Business executives understand having a well-crafted business strategy and clear goals for one’s business is critical. Your overall business objectives and strategy will effect every part of your organization and form the basis of your marketing strategy. If you have not already done so, work with a B2B copywriter to plot your strategy that your business uses today and of course articulate your goals. Here are the five steps to getting started with digital marketing:
Setting your goals
Don’t charge in, digital guns blazing, without first figuring out what you want to achieve. Why are you wanting to step up your digital marketing? Is it to: Generate more leads? Boost sales? Improve brand recognition? Increase the number of website visitors? Or something else? While many of these goals may seem similar, identifying the specific things you want to do will help you to refine your approach.
Identifying the right channels
There are a number of different channels you can use to market your business online, and the right ones will depend on your goals.
- SEO and content
SEO doesn’t end with your website service and product pages – there’s a lot more you
can do to improve your search visibility and traffic. Utilising your blog gives you the
opportunity to target keywords that may not be appropriate elsewhere on your site, such as longer, query-based search terms (i.e. “which is the best…”, “how do I choose…”), or more general terms related to your industry. Casting a wider keyword net in this way gives your site more chances to be seen. The content, meanwhile, can go a long way to establishing you as an industry voice and raising your profile, as well as generating leads through helping your site’s visitors solve problems and make decisions.
PPC stands for pay-per-click advertising, a style of ads that are hosted on search results pages and websites for free, with the advertiser only paying when they are clicked on by a user. PPC ads often work on a bid-based system, with the advertiser willing to pay the
highest cost per click receiving the most prominent positioning. The leading provider of PPC advertising is Google AdWords. AdWords allows advertisers to place ads in Google search results pages – often right at the top – with custom wording, giving a great deal of control over how they’re presented. Users can also specify the keywords the ads will appear for, as well as targeting by location, and even time of day. This makes AdWords very effective at targeting certain kinds of users at certain times to generate sales and leads.
- Social media
Social media is becoming an essential tool for reaching out and engaging with audiences. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are all powerful tools for finding new audiences and promoting your services. Marketers are, to an extent, at the mercy of content algorithms – highlighting the importance of a website, and other channels, where you can control what is seen, and by who – but many social platforms also offer PPC advertising of their own.
Understanding your competitors
With so many businesses competing for space online, competitor research is an essential part of digital marketing. By understanding what your competitors are doing, you can identify opportunities where they’re missing out, and where your budget can be spent most effectively. There are a number of tools available online to support with this – Mangools’ SERP Checker, for example, allows you to see how well certain websites (whether yours or your competitors) rank for certain search terms, while Screaming Frog allows you to more closely analyse the content of your competitors’ websites. On social, meanwhile, Facebook Insights can help you build a picture of your competitors’ audiences – who they are, when they’re online, and what they’re interested in.
Measuring your activity
Marketing is an investment, so you’ll need to continuously monitor your performance as you go to ensure you’re actually getting a return on that investment. Digital marketers need to be able to adapt, changing course when things are going wrong, and replicating things that have been effective. Again, there are plenty of tools available to help you do this, such as HubSpot and Google Analytics, which help you identify where your users are coming from, what they’re doing while they’re on your site, and which content or features they are engaging with the most.
Taking things further
Following on from the points above, a marketer’s work is never quite done – taking the results of your performance analysis and improving upon them is essential for continuing to grow and see a return on investment, and an improvement in sales or lead generation conversions. Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is the name given to this process. It might involve A/B tests of different page or ad versions to identify the most effective type, or heatmap tracking of website users to see the areas of your site they’re drawn to. Also, once you’ve begun to gather information from users visiting your site, you can begin to run email campaigns, directly reaching out to potential customers that have shown their interest with content and messaging tailored to pique their interest. From there, there are any number of directions you can go, with plenty of opportunities for creative campaigns and content