If you want your business to continue to thrive in the future, then you’re going to need a digital marketing plan in place.
The world will continue its transition into digital. In fact, as of April this year, there are over 4.5 billion active internet users. This means that almost 60% of the world’s population uses the internet.
Digital marketing spending has even surpassed traditional media, which means other businesses are starting to realize the power of digital marketing as well.
It has now become essential, and the advertising costs can even be lower, depending on the channel you’re using.
Below you’ll learn the ins and outs of digital marketing, how a digital marketing plan can benefit your business and a 10-step plan you can implement for your small business.
According to master marketer Neil Patel, “Digital marketing is any form of marketing products or services that involves electronic devices.”
Small businesses can use digital mediums like social media, search engines, videos, emails, and websites to get in front of more customers.
There’s a wide range of activities that fall under the umbrella of digital marketing. Through digital marketing, you can attract new customers, build a deeper bond with your customers, and increase your revenue.
There is a myriad of different content types you can create, for example, you can create product and service explainer videos, value-driven blog posts, sales and engagement emails, and much more.
Another benefit of running digital marketing campaigns is that you’ll get data based on the campaigns you run. Over time you’ll be able to see what marketing channels are bringing you the most customers and have the highest ROI.
Which strategy is best? Well, that depends on your business and who your customers are. Below you’ll learn about 10 different digital marketing strategies you can include in your marketing plan.
If you haven’t started marketing your business in the online space, then you’re doing a disservice to your business.
Here are a few of the biggest benefits of creating and executing your own plan.
Having an online presence will help to drive your business more leads and customers. In fact, according to Wyzowl, 84% of shoppers today will browse online before purchasing any product or service.
Through digital channels, you can engage with your customers in real-time. For example, you can respond to customer support requests via email, open up an email dialogue through email marketing, and much more.
Having this level of conversation with your prospects can lead to uncovering pain points, concerns, needs, and wants. All of this information can be used to improve your products and services and make your existing marketing more effective.
With a digital marketing plan, you’ll learn, over time, which methods are the most effective. You’ll see which channels tend to convert into more sales, and you’ll be able to refine your strategy over time.
The more you engage with customers and try different digital marketing strategies the more effective you’ll become at meeting your customers’ needs.
Local SEO is exploding. In the past few years, local SEO has seen a 900% growth. Most customers will search for businesses online before they decide to leave their homes.
By ranking your business in local search you’ll be the first business potential customers come across when looking for the service or products you offer.
It’s basically impossible to measure the return when you’re investing in traditional forms of marketing, like newspapers and radio.
But, with digital marketing, you have cold hard data to see what’s actually working. Plus, this data is available almost instantly, which means you can refine your marketing strategy on the fly and get even more results for your dollar.
Before you jump into creating your own marketing plan with the strategies below it’s important that you get clear on your buyer persona.
This is the representation of your ideal customer that’s based on demographics, habits, preferences, background, and more.
Here are a few free templates to help you refine your audience and ideal customer.
With that in mind, let’s get to the strategies.
Below you’ll learn about 9 different digital marketing strategies that make up a rock-solid online marketing plan.
As you learned above, customers will turn to the internet before they decide to visit your business. One of the most effective ways to reach new customers is to make your site visible on search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
Effective search engine optimization (SEO) can increase visibility in the local and global search results when someone looks for your products, services, or company.
At the very least, it’s important to know there are 3 types of SEO methods; on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO.
On-page SEO involves optimizing all of the pages on your website in order to rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs) and receive relevant traffic. On-page optimization includes the optimizing title of the page, headings on each page, description, image title, alt title, URL, etc., for relevant keywords you’re trying to rank for.
Off-page SEO focuses on activities outside your website with the goal of increasing rankings in the search engines. Backlinks are the links to your website posted on a high authority or popular websites. By networking and guest blogging on high authority sites, you can create high-quality backlinks to your website, which will improve your ranking on SERPs. Link building is the biggest factor to focus on here, but off-page SEO goes well beyond that.
Technical SEO focuses on the back-end of the website. It includes coding of the pages, CSS, data structure, the security of the site, the loading speed of the site, image compression, and a lot more technical stuff. Technical SEO is also an important factor to rank higher on Google, and could actually be holding your site back if you’ve done everything above.
You can run your website through UberSuggest to get a quick and easy breakdown of any technical errors your site might be experiencing.
Social media platforms give you the perfect place to communicate with your customers in real-time.
Businesses can create entertaining and informative content on social media to increase brand awareness, drive traffic, and generate valuable leads.
There are a ton of different social media platforms that have billions of users, some of whom can be your potential customers.
These are the biggest social media platforms used for digital marketing:
- …and more!
For more information about Social Media Marketing, check out the article What Are The Six Types of Social Media for small business.
Content marketing is a long term marketing approach that focuses on creating high-quality, relevant content to attract customers and build a strong relationship with them. Here are a few forms of content marketing that are very effective in growing your traffic and leads:
Writing content that gives value to the reader and provides solutions to their problems increases organic traffic on your website. In fact, writing high-quality blog posts can generate three times more leads than paid ads. Google tends to favor sites that have a long-form of articles of 2000+ words and ranks these sites higher in the search results.
Infographics are a visual form of content that is filled with useful information and data points. It is appealing and easy to digest, which attracts more people towards your website.
Infographics work great when paired with long-form content, and can be used to generate loads of quality backlinks.
Interactive content helps businesses build a healthy relationship with customers.
