How Digital Marketing Can Grow your Business
If you own a small business or have a side gig that you work on, you probably want to grow your sales. This can be done through many different marketing channels. However, no channel offers flexibility, convenience, and control as much as digital marketing. You have budgets, spend, and conversions, and more all at your fingertips. This allows for continuous optimization and improvements with the goal of lowering your costs and increasing your sales.
Digital marketing is a more recent development as the internet has evolved. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Google have allowed marketers easy access to billions are users at any time of day. Previously, this kind of accessibility would be impossible.
Businesses have many different goals, and digital marketing offers the flexibility of all of them. An e-commerce store may want to increase sales, a B2B business might want to collect leads, or a blog might want to increase traffic. Digital marketing allows you to customize your conversions to optimize for whatever your goal may be.
What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing is not one thing. It is a wide concept that sprawls from email marketing to pay per click advertising. Your marketing strategy should include various forms of digital marketing finding which channels work best for your business. We’ll cover some of these channels below!
Many small businesses can use email marketing to boost their bottom line. You can provide actionable content for your recipients to drive engagement. The ROI for email marketing can be as high as 122%! Email marketing can be one of the most cost-effective ways to boost your bottom line.
How to use email marketing for your business
Email marketing might seem pretty simple, and for the most part, it is. However, there are some things you should consider before blasting off your email to hundreds of recipients.
Gain subscribers to your email list
The first piece of email marketing is gaining subscribers to your list. After all, if you have no subscribers, you won’t be emailing anyone! It’s important to tell your subscribers what they are signing up for when subscribing to your list and not spam them with content that is irrelevant to them. This will help to maintain strong open rates and low unsubscribe rates garnering better performance and a stronger ROI.
Define your email’s goal
Every email you send should have a goal. It could be to get recipients to purchase a product, or ask them to follow you on social media. The goal doesn’t necessarily matter, but you should always have a goal for your emails. This will give you something to benchmark against later!
Define who you send your email to
Once you’ve determined the goal of your emails, you need to decide who it will go to. One of the biggest mistakes markets make is thinking the more the better. When it comes to sending emails, you should always try to narrow your audience to the people who would be most interested in your email. For example, one thing many e-commerce stores will do is ask your gender. If you provide that data, you’ll notice the emails you get are tailored to that gender. After all, if you’re a guy, you probably aren’t interested in the latest yoga pants for women.
Personalization goes hand in hand with defining your email’s target audience. The goal of personalization is to make the email’s content specific to each individual person. You can do this in numerous ways. You could add his or her name to the subject line. You could include content in the email such as recently viewed items. No matter how you go about personalizing your emails, it’s always beneficial.
Design and Optimize
Designing your email is much more simple using today’s tools. Email service providers (ESPs) have made it much easier to customize the look and feel of marketing emails thanks to the use of graphical interfaces. You no longer need to know how to code to design emails (but it does help in some cases!).
Once you’ve nailed down your designs and sent out a few emails, it’s time to start optimizing. Did you have a low open rate? Try using a different subject line in your next email. Did you have a low click rate? Maybe it’s time to refresh some of your content.
Optimizing your emails is a never-ending process. You should always search for new improvements to help your email marketing perform better.
Be on the lookout for spam
Your email subscriber list should be treated like a baby. It needs to be nurtured and cared for as it grows. Sending out a “spammy” email is the worst thing you can do. You’ll run the risk of high unsubscribe rates and find your precious list dwindling quickly. Always be sure to check your email to ensure it isn’t spammy before sending it!
Marketing automation can seem daunting to many business owners. Many people’s first thought of marketing automation is “pricy and expensive”. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Companies have introduced affordable, scalable options to help business owners incorporate marketing automation into their overall marketing strategy.
What can marketing automation do?
What can’t marketing automation do is the better question. Sending emails, tracking page visits, sending Slack messages, or even sending someone a text message are all capabilities of marketing automation.
Whenever you purchase an item online, you’re likely to receive an email immediately with your purchase details and possibly shipment tracking info. This is commonly completed through marketing automation software.
Each marketing automation tool offers different capabilities. Be sure to know what you’re getting before signing up ensuring that your business needs are met.
Marketing Automation Tips & Strategy
Abandoned cart emails, lead generation follow-ups, and new user nurture campaigns are some of the most common marketing automation campaigns.
Here is an example of a lead nurturing automation from AutoPilot. You’ll notice how they nurture their potential customers sending them various emails and then adding them to a list if they click an email to follow up with at a later time.
The complexity of your marketing automation does not need to be extreme to reap the benefits. Even the smallest automations can have large impacts on your business.
Best Marketing Automation Tools
Below we’ve listed some of our favorite marketing automation tools you can try out for yourself!
Each of them have their own capabilities so we recommend trying a few of them out to see which ones work best for you.
Pay Per Click Ads
Every time you search a term on Google, you might notice that oftentimes the first few results are advertisements. Marketers can pay to put their listing at the top of search engines to drive traffic to their website. This is done through pay per click (PPC) advertising.
PPC advertising is a great way to promote any business big or small. It offers great flexibility and control over your spend, target audience, and more.
There are many different PPC platforms. Facebook, Google, Snapchat, Twitter, and many more offer their own advertising platform where you can create and manage your advertisements, budgets, and audiences.
