18 Dec 6 Simple Ways to Grow Your Small Business Using Online Marketing
Are you struggling to remain competitive or to grow your business on a tight budget? Exceptional marketing techniques and practices are critical components that spur profitability and growth. Unfortunately, many marketing efforts seem to be decreasingly cost-effective. In addition to being expensive, measuring and analyzing the results of many methods is challenging. If you want to see a true improvement to your marketing efforts and grow your business substantially in the process, using difficult marketing may be the right route to take.
The Many Benefits of Digital Marketing
Digital marketing includes any type of marketing that uses the Internet, smartphones and other digital formats. When you compare digital marketing to other marketing formats that you may already be using or thinking about using, you will see that there are substantial benefits. Through digital marketing, you can expect:
- To reach consumers directly
- To avoid much of the noise associated with other marketing methods
- To save money on marketing expenses
- To tailor marketing messages specifically to the audience you are targeting
- To accurately gather, review and analysis of relevant data
- To develop your brand and improve brand recognition
Between these and other benefits of digital marketing, you can see that this is an important and even critical marketing method that is essential for your company’s growth. These are a few ways to maximize the benefits of your new digital marketing campaign.
1. Target Your Audience and Use Segmentation
There are numerous digital marketing avenues that can be used to reach consumers in different ways. More than that, these various avenues can reach different segments of your target audience. For example, social media marketing campaigns focused on Instagram may be mostly developed so that they speak to the younger component of your target audience.
Facebook and Twitter social media marketing, however, may be used to reach a broader audience. Because you can customize digital marketing messages based on the methods and platforms used, you have the unique and affordable ability to tailor each message specifically to a very targeted audience.
2. Use SEO and PPC Effectively to Drive Sales
Through digital marketing, you utilize search engine optimization and pay-per-click ads to refine your marketing efforts to Internet users who are specifically searching for relevant keywords. Your selection of keywords and content directly impacts the results of your campaign’s results. More than that, you can use these platforms as the basis for a sales funnel.
These platforms generate leads that can then be targeted through email marketing, special promotions and more. Because SEO and PPC generate targeted leads, they are an important starting point for the sales funnel.
3. Keep in Touch with Social Media Marketing
Through social media marketing on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and others, you can connect with consumers who have chosen to follow your company. These are active or interested future customers. In some cases, they can serve as brand ambassadors by sharing your content with their own contacts, and this can have profoundly beneficial and cost-effective benefits. Your use of social media marketing can begin with market research and prototype testing, especially now that having a prototype is more feasible than ever.
For example, Kraft Foods asked its social media followers to share their Easter family traditions so that it could refine its products and marketing efforts. Panera Bread asked its social media followers for feedback on the new menu items that it recently released.
4. Stay Connected Through Email Marketing
When your customers opt into your newsletters and promotional materials, they are asking to remain in touch with your company in a direct way. Many customers opt-in so that they can receive news about new products, sales, and other valuable information before others.
Just as you can refine digital marketing efforts specifically to the target audience using other online platforms, the same holds true for email marketing. For example, if a customer previously ordered children’s clothing, you can email that customer details about new children’s clothing styles that are now available.
5. Engage with Quality Content
While your customers want to receive information from you and have asked to stay in contact, they do not want to be bombarded with bothersome information. To maximize the benefits of digital marketing, contact should be high-quality and beneficial to your customers.
For example, customers may be eager to learn about new styles for the upcoming season, when a new line or model will be available for sale at local stores, what items are on sale today and more. While this is a very affordable way to reach your consumers, you must do so responsibly. If they become annoyed by numerous messages that offer no value, they may opt out of your marketing campaigns.
6. Utilize the Latest Technology Effectively
While digital marketing methods actively use the Internet to reach consumers in different ways, understand that there are many other avenues available. For example, because so many consumers are using smartphones to search for products and services near their current location, geo-specific or local SEO techniques may be relevant to your business.
Your website should also be mobile-friendly and easy to view all types of mobile devices. You may even update your website so that it is compatible with voice searches. Staying up-to-date with technological changes enables you to take advantage of new opportunities as they become available.
If you are not actively using digital marketing or maximizing its benefits based on the latest technologies available, you may be missing out on a great opportunity for growth and increased profits. Analyze your current efforts, and compare them against the most modern and effective strategies available to determine if you should make changes to your marketing campaign.
Jen McKenzie is an independent business consultant from New York. She writes extensively on business, education and human resource topics. When Jennifer is not at her desk working, you can usually find her hiking or taking a road trip with her two dogs. You can reach Jennifer on Twitter: @jenmcknzie