This form of content allows your audience to interact with your brand. There are many interactive forms of content including polls, contests, quizzes, animated infographics, etc.
Usually, this form of content is used to improve reader engagement, while learning more about your website visitors.
Video is one of the most engaging forms of content. Using a video, as opposed to simple text, can offer a complete perspective on your message.
If liked by others, it can be easily shared over multiple platforms. In fact, YouTube is actually one of the most popular search engines in the world to offer this method of sharing service.
For example, a YouTube video can be used on your website, plus shared across other social media outlets like Instagram and Facebook, as well as email, text, and other messaging apps.
Videos are entertaining, easy to consume, and engaging which makes it a desirable way to attract customers.
According to Wyzowl’s 2020 report, 81% of businesses use video as a marketing tool. Other than video ads, there are many types of videos that you can create for your business like:
- Explainer videos – Educate people with topics related to your industry
- Products review video – Make a product review video or get an influencer to make it.
- Live Video – Best way to personally engage with an audience
Learn more about video marketing in our article Best Video Marketing Strategy For Small Businesses.
Email marketing is one of the most important digital marketing strategies to implement.
The number of global email users is set to grow to 4.48 billion users by 2024. Chances are, your customers and potential customers have an email address that they check frequently.
Email marketing follows a similar process to how direct mail used to work in traditional marketing methods. It’s when a customer receives an email (instead of mail delivered to their mailbox) about a company’s product or service, discount offers, informative content, or could promote an upcoming event.
This helps drive traffic back to your website, and remind your customer or prospects about your company. This is important because it keeps your company on top of their minds. Here are some of the most common types of emails you can send:
- Welcome email to new subscribers
- Blog newsletters
- Follow up emails for existing subscribers
- Email series, like tips, how-to, etc.
- Value-add emails contain tips, tricks, and hacks
With affiliate marketing, you recommend products and services, when a person buys that product you receive a commission.
Affiliate marketers promote other business’s products through channels like blog posts, videos, podcasts, Instagram posts, and more.
A lot of business owners can create new revenue streams via affiliate marketing, as it pairs nicely with email marketing and content marketing strategies you’re already executing on.
PPC is a form of marketing that drives online traffic to your business through paid ads. Search engines and social media platforms charge money every time your ad is clicked. PPC on Google allows you to pay for the top position of the search results.
Facebook ads are one of the most common methods used by small businesses for digital marketing. Businesses pay to show videos, images, slideshows, or text, to the newsfeeds of people who have an interest in your product or service.
PPC campaigns on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram also work in a similar manner to the Facebook ads above.
Getting reviews and ratings makes your brand more credible and trustworthy.
Your business should have a profile on Yelp, Google My Business, Facebook Business Page, Tripadvisor, and many more depending on the industry.
Even negative reviews can be helpful if you reply to try to solve their issues. This can help people build trust in your brand.
The final thing to keep in mind about your digital marketing plan is none of this will work without a website!
Here are some things to keep in mind as you build out your small business website:
Old generic HTML websites don’t work as effectively nowadays. People desire a better user-friendly, eye-appealing web experience that provides an answer to their problems. Plus, your website user experience and how it’s coded can influence your search engine rankings.
Your website should be designed for both mobile and desktop (responsive). More than 50% of internet users access the internet using mobile, so businesses need to make sure they’re providing a solid mobile experience. Google also prefers a website that has an excellent integrated mobile version.
Not only that, but 60% of smartphone users also contacted the business directly from mobile searches.
You’ll also need to ensure your site has an SSL certificate, as it’ll make your site trusted and reliable.
Yes. Digital marketing can be effective no matter what industry you’re in.
However, every business needs a different strategy, depending on the customer persona, goals, budget, etc. Your business should implement a marketing plan that fits your unique needs.
For a business-to-business (B2B) company, digital marketing should be focused on attracting high-quality leads for their sales team, or sales funnels to close and turn into clients and customers.
LinkedIn is the best platform for B2B companies looking to network with other professionals. Many executives and decision-makers spend a lot of their time on LinkedIn.
In business-to-consumer (B2C) companies, a digital marketing strategy will focus on attracting customers to their website, and moving them through the customer journey. From visitor to the subscriber, to the customer.
Strategies like running Facebook and Instagram ads, placing pins on Pinterest, and creating long-term content and video marketing strategy are some examples to improve traffic and generate new customers.
Here are a few must-have tools worth checking out:
- SEMrush – Used to analyze and audit your current onsite and offsite SEO
- MailChimp, Aweber, Active Campaign – Create an email list and send out automated email campaigns
- Ahrefs – Uncover new keywords, and analyze your competition
- Google Analytics – Shows detailed information about your visitors and how they behave on your website
Additional resources we use can be found on our site More Buzz Online Resources.
As you can see, there are various digital marketing tactics and strategies you can use to thrive as a small business. Creating the perfect plan, evaluating the different strategies highlighted above, and budgeting is all time-consuming tasks–understandably this can be overwhelming.
Luckily, here at More Buzz Online, we provide not only a variety of specific marketing skill sets, but we also offer done-for-you services as well as consulting.
Owner of More Buzz Online, LLC., an internet marketing consultant, and blogger. With 10+ years of digital marketing experience, he’s passionate about leveraging the right strategic partnerships, content, and software to scale digital growth.
Larry lives in Southern California and writes about internet marketing for small businesses and professionals as well as blogging like a business owner, not another writer at https://morebuzzonline.com/blog.