You have opened a business and you want people to know about it. Your products are ready, your USP has been decided, you are ready to start with a bang. But how will you promote your business? There might be many ways going through your mind. Maybe articles in the newspaper, or a brochure, a blog maybe. But these methods are too old to function.
As the world is evolving so are their ways. The phrase ‘Old is Gold’ doesn’t fit into every situation. As the world is changing, so should you and so should the ways of your business.
Now that you know that marketing is important for a business to grow (very important actually) next step is to understand the trend. The world is becoming digital every step of the way. People are growing through digital technologies. Your marketing should grow digitally too. Hence digital marketing is the ultimate solution to grow your business. But is that it? No, there are several ways by which digital marketing helps us.
For any business to spend money and effort on marketing, it’s important to know what you are stepping into. Here is a small effort by me to let you know of the glorious world of digital marketing to benefit your startups.
What is digital marketing?
You may have heard so many terms you’re confused by. To put it in simple terms, Digital marketing is making use of the internet to reach your potential customer.
Don’t get it confused with search engine marketing. While with search engine marketing you only post ads on search engines, but in digital marketing, you advertise on many social media platforms, mobile apps, websites, etc.
Let’s make things interesting for you. Below are some companies that are killing it with their digital marketing strategies.
Real-life examples of the best digital marketing campaigns
- Let me start with a brand that people of all age groups love. Can you guess?
Its LEGO. I bet you can’t deny the fact. How is this brand beloved by all?
While LEGO products make it easy for them to advertise awe-inspiring videos, the LEGO movie, and the 2019 campaign of ‘rebuild the world’ has made it far more likable.
Their recent campaign showed a transgender couple and climate change. Its Vice president says, ‘They have proven themselves in the entire toy industry, now it’s about more than just toys’. It gives shape to its brand story and gives people something to remember.
Around 95% of people buy their products because of their quality and values, while 75% of people buy their products because they feel connected. Do you think all this could have become possible with traditional marketing techniques?
- You are probably bored at home after so many months of lockdowns. You miss all the vacations. So let me talk about Airbnb (caught your pain point, didn’t I?). Well, Airbnb started when their owners couldn’t pay their rent. It has completely changed the way we look for accommodations. Airbnb site has 150 million users, 7 million listings, and a total worth $35 billion.
They post videos of all the places and stables across different social media platforms, how-to-videos, popular city guides. Their compelling images make it more than just a service, they make you feel like traveling to a second home.
They are very smart to make use of influencer campaigns. They are getting millions of Instagram followers and thus growing their business.
So now you see how a broke person is now the owner of a million-dollar company. How did it grow that far so soon? The answer is Digital marketing.
Before I tell you more about the different ways of digital marketing, let me tell you why it is beneficial. After we talk about the benefits, we will talk about how to implement it. Because we saw how some broke people just grew so much, we should start with the digital marketing benefits for small businesses.
Digital Marketing for your small businesses
Starting with 10 reasons how a small business can boost sales through digital marketing
- Digital marketing provides an equal opportunity for every business and is not just reserved for big companies.
Digital marketing is basically an angel coming to your doorsteps and telling you you stand equal to well-established companies.
- It does not matter what the rumor says, Digital marketing is cost effective. When you advertise in a newspaper, you have to print on every one of them. Not everybody is your potential customer. While in digital marketing, you only pay for targeting your potential audiences and platforms that you want.
- It brings conversions. You can track your conversions by understanding the traffic. Conversions become much higher through digital marketing. Isn’t that what you need?
- If your conversions are higher, your revenues will be higher. Companies using social media get 70% more conversions and revenue than companies not using social media.
- Targeting the right audience is of utmost importance. You don’t want people who just ignore your ads. Suppose your brands sell products related to honeymoon. Do you want kids to target? Or do you want the elderly to read that? No, you don’t. Your ideal customers are couples, people who like couple and honeymoon pages, people looking for honeymoon hotels, etc.
Digital marketing allows you to show your products to people who will actually show interest in you.
While traditional marketing reaches about 10% of your target audience, digital marketing reaches 90% of your target audience.
- Helps in mobile marketing. The entire world is lives on their mobile phone. Major businesses work on mobile phones. Companies close million-dollar deals. People focus on making websites mobile-friendly. Imagine being seen on every mobile, and what huge benefits it will bring.
- Increases your brand reputation. Digital marketing helps you show people exactly what they are looking for. This increases your brand reputation.
- You can influence people through marketing. Platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Twitter hold the power to influence people on a large scale. You can make use of that power to influence people towards your brand values. You can also opt for influencer marketing. Celebrities are no longer required. Instagram is flooded with influencers who have thousands to millions of followers. Just find the right influencer and market your product through them.
- Gives measurable results for your campaign. You can see how many people saw your ad, how many people clicked, how many of them filled the form, how many of them went away after opening the link, etc. Just imagine what boost can this data bring to your strategies.
- The biggest advantage of Call to action (CTA) buttons. Every ad includes a call to action buttons. People are more likely to see your ad and scroll further if there is no CTA button. But if there is a CTA button, the sales increase by 50%.
Let me tell you an example which I have seen myself. A small home-based startup gained momentum. A friend of mine is a nutritionist and an aerobics instructor. During the lockdown time when everything was shut down, she started online aerobics classes. Initially, she advertised by word of mouth and made some brochures to send with her monthly plans but ended up getting no response.
After 2 months, she only had 3 clients. After consultation from a digital marketer, she made a good social media presence and made use of some digital ads to run. Within a month she has over 7 clients to handle. She had a clear agenda and an excellent marketing strategy. With people already worried about their health, and gyms closing, people worries became worse. She made use of this time and now she has helped many people get a healthy, fit body.
