Thanks to the internet, company owners approach millions of possible customers and buyers with hardly any cost. Though having an online presence through social media or a company website can’t be considered digital marketing on their own. It includes setting company objectives, creating strategies, and complicated metrics like conversions and impressions.
The essentials of different digital marketing platforms, how they can improve your company, and how to use them as efficiently as possible will be described in this summary.
Chapter 1 – The starting point of your digital presence is when you first get a share of internet real estate.
When searching for goods or services people often refer to the internet first. This is why having an online presence is necessary for company owners. A company will lose a huge number of possible customers if it doesn’t have a website or an email address.
Having an online presence does not only provide people knowledge about your company but additionally, it makes your business appear more professional. To build this professional image for your company, you must first get a dedicated domain name.
With a domain name, customers can find you online through your email address or website, it is essential to get one that is appropriate for your company. For example, the New York Times has the domain name NYTimes.com, and Wikipedia owns the website wikipedia.org. Through registration websites like GoDaddy, you too can buy a domain. Put all the details in when you finish the registration forms as this will officially make the owner of that domain.
The domain you pick should match your business name and it is possible to buy more than one domain that is related to your company. This way, you can stop people from buying the name from any source other than you. Make sure that you investigate carefully whether the name you chose is unique. A children’s author learned the hard way. The author had bought a domain with her name and the extension .ca, later she came to learn that an adult movie star with the exact name already owned the .com version of that same domain- it was a chaotic situation, to say the least!
You can make the adjustments for hosting your email and website once you register the domain name.
Let’s say the website or the email address you have is like your home and hosting is like discovering a spot to construct that home. Fortunately, there are businesses like SquareSpace that is a domain registration company that additionally offers you hosting services for your email and website and a platform for creating your website. These packages normally provide you the option to maintain and update your website and email and technical support.
The author advises using Google’s G Suite or Microsoft’s Office 365 services, especially for email hosting. Other than being moderately cheap, and providing excellent spam filters, G Suite is also highly accessible. Office 365, however, is the better option for people that already utilize other Microsoft software for their routine admin.
You’re just about all done once you get your email hosting. Though your website does need a bit more input. In the following part, we’ll focus on how to do this.
Chapter 2 – Company websites should be globally available and attract the target group and market.
For companies, a website can become a big advantage. It gives you the platform to reach potential customers and also maybe sell your merchandise or services.
While setting up a website, a lot of points should be kept in mind. Your options are either to set up a basic website through platforms like WordPress or Squarespace or you can pay a legitimate web designer to build it. An e-commerce section can be added to the website or the whole website can be an online shop. You can also sell your products on other online marketplaces like Etsy or Amazon.
Each unique business has its own unique requirements. Though regardless of the creator of the website, or the functions of the website, it should be accessible to everyone.
A person that has clicked on your website should be able to operate it smoothly and get to the information they are searching for as fast as possible.
The website should be able to adapt to small screens since many people access the internet from their phones. Responsive design should be used by your web designer or developer to attain this. And you should pick a template that is mobile-friendly if you set your website up on a web-based platform like Squarespace.
The website should be inclusive and accessible, so not only should it be able to adapt to different screen sizes, but it should also be easy to use for people with disabilities. To achieve this level of accessibility it is always a good idea to refer to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. These guidelines, also referred to as WCAG 2.0, describe how to make sure your website has universal accessibility. You have to make sure you look into these guidelines and follow them since it is illegal in some states not to do so.
Content is another pivotal part of your website. Ultimately, the content you put on the website will be what the visitors will see.
The content you put out should interest your target group of people. The products or services you are providing should be highlighted in a way that is relatable and personal. For instance, a family attorney that utilizes dull legal terms on her website will not attract a lot of new clients. Writing about her career path and the families that they have helped along the way would be a better approach.
The content should not just be relatable but also interesting. Lengthy paragraphs should be avoided, the content should be short, personal, and engaging for your visitors. For your content to stick out, you should utilize high-resolution pictures. You can either pay a professional to shoot pictures for you, buy images from stock picture websites like Shutterstock, or get free images from the Creative Commons website. And finally, you should also make sure the visitors return to the website by updating your content.
Chapter 3 – The keywords you use and the content you put out will distinguish you and enhance the ranking of your website.
While it is important to put out content that is engaging for the audience, it is also important to make sure that they find your website in the first place. SEO, Search Engine Optimization, comes into play in this part.
The top-ranked websites that are related to the search people run on Google will appear on a list. What makes sure that a website is high ranked and appears on that list and can be seen by more people is the SEO process. Luckily, SEO has a simple method to follow.
There are two types of SEO: off-page and on-page. Off-page is used while working with the links and the external factors while the on-page is for the optimizable source code and the content. It is similar to wearing fancy clothes. The better your website looks to the search engines, the higher of a ranking it gets, the neater it is the more of a positive impression it leaves. The search engine on Google is triggered by keywords. Keywords are what people use while looking up something to get more information. For example, a person searching for a Danish chair might write “Scandinavian furniture” to the search bar.
