How To Promote A Business Online? – Your Simple Digital Marketing Plan – Part Five
As with most things in life, to have success, the best way is to have a good and effective plan. It is the same with Digital Marketing. You must have a structured and scheduled plan, know exactly what needs to be done, and work through it in order for your online marketing efforts to have successful results.
Here is a Simple Digital Marketing Plan for you:
Your Target Audience
First, you need to identify who are your ideal customers. They will be part of your target audience. Get into their minds, think like them, and figure out what keywords they would use to search for products, services and businesses like yours. Better still, if you can do a simple survey, and ask people (friends and family can work too) for the keywords they will use in a search.
Next, commit to building your brand online. A strong brand is very important, and becomes a valuable asset to your business. For customers, when choosing a product or service, they naturally will gravitate towards a brand that is strong, and also preferably one they are familiar with. To them a strong and familiar brand reduces the risk of a purchase, and is a promise of quality and trust.
One of the tools to build your brand is your business website. These days, a website is like an online brochure. It sits on a specific space on the Internet, waiting for people to drop by and have a look. So do make efforts to have an attractive, well-designed, well laid out, and professional looking website. And of course, your content must be engaging, and motivates them to dive further or take action and make a purchase.
*** TIP! Don’t forget to set up an autoresponder on your website, and build an email list.
Search Engine Optimization aka SEO
After your website is done, you have to have Search Engine Optimization going to draw traffic to your website. I will not repeat this information as it was already discussed in the earlier post – How To Promote A Business Online? – 6 Things You Should be Doing – Part 2. Please click on the link to learn more about SEO, and why it is one of the many strategies you must be using to have success with your internet marketing efforts.
Also, discussed in that same post is Social Media. Again, I will not repeat the information because you can go to the post via the link to read all about it. Also, this will be further elaborated in a later part of this series.
Online Local Domination
In addition to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media, you need to add the 4-point online domination to your internet marketing plan. Again, the 4 points are local business results, natural search results, Pay Per Click results, and content results. These, including SEO and Social Media, will help to raise your ranking in the local business search results.
During our discussion on Online Local Domination, we touched on the topic of Pay-Per-Click Results. I would like to reiterate that this is one of the very powerful ways of reaching your target audience. Again, it is one of the fastest ways to get traffic to your site using targeted local keywords and geo-targeting generic keywords. Truly, a very valuable part of a digital marketing plan.
Another item to add to your online marketing plan is for your business to be on all (or as many as possible) the online business directories. These directories are what Yellow Pages used to be for print media. It is one of the digital places where people are turning to in order to find a product or service. To add your business to these online directories is easy (and often free). But don’t just list in a few. Every individual directory that you submit to is another chance to get found online, so it’s important to make sure you’re listed in every directory possible. Here is a list of directories to be listed on, most are FREE.
Being listed on online business directories does help a little with natural search results as you are getting links to your business website. In addition to directories, get tons of links to more local sites to get high natural search results. Another way of creating backlinks is to get into and participate in local discussion forums, especially forums that discuss topics related to your business. One more is to be listed on classified ad sites such as Craigslist.
Article marketing is not new. It is a technique used in the past where professionals provide content to a newspaper or magazine on timely topics. Today, the same is done online. The difference is that business owners and marketers submit an article to a number of online article directories.
The article includes the author, job title, business name and contact information. Visitors to these directories who will then read your article, and this increases awareness of you and your brand. This can also increase traffic to your business website when they are interested to find out more about your products and services. Also article directories with good web page ranks can strengthen your ranking with search engines.
Blogs have gained a reputation as having the potential to boost your SEO rankings. By using long-tail keywords, you can push your business website up the rankings of search results. So it is good to have a blog on your business website.
But before you make this one of your to-dos in your digital marketing plan, you have to be sure you have the time and resources to keep updating the blog. It is the same with social media updates. If you don’t have the time or resources, do consider outsourcing this to your digital marketing partner.
Also mentioned in the 6 Things You Should Be Doing article is the fact that Online Video is the next wave in digital marketing. So add this to your online marketing plan, and get aesthetically pleasing and professional videos done. Then upload them to your website as well as video sites such as Vimeo and YouTube.
