In our technology-immersed marketplace, going digital is not a “plus”– it’s a “must.” Whether you’re the best web designer in Atlantic County or you are a tech-challenged entrepreneur, you need digital marketing in your business. The good news is that creating a digital marketing strategy is very similar to the way you’d approach marketing anywhere- online or offline.
1. Define Your Budget
As with all marketing, you start out by analyzing what you’ve already got. Take a look at your budget and identify how much you can afford to put into your digital marketing strategy. The first initial setting-up costs will be the biggies.
Must-haves for digital marketing success
Here are the most basic necessities to invest in, or upgrade, if your equipment is outdated:
- A great, mobile-friendly website is indispensable. Even if your potential customers heard of you through word-of-mouth, your website will probably be the first impression they have of you when they Google search your name or address.
- Hardware needs will include a well-running computer with a secure Internet connection. Malware protection and virus scanning tools are important for security reasons. Whether you’re a fan of Mac or PC, your business will be vulnerable to hackers and viruses unless you protect your computer.
- You’ll need basic software. You can pay for a subscription to things like Microsoft Office, or buy it outright. Photo editing tools and graphics software will be necessary too, if you’re developing your own ads and promo kits.
You will need to work in each of the one-time and ongoing costs of advertising. This may include paid ads or paying a writing agency to generate frequent social media posts. Remember that effective visual ads require a photo or graphic of some sort. Will you outsource this work to a graphic artist, and how much will you pay?
Digital Marketing Strategy Budget
Are going it alone, or will you be using a marketing agency at some point? The trick here is to find an experienced marketing team that really does all it claims to do. You can expect to have better luck with the best web designer in Atlantic County, than a random freelancer that you find online. Look at the track records of past clients who have used similar marketing strategies. Are their previous and current business clients doing well?
Keep in mind the option of a step-up program to accelerate success. A reliable marketing team can help you to take a low-risk approach and intelligently “step it up” as certain benchmarks are reached.
2. Utilize Your Team
You might already have the team that you need to go into digital marketing successfully. Check out who in your business has the necessary skills to complete this or that project. Perhaps it’s time to get some coaching programs going to build up your team’s ability assets.
- Is there someone with extra time on their hands who could do market research for you? Is someone great at writing, who could polish up your website pages and manage a business blog?
- You may find you have someone who is a pro at photography, who would be happy to take photos and edit them for social media posts and ads.
- You may find a younger employee who is fluent in Facebook or Twitter, and is keen to begin posting for your company’s social media accounts.
3. Identify Relevant Assets
So what are your biggest assets in your digital marketing strategy?
- Your Website is first and foremost your biggest value in digital marketing. Avoid the temptation of creating a website that is set up to fail- or you’ll pay for it in low traffic and lost opportunities.
- CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is just as important as ever, even in the online world.
- Customer testimonials and online reviews can make or break you. A five-star review on Google or the online Yellow Pages is sometimes the thing that tips the scale in your favour against your competition.
- Great Email Lists are paramount. Each and every email is one more reminder to your potential customer that you exist and that you’re thinking of them. Remember: “out of sight, out of mind.” So keep in touch.
- Co-op marketing partners can be worth their weight in gold, preferably ones who are tech-savvy and have awesome online campaigns.
- Strategic partnerships that you have developed with other successful businesses are valuable, so you can swap access to one another’s audiences.
- Video marketing is effective and very affordable (even free, in some cases)! Look into making a short video that can be shared on your website, on YouTube, and your other social media channels.
4. Maximize Your Opportunities
Make the most of the people in your circle – they are your immediate leverage. Look for valuable cross-promotional opportunities and take advantage of them. Look into co-op marketing with suppliers and strategically pursue P.R. opportunities for your business.
Just as in other forms of marketing, the key here is to understand exactly who your target market is, and where it is likely to be. For example, younger people are likely to be on Instagram, whereas middle-aged people are more often on Facebook.
If you’re going to pursue using paid ads, choose websites that your target is most likely to click on, not just the first big website that has a high percentage of clicks. All those clicks could be coming from the sort of people who aren’t interested in your service or product at all. Make sure your digital marketing strategy is centered around your targeted future customers.
Key to a Successful Digital Marketing Strategy
There’s nothing mysterious about applying digital marketing in your business. It’s really an art and a science. Taking the basic steps and implementing time-tested market strategies will generate leads and increase your conversion rate. As with everything else related to business, knowing how and doing it are the only “secrets” to your digital marketing success.
Hey – Don’t forget to follow all six steps to a successful digital marketing strategy!