Putting the related keywords in the content you create, your web page titles, and the image descriptions will advance your on-page SEO. To discover the keywords people use, you can use an online engine like the Google Ads Keyword Planner. This way, you can make sure that you know which keywords are more preferred by your potential visitors.
Well, if we liken the on-page SEO to dressing up, we can also compare the off-page SEO to meeting a new crowd of people through a popular friend.
Google perceives being linked through other websites as a seal of approval and gives your website a higher ranking. It is even more profitable for you if the website yours was linked to was a popular one. Imagine a friend of yours tweeting your website’s link compared to a news outlet like CNN mentioning your website. The one Google regards more valuable is the second one.
Having quality content on your website will make sure it gets recognized by other websites but there are a few more things you can do to enhance your off-page SEO. The author of Camp Tech became a guest publisher on other websites and made connections with important organizations, influencers, and bloggers for her own business’ digital marketing. Through these relationships, all the other websites linked back to Camp Tech.
The final and probably the easiest strategy for a more beneficial SEO is to make sure search engines know your location.
Users are shown the related companies that are near to them by Google. So, if you set up a Google My Business profile, you can approach the people in your proximity. A few images, working hours, your address, and your phone number are all that is required. It is totally free and it is simple as can be.
Chapter 4 – To succeed on social media, look for the platforms that match your business’ profile, and adhere to the procedures of engagement.
Study your favorite labels, your daily go-to products, and the ones in your nearby supermarket. It’s more than likely that they all have a presence on social media and if they don’t, they should! All businesses can and should profit from social media, no matter how big or small. But there is a technique to it.
Just like friend groups in a school, each social media website has its own quirks and social dynamics, and every kid tries to belong to the group they relate to the most. Similarly, you as a brand should also try to find the social media platform that your possible customers likely inhabit.
Facebook, being the largest one of them all, contacts every target group. Although it is more common to see older audiences on Facebook rather than teenagers or twenty-year-olds. Companies have a hard time being noticed since the platform mostly has content around family and friends. On the contrary, LinkedIn is a professional networking website and it is an excellent platform for finding other companies that may need the goods or services you provide.
While you can find younger people like generation X and older millennials on Twitter, you have to engage with them as much as possible. Millennials also turn to Youtube where you can find creative videos. The largest group of visitors of the image-based platform Instagram are women under 50 and Pinterest, where you can collect pictures for inspiration, also has mostly the same audience.
Test various social media sites to get to the perfect one for your business. If you don’t like them or if they do not fit the aims of your company, just deactivate the account and direct your attention somewhere else.
When you find the platforms that fit right for your business, the next step is to decide the content you are going to put out.
The author advises that almost 80 percent of your content should be social and engaging. The posts can include your workers, interactive live video chats, or any other related content made by your audience. The other 20 percent should emphasize your company. Which can be links that direct people to your website, customer stories, or competitions for the audience to join in. It is important to keep in mind that every platform has its own personality and “vibe” so the posts should be adjusted to fit the platform.
There are methods that can aid you while trying to keep up with both creating content and the requirements of each platform. Creating social media guidelines will make sure that the content and the tone of your company’s posts will be uniform and constant no matter who runs your accounts. You should also utilize a social media calendar to prepare content a week or so before the time you will post them. You can even plan the content to automatically get posted on its own with certain websites like Hootsuite.
Chapter 5 – Sufficient email marketing is putting together a value for your target and identifying when and how to engage them.
If you think about it, do you even know how many brand’s email subscription lists are you on? It is almost impossible to keep up with numbers since countless companies invite you to sign-up for their own. Though there is a valid reason behind the popularity of email marketing.
Even though email marketing is very cheap and does not need a lot of technical knowledge, it still lets companies give out any information that benefits them to their audiences. Whether this is news about goods or services they provide or insights into the industry or exclusive deals that attract customers.
Making an email marketing list is, again, very simple. Through invitations on social media, physical sign-up sheets that are given out on stores or events, or sign-up forms on a website, you can easily get many email addresses. Though to make sure you benefit as much as possible from your email marketing, the content you share must be engaging and hard to ignore.
The content on each email you send should have relevance to both your company and the person receiving it. Think about what message you can share that will be the most beneficial for your company goals while also being worthwhile for the readers. You should make sure of this before the process of building an email list so that people who sign up know what they are going to receive.
What kind of response would you like to get from the readers of your emails? Do you want them to buy your goods, click on your website or share the message you sent with other people? The content you send out should be formed in a way to entice the audience to conduct the wanted behavior. For instance, you can send them a special offer if you want them to buy a new product you are putting out.
