Simple Steps to Begin Your Digital Marketing Journey
Every business has distinct marketing needs. However, there are some fundamental actions that can be applied to all digital marketing endeavors. Here's a basic guideline for start-ups and businesses planning to integrate digital marketing into their overall strategy.
Three factors should be considered when formulating a digital marketing strategy:
Your campaign elements should be low-risk, meaning they are cost-effective and have a high success rate. This could include building a website or starting an SEO or PPC campaign.
The campaign elements should be scalable, growing alongside your business.
Any element of your campaign can be easily terminated, ensuring you aren't locked into long-term commitments that might not work out.
You should have the ability to track your campaign components, which will allow you to calculate your return on investment (ROI).
A cost-effective digital marketing plan that's flexible enough to grow with your business and allows for performance tracking is crucial for business success beyond the two-year mark.
Low risk, high ROI digital marketing plan
Your journey starts with creating or redesigning a website. It needs to be mobile-friendly, rich in resources and on par with your competitors in terms of aesthetics. The prices charged by design companies vary greatly; higher charges don’t necessarily guarantee better websites. A 20-page basic website that does not require heavy programming should cost less than $3,000. Also ensure the design company you choose is reliable as this is an essential part of any digital marketing plan.
Once you've chosen the design company, it's time to find an SEO company. Many businesses wait until their website is complete before they start looking for an SEO company. This is a misstep. The SEO company should ensure your new website is SEO-friendly. Choosing a design company that claims to be an SEO expert should be avoided, as it's better to have a company that prioritizes SEO in their list of services.
Be cautious when choosing an SEO company, as many are either harmful or incompetent. Only about one in ten SEO professionals are genuinely skilled. You need to be diligent during your search, talking to clients and evaluating examples of search ranking success. Get as technical as you can; it’s not enough for them to simply make a sales pitch – you need competency.
Next, consider setting up a PPC Campaign, preferably using Google AdWords. A well-run Google AdWords campaign can generate significant business for your company while managing growth.
SEO and PPC should form the core of your digital marketing strategy; if they work well, your business will thrive.
Higher Risk Digital Marketing Tasks
Once you've mastered search (organic, PPC), you can explore other digital marketing options such as Social Media, ReTargeting, Banner Advertising (Display ads), and Blogging. These all have the potential to yield favorable results if done right.
Blogging/Content marketing - Blogs can increase your website's visibility online. High-quality content will attract more visitors and establish your authority online.
Social Media - Not many companies have successful social media campaigns despite the buzz around it. In some cases, it could prove useful but not always practical for every situation. When used effectively though, social media allows customers to communicate with you directly and helps in building an online reputation via satisfied clients referring others to your business.
ReTargeting works best for large companies with established brands but might not be effective for smaller or newer businesses where PPC might offer a higher ROI.
Display Advertising - Historically, CPM-based banner ads have performed poorly. While they might work better for large businesses, it's not the best starting point for a new brand. Google AdWords is recommended if you're interested in display advertising as it allows you to pay per click rather than per impression and also enables you to track your campaign and follow its ROI.
These are the essential components of a digital marketing strategy. It's recommended to master these before moving on to other options. Once these are mastered, you'll have a better understanding of what works and what doesn't for your business.
If you're yet to start a digital marketing business, SharpNet Solutions is available to assist you in getting started.