Digital Marketing Strategies to Boost Business in 2020
These days, it’s hard to find a company that doesn’t do some degree of business online and in a business climate where things are constantly changing, companies need to do everything they can to attract (and keep) a customer’s attention. One of the best ways companies can do this is with digital marketing.
What is digital marketing you ask? Digital marketing is a form of marketing that uses online technologies like phones, computers and digital media platforms to promote different services and products. Where companies used to market themselves with flyers and pamphlets and television commercials, now it’s done online through various digital channels that include:
- Social media
- Public relations
- Paid searches
- Organic online searches on search engines
- Digital ads
The next question you probably have is how can digital marketing help your company. The short answer is that it can help in many ways. Whether you work in the law, in medicine, in sports or some other field, digital marketing can help a lot. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be very in-tune with social media, it’s never been easier to get started, no matter what platform you use.
Why Your Company Needs Digital Marketing
One of the biggest reasons your company needs digital marketing is that it’s very affordable. Let’s face it, these days, companies are always worried about their bottom line. Compared to other marketing methods, digital marketing is affordable, depending on what kind of marketing your company is looking to do.
Another benefit of digital marketing is how flexible can be. Between emails and banner ads and social media and other mediums, you have a lot of options when it comes to marketing your brand. If you want to launch an all-out media campaign, you can do so. Or if you want to test the waters with certain kinds of marketing, you can do that too and expand or reduce your marketing as you see fit. Even if your company has been around for decades and has a trusted brand, it’s always important to be flexible with the way your company markets itself to customers.
Not only can you afford digital marketing tools and be flexible in your campaigns, but digital marketing also allows you to interact directly with consumers. Through social media, messages, emails and even website comments, you can show customers that you appreciate and value their feedback and you’re listening to what they have to say. Interacting with customers allows you to find out what customers like and don’t like and what changes you might need to make in your business model to accommodate them.
While many digital marketing tools allow you to market to customers online, it can also enhance the way your company does print marketing. How does it work? By writing content for online platforms, you can go into more detail about any print claims your company makes. You can also use it to enhance your digital packaging printing; for example, you can entice customers to visit your website or social media platforms on the packaging you ship your products in.
Another big benefit of digital marketing is that it allows your company to become an authority on topics in your field. Since most of it is done online, your company can easily comment on issues and concerns relating to the products you sell and the industry you’re in. Ultimately when customers buy your products, they want to trust you (perhaps to even do repeat business). With digital marketing, your company can be seen as a trusted expert.
Using the SMART Plan On Social Media
In today’s business climate, your business has better potential for growth with successful social media marketing. Where marketing is concerned, social media can be the slam dunk (or the home run) that drives your company’s sales, solidifies the company’s brand and increases the company’s visibility. The key to doing it successfully is knowing what to do so that it’s not a dud.
The first thing you need to do is to identify your goals for social media. It’s easy to be good at what you do, but if you don’t know how to market yourself or your company effectively, you’re going to be dead in the water. So how do you identify those goals? Use the SMART plan, which is:
- Specific—Pinpointing what your company’s objective is and how you’ll measure success.
- Measurable—You need to set goals and measure them to be able to tell whether you’re over or under certain objectives.
- Attainable—Keeping expectations reasonable. It’s easy to aim high, especially if you’ve got a new online business, but you don’t want to aim too high too fast to avoid frustration or disappointment.
- Relevant—If you’re active on social media, you know that relevancy changes in the blink of an eye. So if you’re posting on social media, posts need to help strengthen your brand, grab your audience’s attention and help increase traffic to your website.
- Timely—You’ve likely heard the phrase “time is money” and it’s just as relevant in an office setting as it is on social media. You need to make sure your posts are timely and relate to the goals—both short term and long term—that your company is trying to achieve.
Picking The Right Platforms
There are tons of social media platforms out there for individuals and companies to use these days—Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and WeChat to name a few. Which ones your company picks can make all the difference in how you reach customers.
It’s easy to want to have your company gets on as many social media platforms as possible. You can do that, but without a good social media manager, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. It’s also possible that not every platform is going to work within your company’s social media plan.
