As we’ve moved further into the technological age, buying behavior has changed drastically. Now, more than ever, consumers are buying things online. The shift in purchasing patterns requires businesses to market digitally. No matter what your company offers, or how big or small it is, learning how to market in the fast-paced digital world is a must.
Understanding how to market to the online masses requires certain finesse and a fair amount of strategy. Many business owners are overwhelmed by the ins and outs of these new marketing trends. Well, here at Portside Marketing, we’re hoping to help clear things up.
The Basics of Marketing Digitally
Before we dive into the finer points, let’s take a look at the big picture of advertising in the digital marketplace. Every business has their own set of target customers. Digital marketing is a way to reach these specific customers using the internet and other digital mediums. This is done with a variety of technology and techniques such as websites, advertisements, email correspondence, social media, and more.
These days, the internet plays a role in almost every target customer’s life to some degree. It can influence purchasing decisions and behavior. Having a marketing presence on the internet is an important part of reaching these target customers. Understanding this form of marketing is a vital. There are several elements of digital marketing to help you reach whatever goals you may have.
Your company’s website is the foundation for your online marketing strategy. Here, customers get an impression of your brand and learn more about your company and what it offers. You want your website to attract new leads, engage them, and convert them to leads. Every part of your website’s design matters. The colors, layout, graphics, font, quantity and quality of information, and even the amount of white space can influence behavior. A well designed website is easy to use and guides the visitor toward the ultimate goal.
A functional website goes hand in hand with content marketing. This type of digital marketing focuses on creating content your target customers will enjoy and find useful. The content itself serves several purposes including: improving brand awareness, increasing website traffic, gaining new leads, and retaining current customers. Creating quality content is important to both your company and your existing and potential customers. Forms of content include:
- Blog Posts
- Case Studies
- Website pages
However, creating content isn’t enough. You need to have a strategy to go along with all the information you provide. Select topics which appeal to your target audience. Think about your goals and how you can use the content to direct the audience toward your goal. You want to engage your audience and help them through each step on their way to becoming your customer.
Search Engine Optimization
Optimizing both your website and your content for search engines is very important when it comes to online marketing. Studies show that over seventy percent of consumers begin looking for products and services using search engines. You’ll want to shape your website and content in a way that it appeals to these search engines. If the search engine’s algorithms see something they like then they’ll bump you up in their rankings. If you can get your content on the first page of a major search engine’s results then you’ll likely see an increase in web traffic.
Search engine optimization, also known as SEO, uses topics and keywords to help rank your content to reach your target customers. Many business owners struggle with SEO due to the ever changing formula of creating optimized content. Thankfully, companies like Portside Marketing offer affordable solutions to this problem.
Social Media Marketing
Another way of increasing your digital presence is through social media. Many companies now use social media to help drive more traffic to their website and engage with customers. It also helps increase brand awareness, which is increasingly important as competition increases each year. Another benefit of marketing through social media is the access it provides to a larger audience.
Marketing to your customers through email is another effective form of digital advertising. Branded emails are a great way to reach out to existing leads and provide them with information about your products or services, improve brand awareness, and promote upcoming events. You can create a variety of campaigns with different goals:
- Welcome emails when new users subscribe to your email list
- Promotional content regarding discounts or sales
- Company and product or service updates
- Access to exclusive content
The main purpose of email marketing is to keep your existing leads happy and engaged with your business. This is an important part of customer retention.
Paid Digital Advertising
Another way to increase your customer base is through paid digital advertising. These generally include ads where you pay-per-click (PPC). You can generate these types of ads in a variety of ways. For example, Google offers AdWords to help your business show up on the very first page of search results. One of the great things about PPC advertising is that you only pay for the traffic your ad actually generates.
Combining Your Digital Advertising Efforts
While any one of these aspects of digital marketing may help your business on their own, the real power is in using them together. Integrating each of these tactics into an overall online marketing strategy is the best way to maximize your return.
A multi-channel approach combines each of these methods to build a well-rounded experience for your target audience. It’s very important to create a well thought out strategy that incorporates these ideas to turn your business into a marketing machine.
However, for many business owners this seems like a daunting task. Doing these things requires time that you may need to spend on other aspects of your business. Thankfully, companies like Portside Marketing help businesses just like yours establish a solid foundation for success. Our expert staff knows the ins and outs of website creation, content, search engine optimization, and so much more. Allowing us to help you with your marketing saves you both time and money.