Internet Audio, like online video, can help to raise awareness, and spread word about your brand, products, services and business. And similar to online video, upload them to your business website and distribute them on local audio and podcast sites.
Press Releases were originally designed as a communication tool between a company PR or public relations firms and the media. Now, Online Press Releases are effectively used as a direct to media as well as direct to consumer communication tool. Submit your press releases to progressive wire services, like PR Newswire or PRWeb, to receive maximum exposure for your brand.
Data, Analytics & Tracking
An essential part of your digital marketing plan is to test and track your marketing efforts. For example, how much traffic is going to your business website and from where? Are visitors being converted, and where did they originate from? How did your keywords rank? These are some of the useful information you can gather from analytics that can help you further modify and optimize your internet marketing plan.
It is rare that a digital marketing plan is perfect. With analytics, you can figure out what works, and what does not work. Or maybe it is not that it is not working. If so, then changes need to be made so as to make that your marketing efforts successful.
This is all the tips for a simple Digital Marketing Plan. Of course, the plan can be expanded into a more sophisticated version that can take your business to the next level. For a start, consider the points above, and start thinking about your basic Online Marketing efforts that can lead to your business success.
I wish everyone great success in their businesses.
Blessings to all.
P.S. I would love to hear from you, so please do write a comment. Thanks 🙂
Audit Your Current Digital Marketing Efforts (if any)
Before we discuss about creating your new digital marketing plan, let us do a simple audit of your past online marketing efforts (if you have any so far). Let us look at what has been done previously for your business on the Internet; for example your website, any social media network, blog, etc.
Let us be thorough, and evaluate your current online presence so that you can see where you are at. Only then can we create a good and effective digital marketing plan for you to know where you want your business to be, how successful you want your business to be, and what needs to be done to achieve that.
Assess Current Digital Marketing Checklist
Here is a checklist for you to assess your current internet marketing (if you have any):
How do you currently market your company?
How do you currently promote your online presence?
Why are you thinking of putting a digital marketing in place?
Have you spent any money on advertisements?
Which media are these advertisements on?
Are the advertisements on these media working?
Have you used Pay-Per-Click ads in before?
Do you have a business website?
What techniques do you currently use to drive traffic to your website?
How much are you spending each month to get that traffic?
How many unique visitors does your business website get per month?
How many enquiries do you get from those that visit your website?
What percentage of revenue currently comes from leads generated by the Internet? And from which platform?
How many sales/leads do you get per month from your website?
What is the current value of your average sale? What is the average revenue per sale? What is the average profit per sale?
How many current customers do you have?
How many of these current customers bought your products and/or services?
How often does a customer buy from you? (get full statistics and average)
Do you regularly keep in touch with your customers? If yes, how do you do it? And how often?
Is your business capable of exponential growth?
Are your sales team trained?
Does your sales team receive training regularly?
What type of training does your sales team undergo?
The above checklist is just a guideline. You might think of more questions to help with the audit. By the end of this exercise, you should have a pretty good report card on the overall health of your current digital marketing plan. And you should know if it is working or not. Also, you will uncover some missing pieces as well as potential growth for your business.
Current Digital Marketing Plan Audit
It is also good to conduct an audit of your current digital marketing plan for each of your line (if you do have any):
Have you registered your business with local online business directories?
Do you use article marketing?
Do you have a blog on your business website?
How often do you post on the blog?
Do you have people following your blog?
Do people engage you on your blog?
Do you have videos on your business website?
Do you place videos on video sites such as Vimeo and YouTube to promote your business website?
Do you use online Press Releases?
Do you use Pay-Per-Click advertising?
Do you test and track your website as well as all other digital platforms?
Do you use online Classified Ads sites?
Do you use online Local Forums?
Do you use Audio Marketing on your site, and also syndicate the audio on other popular sites?
Most of the above checklist should be done for each of your product lines or services you carry. When the checklist items are in place, you will be more effective at marketing your business on the digital space.
If you are targeting different markets, do consider using different approaches to reach each market. While you may attract them to your business website, your emails, Pay-Per-Click campaign, landing pages, content on classified ads sites and local forums, online videos, online audios, articles and blogs should be tailored to each market accordingly.
