It seems like a lifetime ago, but if you wanted tell your customers you were opening a new business, you taped a “Grand Opening” banner in your store window, you listed yourself in the yellowpages, and if you were really ambitious, you took out an ad in the local newspaper!
Well, that approach alone isn’t the most effective strategy anymore. Your “Grand Opening” banner is limited to only reach potential customers who physically pass by your store.
Readership for the yellow pages are dropping every year. So that has been less and less effective.
Instead, there is a new reality. Your potential customers are looking digitally for what you sell. In their web browsers and social media feeds.
So What Now?
The rise of this new digital reality requires a substantial shift in your marketing strategy. An effective use of digital marketing will help you not only get your customers attention, but could also give you more insight into their buying habits.
From understanding customer behaviour and demographics to customer reach and engagement, digital marketing can increase your market intelligence as well as improve your top line.
Integrating digital and traditional forms of marketing can be very powerful for your businesses. But, this only works if you understand the tools available to you.
Let’s walk through two of the most successful forms of digital marketing: Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing. Added bonus? They don’t necessarily require a large marketing budget!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Alright, let’s start here: SEO. SEO is a process of acquiring customers from search engines when those customers are searching for your products or services.
When potential buyers are searching for your product or service on a search engine, it is important for your business to appear as near the top of the search results as possible. Why, you might ask?
60% of clicks go to the top three websites in a given search engine result!
Ouch. The lower your business ranks in the search result, the lower your chances of being seen by your potential customers.
Conversely, if you’re in the top 3, you will get the bulk of the traffic. What an opportunity!
This makes it important for your business to invest in SEO. Surveys have shown that as much as 93% of all traffic come from search engines. Translation: customers are primarily using search engines to find the products and services they consume.
I wish I could tell you that, with a simple wave of the SEO wand, your search engine ranking will spike. Unfortunately, that’s not really the case. It’s a gradual process. It is a long-term investment. It requires you consistently work to optimize your website to meet search engine algorithm guidelines. And that dedication will increase your rank.
This includes optimizing your website’s technical aspects by implementing on-page optimization. This serves two purposes. First, your content becomes more focused, and more understandable to the search engines that you are providing topic specific informatoin. Second, it gives clear and helpful advice to your customers about your topic.
SEO also entails off-page optimization activities. These activities get your website listed or mentioned by others who have credibility with your customers. This serves as a vote of confidence for the search engines that your website is legitimate and worthy of a higher rank in their results.
SEO has evolved significantly over the years and search engines have become smarter to the tricks and ploys that many marketers have used to game the system. It is important that your business website abides by the guidelines provided by the search engines. It will increase organic traffic in the long-run.
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
The other form of digital marketing I want to discuss here is Social Media Marketing (SMM).
To give you an idea of size, as of 2016, there were 2.7 billion global social media users!
If you wondered where your customers are, this is it! Sorta.
Targeting the right audience at the right time is the critical and difficult part. The sometimes the problematic part is knowing how to leverage the various social media platforms to be able to get great results.
When done right, SMM can drive traffic to your website quickly. Yes, it is faster than SEO. A well executed campaign can bring you a lot of fans and customers.
Sharing your message on social media is very easy. The various platforms have made posting videos, images and articles and even audio messages simple. But this simplicity makes it easy to make mistakes.
You need a smart strategy to effectively attract leads and drive that traffic to your site to convert them to customes.
Many businesses have failed to take advantage of the potential rewards stemming from SMM because they misjudged which social platform to target their potential customers or they failed to understand how their customers use the platform.
So, it’s important to understand which social media platforms you customers use. And then, study how to approach them in a meaningful way on that platform.
SEO And SMM Complement Each Other
Here’s the beauty of a well thought out digital marketing strategy, by improving your SMM campaigns, your SEO rankings will also see improvements. So a well executed strategy will provide some amazing results.
An effective SEO strategy helps your customers find you when they are searching for help in your niche. Conversely, SMM helps you to reach your customers when they are not actively searching for anything related to your niche.
We here at Summation X really want to help you get amazing results in your digital marketing efforts. Contact us for a free consultation and let us help you craft a winning, digital marketing strategy!