Digital marketing is a term that adopts a wide range of marketing activities from social media, email marketing, content marketing, online advertising, SEO and more. It’s easy to see why small businesses can get overwhelmed and confused by which digital marketing avenues to pursue.
I want to try and demystify these digital marketing strategies and highlight to small creative businesses which activities I recommend you adopt no matter what your business.
Now you may not see this as a digital marketing activity but ultimately, every marketing activity you adopt will be driving traffic back to your website. Your website is your online home and therefore you need to make it work for you. You need your website to make a good impression to potential clients.
So what should you do? Firstly, ensure it is mobile friendly. I’m still seeing so many websites that are not responsive for different screens. What’s the first thing that I do when I land on a website that hasn’t been designed for mobile? I switch straight back off again. Not only that, Google are awarding businesses with responsive websites by pushing them higher up the rankings.
Your website also needs to look good. It needs to appeal to your ideal clients and in order for it to do that, you need to know who your ideal clients are. A good looking website is great but it also needs to provide a good user experience. Is your website easy to navigate? Are potential customers able to see what services you offer and are they able to contact you easily? These are all questions you need to consider.
Next up is content marketing and by content marketing, I mean blogging. Blogging is a fantastic way of increasing your presence in search engines without really having to know anything about SEO.
Google loves websites that are updated regularly and a blog is a great way to do so. It doesn’t mean that you need to blog every day or even every week for that matter. If you can only find the time to blog once a fortnight or once a month then that’s great, the important thing is being consistent. Plan out a month or even three months worth of content if you can and schedule it in advance. This way you are not scrambling to get content out at the last minute.
As with all marketing activities you do, you need to keep your customer in mind. When blogging think about what they would want to know and how you can provide advice to help them.
No matter what type of business you have, SEO should always and I mean ALWAYS, be part of your digital marketing strategy. After all, your website is online and when people are online they will tend to ask Google. With the likes of social media platforms, such as Pinterest and Instagram bringing in a lot of custom for businesses these days, SEO can sometimes take a back seat but never underestimate the power of Google. By applying basic SEO techniques to your website, you are already giving your website a head start.
It’s easy to feel like you need to be on every social media channel however this is very often not the case. You are far better off choosing one or two platforms and using them correctly than having an account with all of them and not having the time to post. Social media can be a huge drain on your time if not used properly.
Again, think back to your ideal client and where they will most likely be. For example, in my business, my main focuses at the moment are Instagram and Pinterest. My clients are visual, creative people, therefore, they will be on visual, creative platforms. I also have Facebook planned in as part of my wider strategy however I’m not on Twitter or LinkedIn.
This last one is a bit of a curveball in that it may not always be the right platform for your business but I wanted to include it as I believe it is an important marketing tool for many businesses.
When social media marketing really took off, email marketing started getting a bad rep and lots of businesses cut it down if not cut it out completely. However, over the past two years or so, email marketing has really taken off again and it’s definitely something you should consider if you don’t already.
If you own an online business or a product-based business, then you should definitely include email marketing as part of your wider marketing plan. Businesses that it may not be so beneficial for are local service-based businesses who may only work with a client once such as a wedding planner or a wedding photographer.
One of the main benefits of email marketing is that the list is your own. It’s your own list of email addresses that you have built up over time and there’s no risk of it shutting down which is what could happen to social media platforms for example.
To summarise, your website is the most important digital marketing tool you can have for your business. From this comes content marketing and SEO, therefore, you should make this your priority.