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What is Digital Marketing?
When I ask the question to small businesses ‘what does digital marketing mean too you?’ I often get the reply, ‘its your website SEO’. But it is much more than that, digital marketing is not only your website activity but also social media channels, SMS, pod casts, video, email, pay per click advertising, mobile apps and much more.
There are so many channels you can market through to prospective buyers, I have listed my top 8 for small businesses with limited budgets.
8 Basic digital marketing channels you can use for your small business
A website can not be replaced with social media, your business website is the hub of your digital marketing and the home of your business. Your website is 100% your message, branding and voice. It is the channel that all your other digital marketing activities point too.
Be clear about what you do and who for, easy to use navigation and call to actions. Your website must be mobile friendly, google now indexes you website via it’s mobile version first. If your website is not mobile friendly you may get a low page position, or worse none at all.
Search engine optimisation (SEO)
Search engine optimisation is how you increase traffic to your website, via content, keyword research, social media links and references from other websites. There are 200 factors that google uses to rank your website. Nearly 93% of traffic comes from google itself, with Bing coming second at approximately 2.8% (source: https://gs.statcounter.com/search-engine-market-share).
Local search engine optimisation
Add your business to Google my Business, a free service where you can list your business details to appear on google maps and google searches.
The trend to date is that there are more searches via mobile than desktop computers. Many searches are made on the go while looking for local businesses. People visiting areas they are not familiar with search for local services such a restaurants via google maps and google itself. If you are listed, the user can click on a map to direct them to you.
If you are bricks and mortar business include your business address (NAP) so you can be located on google maps. Be sure to list your address exactly the same on any other local directories. Adding your business as N Yorks on one listing and North Yorkshire on another may affect your ranking.
Email marketing is still one of the most popular and successful methods of marketing. If a user has expressed a preference for your marketing they are more likely to open it.
Sending interesting and useful information to your subscribers can be a powerful and profitable marketing tool. When it comes to converting people into members, customers or supporters, email marketing is the way to go.
Using online tools such as mail chimp, you can tailor email marketing to tailored audiences . You can also measure open and click through rates of any marketing messages you send.
Social media marketing
According to Clutch, social media marketing is used by 83% of companies. When using social media along with a digital marketing plan it can be a powerful tool to capture your audience, create relationships, brand awareness and trust.
Choose the correct platform(s) where your audience hang out. Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook are the main social media channels most small businesses use.
Facebook is still one of the most popular platforms, you can read more about Facebook for business here. (link}).
My favourite content marketing is blogging. If I was told I could only use one type of content marketing it would be this. It’s free, powerful and most of all drives traffic to my website. I can send users off to more information about services or persuade them to sign up an email marketing list.
Tip: A good blog post can be shared more than once on social media. One blog could be posted four times over a period of time. I can post this as ‘what is digital marketing’. Then a month later as ‘basic digital marketing channels you can use for your small business’ and so on. That will give me four chances to get my blog seen.
Think of blogs like as If the internet was land and each blog was a house, If I keep building houses I cover more land.
Pay-per-click (PPC) google advertising
PPC are commonly known as the ads you see above the natural listings when you have searched and google displays the results.
As the name suggests, you pay every time someone clicks on your ad. It’s a good tool if you have the budget to spend and if created correctly you can achieve a good return on investment (ROI).
I would suggest researching google PPC before jumping in at the deep end, you could save a lot of money and get the results you desire.
Facebook advertising can also be classed as PPC, displaying ads on users feeds to drive traffic to your website, products or services. As with Google PPC I would recommend lots of researching before creating your first ad.