You know that you need to participate in digital marketing. You’ve heard all of the buzzwords about how it’s an essential investment that needs to be made. You know that it has something to do with engaging in search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM), participating in social media marketing, working with online directories and maybe even designing some creative campaigns. But, how do they all fit together and which are worth investing in and which just simply aren’t?
Evaluating Where Your Business is Now
Like with most strategies, the first step is to evaluate where you are now.
An integral part of your digital strategy is of course your website. It’s an extension of your brand, your business, and how your customers are trying to find you. But, instead of evaluating your own website perform an experiment. Ask family, friends and strangers to give their honest opinion of your branding, user experience and overall impression of your website. Be willing to take constructive criticism. Gather the responses and look for commonalities between them. If you’re receiving a lot of negative feedback then make a change. However, if what you’re hearing is all positive, then it’s time to move on to the next stage.
Your Search Ranking
It’s very simple to perform a self-evaluation your search results. Jump on to Google and type in your business name. If your website isn’t showing up, resolve that as quickly as possible. If you’re ranking for your own name then move on to searches that relate to your business. Start with long-tail keywords, such as Best Sushi Restaurants in Tsawwassen, and depending on your budget move on to shorter, Sushi in Tsawwassen, and even shorter and more general keywords like Sushi Restaurants. Record how your business performs and think about how much you are willing to invest in ranking for searches that are relative to your business.
Obviously with the huge explosion of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram social media is something that business owners need to be aware of; however, very few actually succeed at using social media as a way to generate revenue. Social media does not only play an important role in generating momentum for your SEO initiatives, but should really be leveraged as a way to engage with people who are interested in your brand. Of course likes and follows are important, but engagement is even more important. Evaluate your social media impact by exploring how many users are actually liking, commenting and sharing your content. This will give you a much better understanding of your social media success than the number of likes and followers your account has.
Digital Marketing Tactics
If you reach a point where your self-evaluation is positive and your website’s SEO, SEM and Social Media are working to your advantage then it may be time to explore other forms of digital marketing.
Invest in getting creative. Branded video, display marketing, group buying, native advertising and advertorial content are just a few of the options available through digital marketing. But before jumping in, make sure the decisions you are making align with the goals of your business and remember that a self-evaluation of your digital marketing is not a singular activity but a continuous one.