Digital marketing is the only kind of marketing that will exist in the near future. As companies and content make their way to Internet-based locations, the only rational way to make your business known will be via the web.
I’ve suggested before that you have a strong digital marketing strategy if you want to build your customer base, but what does that really entail? More importantly, what channels should you be pushing your digital content through?
There Is No One-Size-Fits-All Digital Marketing Solution
Before I get into this topic at all, I have to warn you that this won’t be a step-by-step guide on how to get more customers from the internet. You won’t get told specific steps that hold a guarantee of success. That’s just not something I can do.
Every business, industry, and audience is different. What works for some simply won’t work for others. Instead, this is a checklist of the marketing channels you need to have in place. These are, in fact, the universal musts for every business. Without them, you can kill your credibility, reach, and online presence.
Digital Marketing Requires Content Outlets.
In order to effectively market online, you need to have channels to connect to your audience through. This checklist reflects the must-have channels for any digital strategy to work, as well as key ideas to consider in each outlet.
By now, this should be a no-brainer. If your company doesn’t have a website, you ought to close your doors now. Sadly, that’s the case for far too many businesses in the United States today. Nearly half, in fact. You need to make sure you have one.
It’s important to make sure your website is fast, informative, and mobile-friendly, too. Most people won’t deal with a slow website. If your audience can’t find the information they want or need, they’ll head somewhere else. And if they can’t access it on their mobile device, you’ll lose a ton of clients.
Blogs are often the foundational content for great digital marketing. In a few cases, they play a lesser role than others, but they’re key to making many of the other areas of digital marketing work. From microcontent to SEO, blogs make a great starting point for the rest of your digital strategy.
Some business owners tend to skip blogging, however. They feel like they’re not sure how to approach it effectively. While that’s a valid concern, you can’t afford to lose out on the many benefits a great blog provides. Aside from tremendous search engine help, blogs build your credibility, prove your knowledge, and help build your brand online.
The number of people who visit your site is going to grow tremendously if they find value on your website and in the blog content you’re creating. But what will you do with them once they get there? You can’t hope they immediately become customers. That only happens about 2.4% of the time. You’ve got to have a plan to nurture them through the buying process.
Taking advantage of a great lead funnel that features awesome automated components, you can begin to boost your closing rate on new leads. By capturing leads early, you can nurture them through the buying cycle a little faster, building their trust along the way. When they trust you, they’ll become your clients.
Speaking of nurturing your leads, email marketing is an incredibly powerful element of digital marketing for that reason. I know what you’re thinking, though. Email marketing is a dying art. But you’re wrong. Email is still one of the most powerful marketing tools your business could have.
The reason so many people feel like it’s dead is that they suck at it. That’s the truth. If you make your email marketing rock, you’ll improve your open and click-through rates dramatically. Once you do, you can take advantage of huge improvements to your bottom line.
At this point, a Facebook business page is an absolute necessity for any digital marketing strategy. With more monthly users than any social network and no signs of slowing, Facebook is likely the first place that your audience will find you.
Thankfully, there are a lot of great things you can take care of through Facebook. For starters, reach out to your audience and give them a glimpse into the truth of your company. Share candid shots and insights from inside your office. Demonstrate the value you provide with case studies. Share your blog content to the biggest sharing platform in the world.
When you get really great at producing digital marketing content, you can move to Facebook Live broadcasts. If you master this excellent live medium, you can reach out and build great relationships with your audience.
In the realm of digital marketing, LinkedIn is a little different. The biggest thing that separates LinkedIn from your other digital marketing channels is the fact that your business isn’t what should be represented here. You are.
Make sure you’re presenting yourself in the best light possible. When people search for you, they’re presented with 4 pieces of information. 2 of them are under your control. Get them right if you want to make the connections that matter.
When it comes to your content, don’t be afraid to be a little unconventional. Breaking the stiff seriousness of LinkedIn is going to benefit your visibility more than you could possibly imagine. That’s going to allow you to build your digital marketing to greater levels.
For digital marketing to work, Google needs to find you. Period. The more information you offer to Google, the better you can control what they show. Google MyBusiness is the way to handle that. It allows you to decide what content Google is going to show people when they search for your business.
If you’re not sure where that content shows and how it’s effective, just Google your business. If there’s no content box on the right that has links to your website, a map to your location and business information, then you’re not on Google MyBusiness. Those details make it easier for customers interested specifically in your company to contact you and become your client.
The next few items on the list are the more advanced digital marketing channels. You shouldn’t move this direction until you have the previous components handled.
When you have value to offer through your content, video content is the way to go. Simply put, you’ll reach more people more effectively. People pay more attention to video content, and as long as it’s valuable, they’ll keep coming back.
While production quality will always improve your results, you don’t need to be a talented video editor or have expensive equipment to make great video content happen. As long as you have a smartphone and access to an app store, you can make whatever content – including video – that you need.
Instagram is a huge social network for visual digital marketing. The rate you can potentially grow through the use of hashtags and networking strategies is huge. And, because Instagram is focused on smaller content, it’s a great place to repurpose some of your larger content.
An interesting thing you can do with Instagram is to share real glimpses into your company culture. By sharing what goes on inside the office and among your team, you get to present real people to your audience. That’s a big deal for millennials, who want to know who they’re working with.
One of the other great ways to produce content for Instagram is to break up your blog posts and videos into smaller chunks. These bits of microcontent are excellent in reinforcing the ideas your company shares, as well as the business philosophies it operates on. That establishes credibility and authority better than the microcontent alone will.
Audio content is fantastic at reaching your audience. Probably the most flexible form of digital marketing, podcasts allow your audience to consume your content in a way that also leaves them free to focus on other tasks. Unlike blogs, social content, and video, podcasting doesn’t require visual attention.
Podcasting also gives you massive distribution. With platforms like iTunes, Android Music, SoundCloud, and Stitcher distributing your content for you, you get the opportunity to reach more people with a single piece of content that any other medium.
Your Digital Marketing Presence Doesn’t Stop Here
Once you have this checklist sorted out and your business represented everywhere it needs to be, it will be time to expand your digital marketing. Consider the other platforms that might benefit what you’re trying to achieve. Just make sure you have the right expectations to move forward from.