Editor's Note: Tracy Vides is a content strategist and OMI contributor. To celebrate the launch of our new Digital Fundamentals Certification, she joins us today to discuss how small and large businesses can benefit from studying fundamental digital marketing strategy.
The beauty of digital marketing is that it gives startups and smaller companies a chance to compete on a stage shared by larger enterprises; it levels the playing field by eliminating the need for a huge budget to reach a vast amount of consumers.
In the old days, a good deal of marketing boiled down to scale: companies threw out wide nets, hoping to gain as many leads as possible. This posed a serious obstacle for small businesses lacking the capital for such an expansive reach.
Now digital marketing has made it possible to pinpoint a target audience, research consumption habits and find the most effective strategy to broadcast your brand messaging and improve ROI without wasting copious amounts of money on experimental campaigns based on guesswork.
Let’s talk about fundamental digital marketing strategies, and key advantages that businesses of all sizes stand to gain from mastering them.
Create an effective SEO strategy
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a cornerstone of digital marketing. 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. With a number like this, omitting SEO causes you to miss out on a lot of benefits. A well-planned strategy can do a lot to improve search rankings, increase web traffic, build leads, and ultimately make sales.
If you want to experience these types of results, it will require more than a one-day effort. SEO is built on five pillars:
- Authority and Trust
It might take weeks – or even months – to start seeing the results you want. Stay consistent with your efforts, and in time you will see the fruits of your labor.
Use social media to boost engagement
Currently, there are over 2 billion people using social media worldwide. Opting out of this bandwagon is simply not an option. Social media is an arena where brands have a prime opportunity to let their unique personas shine through while contributing value to the lives of their prospects.
The biggest advantage provided by social media is an opportunity to boost all your other marketing channels. For example, a good SEO strategy is based on producing quality content. One of the best ways to share that material is through social media outlets.
Additionally, it can play a huge role in learning what makes your target audience tick. Tools like Brandwatch give you the ability to monitor what users are talking about within your industry. Backed with actionable-metrics, you can properly gear your approach in a manner that will not only keep viewers engaged, but also maintain positive sentiments about your brand.
Social media marketing is here to stay. Understanding the ins and outs of how it can affect your business is crucial in building brand trust and exposure to your messaging.
Adapt to an increasingly mobile landscape
Back in 2014, mobile devices became more popular than desktop for digital media consumption.
More recently, global internet traffic in terms of pageviews on mobiles surpassed desktop traffic.
With this in mind, integrating your marketing strategy to fit the mobile landscape is vital. For instance, 71 percent of marketing emails are opened on a mobile device.
Mobile the go-to medium for people on the move. In turn, big e-commerce brands have made it easier than ever to make purchases via a smartphone. The benefits of optimizing for mobile are practically infinite. Here are several of them:
- Mobile-friendly websites rank higher in search results.
- Mobile advertising is more cost-effective than desktop advertising.
- Mobile gives you a broader range of personalization options when marketing to prospects.
Altering your entire strategy towards mobile is an involved process. There are many things to take into consideration, like content format and consumption duration. But given how much it can improve a business, learning how to optimize accordingly is one of the best decisions you can make.
Make your operation efficient with marketing automation
Marketing automation is especially useful for startups and small businesses. Regardless of your goals, you should always strive to maximize efficiency. With automation, you can harness the power of technology to manage a significant portion of your marketing activities without depending on human control. This can do a lot to cut down on labor, and frees up more time to focus on big picture innovations.
According to Gartner Research, by 2020 customers will manage 85% of their brand relationships without talking to a human. Benefits of automated marketing include:
- Targeted landing pages
- Effective lead nurturing
- Complete workflow management
- Targeted and responsive email marketing
- Increased productivity
- Brand presence on multiple channels
- Detailed customer profiles
- Quicker and better customer support
- In-depth tracking and measurement
There is a whole lot more to gain from marketing automation than you might think. Do yourself a favor and study what it can do for your business. In the long-run, it can save (and earn you) incredible amounts of time and money.
Over to you
It’s no secret that the traditional marketing funnel is going obsolete in favor of digital. Brands everywhere are realizing how this shift in the landscape is putting a big emphasis on customer experience and targeted strategies. The underlying truth is that consumers are more connected than ever. Learning how you can accommodate this trend is crucial in building a brand for the future.
If you’re involved in a startup, small business, or even a large enterprise looking to build its knowledge of digital fundamentals, there’s no time like the present to learn. Get started today!