This is the shortest of my blog posts so far. And I hope you enjoyed it just as much as the longer posts? Please write a comment and let me know your thoughts on this part 4, the rest of the How To Promote A Business Online series so far.
The term sounds ominous, doesn’t it? In fact, some people have said that maybe it would sound better if named as Online Local Authority. It doesn’t really matter what is the name given, what matters is that this is the state of being that you would like your business to be in. It is when you have become the Number One Authority for your local market on the Internet. It is a sign that your business has become a huge success.
This distinction is earned when your business was previously unheard and unseen on the Internet, and then became visible online virtually everywhere. This title is given to you when your business is frequently listed on the first page of local search results, organic search results and Pay-Per-Click campaigns. Also, you would have received numerous consumer reviews, more than any other local business in your market.
At this stage, your business would consistently be the most popular one on any type of online search. Wherever people look, they see your brand, and they will quickly come to recognize that you are the authority in your field. They will consider you as the best in your industry, and will prefer to do business with you.
After all, we all want to do business with the best, don’t we?
When you achieve Online Local Domination, your business is the easily found business of its type in a given local area. In addition, your business is always at the top of local search results, normal search results and geo-targeted generic results. When your business can be found at the top of normal search results without any indication of an area, you have reached a higher level than Online Local Domination. And this is better, much better. But that’s another topic for another day.
To be the master of local online search results, you need to understand how the searches work. Also, you need to understand what are the different keywords that individuals use when they search for businesses similar to yours. With this better understanding, you can apply different and more effective digital marketing techniques that can help your business to be listed at the top of search engine results, or at least on the first page of it.
To be on the first page of online search results is where you need your business to be.
91.5% of people who does online search will choose a business from those listed on the first page.
Of course, it is so much more better when you are able to be in the top 3 listed on the first page of online search results. This raises the chances of getting prospective clients to your web site. Businesses that are not in the first page or top 3 ranking are losing out a lot of business.
Profession digital marketers know how to get a business to that Number One spot of a search result, for local keywords in Google. They have the knowledge and skill to do it. Plus, most local keywords have very little competition because not many businesses are doing it. Therefore, this state of being – Online Local Domination – is ripe and easily available for anyone with the knowledge and skill to achieve.
4-Point Online Domination
To achieve Online Local Domination, there is a 4-Point Online Domination technique that can make it happen. Start doing this today and you can be the one in your industry that dominates the Internet locally. Here is the 4-Point Online Domination:
Local Business Results (Google My Business)
Natural Search Results
Local Search Results – Google My Business
In order to achieve online domination, one of the criteria is to be highly visible and prominent on local search results. You can achieve this with Google My Business.
Playing hard to get may be good for dating, but it is bad for business. When people search for businesses using keywords, there are often map listings at the top of natural search results. You must do all you can to get your business listed there. One of the ways would be to ensure that your business is listed for a variety of keyword phrases. Don’t forget variations of these keyword phrases as well as your business name.
Another way, more powerful and sure, is to have a Google My Business account. You will be surprised to know that even businesses that don’t have a website can get listed on Google My Business. These businesses use Google My Business to post articles about their business and related topics, videos and other information that will be interesting to their community.
Google My Business is an important tool for business owners. You can put the right information about your business on Search, Maps and Google+ so that customers can get in touch with you. You just need to understand how to use it successfully to market and grow your business online.
It is important to know that Google’s local search algorithm considers 3 major factors when determining where to rank your business, what terms to rank it for, and how high to rank it relative to other businesses. The 3 major factors are:
Of course, a match to keywords searching for your business name will be most relevant, and can result in top ranking on search results. But what about natural searches done by people who do not know your business name?
For example, when someone searches for a bakery in Seoul, Korea, then the search results will only show bakeries in that area, not other types of businesses. A bakery that has the right keywords and a Google My Business account will rank higher than other bakeries in that area, too.
This factor looks at how popular and well known your business is. Google considers backlinks, mentions of your business on other websites, and social media. The latter is becoming an increasing Prominence factor. Regular (and relevant) status updates, number of likes and comments, and even mention of your social media pages are critical. Businesses that know this are wisely getting on the social media networks, and hiring and leveraging the expertise of a digital marketer to manage them.
