Beginners' Guide to Digital Marketing Strategies for Local Businesses
Every business has unique marketing requirements, but there are some fundamental tasks that are universally applicable in digital marketing efforts. This is a basic blueprint for digital marketing that can be utilized by budding enterprises and businesses aiming to integrate digital marketing into their total marketing strategy.
Three aspects should be considered while devising a digital marketing strategy:
Your campaign elements are low risk, with a low price tag and high success rate. You could establish a website, begin an SEO or PPC campaign, etc.
Your campaign elements are scalable, implying they can expand as you grow.
You can smoothly terminate any element of your campaign. This will ensure that you're not trapped in a long-term contract for a solution that isn't delivering results.
You can track the components of your campaign enabling you to compute your return on investment (ROI).
Your digital marketing plan should be cost-effective, flexible enough to evolve with your enterprise, facilitate monitoring performance and be easy to exit. Your marketing plan is crucial in ensuring your business thrives beyond its initial two years.
Low-Risk High ROI Digital Marketing Plan
A website is imperative. You might need to redesign an already existing website to make it mobile-friendly, more informative and up-to-date compared to competitor sites. Shopping around for designers is advisable. Consult their clients, inspect their portfolio and determine the best pricing structure. The pricing of website design varies significantly between firms. A higher price does not guarantee better quality. A straightforward 20-page website requiring minimal programming should cost under $3,000. The design firm must also be trustworthy as this forms a critical component of any digital marketing plan and must not fail.
Once you've selected your design firm, it's time to look for an SEO company. Many businesses wait until their website design is complete before engaging an SEO company. This is a blunder. Your SEO company will ensure your new site is SEO friendly. There are numerous ways to create a website that's not search engine friendly leading to wasted time and money. Design firms claiming to be experts in SEO should be avoided. You'll achieve better results if they prioritize SEO in their service list.
Exercise caution when selecting an SEO company as many are either malicious or incompetent. Only about one in ten SEO specialists are truly skilled. Speak with clients and examine search ranking examples. Be as thorough as possible; don't just rely on sales spiel. It's important to hire competence, and your diligence will pay off handsomely. Mastering SEO, a critical component of any digital marketing strategy, will likely yield the highest overall ROI of all the digital marketing components over time.
Next, consider setting up a PPC Campaign, preferably using Google AdWords. Running an AdWords campaign can be complicated but can drive substantial business while simultaneously draining your bank account if not well-tuned, which is why hiring a professional is recommended.
Your primary digital marketing components should be SEO and PPC which form two most critical parts of your plan; if they function well, your business will thrive.
Higher Risk Digital Marketing Tasks
After mastering search (organic and PPC), consider exploring other digital marketing options such as Social Media and ReTargeting along with Banner Advertising (Display ads) and Blogging.
Blogging/Content marketing - Blogs can help increase your website's footprint leading more people to find you while establishing yourself as an online authority through high quality blog content.
Social Media - Not many businesses truly succeed with social media campaigns despite the hype. Social media can be highly effective in certain scenarios but isn't universally applicable. Social Media can however, facilitate communication with your customers and bolster your online reputation via happy client referrals.
ReTargeting works best for larger companies with strong brands but may not be as effective for new or small businesses.
Display Advertising - CPM-based banner ads have historically underperformed. Maintaining a profitable campaign is unlikely, particularly for smaller businesses with new brands. Google AdWords is recommended instead as you pay per click rather than per impression.
These are key components of a well-rounded digital marketing strategy. While there are various other options, stick with tried and true technologies before venturing into newer territories.
If you don't yet have a company to assist you in starting a digital marketing business, consider reaching out to SharpNet Solutions.