So, you have an incredible product or service, and now you just need to find your customers.
The problem is, your limited knowledge of digital marketing has you feeling bewildered, unsure of just how to wade through the intense competition online.
While you’re confident that you know the difference between SEO and SEM, and have some semblance of how to market yourself on social media, you can’t figure out how to put it altogether.
The big picture eludes you: Just how do you grow a brand? How can you use digital content marketing effectively to turn your ideas into a successful business?
While it may be tempting to simply give up, the reality is that the world is undergoing a digital transformation.
And here’s the thing: There’s no guarantee that we’ll all make it to the other side.
According to Forbes, 84% of companies fail at digital transformation. Choosing to stand still amidst the rapidly evolving landscape will be critical, inevitably leading to demise as digital Darwinism wipes out the companies who can’t keep up.
By focusing on the specific avenues in this article, you can utilize the best practices of digital marketing today to ensure your brand doesn’t get left behind.
In fact, it can do much better – it can thrive.
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to digital marketing in 2018, with the most effective tools and techniques varying dependent on a number of factors, such as:
However, we shouldn’t get discouraged. While just 9% of small businesses believe their digital marketing strategy is working, industry guru, Neil Patel, believes this demonstrates the massive potential for improvement.
“You need to observe the digital landscape intently and adapt to fulfill your audience demands.”
Here are the seven areas that have proven to deliver a high return on investment (ROI) for companies in the digital age. Focus your digital marketing efforts here to grow your brand sooner:
Assuming we’re all past the point of wondering “what does SEO stand for?”, let’s consider what search engine optimization really means in 2018.
For starters, SEO best practices comprise more than just keywords.
Google is getting smarter, with recent algorithm changes putting greater emphasis on searcher intent. What that means is content needs to be written for people, serving up valuable answers to the problems they want to solve.
Keywords are still important, and so we should always look to conduct solid keyword research prior to creating content.
However, keyword stuffing is never a good idea. Just include your keyword in the following places:
A perfectly-optimized page will help content rise in organic searches, but ultimately, we should focus more on building great content, going in-depth to create long-form articles that gives the most accurate and valuable information on your topic.
Today, a business without a blog is a business missing out on huge opportunities.
Hubspot research shows that 84% of business bloggers claim their blog contributes to strong results, with studies indicating that, on average, a company with a business blog gets over 400% more indexed pages in search engines, which leads to 55% more traffic.
Blogging allows companies the chance to tell their brand story and provide their followers with valuable, relevant content. This helps to foster trust, which is a fundamental aspect of building a loyal customer base.
Through regular blogging, companies can establish a position of authority within their niche, becoming recognized as a thought leader in the industry. Achieving that will make it much easier to turn site visitors into paying customers.
Connecting with your customer is crucial to conversion rates. After all, what good is it to have a product if you can’t find customers to buy it?
When it comes to reaching your target audience, social media marketing wields immense power, with customers spending up to 40% more on the companies who engage them through social platforms.
There are many to choose from, with visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest becoming ever-more popular. Pinterest now drives more referral traffic than Facebook, with 90% of online shoppers using it in their decision-making process before buying.
Although social media is integral to brand building in the digital age, it comes with a major caveat, it takes a LOT of time.
As a result, a solid strategy is essential.
The key to building a brand through social media is to remain consistent, adhering to a well-defined strategy that considers optimal posting times, frequency and style, depending on which platform it is.
Which brings us to the next point…
When you want to grow your brand on multiple platforms, it can be massively time-consuming and somewhat confusing to juggle several.
Popular options like Hootsuite and Buffer provide digital marketers with a one-stop-shop, where they can tee up all their posts for the major social platforms in one place, saving time and stress.
There is a plethora to choose from, with some scheduling tools catering to the needs of specific platforms. To maximize the potential of Pinterest, Tailwind provides a user-friendly interface that allows marketers to schedule a month’s worth of pins within minutes.
With these tools, it is easy to amplify our social media marketing to reach a wider audience and deliver consistent content on a much larger scale.
When it comes to ecommerce, making online sales is significantly easier when we have direct access to the inbox of our target audience.
Recent studies indicate that email is 40x as powerful as social media for customer acquisition, and also delivers a whopping $38 ROI for every $1 spend.
With over 80% of the world’s internet users now owning a smartphone, more people expect email on the go. The millennial generation have been the biggest adopters, paving the way for a strong future in email marketing.
It’s true what they say: “The gold is in your list.”
Businesses who tap into this potential will be able to bypass the noise of social media, communicating directly with leads and customers. Email allows for a more conversational tone, where brands can forge a personal connection with customers.
The rise of artificial intelligence has made it even easier to segment customers, making personalization more refined. 74% of marketers believe personalization increases customer engagement, so that’s great news for businesses.
Social media posts with video get a vastly superior engagement rate, generating up to 1200% more shares than texts and images. It’s little wonder that more brands are turning to video, with current projections expecting video content to account for 80% of all online consumer traffic by 2019.
The rivalry between Snapchat and Instagram Stories has popularized short video clips, with the latter soaring north of 300 million daily users. This provides digital marketers with huge opportunity for brand marketing.
Cosmetics giant, L’Oréal, have harnessed this power to great effect, by reaching out to beauty bloggers to help promote their brand. With the advocacy of brand influencers, they have forged stronger connections with their consumers, changing the face of marketing in the beauty industry.
Video content offers an opportunity for digital brand storytelling, capturing the attention of audiences unlike any other form of content. Those who ignore video will surely be left behind.
As industries become heavily populated, competition is getting tougher, making it harder to stand out. Organic reach may be the preferred route, but there is a strong case to be made for paid advertising.
Social media platforms have already begun the switch, with many businesses now exploiting the vast potential in advertising.
Businesses can use Google Adwords to optimize their marketing campaigns, allowing marketers to test and track their strategies, adjusting to get a better ROI.
While organic search is cheaper, there is no doubt that paid advertising can reap rewards in 2018. Google controls almost 80% of the market, making Adwords less of an option now if we’re serious about growing our brand.
The world is going mobile, and the internet is evolving to cater to the demands of the people. Google have laid out the best practices for mobile-first indexing, first discussing the changes in 2016, as they recognized the need to give preference to mobile search.
The switch to mobile is already underway. Companies need to make sure their websites and related content are prepared, as failing to optimize for mobile can prove very costly. If a page takes more than 5 seconds to load, the bounce rate can soar to a devastating 90%.
Digital marketing is a craft that must be continuously honed and fine-tuned. Companies must create content that is optimized for mobile and search engines, but ultimately tailored to the needs and interests of their target audience.
With a strong brand voice on social media and consistent presence, companies can build traffic and followers. Once nurtured through email communication and paid advertising, companies can foster trust and loyalty in their brand. In the end, this will allow them to flourish.