Depending on your target audience, some may be better than others. For example, if my target audience was female teenagers, Instagram might be my best bet. But if I’m looking to target women ages 40-60, Facebook might be worth a try.
Testing is the name of the game when it comes to PPC advertising. You should try testing different platforms, different ad formats (hint: video ads are the most popular right now), and different ad copy to lower your cost per click (CPC).
The days of spending thousands of dollars on un-targeted television and direct mail campaigns are getting closer and closer to coming to an end. While these campaigns are useful for brand awareness, they do not offer advanced targeting that PPC allows. In PPC advertising, platforms allow for a wide range of targeting. Some of the most common are:
- Website behavior
For example, if your company sells sportswear, you could target men aged 18-24, that have an interest in sports. This kind of targeting can help to maximize your sales and spend your marketing dollars more efficiently.
Recently, this kind of advanced targeting has come under pressure from political forces and regulators. They believe that companies can use this to their advantage to promote controversial products such as e-cigarettes, alcohol, and more.
As platforms continue to collect data and regulations evolve, it will be interesting to see what kind of advanced targeting marketers will be capable of in the future.
Before you start running your PPC campaigns, you’ll probably want to know how you will track their performance. You can do this in many different ways and companies model PPC attribution differently. Some companies will even go as far as creating attribution models that allocate a certain percentage of revenues to the first, second, and third touch-points and then analyze the cost of each touchpoint. If you’re a small company, this might not be necessary when getting started.
To attribute your PPC ads, there are a few different things you could do:
- Create different landing pages for different sources
- Use marketing automation tools to track UTMs
- Use hidden form fields to track sources
Each of these methods will allow you to track what revenue or leads came from which campaign. This will allow you to analyze which campaigns are performing the best and eliminate underperforming campaigns.
When you think of digital marketing, you’ll probably think of Facebook, Google, other social media platforms, and maybe even email marketing. But that’s not all it is. Your company website is also a piece of digital marketing. Optimizing it to maximize sales or generate more leads should be a part of your marketing strategy.
There are man tools that can help you with this. Heat map tools such as HotJar or CrazyEgg record visitor data and output a heat map of your website showing where uses move their mouse and click. You can use this data to find underperforming content and refresh it with something more valuable.
Website Speed and Performance
On average, 22.2% of users will leave your website if it doesn’t load within 5 seconds. With that in mind, it’s important to design and develop your website so that it is quick to load. There are many website performance plugins to help with this. Also, you can use caching to speed up page loading times for returning users.
52.2% of all website traffic worldwide comes from mobile phones. Is your website optimized for them? If your website is not mobile-friendly, you could be missing out on potential sales or leads.
Other Website Optimizations Tips & Strategies
Some of the most common pain-points for website users are forms or checkout processes. It’s always a good idea to analyze and test different forms or checkout processes to make sure you aren’t missing out on potential customers. Below are some common mistakes when it comes to these areas:
- Too many form fields – try eliminating some of the less useful fields to make your form less overwhelming
- Too long of a checkout process – eliminate unnecessary steps to speed up the checkout process
- Asking for too much personal data – people are protective of their personal data. If it isn’t required, remove it.
Search engine optimization is an afterthought for many small businesses, but it could set you apart from others. Whenever we go to find something on the internet, almost 90% of us go to Google. Content is then displayed based on the search query that Google thinks is most relevant to you.
So how is what’s displaying on Google determined? Well, there isn’t one answer to this question. Google uses a complex algorithm to determine what content will be useful to you. It uses hundreds of data points to determine what it should show.
So how do you optimize for SEO? Luckily for us, there are common indicators of what pieces perform better than others. For example, a page that contains no H1 tags is less likely to be on the first page of Google compared to a page with a variety of well organized, related content.
Technical SEO Advice
At their core, search engines value high-quality content. How it determines what is high quality is up to us to figure out. Typically, well organized, longer posts will outperform shorter pieces. It’s crucial to use headings tags in your posts to indicate key elements that Google can index.
Other SEO Tips
- Include the keyword you are optimizing to in the page title
- Make sure your grammar is in check
- Keep your posts greater than 800 words if possible
- Use pictures and graphics to help keep readers attention
- Gather backlinks to your post
- Promote your posts on social media
- Post on a regular schedule
- Be sure your website speed is optimized
- Use image ALT tags
By optimizing for SEO you can increase the traffic to your website and ultimately increase your bottom line.
Let’s talk data
Every time you log on to your social media accounts, they collect data about you. What you’re doing, how much time you spend on social media, and more. The amount of data is endless. Platforms are then able to monetize this data to improve marketers’ ability to target their target market. It’s a win-win for both marketers and the platforms.
Marketers are willing to pay more to reach their exact persona at the right time and in the right place. And platforms are happy to display their ads in exchange for money.
Let’s talk privacy
Those cookies we mentioned earlier. Your customers need to be aware that you are tracking them. In Europe, the recent GDPR laws have made it illegal to track customers without letting them know that you are doing so with fines adding up for each customer that you track.
Digital marketing can have profound impacts on any business. It is scalable, targeted, and flexible, allowing you as a marketer to have more control of their campaigns. Digital marketing can be applied to almost any campaign whether it’s through an email or a social media advertisement. By continuously optimizing your campaigns, you can maximize your returns to help grow your business.
Need help with your digital marketing? McCall Media Solutions has all of your marketing needs. From web design to social media management, contact them now!