Try out various strategies to fully understand what gets your readers’ attention the most. Not only should you organize the content you create according to this but also how you deliver the emails too.
You may interest some readers by your subject lines but you also have to plan the timing of the email to a tee. By trying out various options you will find out which one works best for you. Fortunately, there are some email marketing platforms like Mailchimp that give you the opportunity to run A/B tests. An A/B test is when you send two different emails that give the same message to see which one works.
To gain even more intuition on your email marketing tactics, link the platform you choose to your company website. This way, you will be able to understand whether the emails are directing more traffic to the website or not and what people do once they are on the website.
Chapter 6 – To succeed in online promotion, give the people things they may desire and test the platforms to find the right one for you.
Are you aware of how many advertisements you see each day? Maybe five? Or is it five hundred?
According to a New York Times article, that number is more than 5000 ads in a day if you are located in a city. And if we put in the online ads we see on all of our devices, it feels like we are encircled by promotion images and messages all the time.
Being distinct in such a congested space can be a terrifying concept for companies. But it is not impossible. Online advertising has similar essential principles to email marketing. Every advertisement you put up should have value for both your company goals and give something to the customers and urge them to do the thing you want them to do. If you know the exact aims of your advertisements and that they have a value to bring to your audience, the next step is to think about where to put the ads.
For small companies, there is more than one option when it comes to online advertising, and each option has its own benefits. Whenever you search for something on Google, do you realize the advertisements that come up? They appear when your search results come up and when you click on a website they also pop up over there. These advertisements are Google Ads, they are very efficient since they are purposefully relevant to the subjects people search for.
If you are on Facebook or Instagram, you probably saw some of the ads on Facebook. These ads give you the opportunity to nail down your audience by utilizing criteria like location, interests, and gender. A different alternative is to place one-off banner ads on other websites people use. To put a one-off banner on a website, all you have to do is to reach the website owner.
The way you are billed is the same no matter which platform you use to advertise, whether it is through Facebook, Google, or any other website. There are two options when it comes to payment, based on how many people viewed it or based on how many people clicked on it. The more clicks the ad gets and the bigger the number of people it has reached, the more expensive it becomes.
It is important to be mindful when it comes to online advertising since it can be a bit expensive. You should begin by paying little amounts on different platforms. Once you get what works for you, you can start putting more money in. You first test everything out then when you find the one you excel at, you put in the money, just like a casino.
Chapter 7 – Make sure that you follow the metrics that have substantial results for your company.
The subjects that were mentioned in the earlier chapters were ways to market a company in the digital world. The question is how will you measure the growth of your company when you create the website, send out emails, and post on social media?
By checking the numbers of course. You get the calculations that are relative to your online marketing activity on your own website or social media platforms like Facebook. Some of these metrics will be related to your company’s goals.
The author advises using the Google Analytics tool to analyze the performance of your website. Through the Google Analytics tool, you get to see the most visited sections of your website and learn more about the traffic like the size of your audience and the demographics. Additionally, you will learn the sources of the traffic your website receives, is it through a search engine, social media, or another website? Tracking the key actions that you choose, like when visitors purchase a product from the website or subscribe to your mailing list, is also possible through Google Analytics.
Reporting systems that are built-in social media platforms are also another source of information. Through these systems, you can see the number of people that your content reaches, do these people engage through comments or likes or do they click on the website links, etc.
You should follow and keep track of the metrics that are relevant to your company’s goals that you’ve set. If you want to sell more goods, you should check to see the number of people that complete purchases on your website. You can see if they came to your website from a social media page, a marketing email, or through an online ad. If you desire to get more publicity for your brand, you can check to see the number of the audience you’ve reached through your website or social media.
Though not all of the metrics will be online, you can get physical responses from people. The number of customers to your shop may increase, or you may receive more phone calls than usual. You should keep track of these, too.
You should check these metrics frequently, you may do it once a week for example, and put down the numbers to compare them to prior performance reports or other companies’ numbers. Understand what is benefiting you and what isn’t, and act accordingly. You will be forced to make adjustments and apply new marketing strategies once your company progresses and your goals start to change.
See You on the Internet: Building Your Small Business with Digital Marketing by Avery Swartz Book Review
The efforts you make towards your digital marketing should always derive from your companies’ goals and demands. Find what you want to achieve and pick the platforms and the metrics that are the best fit for your desires. No matter what type of platform you use, emails, ads, social media, or a business website, the content you share should be interesting and of value for the audience and it should urge them to engage with your company.
For a broader influence, establish connections.
Obtaining partnerships and getting in a community in your industry can make a huge difference when it comes to the growth of your digital audience. Make acquaintances with other company owners, rub elbows with bloggers that you share audiences with, but also be sure that you are not in immediate competition with them. Show up in their videos or podcasts, or write for their websites and make sure that they link to your website. Later, you can give them the same opportunities on your own website.