This factor is the only one of the three that you can least affect or influence to help you with your search results ranking. It simply considers the general location as entered by people, if they do enter a location in their search keywords. If not, then Google will look at the distance between the person doing the search and local businesses nearby, and offer a list of search results based on that.
One digital marketing technique to enhance your search results ranking is to pay for Search Ads on Google. This will place your listing at the top of the search result page, with a little green ‘Ad’ icon. On Google Maps, your business will be shown within the info cards beneath the search box, and on the map.
One of the keys to market online successfully with Google My Business is to complete the profile completely, accurately, and regularly. Invite customers to review your business as this is vital for search rankings. Plus, it is always useful to listen to what your customers are saying about your products and services, and find out how you can improve them to better serve your customers and attract new ones.
Natural Search Results
When a search is done on the Internet, a list of website and web pages relevant to that search will be shown on the search results. Sometimes, there would be sponsored ads and local search results at the higher portion of the first page listing. After that, would be the natural search results.
Due to the way natural search is done by search engines, you must pay attention to the use of keywords because they are all commonly found ranked in natural search results. Here are some ways to use keywords:
Social networking profiles
Social bookmarking profiles
Pay-Per-Click is a form of advertising online that directs traffic to websites. Advertisers pay the publisher only when the ad is clicked by people. You can buy Pay-Per-Click ads from search engines, and have your business listed at the very top of search results.
Like all advertising, the copy of the advertisement is important. A well written advertisement that is captivating with words that encourage people to click it can bring you great results and conversion of visitors to customers. It is wise to hire expert and experienced copywriters who know how to get this job done for you well.
Do note that you must have a budget for Pay-Per-Click ads. Monitor the spending of this budget. After an advertising campaign, it is good to review the results, and then create and execute a strategy for a new advertising campaign that can bring you even better results.
There are business owners who may be reluctant to spend on online advertising. Perhaps they have spent on advertising before and never saw any results. What they don’t realize is this is very different from advertising on traditional media. Advertising on newspapers or magazines often result in a lot of wastage. A lot of money is spent, and they don’t reach your target audience.
But online advertising is different and more efficient. It is a form of targeted advertising. For example, if your business sells stationery in an area called Redhill, and someone types ‘stationery Redhill’ in a search box. Your ad will appear at the top of the list. You have just reached your target audience. This is one of the fastest ways to get traffic to your site, and is a very valuable part of digital marketing strategies.
One of the signs that you have achieved Online Local Domination is when your business website, web pages and content are at the top of search results based on your keywords. For example, someone does a search using a keyword that you are using in your digital marketing strategy, and that person arrives at a page of search results that ranks your website as number one, your online video as number two, your social media network (page or content) as number three, and your press release as number five, you know you have achieved Online Local Domination.
Chances are the searcher will acknowledge that you are an expert in that industry, in that business, and would most likely choose you for his or her needs.
Getting results like that is relatively easy, especially in the hands of an expert digital marketer. All it would take is to get your content out there with social media, Web 2.0 applications, online articles, press releases, videos, apply Search Engine Optimization, and many other digital marketing techniques, and you will find it the norm for your business to be always listed at multiple places of search results.
Remember this 4-point online domination model. Use it wisely and use it well. And for sure, you will be able to achieve the exceptional results that you have expected.
I hope you enjoyed reading this. Please like and share this post. And of course, definitely leave a comment for me. I would love to hear from you.
Then there are those who think they know how to promote a business online. So they create a website and set up a few social network accounts. Unfortunately, this group thinks that posting on their social media once in a blue moon is good enough for people to find them.
Of course, there are those who have an inkling what Digital Marketing is all about. But they only use a select few techniques to drive traffic to their site.
Which of these types of business owners are you?
At the same time, I must say that I totally empathize with all types of business owners. The reason is they are not in the business of marketing – whether online or offline. So it is not reasonable to expect them to know much about it or be an expert at it. As a business owner, it is understandable that as you are focusing more on your core duties and responsibilities to run and grow your business. And leave the marketing to the experts like me. Still, it is worthwhile to know at least what online marketing is all about. So it is good you are reading and learning more about it now.
