How to Use Digital Marketing for Small Businesses
Definition: Digital Marketing is the use of technologies to help marketing activities in order to improve customer knowledge.
We like to think of it as your business viewed from the perspective of the customer through digital media.
Unfortunately, the majority of people still don’t understand:
1): Why digital marketing is so important.
2): How to use digital marketing effectively for their business.
It’s important to remember that digital media is suffering horribly in the face of diminishing attention spans and increasing impatience for irrelevant content.
Did you know that 55% of people spend will less than 15 seconds on your webpage?
This short period of time is an example of quickly your window of opportunity to impress viewers will shut. Don’t waste it.
[Reference: Nelson Norman Group]
Your digital content has to convince the viewer that what you have to offer is valuable to them. If it’s not, they’ll have no reason to engage with it.
Now, before you ask, “How do I make amazing digital content?”, we need to take a step back.
Create Digital Content for a Defined Audience
If you want positive results from your digital marketing campaigns, all your online media must be geared towards a specified target audience.
Whether you’re creating a blog post, marketing email or online banner ad, the digital medium should still obey the fundamentals of traditional marketing; Segment, Target, Position.
What does this mean?
We won’t go too deep into marketing theory, but put simply, before creating any kind of online content you need to ask yourself 3 questions:
* Who’s the content for?
* What do they want to know?
* What digital medium should I use?
Who is the digital content for?
This should always be your starting point because people will only engage with digital content if it interests them.
You’re probably thinking “that’s obvious!”
However, we see ads, webpages & other types of content EVERY SINGLE DAY that completely miss the mark because they’re not optimised for their intended consumer.
This is where the practice of segmentation comes in; divide your audience into smaller groups, or ‘segments’, that share similar characteristics.
Why segment your audience?
Well, because it enables you to more effectively target people with your digital marketing efforts; messages can be designed to be more impactful on a homogenous group with similar traits.
A message that tries to appeal to everyone will appeal to no one.
You want to tailor your marketing messages to penetrate a single segment as deeply as possible, maximising impact, rather than a generalised message that doesn’t really appeal to anyone. Depth over width.
How to segment your online audience?
There are various ways of doing this, but the main pillars of segmentation are demographic, psychographic, geographic and behavioural.
Aim to make these segments as similar as possible within groups, and as different as possible between groups.
If you’d like to learn more, and have 10 minutes to spare, this video does a pretty good job explaining the fundamentals of segmentation:
What do they want to know?
Digital marketing is only really effective when it anticipates the needs of its audience.
Let’s imagine you’re creating an online digital marketing campaign for baby shampoo.
Who are your targeting? Well, babies typically don’t carry cash around so you’ll be primarily be targeting caregivers, such as parents, grandparents, older siblings, and the like.
You may have a different strategy for each of these market segments, which may even be broken down further into smaller segments; for now we’ll focus on the mothers.
Your digital marketing should highlight your USPs (unique selling points), which might include things like improved formula ingredients or perhaps a lower cost than competitors.
You also need an ability to predict the kind of information the consumer will want. This is best achieved by imagining yourself in their position. What would you want from baby shampoo if it were your baby?
Some important information they may want to know:
* Is the shampoo safe?
* Is it effective at what it’s supposed to do?
* How does it compare to similar products?
* How much does it cost?
Highlight important information that the customer will view as a unique selling point (or USP); differentiate your product offering from the competition.
Answering key questions with your digital marketing messages will go a long way to converting prospects into customers.
What digital medium should you use?
The type of digital marketing you use should be the one that most appropriately reaches your target market.
There’s no point in running TV ads for an audience that doesn’t happen to watch television all that much.
Which digital medium would be the best in reaching a long-distance drivers, a TV ad or a large digital billboard?
Types of Digital Marketing
Digital marketing concerns itself with the marketing of products or services across digital medium, both online marketing and offline marketing.
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- SEO refers to the practice of increasing the quantity & quality of web traffic to your site through organic search engine results.
- Learn more about SEO.
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- Search engine marketing is the practice of marketing your business using paid advertisements that appear on the search engine results pages (or SERPs) on sites like Google or Bing.
- Learn more about SEM.
- Social Media Marketing (SMM)
- This form of internet marketing involves creating & sharing content on social media networks in order to build brand awareness and reach new potential customers.
- Social media marketing includes activities like posting text and image updates, videos, and other kinds of content to drive audience engagement, as well as paid social media advertising.
- Learn more about social media marketing.
- Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
- PPC is a model of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked.
- The next time you perform a Google search, pay attention to the first results on the SERPs – you’ll see ‘Ad’ just under the meta title of the first few results.
- Learn more about PPC.
- Content Marketing
- Content marketing involves creating & sharing online material (such as videos, images, and blogs) that doesn’t explicitly promote a business or brand, but used to stimulate interest in its products or services.
- Learn more about content marketing.
- Email Marketing
- Email marketing, quite simply put, is a digital marketing strategy of sending emails to prospects (hot & cold), and customers.
- Learn more about email marketing.
- Online Advertising
- Online advertising, also known as online marketing, Internet advertising, or web advertising, is a form of marketing and advertising which uses the Internet to deliver promotional marketing messages to your audience.
- Learn more about online advertising.
- Affiliate Marketing
- Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.
- There are whole websites dedicated to affiliate marketing for Amazon!
- Learn more about affiliate marketing.
- Instant Messaging Marketing
- Instant messaging marketing is becoming increasingly popular and refers to the practise of sending marketing material to consumers through instant messaging apps, such as WhatsApp, WeChat, and Telegram.
- Learn more about instant messaging marketing.
- Radio Advertising
- This one needs little explanation, we’ve all heard radio advertisements played between songs or radio shows.
- Learn more about radio advertising.
- Podcast Advertising
- This medium has grown massively over the past decade and shows no signs of slowing down. An informational ad about your service or product is delivered by the podcaster before they start their show.
- Learn more about podcast advertising.
- Television Advertising
- You may have seen one or two of these before. Television advertising presents your business to a large audience and is typically expensive. There are better ways to go if you’re a small business.
- Learn more about TV advertising.
Digital marketing, at its most basic level, are advertisements delivered through digital channels, such as search engines, websites, social media, email, and mobile apps, to satisfy marketing objectives.
Use it wisely.