She only made use of some ads and social media management and that helped her earn even during the lockdowns. Now she plans on going with full digital marketing services to get the best out of her business.
What amazed me was that a single step into digital marketing could bring her such fruitful results. What would full planning do for her?
But how would you decide which type of digital marketing is right for your business? Yes, there are types and it’s important to know what benefits you. Let’s know them.
Types of Digital marketing
- Search Engine Optimization – As the name suggests, SEO is done to help you rank higher in the search engine results. The higher you are, the more valuable traffic you get.
- Social Media marketing – as I told you everybody is using social media and making an effective social media presence can give your business a great boost.
- Content marketing – Promoting content through blogs, eBooks, Yellowpages will generate traffic growth, brand awareness, etc.
- Pay Per Click – PPC is a method where you pay the publisher every time you get a click. This helps you drive traffic. The most common type is google ads.
- Affiliate marketing – where affiliates get a commission for promoting someone else brand.
- Email marketing – You can send subscription letters, welcome emails, loyalty programs. Offers, etc and give it a personal touch.
The others include mobile marketing, viral marketing, influencer marketing, online PR, Sponsored content, etc.
So you know the powers of digital marketing. But can you do it yourself? It would be very hectic for you. Here comes a digital marketer. I will explain what a digital marketer will do, so you only have to sit back and look at the astonishing results.
Among these marketing techniques, we mainly use two types. The most popular ones that I am talking about is Search engine marketing like Google ads, Bing ads and Facebook ads. I will tell you the key differences, the most effective method for small businesses, and some takeaways.
Key differences between Google ads and Facebook ads
- Google ads are helpful when the ‘buyers come to us’. Suppose you search for a digital marketing firm, Google will show a list of digital marketing agencies near you with ads from some top-ranking firms. Here we as buyers are looking for services.
While in Facebook ads, ‘we reach the buyers’. We make an ad, set out target audience, preferences, locations, and then Facebook helps us reach people who are specifically interested in the services of our kind.
- Google ads helps you improve your Click-through-rate (CTR).
- Google ads are paid ads where people find you by typing keywords into the Google search bar. Basically, you are bidding on keywords. Every time a user clicks on your ad, you get charged a certain amount of money. On Facebook ads, people find you based on their interest and their social behavior.
- The cost of different keywords differs a lot. Like in the law industry keywords are much higher. You may have to spend hundreds of dollars to only get 2 -3 clicks per day. In such a case Facebook ads can be a cheaper alternative.
- If you are looking for sales or lead generation, google ads are more preferred. While Facebook ads are considered more for brand awareness.
- If you have a new product, google ads are less likely to give you anything. Because there are very low searches for that. That’s where Facebook ads help.
- Facebook ads cost as low as $1 a day. While Google ads are a bit more expensive.
- Facebook ads allow you to target very specific clients which are sure to convert. Its wide range of preference settings is very easy when you want to target specifically. In Google Ads, you just post your services and wait for the client to search for you.
Here is no way that I can make you choose between the two because they both are kings in the advertising market and very beneficial for you. But to choose the one you have to be clear with your goals because both provide a very different set of results.
Giveaway: I never want you to get confused. So I would suggest start with Facebook ads and close with Google ads. Build brand awareness, then build your conversions.
Role of a digital marketer
A digital marketer would provide you all the benefits listed above. Brand awareness, lead generation, and will have free and paid services for you (depends on the company).
A digital marketer will first test different channels for you, find out the key performance indicator (KPI), and find out what works best.
~ For example, If your digital marketer is working on SEO, he will try to bring you organic traffic. The KPIs for a social media manager would be the number of follows, shares, and impressions.
While every business regardless of the size can benefit from digital marketing, not all should opt for the same methods. And so there are 2 kinds of digital marketing.
- B2B marketing – if you are a Business to Business (B2B) company, you are most likely to ask for lead generation, and at the end for someone to talk to a sales associate. You are most likely to keep your focus on platforms like LinkedIn, and now Bing ads, as they have integrated with LinkedIn.
- B2C marketing – When your company is Business to consumer, you don’t have a mediator like a sales associate and instead want to attract clients directly. You need strong CTAs and use platforms like Pinterest and Instagram.
~ TIP: For small businesses, it’s good to start with social media, SEO, and blogs to get high Returns on Investments(ROI).
~ Giveaway: A small startup wouldn’t usually like to spend a lot on digital marketing, and so you should maintain attribution modeling. Attribution modeling means making the right use of tools and strategies to trace back your sales to clients’ first step into your business.
It allows you to understand trends, buyer personas, making you more informed. Thus next time you spend less because you exactly know where to implement and get much bigger results.
All this is fine, you have great ideas, but you know that each kind of marketing needs some sort of content. How do you generate that? Let me cover you up.
Content for digital marketing
Whatever the format of the content may be, there are few points to keep in mind.
- Keep the buyer persona in mind. You need to display content that shows you understand what your customers need.
- Understand how close the person is to make a purchase.
You can use blog posts, infographics, short videos, ebooks, webinars, reports, case studies, testimonials, etc.
Is my work here done? No, I will not leave you hanging. Let me give you a small cheat sheet to plan your digital marketing journey.
- List your goals
- Figure out who is your target audience.
- Establish a budget.
- Look for what are the free services and which cost money.
- Optimize your assets.
- Start with keyword research.
- Iterate based on your analytics results.
Now I know that you have a clearer understanding about digital marketing. Remember, you do not need to be a millionaire when you start, but digital marketing can surely help your business reach greater heights.
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