Small business owners have it made in the digital age! With a huge breadth of options to get your name out there via digital marketing mediums, the possibilities and combinations are virtually endless. While that’s a huge benefit to the modern marketer, it can also be overwhelming. Here are some tried and true digital marketing strategies to get you started.
Initial Planning for your Digital Marketing Strategy
Before you dive in, there are several key questions that must be answered. Your digital marketing strategy should ultimately pave the way for your long- and short-term business goals. Answer the following questions before getting started:
Who is my audience?
- Geographical location
- Personal interests
- Shopping preferences
- …anything you feel is specific to your ideal customer!
Another useful exercise is to identify the type of customer you don’t want and avoid marketing content that may inadvertently attract them.
What is my ultimate goal?
Identifying your goals prior to creating your digital marketing strategy ensures you won’t be barking up the wrong tree. Are you looking to increase site traffic? Decrease cart abandonment? Build your mailing list? Increase average purchase amount? Create greater customer loyalty? Enhance brand awareness?
Related eBook: Marketing Goals Pocket Guide
As you can see, a single digital strategy would not hit all of these areas so plan accordingly. Which resources do I currently have? Evaluate the digital resources you’ve already invested in and determine if they’re viable, need tweaking, or should be retired.
By this time, you’ve likely already launched some digital campaigns and dropped cash on the tools to do so. It’s not uncommon to forget that you’ve got some sort of subscription service for, as an example, email blasts. Knock the cobwebs off and determine if it’s still meeting your needs. Chances are, with your new digital strategy, you can revamp your use of past marketing tools and start getting a return on your investment.
Primary Digital Marketing Channels
1) Email Marketing
Email communication is one of the simplest ways to remain in front of your customer base consistently. Send meaningful company updates and promotions, ask for customer reviews, remind a client that they’ve left items in their online shopping cart, etc.
Tips for email marketing:
- Personalize with recipient’s name
- Time appropriately. The best time to send your email is in the evening or on weekends when people aren’t on the clock.
- Include subject lines over 70 characters in length
- A/B test to increase customer engagement rates
Related eBook: 100+ Email Subject Lines (free download)
2) Social Media
With the ability to pinpoint target audience members, social media provides powerful tools to bolster your digital marketing efforts. The exercises we suggested earlier play a part here. For example, if your ideal customer is a business professional you’ll want to focus on LinkedIn. If they’re millennials, Twitter and Instagram would be more appropriate. Meet your clientele where they’re at! For more help identifying the right social media channels for your business, head to this post.
Try one of these suggestions for your next social media campaign:
- Cross-promote with a complimentary business
- Host a contest
- Go live on Facebook or Instagram Stories and create a series
- Repost user-generated content
- Post ‘tag a friend’ content incorporating it into a promotion, event or holiday
- Poll your followers
3) Content Marketing
Including relevant and valuable content across your digital marketing platforms increases your chance of generating organic traffic. Use blogs, videos, infographics, and whitepapers to draw customers to you based on search engine results. For more help with your content marketing strategy, check out this post.
If you have marketing pieces that have been particularly successful using one digital medium, reformat it to use across your digital marketing channels. Give it a slight refresh or adjust the language if it’s specific to its original use but if you’ve had success with a particular message, promotion or call to action, capitalize on it.
4) Mobile Strategy
A mobile strategy can take many forms, depending on the resources you have available. You can perform effective mobile marketing through social media and a mobile-friendly website. Or, you can create an actual mobile application. A mobile application is beneficial due to the customization possibilities.
Benefits of an application:
- You can send notifications
- You can easily implement a customer loyalty program
- Your logo appears on users’ home screens at all times
- Customers enjoy the ease of doing business – point and click transactions and communications
There are multiple app building services so no need to start learning code anytime soon! Companies like AppsBuilder, BuildFire, and AppyPie help you customize your mobile application based on your specific needs.
5) Pay-to-Play Advertising
Lots of options here including paid social media ads, pay-per-play audio ads, pay-per-click ads, Google Adwords, etc. You’re essentially creating digital billboards! Except with a digital “billboard” you choose who views your advertisement, where to maximize your ROI.
Related eBook: Online Advertising (free download)
Combine Digital Channels
Cross promote each of these marketing channels to be sure customers are receiving communications where they’ll be most receptive. Include links to your social media pages on each email blast, create an ad on social media aimed at capturing leads and contact information or drive traffic to your latest blog post by including a link in your most recent social media post.
The trick with digital marketing is to narrow your focus while casting a wide net. Sounds oxymoronic, but rest assured this is simultaneously possible. What we mean is, each of your digital campaigns should have a very specific goal with a particular audience in mind and you should be running multiple campaigns at a time.