Getting the word out about your business is essential: there’s no better way to win new customers, attract (and recruit) top talent, and build a brand so that when people think of the relevant product or service—whether that’s IT repairs, engineering consulting, or something as mundane as cookies—they think of your business, and what it can do for them.
Of course, marketing your business used to be a lot more straightforward before the digital revolution came along, sweeping aside traditional advertising methods—think billboards and radio spots—and replacing them with a whole new marketing environment. In this new digital world, you’re able to connect directly to your target audience, offering them an individualised introduction to your business. So, how best to get started? Follow the five steps below.
Create a content marketing strategy
Content marketing is a form of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote your brand but is intended to stimulate interest in your products or services. It can also be used to help potential (and existing) customers develop a positive association with your brand because they see your company as a reliable source of useful information.
One example of a company that excels at content marketing is Domain, the online real estate service. Alongside their listings, Domain provides articles on topics as wide-ranging as ‘how to prepare for a house inspection’ and ‘what to ask when you’re buying your first home’. These articles don’t aim to sell Domain, but they do cultivate an interest in real estate, which is, of course, to Domain’s advantage.
To create a content strategy of your own, consider what information might be both useful to your target audience and relevant to your brand. You can then determine the best format (blog posts or videos?), develop a content publication schedule, and get started.
Take advantage of digital advertising
Digital advertising spans everything from banner ads to sponsored videos on YouTube and Facebook. With digital advertising, you can benefit from the power of platforms like Google, YouTube, Twitter, TripAdvisor, and more. Importantly, these platforms allow you to target highly specific demographics. So, for example, if you’re promoting products designed to help people run a self-managed super fund, you can choose to advertise them exclusively to people above the age of 50 with an interest in finance.
Digital advertising is relatively straightforward, but there are a range of options that reflect both the number of digital platforms and the variety of ways in which digital media can be presented, from text advertisements to videos. Each platform will have its own advertising guidelines (for example, Facebook and Google), so it’s best to do some research before developing a strategy based on where digital advertising can do the most for your business.
Establish a social media strategy
Research by the London School of Economics has established that active social media users account for 2.89 billion people. Not only does social media represent an enormous captive audience, but many social media services, such as Facebook, allow you to target specific demographics with great specificity.
In other words, establishing a social media strategy is an important way to reach a large number of people to promote your products or services, offer support, and build the image of your brand. To help you get started, the Australian Government has published a social media template and guide, as well as articles on how to conduct social media analysis and how to create a social media budget.
Make the most of every email
Staying in touch with your customers and prospects via email? Don’t waste a word. Emails are a great way to build and maintain a relationship with your customers. For tips on how to write and schedule effective emails, see the Victorian Government’s email marketing guide here.
Measure your results and continually improve
Once your digital marketing strategy is in place, it’s important to measure its effectiveness and use the results to continually optimize your approach. Metrics worth paying attention to range from site visits to mobile engagement rates. You’ll find a comprehensive list here.
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