Getting Started in Digital Marketing for Your Business

Small businesses are realizing how important it is to invest in digital marketing as more and more people are using their computers and mobile phones to search for answers or compare products and services. To get started in the digital marketing for your business, you want to think about the goal you want to achieve from digital efforts.

  • Grow the brand
  • Drive leads and sales
  • Improve customer retention
  • Turn customers into advocates

If you want it all, then take a moment to rank them from most important to least so you can focus on one goal at a time.

Growing the Brand

To grow you brand is to spread awareness of your company’s existence and what problems you solve. Having a website, social media accounts, and a verified Google My Business page will be your core essentials. First on your website,  make sure you have a Google Analytics tracking script installed so you can see how many people are visiting your website and from where. Then start a blog and post regularly about topics that your customers would find helpful. For your social media accounts, focus on 1-2 platforms that you’d likely find your customers using more. A Google My Business page is free, and only takes a few minutes to register (you may have to wait a few days if you choose to verify by mail). If you have some extra money set aside, investing in some digital ads will help boost the speed to hit your brand awareness goals.

Checklist: Website, Social Media Account(s), Google My Business page, Google Analytics, Paid Ads (optional)

Metrics to Track: Followers, Shares, Website Page Traffic

Driving Leads and Sales

Once your audience has a hint of who you are and what you do, the next step is to turn those people into paying customers. On your website, you will want to implement a form where you can capture a person’s email address as identification. The form can be a simple “subscribe for updates” or “sign-up for 10% off your next order” type of deal. Once you’ve captured their email you can send them newsletters about new products, valuable tips (from your blog), or on going promotions that would encourage them to interact with your website or make a purchase.

Checklist: Website form, Email Service Provider, Checkout Method, CRM (optional)

Metrics to Track: Website Clicks, Email Sign-Ups, Purchases

Improving Customer Retention

You’ve made some sales (woo), but that’s not the end of the journey for a customer’s lifecycle. Take the time to send out an email to ask what your customers to review the product or service they have purchased  online in exchange for a free gift or exclusive discount code. The positive reviews you acquire will build trust for potential customers and give you insight on how your customers feel about your brand. For any negative reviews, remember to respond ASAP and address their concern. This will show that it’s important for you to resolve any unhappy customers, and will likely help your brand. It’s important to never delete a negative review, as that can lead to poor brand reputation down the road.

Checklist: Platform to acquire reviews (Facebook Business Page, Yelp, Google My Business)

Metrics to Track: Review Count

Turning Customers into Advocates

With a happy base of customers, it’s an optimal opportunity to encourage their engage with your company on social media. You can send out an email to a specific list of customers about a competition to submit their photo with your product for a chance to win $100 (some value) gift card. Instruct them to post it on social media and mention your company in the post. If you have a small group of happy customers,  sending them a hand-written cards with a one-time coupon (big discount) for them and a friend will encourage them to spread the word of your business.

Checklist: Giveaway item, Promotional Offer, Hand-Written Cards (optional)

Metrics to Track: Social Comments, Likes, @Mentions, Promo Claims

The Possibilities of Digital Marketing

At the end of the day, these are digital marketing strategies that will set a foundational base for your to learn more about your customer’s struggles, interests, and how you can be solution to their problem(s). You may learn that your customers are only using a specific social media platform, and you will spend more effort into creating engaging posts there instead of trying to improve results on email. It’s really okay to fail not see any results when you first implement a strategy. You learn, make some adjustments, and focus on achieving your goal.

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