There are times when you will find that many internet marketing efforts require some testing to find out what works and what does not work. For example, Facebook Ads with hard selling copy may work for a certain target audience, but may not for another. All that testing will take up a lot of your time and effort.
The good news is – with this series – How to Promote A Business Online? (start reading from part one if you have not done so) – you are given an enormous advantage. From a wide variety of tried and tested internet marketing methods, I have narrowed it down to a few for you to start. These are ideal for you to see real results in your sales.
Here, I present 6 Things That You Should Be Doing to enhance your digital marketing efforts. Not many know of all these 6 tried and tested marketing methods. And everyone and every business should be doing them. So when you do apply all six of them, you can produce some serious results.
And – drum roll – here they are:
1. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
2. Social Media
4. Online Videos
5. Build a List
6. Free Reports
1. Basic SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Did you spend a lot of money for your business website to be created?
Whether you did spent a lot, not so much or very little, the more important question is – did you spend enough or at all for your website to be search engine optimized?
If your website is not search engine optimized, it will never get ranked high in the search results. The effect of this is nobody will know the existence of your business website, your business and your brand.
SEO is an important digital marketing tool to promote your businesses online. More and more people are becoming aware of this, and are doing it for their websites, whether by themselves or hiring professionals to help.
So how does SEO help to promote your business online?.
Search engines use an Internet bot, often called a spider, to collect information on the World Wide Web, and build lists. This includes strategic use of keywords, backlinks, and more.
When your website does not have any strategic use of keywords, plus a significant number of links to your site, and many other SEO elements, your website will have a hard time achieving ranking on the first page of search results. Without online visibility, it will be virtually impossible for people to learn about your business through online means.
Important Tip for SEO!
Do not use sluggish elements like Flash.
For years, I have highly recommended to many clients to not have Flash on their website, especially the home page. While it can look impressive, websites with Flash do not get indexed properly by search engines. The simple truth is that search bots cannot read Flash content.
Nowadays, having Flash can even hurt your search rankings as search engines have begun blacklisting such sites. They regard these websites as deceptive, having no keywords, and no content.
2. Social Media
Today, for every business, Social Media is a must have.
In 2013, Jayson DeMers reported on Forbes that:
“Investment in Social Media Will Become a Necessity, Not a Luxury”
Today, those prophetic words have proven to be true. Social Media is a priority for your business, and complements as well as augments your SEO efforts. It will improve your website’s search rankings and allow your business to be found.
As part of your marketing and PR (public relations) mix, it will help your business to increase brand exposure and enhance brand awareness. This makes it a great tool to establish a stronger brand for your business.
You can use social media to build a community of people interested in your products and services. It is an excellent tool to share your expertise and knowledge on your products and services as well as interact and receive valuable customer feedback.
All business owners know that marketplace insight is very valuable. With social media, you can get this valuable information direct from the source. Never before has businesses had such access that can help improve and grow the business.
Social media has many other benefits. It can also be used to drive traffic to your website, generate leads, and boost sales by converting loyal fans to customers.
Important Tip for SEO!
Search engines Love new and fresh content!
Blogging is one way of keeping content fresh on your website. This will enhance your chances of being at the top of search engines. Also, you can blog such that your content has all the right long-tailed keywords.
In addition, when you blog posts that are interesting and captures the attention of people, you can build a following. This following is immediately your potential customers ready and ripe for you to market your products and services to.
After all, when they follow you, it means they have an interest in what you are offering to them. Again, just like social media, they can be a valuable source of feedback and marketplace insight.
4. Online Video
Online videos are the next wave in content marketing.
You can create a simple video using text slides, and do a voiceover with or without background music. Or a video presenting your products and services. The content for video is virtually limitless.
And the best part is that more and more people love watching videos rather than read a lot of text. Hence, you now have another hot digital marketing vehicle to reach numerous customers and prospects. For maximum effectiveness, just be sure to place the online video where people can find it; e.g. social media, your website, YouTube, etc.
5. Build A List
One of the goals of your online marketing plan should be to build an email list. It is a database of people who opt in; that is they consent to receiving emails from you about your products and services.
