In 2022, it’s almost impossible to build brand awareness without a strong digital marketing campaign. According to a Deloitte study, 35% of respondents made a purchase after receiving a digital ad via email and 24% bought a product after seeing that ad on social media. So, not advertising online would be an irresponsible choice for you and your business. I mean, you're online right now reading this article!
So, let's take a closer look at digital marketing and the ways in which you can set your business up for online marketing success.
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What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is the use of the internet to promote your business. Any advertising that can be found online is considered to be a form of digital marketing.
It’s that simple.
Digital marketing has set itself up as one of the most cost-effective ways to advertise your business. It’s easier to measure and track ROI through digital marketing than through other channels like TV and radio.
With over 41 million South Africans using the internet (67% of the population), it makes sense to build an online presence for your business and take advantage of being visible to millions of potential customers.
How to Market Your Business Online
In order to begin a digital marketing campaign, you must first have your own website. Potential customers need a place to go to once they are interested in what you have to offer. If customers see your advert online but then have to call or physically visit your premises for more info, you could lose many potential clients.
Remember, this is all part of building an online presence for your business. Having a website is the necessary foundation. Think of it as the digital storefront for your business where customers can walk through your digital doors and get to know you.
Check out this article on 5 Cheap Web Hosting Solutions to Get Your Business Online.
2. Target Your Audience
The key to digital marketing is knowing exactly who you are advertising to. Identify your target audience and create content that is directed at those specific groups.
The great thing about marketing online is that most platforms attract different generational groups—Gen X thrive on facebook, Millennials on Instagram and Gen Z on Tik Tok. Most platforms also have groups based on interests, geographical location, and other parameters.
This process of audience building online makes your job, as a marketer, so much easier. All you have to do is find the groups that match your target audience and pitch your amazing ideas directly to them.
Because the internet is infinitely vast, it is important to narrow in on what you want to achieve. Focus on niche topics and industries. Be specific about your intention and what you hope to gain from your marketing efforts.
There is so much going on online, that you can’t be everywhere or seen by everyone. Select the best avenues that align with your brand and target audience, and hit them hard.
3. Social Media
It’s safe to say that social media is now one of the biggest influences in our lives. Personally, I wake up and check my social media even before greeting my wife (let’s hope she doesn’t read this!).
The point is: For your business to be truly successful at advertising online, you must be active on social media.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are the best places to start. Create profiles for your business then share content on those profiles regularly. Platforms differ when it comes to what is the most effective way to publish content. So, research each platform individually to find out what works best and where. Just make sure that all the content you share is aligned with your brand.
You’ll also need to promote your page, products and services through adverts. Luckily, social media platforms make it affordable and easy to scale your advertising efforts.
Social Media is the easiest way to find your target audience. It is also a great way to have your own army of unpaid marketers: Anyone who likes your content will share it on their own pages, increasing the number of people who are exposed to your brand.
4. Try Blogging
A blog offers businesses an opportunity to educate their audience in more detail. If social media and paid advertising capture attention, a blog can nurture consideration by becoming a trusted resource for customers.
By answering their questions about your product or industry, sharing your expertise and providing entertaining content, you can build your readership and slowly move your website visitors from interested readers to loyal customers.
A blog is also essential for improving your SEO. By targeting keywords, you can drive traffic to your website. Focussing on writing articles on key topics in your niche will increase your organic ranking on Google and build your brand as the authority in your field over time.
5. Email Marketing
Email marketing is a massive channel that delivers the best ROI for digital marketers. In South Africa, the ROI for email marketing is a whopping 30:1!
This method of marketing is simple to use, cost-effective, and makes it easy to measure all important statistics such as delivery success rate, open rates, click through rate, conversion rate and much more.
Email marketing is still non-negotiable for a successful digital marketing strategy.
Start with building an email list from website visitors and social media followers. This will allow you to build your customer database. Then, segment your email list so that you can direct promotional content to specific target groups within your mailing list.
Choose a CMS platform to help you with this. Here are the 5 Best CMS Software Solutions for Online Businesses.
Create a newsletter to keep your customers informed with everything going on in your company. Make sure that the content of your newsletter is something that adds value to your customer. Your newsletter should feel like a break from your usual promotional content, building trust with your customer and increasing the likelihood of them making a purchase.
Aside from your newsletter, you can send information on product launches and any other related news. You can run competitions through your email list and offer discounts to loyal customers. The possibilities are almost endless.
6. Paid Adverts
Our last tip for you to consider when marketing your business online is investing in ads for your business. Paid ads double-down on advertising to your target market. It is a great way to ensure that your content is being seen by exactly who you want.
The great thing about paid online advertising is that compared to other mediums like TV and radio, it is actually quite affordable! Google and social media ads are scalable, enabling you to increase or decrease your efforts depending on your budget.
These social ads are highly targeted, enabling you to reach people with particular interests, age groups, locations and many more. Money spent on the people you want to spend it on, every cent stretched to its full potential.
Google ads, in particular, enable you to retarget website visitors, so you can follow them throughout the buyer's journey until they are ready to make a purchase.
Digital Marketing is for Everyone
Marketing your business online is the best way to connect with potential customers. A strong online presence with an updated website, active social media pages, informative blog, paid adverts and ongoing email marketing efforts will increase the chances of engaging with your target market.
If you work smart enough and use the free resources available to you, your digital marketing campaign could cost you little whilst yielding great revenue for your business.
Don't be shy to spend a little on online advertising. Chances are, what you spend will be far less than the benefits you reap.
The web is a big, scary, beautiful place. Find what works for you and your business and keep plugging away at that winning recipe.
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