While there are many social media platforms, let’s stick with three of the most common and how your company can use them correctly:
Assuming you’ve already got a Facebook page and it’s up and running, you need to know how to use it effectively for your business. Let’s face it, the things you post on your personal Facebook aren’t the same as things you post on a business page.
So what do you need to do to market yourself? The first thing is you need to do is to make regular use of Facebook Messenger. This allows you to respond to customers quickly and easily and that’s important to do because Facebook tracks how quickly you respond to messages.
Another important thing you need to do is use Facebook to track various analytics. Believe it not, Facebook can track page views, how many people your posts reach, the actions you take and many more things. Ultimately, it can help you track how effective you are at getting through to potential customers.
It’s not enough to have a Facebook page, you also need to post regularly. Post videos that highlight what your company does. Post things that allow your company to come across as personable, but not pushy. You can engage folks with contests, by advertising events, by sharing relevant content from other sources, by engaging in conversation and posting photos among other things. These days, you can even use Facebook Live to interact with customers in real-time.
Used correctly, Twitter can also help you make an impact on customers. Despite having a limited number of characters—usually a maximum of 280 characters—you can make your tweets stand out in a number of ways. One way to do it is to use Twitter cards—where an image of your website is shared with the tweets you send.
One of the easiest ways to engage with prospective customers to build the number of followers your company has. It also helps to engage with influencers, who can drive traffic to your website and help you gain more followers. This kind of connectivity can be done very easily with social media management apps like Hootsuite or TweetDeck, which allow companies to schedule posts, manage content and search for terms that are relevant in their fields. If you work in medicine, for example, you can search things like “virtual doctor” or “urgent care” to connect with more followers.
If you’re a regular Twitter user and regular user of premium SEO marketing platforms, then you’re likely familiar with hashtags. You’ve also likely seen posts on social media where a one-sentence post is followed by a dozen or more hashtags. In a business setting, however, this isn’t always the best practice. The best thing to do is find one, two or three relevant hashtags and attach them to your tweet. This helps make them more visible.
Great hashtags also need to be accompanied by eye-catching headlines. People around the globe send roughly 500 million tweets per day and your company’s feed can change literally in the span of a few minutes as people post. To make sure your company’s posts get seen, good headlines can entice customers to stop and read what you have to say. If you can come up with clever headlines that walk the line between clever and corny, you might just be surprised at how many people respond.
Lots of folks think LinkedIn is just used when they need to look for a new job, but it can be a lot more than that for many companies. Used the right away, it can be a vast digital network where companies can connect with more than 500 million worldwide users, especially with folks who work in their field.
If you’ve got a profile that’s already up and running, the first thing you need to be doing is finding and connecting with high-quality leads. Keep in mind that folks you connect with don’t want to necessarily hear your life story, but they do want to connect with you. In some ways, it’s easier to connect with prospective customers or executives instead of cold calling people.
Another way you can make the most of LinkedIn connections is to join a group, preferably one that deals with your industry. If you work in the restaurant business, for example, you might be able to advise other restaurateurs on the benefits of inventory management software. If you’re an expert on SEO and digital marketing you can help other companies secure marketing funding. Regardless of what field you work in, you can establish yourself as an expert and you have a place to bounce ideas off of like-minded people.
You can also engage your connections in online forums. Regardless of what field you’re in and what connections you have, there are literally thousands of different forum topics and support groups where you can talk about issues in your field and again, bounce ideas off of people.
Having connections and engaging with them regularly is important, but it also helps to earn the recommendations and endorsements of customers too. These are the equivalent of old-school testimonials and ultimately it lets people know that customers—perhaps even some corporate clients—vouch for what your company does. This, in turn, can attract new customers and drum up new business for your company.
Used the right way, digital marketing tools—emails, ads, social media, and online searches—can be invaluable to your business. Putting your company out there online, especially on social media, can show customers that you’re up-to-date on technology, that you’re relevant and that you have something unique and essential to offer to customers, whether it’s a product or service.
These days it’s hard to find someone who isn’t on social media. By posting relevant videos, blogs, articles and even links to sales, you can appeal to a wide demographic of customers and stay relevant at a time when what’s considered “cool” on social media is always changing, even if you’re talking about business social media accounts.