Digital marketing is currently going through a revolution. Gone are the days when you could just have a static website, sit back, and let it do all of your marketing. Today's online marketing is all about engaging with your customers in a way that was never possible before.
Historically, marketing has been very much a one way conversation in that you preach to potential customers about how great your products or services are, in a brochure or website. The Internet and social media in particular, has flipped this on its head, and given dominance to digital marketing strategies.
What is equally important is how other people talk about your business. Customers will find out about your business through reviews, tweets, Facebook posts, blog comments and so on, so it's vital that you firstly understand this, and secondly are able to gain control and moderate it. Digital marketing offers a multitude of tools and techniques to help develop and grow brand perception in the right direction.
The best way of taking advantage of user-generated marketing is to provide an exceptional service to your clients so that they say nice things about you online. However, you will always get the odd negative comment which can be damaging, but you can limit the damage by responding positively to the comment. The public understand that no business is perfect and that some people will be dissatisfied, but as long as you deal with this professionally it's nothing to worry about.
Give away your trade secrets!
Historically, companies have been very secretive about their knowledge and have protected it from their competitors. However, if you embrace this new era of sharing information online, you can actually generate a lot of exposure for your business for very little spend. The beauty of digital marketing is that it can produce great results on any budget, regardless of company size.
Broadly speaking, a digital marketing principle is to give information away in the hope that people will find it useful and then either comment upon or share your content with their network of contacts. For example, if you give away useful tips on your area of expertise, potential customers can find you, see that you are an expert in your field, and then strike up a conversation with you, (just like this article does, hopefully!!).
Regularly produce relevant and interesting articles
Regularly producing relevant and interesting articles is also a great tactic in any digital marketing strategy, and is especially effective for getting better search engine marketing results, as fresh and relevant content will help boost your search engine rankings.
People often Google questions, so if your article answers common questions in your industry, it can be a great way of getting on page 1 of Google. For example, 'How do I do....', 'Tips for getting the most out of your .....', 'Reviews for the best ....', etc.
Another example would be to provide exclusive offers on your website, Twitter or Facebook pages and allow users to share these offers with their friends. This creates 'viral marketing', whereby users market your information for you, by spreading the word online through social media networks, it can provide outstanding digital marketing results and the best thing of all is that it is essentially free!
Video is another important part of a successful digital marketing strategy. Video online is growing at a phenomenal rate. YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google. People are starting to bypass Google and even bypass websites altogether and instead look straight to YouTube for information. Staying up-to-date on facts and knowledge like this is essential in digital marketing, as it is such a fast moving and constantly evolving area. In order to produce the most effective digital marketing strategies, you always need to have a solid, and current understanding of the landscape.
Having video on your website can also bring it to life and make it more engaging. Video is often a much better way of conveying a message or showing a product, than a still photo with lots of text.
Nowadays, you have an overwhelming choice of marketing channels available to you. Below shows some of the main forms of digital marketing you can use to drive traffic to your website. Click here to enlarge SOZO's Digital Marketing Strategies infographic.
Which of these channels you choose depends on many factors such as:
- Target audience
- B2B or B2C business
- Time resources available
- The type of sector you operate in
Some marketing channels are definitely more effective for certain types of business, e.g For B2B websites SEO and PPC (pay per click) are very effective whereas Facebook often isn't as appropriate.
In summary, try to think about your digital marketing in a completely new way and provide content that your audience would find useful and interesting, then deliver that content through as many social channels as possible. Listen to feedback, respond and engage with your audience.
Digital marketing's beauty is that it can provide lots of accurate and valuable data that can, a lot of the time, be easily analysed to show you where you can easily adapt strategies and campaigns, making them them more effective and productive, and ultimately bringing a higher return on investment.
Remember to change the language and style of content according to the tool you are using, e.g. short snippets on Twitter, conversation on Facebook, videos on YouTube, expert articles on blogs and so on.
If you're looking for a digital agency to help you develop your digital marketing then please contact Shaun on 01242 511912.
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