To capture such data and increase your email list, you need an autoresponder. This is an indispensable tool for all businesses. It saves time for you because it is there on a page of your website, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, ready to accept input from people who wish to sign up and receive emails from you.
It is a set of standardized letters that are set up once, and the necessary contact with each new individual who opts into your email list is taken care of automatically. Hence, it is actually very good for lead nurturing that is absolutely essential in demand marketing.
6. Free Reports
Everyone loves free stuff, especially when there is some valuable information available that is pertinent to their interests. When you offer free reports on a particular area of interest to your potential customers, you will firstly establish yourself as an expert in that particular field.
Of course, first you need to create reports that are of value to others because they offer useful information. When you have that, you can offer them on your website. Get people to provide their name and email address (at the very least) in exchange for a free report. As you can guess by now, this is another way to build your email list.
When you apply the above 6 Things You Should Be Doing, you will find that your website will be placed higher in search engine results ranking.
As a result, more and more people will be able to find you on the Internet, and connect and engage with you. You will now have more opportunities to communicate with them, and convert them into customers.
I am sure you noticed that this is just an overview of the 6 Things You Should be Doing. There will be more details in future blog posts. Do sign up for my newsletter to be updated. Or connect with me on Social Media where I will post updates, too.
I hope you enjoyed reading this. Please like and share this post. And of course, definitely leave a comment for me. I would love to hear from you.
Your Customers Are Searching For You Online … Can They Find You?
Are you a local business owner? Or a business targeting a specific region?
Over the past few years, have you noticed a drop in demand for your products or services?
Or perhaps you are a new business, and sales has been really slow or not at all?
In my years of experience, I have met many businesses that were facing one of the above two situations. Of course, there were many other situations a business could be facing. Some businesses could be doing well and yearn to do better but do not know how to achieve that growth.
Whichever one of these situations that you are in, this series – How To Promote A Business Online – is for you. You will learn ways to increase brand exposure, enhance brand awareness, draw traffic to your website, engage with people who are interested in what you are selling, and tactics to heighten the chances of converting prospects into customers.
To help you achieve all that, I will share with you the following:
The basics of digital marketing
The types of internet marketing strategies that can help market your business
The meaning of online local domination and how to do it
As well as helping you to come up with a simple digital marketing plan and put the tasks and tactics in the plan to work for you.
Before all that, I will share with you why traditional marketing doesn’t work anymore, and why it is imperative that you start marketing online.
Traditional Marketing Is Not Working Anymore
The Internet revolution is well under way, and the way to reach and communicate with your target audience must change. Today, your target audience that you seek has become increasingly fragmented due to new technologies that allow them to experience media in myriad platforms.
The fact of the matter is that traditional media such as television, radio, magazines, and newspapers are well on their way to the fate of the dinosaurs. Advertising on traditional media to reach your market may work in the past, but it is no longer as effective as before, and will not bring in business as expected. This is particularly true for print media that many people do not pay attention to anymore.
Businesses that are still using such outdated forms of advertising are throwing away many thousands in expenses on ineffective marketing every month. It is easy to do a quick survey to find out if this is true. Simply ask a few people where their copy of the Yellow Pages is. The answers will astound you.
Some may say that they have it in some storage area, gathering dust. Some may have thrown it away (may even cite waste of space as a reason). How does that make you feel about the money you’re spending?
So where are people going to when they need to find products and service?
The answer is the Internet.
They are scouring the Internet to connect with their friends and family, and search for products and services they need. So businesses that want to reach out to existing customers and have new customers find them simply must have a quality online presence. And this means not just having an ineffective website that looks like it was done as a school project.
Today, most websites are well thought out. The design, layout and content are interesting and informative. The interface and experience are personable. Due to the fact that many people now surf the Internet on mobile devices, many websites have become what is known as responsive websites.
All these effective websites utilize a myriad of savvy digital marketing techniques that improve their search rankings and make them stand out from their competitors. For example, if you have a site with no keywords in it and almost no backlinks, you are missing the boat and will never get to the top of the search engine results.
