DIY: Build a Successful Digital Marketing Strategy
These days, just about anyone can sell just about anything online. But a few hurdles stand in the way. How does one find the right customers? And how does one get their product in front of that perfect customer? Digital marketing is an essential skill when it comes to successful online sales. Sellers will find a much better sales success rate when using certain online marketing tools effectively. Search Engine Optimization (SEO), excellent content, Adwords and social media are the basis of a good marketing plan. And in the age of “DIY,” here’s our guide to jump into the world of online marketing.
What is Marketing?
Marketing is defined by the American Marketing Association as
the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.
In simpler terms, marketing is used to create, keep and satisfy the customer.
The first goal in marketing is to capture the attention of a target market. Next, to facilitate the customer’s purchasing decision. Then, to provide the customer with a specific, low-risk and easy action. Lastly, to retain that customer for future purchases.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the online visibility of a website in a web search engine’s “organic” results. In general, the earlier and more frequently a website appears in a list of search results, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. These visitors can then be converted into customers.
SEO is a completely free tool. However, it requires some skills in utilizing the right content and understanding algorithms. It can be incredibly useful to hire an agency to assist with digital marketing when it comes to SEO.
Guess what Google’s main source of income is? You guessed it. A good chunk of Google’s multi-billion dollar revenue in 2016 came from its proprietary advertising service, Google AdWords. Advertisers pay to display product copy, listings, picture and video content within the Google ad network. The system is based partly on cookies and partly on keywords determined by advertisers. Google then places this advertising copy on pages where they think it might be relevant. Advertisers pay per click when users divert from their browsing to visit the advertiser’s link. Partner websites also receive a portion of the generated income (AdSense). When used strategically, this can drive in new (and lasting) customers.
Content and Conversation
Creating sale-driving content is not as easy as it may seem. It is not enough to just write a story about the brand, history and variety of products. Great content must be much more specific. It should be a transparent conversation between the seller and the buyer about the product. Eighteen Knowledge Group (EKG) is a successful content marketing strategist. We understand the online markets and which platforms work best to distribute content to potential consumers. Content needs to be clear, stimulating, and current. There are always new stories to tell and products to describe. This also relates back to increased SEO and web traffic. Furthermore, daily updates of content on algorithm-driven social media daily also helps to capture and retain customers. This is also a crucial skill in an email marketing campaign.
Social Media and Apps
Directly related to great content is great social media presence. According to Deloitte, Americans collectively check their smartphones upwards of 8 billion times per day. Sellers should use that opportunity to get in front of prospective and returning customers with a stellar presence on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. This is an excellent opportunity to connect with the customer and hold a collaborative conversation. Even Apps are changing in a way to benefit both the seller and the customers. Have you tried out Wayfair’s augmented reality app yet? Just last week, Google announced a new interactive education program for Universal App campaigns (UAC). The program teaches the seller to reach users and grow their app business at scale. In the ever-shifting marketing of mobile apps, this is the first Google course of its kind. This could help sellers use Google’s machine-learning technology to find the customers that matter most. The course was created by Google marketing professionals and tested and approved by the product team that built UAC at Google.
Online marketing doesn’t have to be a big headache. In fact, it could actually be a lot of fun. The most important aspect of it all seems to be the on-going conversation with customers. Start with defining a plan for your marketing, working with the principals listed above. Make sure your content is clear, stays updated, and is engaging and easy (to find) for the customers. And don’t forget, there are always people out there to help you take your first strides in the world of online marketing.