By Kate Lombardo
If you want to spread the word about your business, then that’s what you’ve got to do. Newspaper and radio ads are still effective for small business advertising, but let’s face it – those old-school mediums don’t hold a candle to SEO, social media marketing, PPC marketing or other forms of going digital.
Digital marketing is more accessible and, when done correctly, more financially efficient. But it’s certainly not simple. You can’t just slap together a WordPress site, a Facebook page or an AdWords campaign and call it good.
Like all things, digital marketing has numerous keys to success, and some of these keys evolve with ever-changing technology. This can be overwhelming for small business owners who are looking for ways to bolster their marketing efforts.
Worry not. Here, we’ll review six easy-to-follow digital marketing tips that can help you grow your business…
1. Call Your Audience to Action
“Join today!” “Request a quote!” “Sign up now!” “Plan your vacation!” “Book a flight!” “Trade in your old phone!”
No marketing campaign is complete without a call-to-action or “CTA” for short. The purpose of the CTA is simple – to give users a clear instruction that moves them closer to becoming customers. Calls-to-action is important in all forms of buyer-oriented digital marketing whether you’re writing Google ads or promoting a seasonal sale on Facebook. Your CTA can also enhance your brand by using language that’s relevant to your industry.
2. Be Quick and Compelling
Did you know the average person checks his phone more than 1,500 times per week? According to a study by Tecmark, this is the case. The study also found people use their smartphones for more than three hours per day to carry out more than 221 daily tasks. And a 2015 study by Microsoft found the average person’s attention span to be 8 seconds, which is right on par with a goldfish.
This underscores the need to be quick and compelling in digital marketing messages. If you’re marketing your business, you only have a few seconds to make connections with potential customers.
Your marketing materials must be interesting, direct and free of clutter. Your primary message should either convey a powerful feeling or provide enough incentive for users to click through to your landing page. Keep it compelling, and keep it simple. There’s just not enough time for complexity.
3. Tailor Your Landing Pages
Crafting a perfect ad or Facebook post is just half of the equation – you also need a relevant landing page. It’s tempting to cut corners by linking your ads, social media posts, and other digital marketing materials to your home page. But how do you think your visitors will react if they land on your website and can’t find whatever it is that encouraged them to click through?
Take the extra time to build relevant landing pages for your digital marketing campaigns. If you own a gardening store and make an infographic about the best flowers to plant in March, then include a link to your website for a page with content specific to that topic.
It’s not just about keeping your visitors interested, but also about making the best use of their time. People are impatient when looking for things online. Give them exactly what they want with hyper-relevant landing pages.
4. Invest in Great Images
The old idiom that “a picture is worth a thousand words” is both true and false in digital marketing. It’s false because there’s no substitute in marketing for high-quality content.
However, marketing materials need multi-media elements to grab people’s attention. And when looking at your options for multimedia content, acquiring high-quality images is much easier than producing videos, animations or infographics.
Great photographs of your business, your employees, your products and even your customers are absolutely invaluable. You can use them in paid, organic and social media marketing efforts. You can also use them in traditional forms of marketing such as brochures and print ads.
Your best option here is to pony up for a professional photoshoot. Sure, you might snap some decent pics with your smartphone, but professional-grade photographs will elevate the overall quality of your website.
5. Be Lively on Social Media
It’s not enough just to have a Facebook page. Update it regularly to reach new customers and engage your most loyal clients. Don’t limit your Facebook activity to promoting sales and special offers (although that’s useful and important).
You can also use Facebook to add other kinds of value to your business. For example, can you think of guides or helpful blog posts that could help establish your company as the local authority for your area of expertise? Or can you think of any compelling infographics that show unique ways in which your business or brand is relevant?
Don’t forget to respond to comments. Be enthusiastic and don’t shy away from dialogue. How you respond to negative comments can help your brand, too.
Always respond positively, and send private messages to disgruntled customers to ask how you can make things right. Showing your followers that you care (and that you listen) only helps business thrive.
6. Embrace New Technology
Don’t get too comfortable. Technology moves fast, and it’s important to keep pace. A great example is video streaming, which has become more common on Facebook, Twitter and various apps over the past year.
Have you ever live-streamed a big event at your business? If not, maybe now’s the time to take that next step.
Always think about ways to embrace new technology. Your customers most likely are. Why not join them?
Digital marketing encompasses many forms of online promotion ranging from social media to online advertising. You won’t become a master of all forms of digital marketing overnight, and it’s important not to spread yourself too thin while learning the ropes.
Remember the above tips, though – and think of how emerging technologies could apply to your small business — and you’ll eventually find success in this crazy, ever-changing realm of marketing.