And having a website alone is not enough for your business nowadays. You need to be on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, Youtube, etc., where your target audience is hanging out and communicating. Social media enables you to reach out and communicate with your target audience on a personal level. This is very powerful, and has never been available with traditional media.
Of course, besides having a website and being on social networks, there are other digital marketing techniques and strategies that you must do. We will discuss and explore all these in the rest of this series.
Why Is Internet Marketing Important?
In every form of media, there are specific marketing strategies that apply to that particular media. The Internet is no exception. In order to get traffic to your website, you need to stay on top of these digital marketing strategies, and implement them. Otherwise, you’ll miss out on one of the most efficient and lucrative sources to get new customers for your business.
In my years of experience, I have encountered many local business owners who did not apply any digital marketing strategies to grow their customer base. This is simply because they have no idea what needs to be done.
It is understandable as digital marketing is so new and foreign to most business owners. They are so busy running their business, managing their staff, and taking care of their clients. And that is all right as they should rightly focus on their core business.
Some don’t even know where to start. Most don’t have the time to learn what digital marketing is all about. Plus, it is constantly evolving. So to keep themselves updated takes up quite a lot of time and effort.
Then there are those who know and understand the value of digital marketing, and how it can bring increasing returns to their businesses. They are aware of some digital marketing strategies, but don’t have the time and resources to do it. Like the other business owners mentioned in the previous paragraph, they are bogged down by the running of their business, staff management, and providing the best services and products to their existing clients. They, too, know that this is an arena where it is always evolving.
To find out if you are familiar with digital marketing, ask yourself the following questions:
What are long-tailed keywords?
What is keyword density?
What is Web 0? And Web 3.0?
How do you set up an autoresponder?
How do you change the tags on your website?
How do you create videos and audios for your website?
If you don’t know the answers to the above questions, don’t panic. It is okay.
It is absolutely normal. You, like most business owners, have wisely spent your time focusing on your core role; that is to manage your business and ensure it become successful. You have mastered other aspects of your business that were crucial to your business.
But now, you need to learn more!
It is time for you to discover what needs to be done in order to have an effective digital marketing plan for your business.
The Importance of Having a Good Online Presence
Today, most local business owners are running lean and hungry. Hungry for more business. Hungry for that sales phone to ring. Hungry for more customers to walk in through the door. But the economic and business landscape is always changing, always in constant flux.
Today, reaching your target market cost-effectively is nothing like it was a decade or decades ago. Business owners need to understand these changes, adapt accordingly, and meet the challenges they are facing. This is essential to the survival of your business
In 2011, I was the newly appointed Business Development Manager of a local business that was spending thousands of dollars on Yellow Pages advertising. The business has been doing that for the previous past years, and nobody was tracking if this expenditure was bringing in any new customers.
A quick survey and phone calls to our current clientele proved that not one customer used the Yellow Pages to search and find that local business. Needless to say, when it was time to renew the advertising contract, I put a stop to it, and saved thousands of dollars for the company.
There would be those who are not savvy at digital marketing, and would be at a loss as to what to do with that big budget so as to get the best possible returns on the company’s marketing investment. All that money could be poured into online strategies that might either fall flat or backfire. The learning curve is sharp and unforgiving.
As someone who had been practicing digital marketing for 25 years, I knew and understood that this big budget needs to be re-channeled to advertising on the Internet so as to get the best possible returns on the company’s marketing investment.
Just like me, there are entrepreneurs who realize that the Internet is the future. In August 2014, Google reported that they now process “over 40,000 search queries every second on average, which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide”. This number grows by more than 40% to 60% each year. In fact, 81% of people search online before they make a purchase.
What is more important is that a large majority of these people search online for local services and products before making a buying decision. Very few turn to the local newspaper to find what they want. Even fewer think of the Yellow Pages anymore. This is why it is essential that local business owners need to have an online presence, and have effective digital marketing in place.
Unlimited Potential for Growth
Understanding how digital marketing works, and using the tactics and techniques correctly to promote your business can easily result in huge increase in sales. When your digital marketing strategies work effectively and there is increased sales, you create positive impact on your own business that can have positive effect on the world around you.
When you encourage more money to be spent locally by having a steady stream of new customers, you also improve your local economy. There could be fewer downsizing and layoffs. Sometimes, new jobs could even be created.
