Ever since the information age dawned, and computers – then smartphones – became commonplace, digital marketing has become more and more important. Now, we’re at the stage where every business owner with any ambitions whatsoever has some form of digital marketing in place.
The problem is that even though most people know how important digital marketing is, they still don’t actually know what to do. They might know that they should collect people’s email addresses, but they don’t know why. They know that they should be on social media, but they don’t know what to do once they’re there.
In this article, we’ll bring you a couple of the most important general digital marketing tips you should consider. Let’s get to it.
Social Media, Done Right
Social media is absolutely everywhere now. Facebook alone has over 2 billion active monthly users. Whatever business you’re in, you can bet your bottom dollar that your target market is out there on social media. The questions are: A) How do you reach them? B) What do you do once you’ve found them?
Let’s answer question A first.
If you have a little money in your digital marketing budget, the most cost-effective way to use it, bar none, is on Facebook adverts. For an outlay of only $5, you can create an advert that reaches thousands of people. These people you reach aren’t random: you can use Facebook’s powerful suite of targeting options to make sure you’re specifically reaching people in your specific target audience.
A cost-free way to find relevant users is through using hashtags. If you’re a canned tuna supplier, make sure you’re always including hashtags such as ‘#TunaSalad’ in your tweets and Facebook posts. When tuna salad fans search for that hashtag, your post will likely come up. On both Facebook and Twitter, you can also search for #TunaSalad to find people who are already talking about your product area.
That brings us to question B. Once you’ve located your target audience, you need to actually do something with them. Well, the clue is in the name: on social media, it helps to be… social! Start a conversation with them. Ask them what their favorite tuna salad recipe is. Ask them how many times a week they eat tuna. The longer you talk to them, the more engaged they’re going to feel towards your brand.
Outbound Marketing is Dead. Long Live Inbound Marketing.
OK, so outbound marketing might not be ‘dead’ yet, but it certainly is dying.
Without devolving into too much marketing jargon, ‘outbound marketing’ refers to marketing where you’re going out and fighting to grab the attention of your customers. It’s old school: TV ads, billboards, and so on.
The idea of ‘inbound marketing’ is that your customers come to you. That may sound unrealistic, but with good digital marketing it’s wholly achievable.
How? Well, you need to add value to people’s lives. Instead of going on about how your tuna is the best tuna in the world, ask yourself what your customers might actually like to see. How about the tastiest and healthiest recipes for meals involving tuna? How about some amazing facts about the fish itself, or about how nutritious the food is?
Don’t use your digital marketing platforms as yet another way to shout at your potential customers. It should be a conversation, not a monologue. This approach needs to be taken through all your channels: email, forums, blogs, social media, and so on. By fostering a community around your product, customers will naturally gravitate towards your brand.
Digital marketing doesn’t need to be a headache. It’s an opportunity. It allows you to do smart, engaging things that weren’t possible before. Used right, it can be more efficient, more effective, and – crucially – much cheaper than old school marketing. If you haven’t already, now is the time to seize that opportunity. Your business – and your potential for customer acquisition – will be much the better for it.