Even though your business may be doing fairly well in real life, when you really think about it, everything takes place online now. As long as you do not take into consideration the amount of people you are not adding into your customer base, you will keep a misguided perspective on how well you are doing as a business. The meaning of this sentence is that most people nowadays only use the internet to either purchase goods and services, or to look for places where they can do so in person so if do not have an online presence, then you instantly lose a massive slice of your potential customer base. You are basically confining yourself and setting your business up to fail; in the long term, that is.
Since it has now been established how important it is to have an online presence, it can be safely assumed that you have started on that track and now are on your way to having your own website. The next step is to start making your potential customer base aware of the fact that you have your own website. In order to do that, you have to use digital marketing strategies. Due to the fact that there are too many, this article is going to filter out the unsuccessful ones and present a list with time-tested strategies that are guaranteed to work.
1- Search Engine Optimization
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a software used by search engines and websites in order to filter search results and arrange them according to certain criteria. When you look for something online, you are bound to find endless pages full of results, SEO decides which results come earlier on the page.
While most people hire companies or consultants in order to help them get higher SEO ratings, it is not an impossible task to do on your own. You could always go the extra mile and purchase an online toolkit that identifies your website’s strengths and weaknesses and helps you to get started. On the other hand, if you want simple and easy tips, you can start by converting your page to HTTPS format so as to be deemed as “secure” by SEO software. Another tip is to make sure you include detailed information on your website; try using keywords that you think most people would use while searching for your website.
These are just simple tips to get you going; however, if you are interested and are willing to know more then, it is smarter if you check out the beginner’s guide to search engine optimization.
2- Content Marketing
“It is what’s on the inside that matters,” a phrase used by most people. When it comes to digital marketing, it is highly applicable. As mentioned above, in order to place your website higher on those search results lists, you ought to modify your website according to certain criteria; of which the most important one is content. Your website has to have content that not only is relevant to search keywords but also is compelling enough for a person to visit the website and stay there.
As several experts say, it is not hard to get visitors, it is hard to keep them there. So, when designing your website, make sure you have a diverse content; do not be afraid of using several media options. Get creative, add photos and videos to your text but, at the same time, make sure you keep everything simple and to the point. If you can get the information across in 10 words, don’t write an essay.
Also, bear in mind that the highest percentage of online browsing takes place on mobile phones so, when designing your website, a helpful tip would be to create a mobile version for your website with content suitable for phones.
3- Search Engine Marketing
After you have your content ready and prepared to be shown to the world, it should become your focus to advertise your website. Why? As much as it is effective, SEO is not enough to generate the level of traffic you are thinking about. This is why we have to go back to the basis of marketing, advertisements.
Granted, everyone hates advertisements, especially those who come before Youtube videos, but no one can deny that they are, in the least bit, effective. Just think of how many brands you know about thanks to unwanted ads planted everywhere on the internet.
Want to put your company’s name in places like that? Well, that’s easy. Google created some sort of platform to help with advertisement placing; it’s called Google Ads. All you need to do is pay a certain amount and then, you can get your advertisement placed in various places; Google searches, Youtube, within applications and even as .
What is impressive about Google Ads is that it places your advertisement according to where the highest concentration of your customer base or your target audience is. This technique makes advertisements much more efficient.
4- Local Search Marketing
We talked in general about search engine marketing but, here is where local search marketing differs. When you look for local businesses on Google, a tiny map shows up, right? Within that map there is a list that arranges websites so now, you have the general ratings and the map ratings.
With map listings, people focus mostly on reviews or ratings so, it is always a good idea to ask your customers to share their experiences online. Better yet, make their experience good enough that they share it on their own.
Remember that the local search market is filled with a lot of potentials, much more than international marketing because local consumers have direct access to your company; they can be immediately available at any time. This is a good reason for you to put more time into designing your website to cater to your local community by keeping your data updated, for example.
5- Advertisement Content
Creating an advertisement might seem like an easy task but, do not be fooled. It is not an easy feat.
