Want a customized digital marketing strategy for your business? Why not make one yourself? The fact is that most businesses see failed campaigns, not because they choose the wrong agency, but because they did not invest in the right services, or invest properly in the right services. Sometimes, it’s about more than what your ad spend is, it’s about making the services work together, putting great content out there and utilizing platforms to target a direct audience.
As you look for ways to market your business, it’s important to understand the services that are available and how each one will benefit you. In some cases, there may be marketing options that are not beneficial to you because of the type of business you are in. For example, realtors can invest in search engine optimization. However, because of the competition and the fact that the top sites own the top keywords, you are limited on the results you can get from this service. That does not mean that SEO will not work for a realtor, but it will not be as effective as it would for a different type of company.
Know Your Business
The first step into understanding where you need to invest your resources in digital marketing is to understand your business, especially your customers. What services and products do you offer? How do consumers gather information about those services and products and how do they make a purchase? Do they traditionally do this online? If so, which platforms do they use? This is why there’s a big difference between a digital marketing strategy for restaurants than there is for insurance agencies.
Your audience will take an interest in your products and services, but the platforms they use to get or find that information are important. For example, if someone usually goes onto Google to research businesses that offer the products you offer, then Google is a platform you need to invest in. The determination of whether you should favor options like SEO and PPC comes later when you look at what you yourself can do with your budget and long-term commitment.
Research The Competition
One of the best ways to know your audience and determine where to put your efforts with digital marketing is by researching the competition. There’s a good chance that your competitors already have their foot in the door with most of the top platforms. When you look at what they are doing, see where they are establishing a presence, creating and distributing content and more. You may not be able to learn exactly where they are generating most of their business from, but you can learn where perhaps not to spend your time and money.
If you see your competition not investing their time on social media, then perhaps that’s an avenue you save until later. Investing time and money into services that will not generate traffic and real leads for your brand can be a waste. While you should never let an unsuccessful campaign derail a strategy, it’s important to know when to change or stop a campaign if it’s not producing the results you expected.
Learning About The Top Digital Marketing Options For Your Business
As you learn more about the services businesses in your field utilize, you need to next learn about some of the top digital marketing services that you need to add to your strategy. Again, some of these will be more beneficial than others but it’s also important to know what each service requires as far as price, commitment and what the expected results are as well.
- Web design: It doesn’t matter what type of business you have, if you are going to invest in internet marketing you need to have a strong website. Your website is going to determine if consumers want to work with you and buy from you or not. The functionality, the look, the information provided and more will all impact your sales whether you are running marketing campaigns or not. Research the websites of your competitors to get an idea of what consumers are looking for and expect from a website in your field.
- SEO: One of the most difficult services to utilize is search engine optimization. The reason it is difficult for many businesses is because it takes time to generate results. Each month, consumers go to Google and other search engines to research products and services that are offered in your industry. They utilize this information to not only get an education on what you do, but to also determine who they want to shop from. As you look to get ranked on Google for important keywords, it does take time because not only do you have to prove yourself to search engines, but you also have to beat the competition that’s already there.
- PPC: A faster way to get results from search engines is to invest in pay per click. This service utilizes ads at the top of the pages and generates faster traffic and potential results. However, this service can also jack up your cost per new customer which is why you need to work with a strong budget, but also make sure you expand your options and resources.
- Display advertising: If you’ve been on the web you’ve seen display advertising. Using top networks, you can run image and video ads to thousands of consumers a day. While visiting their favorite sites, consumers can see ads from companies all around the world, especially if they meet the criteria for a consumer for that industry. Sites generate major revenue by allowing advertising on their platforms and this is a great way to follow consumers throughout the web and encourage them to visit you again.
- Social media: Consumers will see more content on social media than they will on almost any platform throughout the day. That’s because they spend more time on social media than they normally do television, websites, video sites and more. If you can reach a target audience via social media, you can build a cost-effective campaign that can generate new traffic and leads to your site.
- Email marketing: The most successful email marketing campaigns come from lists that the company creates, not lists that the company buys. The reason is because, when a consumer opts into your list, they are giving you permission to send them content. When they receive the content, they are more receptive to it if they had personally opted in with you. Building your own list takes time but it can be done, especially with quality content.
- Video marketing: Sites like YouTube act as search engines as well as people use them, not only for entertainment, but to get information. A good video on YouTube with no boosting can generate more interest than a great ad on social media with an ad budget. The reason is because consumers who visit these sites have a direct interest in the content they are researching and want to learn more.
- Blogging: Another way to distribute content to people interested in learning more about the products and services you offer is by creating a blog. Not only is this a great resource to improve your SEO efforts, but it can also be used to build more traffic as the blogs can be shared on dozens of platforms and can generate traffic for you for years.
Investing your time and money into content creation is a big part of having a successful marketing campaign. The majority of these services rely on strong content in order to generate results. Without understanding the need or the best ways to create that content, your marketing campaigns will struggle from beginning to end.
How Will Your Business Be Different
It’s important to also understand that a marketing service that works for one of your competitors, may not be as successful for you. For example, you have an insurance agency and you are trying to get ranked on Google. Your business can get ranked and listed in local maps and you can generate some key rankings off of long-tail keywords. However, in order to get ranked ahead of your top competitors for keywords that generate the most traffic and sales, you will have to outspend them and dedicate more time and resources to the rankings than they are. Can you afford to do that?
