your blog, increasing website traffic and relevance. In conclusion, a great digital marketing strategy takes to search, social, and email tactics into consideration, ensuring that you’re reaching customers at all stages of the customer journey. When building out your strategy, take each channel and its unique use into consideration. Keep in mind that your messaging and offers must be tailored to the channel and platform and that your marketing should always be respectful of customers’ interests and privacy.