Today, more than ever before, businesses need to find fast and affordable ways to connect with their customers—and often from a distance. Enter: Digital Marketing.

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Digital marketing is one of the best ways for business owners and brand managers to take control of brand messaging and sentiment, reach target audiences, promote products and services,  gain fans, followers and brand evangelists, and, ultimately, generate leads. 

And while digital marketing may seem complicated, it’s not—so long as you’re armed with the right insights and tools. These “5 Steps” will help you to ensure that you’re on the right path. 

  • Start with a solid plan
  • Optimize your website
  • Make sure your people can find you
  • Find your people and turn prospects into paying customers
  • Keep in touch to keep valuable relationships growing

1) Start with a solid, strategic digital marketing plan.

Every business should have a digital marketing plan. Whether you’re a B2B or B2C brand, a brick-and-mortar or online store, or offer a product or service, the time for a strategic digital marketing and advertising plan is now. 

If you’ve never had a plan, create one. And if you have an existing plan, it’s time to review, revise and refine it in order to respond to our ever-changing world. 

2) Update and optimize your website

You likely have a website, the core of your company’s online presence. And if you’re doing things right it’s professionally-built, attractive, engaging, easy-to-navigate and mobile-friendly. 

But when was the last time you reviewed your website from your target market’s perspective to confirm that it’s giving them everything they need to convert from site visitor to paying customer? Do it now.

Review your website from top to bottom with an eye towards user experience:

  • Is it easy to use?
  • Does it load fast?
  • Is key information easy to find?
  • Does it speak to your target market?
  • Does it have clear calls-to-action?
  • Will it motivate people to buy from you?
  • Can people get in touch with you quickly?

You can also run your website through a variety of analysis tools to tell you how well it’s performing, including Google’s PageSpeed Insights (slow load time makes for a poor user experience) and a Website Ranking Tool like any of these.

Note: A great website on its own won’t help to grow your business. You have to make sure people can find it! And while there are countless digital marketing and advertising tactics to help you get your target audience onto your website, these are some you should consider right away:

3) Make sure your people can find you

Social Media Marketing 

Social media is one of the fastest, most effective and most affordable ways to build a brand online. So it’s not a question of whether or not a business needs a social presence, it’s just a question of who is going to manage it and how. To be sure, if people can’t find your business on social media, you’re missing opportunities.  

And don’t fret if your business is new or small. In the old days, only big companies with big budgets could carry out big promotional campaigns. On social media, everyone can play (and win!) and big budgets no longer dictate success. 

Even better, business owners and brand managers can learn to DIY social media marketing for further cost savings. That learning piece is key.  Why?

Because it’s possible to spend a lot of time and money on social media marketing tactics that simply won’t work. So investing in a solid understanding of social posting, engagement and advertising best practices will yield better, measurable results. 

There are lots of opportunities to learn and many are online, on-demand and affordable. In fact, we’ve made our popular online social media marketing course, “Intro to Social Media for Business Growth”, free for everyone, and you can access it by clicking here right now!

In the meantime, simplify your business’ social posting and engagement with the use of a dashboard like Sprout Social, Hootsuite, Later, or Buffer

Search Engine Optimization

Whether you’re a small business aiming to stake your claim in a local niche market, or a national organization looking for search engine dominance, search engine optimization (SEO) can help your target audience find your business in leading search engines. 

SEO can include, for example: making your website more search engine friendly through keyword research, content development, link building, and adding your company to Google My Business—all working in concert to help your business rank on Page One of Google. Leading SEO management tools include SEM Rush, Moz and Ahrefs.

4) Find your people!

Digital Advertising 

Digital ads allow brands and businesses to get their key messages in front of the right people in the right place at the right time. And while figuring it all out can feel like a complicated undertaking, with the right info, insights and tools it can be fairly straightforward and well worth the investment. 

There are many types of digital ads to choose from, with Google and Facebook the most popular today. Because you likely have a mix of target clients, the best digital ad campaigns combine several different ads on several different ad platforms.

Learn more about digital advertising here: Digital Ads Quick Guide: 6 Ad Types & Channels You Need To Know

5) Keep providing value

Content and Email Marketing 

These digital marketing tactics are all about providing value to your target market to build trust, establish a relationship and develop thought-leadership–all key to moving people from prospects to customers.

Content marketing includes creating things like blog posts, case studies, eBooks, How Tos and more–value-added items you provide that’ll keep people coming back to you (and your social account or website). 

Bonus: Search engine optimized content like this on your website can help improve your search rankings!

Email marketing remains one of the most powerful digital marketing tools around. Why? Emails can make a big difference in a customer’s mind when it comes to purchasing decisions. In fact, many say marketing emails give an additional incentive for customers to make the purchase. 

Regular email marketing allows you to keep in touch with your prospective and current customers, continuing to provide value and build on your relationship. And with all of the automated email marketing tools available today, it’s a piece of cake! Check out MailChimp and ConvertKit.

So what’s next? 

Thinking about strategies for online growth is a good first step. Now take some action! Start with a solid digital marketing and advertising strategy, and then explore one or some of the tactics listed above.

Reach out if you need help.

Stir Marketing is a full-service digital marketing agency, serving clients around the world for nearly two decades. We don’t just dabble in occasional digital marketing. It’s what we do, every day! We specialize in helping businesses build brand awareness and increase online leads and sales. Get in touch to learn more about what we do.

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