The great thing about digital marketing is that it offers many opportunities to grow your business. However, with so many digital channels available, it may be challenging to figure out what will work best for your small or medium-sized business.
But being active online is essential for any brand as customers turn to the internet to research, browse and purchase. In 2021, retail e-commerce sales reached $4.9 trillion worldwide and this figure is projected to nearly double by 2025 to $7.4 trillion according to Statista.
In this blog, we will look at simple and actionable ways to use four key digital channels to drive awareness, leads and revenue. So, let’s get started!
Content marketing is a great way to make people aware of your business and drive engagement. There are lots of types of content, so it’s about choosing what will work with your audience and what time you have.
- Blogs are really effective in not only educating an audience but driving them to your website. You don’t have to invest in 2,000-word articles either, try listicles or how-to blogs that will guide and inform. Here are some tools and templates to help you create successful blog posts.
- Ebooks can drive leads as you can offer them as free downloadables for people in exchange for their personal information. This allows you to add them to your email list and nurture them.
- Videos are one of the most effective and popular content types out there. Wyzowl’s ‘The State of Video Marketing 2021’ found that 86% of marketers use video as a marketing tool. You can create a range of videos from how-to or tutorials to product reveals to interviews and there is a range of great tools out there now to help you without hiring a professional.
- Webinars or podcasts may seem more time-consuming but these are great traffic and lead generators. Tap into the niche interests of your personas to offer something of value that they are willing to sign up for and spend time watching or listening to.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
For many smaller businesses and time-strapped marketing teams, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can seem like a lot of work. However, it’s a tactic that pays off and can get your brand and content seen by the right people.
To get started with SEO you should concentrate on two things: keywords and content. After all, it’s going to be pretty hard to get found on Google if you’re not ranking for keywords that are specific to your business or product/service.
Luckily there are some great free SEO research tools out there to help you identify low-hanging fruit keywords that can change your ranking and web traffic quicker than you would expect. Check out the ‘5 Steps to Keyword Research’ infographic to get guidance.
Once you have identified keywords, integrate them into your content. Not only your website but also blog posts, social media posts and landing pages. This will drive traffic and target the right audience.
Social media is everywhere and its influence keeps growing particularly with influencers in the mix. However, the great thing about social media is that you do not need a big budget to make an impact.
What you do need is to know your audience and concentrate on the channels that will make a difference to your business.
For example, Facebook is one of the biggest social channels in terms of active users, so it may be worth having a presence there. In comparison, TikTok is focused on video content for a younger audience and may not suit your business. Be selective about where you post and tailor your content to that channel.
Have a look at this social media comparison chart below from Wordstream to get an idea of the pros and cons of various social networks.
There’s also the option of social media paid advertising. You can set your budget by day or campaign to keep costs down and the structure of the advertising means you can be highly targeted with your ads. Optimization is also easy as you can also tweak and change content if your ad is not working.
Email marketing is a powerful way for businesses to grow their customer base. As people have provided their personal information willingly, they are more likely to engage and click.
With email, you can also group or segment your lists to ensure they are getting content that is relevant and has some degree of personalization. There are a few different types of email you should consider:
- Welcome – This is sent once a person signs up to your database. It doesn’t require action but is a way to drive brand awareness and engagement.
- Discount/offer – You can offer exclusive access to products or special ‘member’ offers to drive traffic and revenue.
- Promotion – Give your email lists a sneak peek of a product launch or raise awareness of a new development e.g. a new app or redesigned website
- Survey/feedback – This looks to engage with your customer base to get testimonials or reviews and to create brand advocates.
- Re-engagement – If you have inactive or lapsed people on your list, reach out to see if you can pique their interest again.
Here’s an example from start-up Graza, a new entry to the olive oil market in the U.S. This email aims to entice their email list to purchase the product again with a refill. It is clean, colorful and simple with two clear call-to-actions.
All of these types of emails should serve to raise awareness, drive traffic and leads or boost revenue.
There are many tools to help you set up your email database including Mailchimp and HubSpot.
As you can see there are simple and affordable ways to use digital marketing techniques and channels to grow your business.
It’s about looking at your business and seeing what channels you currently use that could be optimized or exploring new ones you may not have tried yet.
Grow your business online with digital marketing
The best way to grow your business is to understand what opportunities you can make online using digital marketing techniques and strategies. AMA teamed up with the Digital Marketing Institute to expand our Professional Certified Marketer program. Earning their Professional Certificate in Digital Marketing also earns you PCM certification. This certification will introduce you to digital marketing and cover key areas such as SEO, display and video advertising, PPC, social media marketing, digital strategy and much more.