Boosting business with a solid digital marketing strategy requires a few simple tools. So simple, in fact, that you may already be using them without knowing it. Digital marketing is both the most easily producible and easily accessible mode of promoting your business. However, small businesses often get lost in the cloud of buzzwords being thrown around and don’t know where or how to implement a strategy. Here are four of the most effective digital marketing tools you can use to grow your business:
1. E-mail. Believe it or not, this underrated method has been around for 20 years and is still the best tool for customer retention. It’s great for both building awareness and increasing the likelihood of purchase. By opting-in to your e-mail list, customers give you direct permission to send them messages. A personal inbox is a sacred place – take advantage of having this access to deliver the highest quality messaging with real value and interest.
Let’s use a local florist as an example. She could send a weekly, biweekly, or monthly e-mail (she could call it a newsletter) to past and current customers reminding them of upcoming occasions where flowers would be nice to give or receive. Or she can tell them which flowers are best for which occasion (red roses say, “I love you”; yellow tulips say, “Cheer up.”). Just try to keep this messaging modest. Don’t over-sell to customers or overwhelm their inbox with more than they want. By finding this balance , email will prove to be a beneficial and cost-effective option for your digital marketing strategy.
2. Social Media. Social media is everywhere: not for now, but for good. It is the most widely accessed outlet for reaching your customers. So it’s smart to make good use of it. Unless you’re paying to boost or promote a post or tweet, this digital marketing tool is free.
Social media is an easy way talk to your customers in the same way as if they were to walk into your store. As a general guideline, it’s best to keep self-promotion through social media to a minimum. Focus more on keeping your audience engaged with enlightening information in a tone of voice particular to you.
Continuing with the Florist example, you can tweet something like:
Want to send someone good vibes for their new beginning? #BirdsOfParadise are perfect for the occasion.
Or you can post a picture of a particular flower arrangement on Facebook coupled with:
#JustBecause flowers say more about the giver than the receiver.
3. SEO/SEM. Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing are often mentioned yet seldom explained. They’re really just fancy terms for incorporating the right words into your web content to increase how searchable you are online. These words (or ‘keywords’) are what people type in to search for you. This means that you can specifically target people already searching for you (for the Florist, it might be flowers, bouquet, floral arrangements and red roses).
By knowing what keywords people use the most to search for what you sell, and simply paying closer attention to integrating those words into your web content, you’re using a digital marketing tactic. Imagine that! To find out what keywords your customers are using, check out Google Trends.
4. Content Marketing. Perhaps one of the most elusive buzzwords in the industry, Content Marketing is most simply explained as communicating with your audience without selling to them. By focusing on bringing a valuable message to your customer as opposed to saying, “BUY THIS,” you show them that they’re more than a numbers adding to your profits.
People know when they’re being sold to. Avoid this by giving people something substantial that makes them smarter, more informed, or entertained. A relevant article, a joke, or an industry update says a lot about what you as a business find interesting and important. The florist could, for example, post a video showing her subscribers how to cut the stems so the flowers stay colourful for longer.
Content Marketing is an overarching tactic that can be applied to any channel. Whether it’s your website, email or social media. It is just a wise distribution of information. So, share something that interests you with your audience and see how being genuine never fails.