In fact, no matter how the economy changes, because you are able to reach those who are interested to buy from you, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and your business will grow. And that is what effective marketing is all about!
Digital marketing has the potential for exponential profit growth. If you’re not ready for your business to double or even more, stop reading now!
Important Statistics You Need To Know
Statistics are great for understanding your customers. Here are some statistics that show you how people are using the Internet to search for what they want:
Over 5 billion searches occur every day, and 1 in 3 searches is local.
5% of people searching on Google will choose a business that is on the first page of their search results.
5% of clicks go to the #1 ranked site of search results.
6% of clicks go to the #2 ranked site of search results.
4% of clicks go to the #3 ranked site of search results.
From the above statistics, you can see how important it is to have a strong online presence, to be ranked high for search results. Thus, it is imperative that your business develop and implement an effective digital marketing strategy. This is so that those looking for products and services that you provide can find you. Even when they don’t know your brand or business name.
Making Changes to Your Online Marketing Methods
You would like to get maximum results from your digital marketing plan and strategy. To achieve that, you will need to make some pretty drastic changes to your digital marketing methods. To help you with that, here are some insider facts you need to know.
First, it is a fact that there is a potential to grow your business using digital marketing. And that potential can be phenomenal, no matter what industry you are in. You just have to learn what needs to be done, and cultivate this opportunity.
There are six extremely useful digital marketing techniques that you should be doing. Again, you have to learn these techniques. Then put them into practice and you will be able to outperform your competitors quickly.
Have you ever heard of local online domination? Well, this is a goal you need to accomplish. And you can do by learning and mastering a four step process. When you follow the four step process diligently, you will have higher chances of getting the results you desire.
Every marketing effort needs a good plan, and has the best results because of it. You will need to create a digital marketing plan and follow it as closely as possible. A plan is essential for managing all the crucial tasks that can take your business to the top of the search results as well as attract new customers for you.
It is critical to do an audit of your past marketing efforts, if any. By taking the time to thoroughly analyze what you have been doing in the past, you are better equipped to create and implement a new and better digital marketing plan. Also, you can measure the progress by comparing past results to results from your new digital marketing efforts.
Most business owners can get overwhelmed by the number of tasks required from the new digital marketing plan. This need not be so. You just need to make the tasks more reasonable by breaking them down into bite-sized chunks. A good place to start is to do the tasks that are one-time jobs. Especially those that are also the foundation of your digital marketing plan. For example, content for your website. Make them into a checklist and have fun ticking them off.
Once the one-time tasks are done, focus next on the tasks that repeat. These would be the long-term commitments that require monthly, weekly, or even daily attention. For example, blog updates or Facebook postings.
Speaking of these long-term tasks that repeat and require constant attention, you should consider hiring a vendor to do this role. Perhaps even the entire digital marketing plan. The reason is these tasks take up a lot of time. You need to do research to find fresh, interesting and relevant articles or spend time creating your own unique ones. Then there is the copywriting to be done. This itself is an art.
Good copywriting captures people’s attention and inspires them to act; e.g. visit your website or make a purchase. Plus, good pictures and videos not only captivate an audience but also reinforce your brand image. Now, videos are the choice form of communicating with your target audience. Videos are great as they can appeal to the senses, touches the emotions, and is easy to digest. I believe the future is Video Marketing, and will share more about this later. All this require the right digital marketing partner with the right experience, expediency and skills to help you make your digital marketing a success.
Finally, you need to create a system for tracking the results of your digital marketing efforts. More importantly, it can determine and improve your Return On investment (ROI) thereby measuring the increase in your business income.
This is just an example of how tracking your digital marketing results are useful. There are, of course, many other ways to track and measure the performance of your digital marketing efforts. By doing so, you know how your business is growing, and how to further enhance the growth through digital marketing.
That’s all I have for the introduction. I know it’s lengthy. I did think of breaking this introduction into two parts, but thought better not to. After all, it is an introduction. And also I was concerned that when done in two parts, the essence of the points may be diluted.
I hope you enjoyed reading this. Please like and share this post. And of course, definitely leave a comment for me. I would love to hear from you.