SEO and other options work based on the time and resources you give them. There’s a reason why top brands dominate the pages but there’s always room for smaller brands to grab traffic. It comes from understanding how to utilize the services in your favor, even if you are not generating the same results as your competitors are. While there is an audience on those platforms, you have to target a smaller portion in order to succeed.
What Services Will Not Work For You
In order to determine which marketing avenues you are better off not investing in, you have to go back to looking at the consumer. Does the consumer purchase your products or services when they need them or when they have a desire for them? For example, an air conditioning repair company is not going to be able to run social media ads and just get new customers because people want to hire them. People call them when they need assistance.
However, while the Facebook campaign the air conditioning company ran did not generate a single lead, that same month, Google results were higher. Why is that? Because while consumers did not take action on Facebook, when they did need an air conditioning repair company, they went to Google and when they recognized the name on page one, they called them over the competition because of that familiarity.
Setting A Budget
Determining a marketing budget for your current strategy needs to be treated like investing in the stock market. Yes, sometimes you will have to and be able to put larger amounts of money in. However, you will also want to settle on a monthly budget, committing to it for three to six months before making a decision to alter it in any way.
The reason you want a set marketing budget is because this is how you are going to determine if your campaigns are successful or not and how to improve upon them either way. If you are spending $2,000 a month to generate 20 results, do not expect $1,000 to generate 10. It may be that less money generates far fewer results and in that case, the more you spend, the cheaper each new lead becomes.
What Services To Begin With
Establishing your web presence is going to be the most important way to start your online advertising strategy. This means business listings, a website, getting listed on directory sites and setting yourself up on any platform that generates interest for businesses in your field. This presence will be the foundation that allows you to broadcast your content throughout the web and also gives consumers a way to meet and research you before interacting.
You should never begin promoting your business online without first establishing your web presence. The reason is because some consumers may have an interest in your ad but they will research you on the web before taking an action. If they do not find credible information about your business they may go to a competitor who is well established, even if you are offering a better deal.
What Does An Unsuccessful Campaign Look Like?
In reality, an unsuccessful campaign looks like something that generates zero interest from the consumer. If your campaign is sent out and gets quality traffic, that is not a failure. If the traffic does not convert, your goal is to figure out how to get it to convert, either by improving the content, targeting or something else. Poor traffic will not generate sales but until you know that the consumer is turning away because they are not the right candidate, you cannot be sure if you need to make any changes or not.
Campaigns need time to generate success and even if something does not generate sales, you have to look at what you did get from it. If you run a campaign and do not see any traffic, email captures, calls or sales, then you know that something went wrong and that the entire campaign needs to go under review from start to finish.
What Does A Successful Strategy Look Like?
A successful strategy may not result in hundreds of sales each day. However, if you are running campaigns and seeing quality traffic, engagement and interest in your brand, you know that you are doing something right. Consumers may not take an action at first, especially if you are not showcasing a promotion that would inspire them to take an immediate action. If you want to get people to take an immediate action based on your content, you have to motivate them to do so.
An air conditioning repair company can run a campaign on social media and get zero calls but still have success. A restaurant running a campaign on the same social media site needs to see followers, likes, traffic and calls in order for them to determine their campaign a success. What’s the difference? The amount of immediate demand for the service and the expected results from the campaigns.
Creating A Strong Marketing Strategy
Developing your own marketing strategy begins with focusing on what you need to do in order to utilize the platforms that your consumers utilize. If you know you can get sales from Google, get on Google. If you are certain you can generate sales from Facebook, get on that platform. However, you also want to make sure that you are giving each platform the content and resources it needs to be successful.
- Start with your web presence: Again, you want to establish a strong web presence first, not only because consumers will check that before taking an action with you, but because you can also generate new interest and leads from that presence. In some cases, a consumer will not see your advertising but look for local suppliers or people who are among the competitors. If that’s the case, you have a chance to generate a new lead simply by being on the right platforms.
- Build your content out: Before launching, you need to invest time and money into your content creation. If you are building blogs and videos to offer educational content to the audience, make a few of them before you release them. The reason is because it becomes more and more difficult to create content as you get going, especially if it’s a success.
- Get your emails going: Hopefully, after a short period of time you have been able to grab some emails from customers and those interested in your content. If you can offer promotions and referral codes, you have a chance to expand your email list and generate real traffic and potential sales from each campaign.
- Ask for referrals: It’s never a bad idea to ask for referrals from customers, especially if they were happy with the quality of the products and services they got from you. Good businesses are not something people want to keep secret. They love to share places they enjoy visiting or shopping from or ones that provide reliable services and products.
Give people reasons to visit your site, read your content and interact with you, even if you are not getting sales. The more interaction you get, the more effective your sales efforts will be. Get people comfortable with visiting your profiles and platforms and they will respond with loyalty to your brand.
Understanding Consumer Expectations For Content
Consumers will be happy to focus on your content if you give them something worth focusing on. Whether you want to focus on entertainment or education, you cannot expect promotional content to keep consumers interested. Give them something that keeps them interested and you will see the results over a period of time.