For video content, you don’t want a boring advertisement that people look forward to skipping. You need something that would make a difference; it doesn’t have to be a good difference, either. As long as an advertisement triggers emotion, positive or negative, it is considered a success.
As a good rule of thumb, try to make your advertisement interesting and entertaining enough that people look forward to it every time it shows up. You can maybe even aim for your audience to think of it as a bonus video that shows up before their original video.
As for text and photo-based advertisements, you don’t have as much room for creativity but, you do have it nevertheless. Short and sweet is the way to go here; try to keep your ads short, concise and to the point.
As enticing as it might seem, try to resist booking an insane number of online ad spaces everywhere. No one likes seeing advertisements that frequently; it may eventually cause people to turn on the company even if the advertisement was a good one. It is also very costly and will leave you at a financial loss.
Lastly, after creating your advertisement, there are always ways to check its performance. Assuming that you are using Google Ads, there is a feature that allows you to track your advertisements’ performance; it gives you a report filled with your ad’s metrics and other information that you may be able to use in order to improve your advertisements.
6- Smart Web Design
When visiting a website for the first time, people are not really attached to the website. It is because the website has nothing to offer yet so, to be on the safe side, one must assume that at the first inconvenience, a potential customer will simply leave the website.
The main goal of yours must be to eliminate those inconveniences.
One might find that the most critical inconvenience is speed. A frequent problem that faces websites is the slow internet. Websites often have too much animation or heavy media content that takes too much time to download. People do not like to be kept waiting, they are used to getting their information immediately so, waiting for them is extremely off-putting.
This, in turn, affects smartphone users. If data takes a lot of time to download on a computer or a laptop then, it is most likely that it would either take even more time on a smartphone or, it would leave your internet data package depleted.
Therefore, as a solution to both of these problems, one must make it easier to download data. One way to do that is by compressing your media files before uploading them on the website. Another way is by putting a certain limit for yourself on the use of animated graphics.
In addition, a final suggestion that was mentioned before is to create a mobile version for your website. This means that you leave out all the fancy moving parts and videos, or at least keep them to a minimum. You can always replace those with slideshows, gifs or other material. You just need to be creative.
7- Social Media Presence
When we think marketing, we think social media. It offers a quick platform with massive coverage and most importantly, it is free.
Like most successful public relations consultants, we believe that your social media can either make you or break you.
Earlier when it was mentioned that a high percentage of people are always using their smartphones, most likely they are scrolling through their social media feeds. If you do not already have social media accounts then that is a whole new market for you to conquer.
Conveniently, we happen to have the keys to the kingdom. Establishing yourself on social media platforms is easy.
The first step, regular posts. People tend to follow active accounts; you need to make sure that your account consistently contributes something to their feed. Note that by gaining an opportunity to reach their feed, you get an even larger responsibility. You have to make sure that your content is good enough for them to keep following you.
It is the same process with an advertisement.
Step two, communication. Remember, when you are using social media, communication is key. People appreciate fast responses. Think about how you would feel if you post a question as a comment on a clothing shop’s Instagram post and receive an answer immediately.
Swift, helpful replies to your followers will help you to maintain good relations with them, as well as, get you higher ratings.
This leads us to our final point, with social media, it is mostly about references. Someone would come across a page and then either share their posts, tag their friends or talk about the page among friends. This is how more people get to know the page and how a follower base is usually generated.
Now, keeping this in mind, your best tool to expand on social media is to give the people something to talk about. Try to make yourself and your page stand out. You only need one person’s approval.
Quick Sum up
While these strategies might seem quite different or unrelated except by the ultimate goal of generating more profit, if you try to connect the dots, you won’t find it hard to see that each point is, in fact, connected to the other. You design a website, make sure its compatible with all devices then, you fill it up with enticing content. After that, you make sure it runs smoothly then, you put it out there for people to find and start directing people from other places towards your website using advertisements and social media accounts.
It is a long process that needs a lot of following through. It also depends a lot on trial and error; do not be afraid to constantly go back and assess your performance.