Regardless of the size, every business organization must employ digital marketing strategies to drive growth. Traditional strategies are no longer enough as most transactions these days are done online—from advertising to selling and payments. There are several online marketing strategies you can use to increase brand visibility, promote products and services, and establish a brand reputation. If you’re a beginner, it can become overwhelming.
While digital marketing can be complicated, with enough time and patience, it can be a rewarding activity. If everything sounds new to you, check out this guide to know where and how to start.
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What Is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is defined as any activity that aims to promote a brand using various tools across several platforms. Digital platforms can either be search engines, social media channels, emails, mobile apps, and so on.
More than advertising, digital marketing also aims to engage prospective and existing customers. Unlike traditional advertising, digital marketing aims to foster relations with various audiences to become more effective in building brand awareness, establishing authority in a chosen niche, and making your brand the top choice when customers are ready to purchase.
How To Start Creating Your Digital Marketing Campaign
With many channels and elements to consider, digital marketing can be overwhelming for beginners. If your business would rather focus on daily operations, you can always seek the services of a digital marketing agency to help you with your campaign. If you’re still interested to craft your strategy, check out these important points:
1. Identify A Buyer Persona
Knowing to whom you’re directing your campaign is an essential step in digital marketing. Even if your business belongs to a certain niche, you need to know who your potential and ideal buyers are. In the digital marketing world, this activity is called creating your buyer persona. Each persona describes your client group based on market research and your interactions with existing customers.
To successfully come up with your buyer persona, consider the following points:
- Which problems does each client group want to be answered?
- Which channels do they use and at which times?
- Why do they want to buy your product or service?
Where To Start
Take a look at your existing customers and study their profiles. Knowing what their main problems and motivations are will help you determine which key messages to highlight. Explain how your offer benefits them instead of focusing on its ‘cool features.’ Another good strategy in digital marketing is to be visible in channels where your clients are at.
2. Launch Your Content Marketing Strategy
Once you have a good understanding of your buyers, create valuable and relevant content they’ll love. Using content marketing principles, which you’ll find out more about in the succeeding sections, your online content should be able to drive conversions without resorting to hard selling.
Find out the most searched keywords related to your industry. Using these keywords, understand your buyers’ intent behind the search. This is to ensure your target audience is attracted to the content you’re going to make.
In writing the content, you have to keep in mind that you need to tackle buyers’ pain points so they’ll find your article relevant. Make sure the content is packed with useful information that addresses the question or search.
You can apply the said principles in crafting the following content:
- Blog is one of the most common forms of content. For it to complement your digital marketing campaign, post daily, optimize your blog to promote audience engagement, embed links to your other relevant posts, and use keywords.
- Long-from content is a blog discussing a relevant subject in-depth. This is typically published in multiple installments to keep your audience glued.
- Infographics are a good way to present information with the use of interesting visuals such as graphs, bullet points, and so on.
- Case studies are in-depth discussions of a certain industry topic that resonates with your audience. This content allows you to establish your brand as an authority in your chosen niche.
- E-books are also considered useful content you can use to attract more customers. You can offer a few pages of an e-book for free, along with the offer to subscribe to your newsletter to build your customer base.
- White paper is an information-heavy document that examines a complex issue in your chosen industry and presents the brand’s position on the topic.
- Video content isn’t often considered a digital marketing tool, but it packs a great promise as more users prefer to watch a video about a product rather than read about it. In 2020, nine out of ten viewers said they want to see more video from businesses and brands, according to a video maker application.
- Podcasts are web audio broadcasts that users can listen to while on their phones or while driving. It’s one of the emerging channels where more and more web users are turning to when they want information and entertainment.
Always incorporate a call-to-action (CTA) in your content. A CTA is a marketing term that refers to an action that a brand wishes consumers to take. This is often manifested in the ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Register Here’ buttons on website content.
Where To Start
Create your website if you haven’t yet and hire a website developer to get you started. If you’re not confident with your writing skills, outsource the work. Make sure you upgrade the site daily and upload relevant content.
While building your content marketing strategy, it’s useful to learn more about search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. This strategy is what makes your content page highly visible in search engine results. As a long-term strategy, SEO can take up to one year to work. The upside is it’s free.
3. Build Your Social Media Marketing Campaign
With almost 4 billion users worldwide, social media platforms can be a formidable digital marketing tool. To find out which social media channel to use, find out which platforms your buyers are on. In some cases, you can run an omni-channel presence, but that’s if you have enough resources.
Like content marketing, you’d have to be active in your social media accounts where you have to regularly upload content. Otherwise, pick two channels where the majority of your users are. Once done, do the following:
- Create a social media account for your business. Make sure it’s the same as your business name for easy customer recall.
- Study and explore the platform. Social media platforms are constantly evolving and have been accommodating the needs of small businesses to market their products and services. The most popular social media channel even has a marketplace where you can promote your business by posting your products and services.
- Don’t forget the keywords. For some years, these platforms use hashtags to make posts viral. Recently, some channels have gone to adopt features similar to search engines, making use of keywords, too.
- Refer to built-in analytics. Social media platforms have built-in analytics where you can check the performance of your specific posts. Understand which posts are a hit with your buyers and regularly produce similar types.
Where To Start
If you want, create a personal account as a ‘test mission.’ Study and understand the nature of the platform and think of how best to position your brand. Check your competitors’ social media marketing strategies and analyze the whys and hows to give you a better idea of how to make your own.
4. Utilize Email Marketing
Now that you have an idea on how to grow your audience organically, complement this by reaching to prospects who aren’t active online, including those who don’t have a social media account.
After gathering enough information about your potential clients—also called leads—from your content marketing tools’ CTA buttons, you can start your email marketing. This strategy uses emails to reach out to customers who may have expressed interest in your products and services. Seasoned marketers also use email marketing in enhancing brand awareness and promoting customer engagement.
As such, you can use email marketing for the following:
- Send a welcome message to new subscribers or registrants
- Confirmatory message when a customer avails of your product or service
- Weekly or monthly newsletters to provide information and update your clients with your new offers
- Remind your clients to avail of time-sensitive offers and promotions
In sending out an email, make sure to have an attractive subject line so it doesn’t get ignored. A compelling and appealing subject is more effective in capturing the interest of your prospects. This guarantees better attention as you pitch your company, products, and services. And if you’re successful, you may just be able to convert these leads into actual clients.
Where To Start
To launch an email marketing campaign, you should have strong lead generation activities, and one of which is embedding CTA in all your content. Once clicked, the CTA button makes lead generation happen by asking for the users’ name and email, in exchange for free downloads or subscriptions.
As a beginner, you must start by organically growing your clients and subscribers before venturing out to the popular avenues for digital marketing. In this campaign, the most important skills to learn are lead generation, content optimization, and nurturing social media followers and customers.
Similar to other campaigns, digital marketing requires trial and error. Data analysis is your best bet in getting insights about what’s working and what’s not. If you’ve done everything and nothing seems to work, seek the services of digital marketing agencies to boost your campaign.