Even today, there are those new businesses and entrepreneurs that consider the“blogosphere” an unknown entity. But the writing is on the wall, and according to Social Media Today all stats point to blogging as the driving force of online marketing. In fact, those businesses with an eye for the prime demo of 21-35-year-olds should know that some 53% of bloggers are in this age group.
That makes for a large sphere of online influence. On the marketing end, the data is just as ironclad,with 67% of B2B marketers using blogs to increase their leads. All these stats serveto buttress one point: blogging today is integral to small businesses and large.
Those on the smaller end — startups and their ilk — are likely still finding their footing when it comes to that perfect marketing strategy. Now that it’s established just how crucial blogging is in today’s world of commerce, the next step is implementing it properly in an overall plan of attack.
To this end, here are a few things every small business owner should know about blogging.
Be in it to win it
Blogging for business is not hobby, and therefore it can’t be treated as such. Google,that most giant of search engines, won’t waste precious algorithm time on a blog with less then 50 posts.
And even after hitting that number, the page rank will still likely be low for some time. That’s why business owners need to commit for the long haul. That means publishing at least two posts a week – preferably more.
Hire out (when necessary)
Those starting a muffler shop or small health food store, for example, may rightly feel some apprehension about undertaking a task that doesn’t fit in their wheelhouse. That’s okay. Those who don’t have the stomach for clacking away on the keyboard for hours a day can enlist content writing services from outside.
There are plenty of pro guest bloggers and SEO firms out there who will be happy to compose professional blog posts tailored to a specific audience, for a fee. Again,those who are apprehensive about shelling out this extra cash should remember this particular stat: 77% of all Internet users read blogs.
Publish first at home
Social media is great, and it is inexorably linked to blogging and business. However,social sites serve a specific purpose and should never be the launching pad for content. The goal should always be for business owners and marketers to first publish at home, on the business’ website, with a goal to getting folks to share it across social platforms.
Be personable and useful
Especially useful. Blogging is not the appropriate medium for the hard sell. This is a brave new marketing world, and in this realm folks want their content to be of some use in their daily lives.
The aforementioned health food store, for example,can publish blogs detailing low-calorie recipes that readers can prepare quickly at home. And if these blogs can offer a personal touch, such as writing in the voice of an employee or even the owner, then all the better.
The above four tips should provide a decent roadmap to those business owners new to blogging on how to cultivate success in that world. Above all else, diligence is the most important thing. Setting a regular, weekly blog schedule and adhering to it is paramount. Only then will the blogging strategy pay dividends.
You might be one of those people who assume that online marketing is as simple as running a website. However, the truth is that there are a lot of aspects that go into digital marketing, such as search engine optimization (SEO) and social media marketing. Each of them is useful in their own ways.
When done right, digital marketing can take your business to a whole new level. It can help you reach out to your customers more and build longer-lasting relationships as well.
With this in mind, it’s crucial to make a digital marketing strategy that works and helps you grow your business. Since websites differ from one another, it’s essential to look at the key elements of digital marketing and utilize them in developing your own marketing strategy.
But before you can do that, you have to learn what digital marketing is all about as well as its key elements.
Definition Of Digital Marketing
Digital marketing has to do with creating promotional content that are then delivered through digital or online platforms. Marketing strategies involving the internet and devices used for web access are examples of digital marketing.
Here are seven components you’ll commonly encounter when you decide to turn to online marketing for your business:
1) Search Engine Optimization
One of the crucial elements of digital marketing is SEO. It’s a type of marketing based on using keywords to optimize one’s online visibility. When your website content is optimized, you’ll rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Most consumers start their online journey by visiting a search engine. When your website is optimized, users are more likely to see your website if it’s on the first page of the search results and therefore click on it. That means higher website traffic and visibility for you.
There are many approaches you can take when it comes to SEO. One of which is hiring a digital agency to help you with your SEO needs. Of course, you can also choose to try the following techniques on your own:
On-Page SEO: This is used for website content that contains keywords. Those with a bigger search volume may make your website stand out more on SERPs. Thus, it’s often recommended to go for the most searched and reliable keywords for your niche when creating content.
Off-Page SEO: This involves components outside your website that can influence your ranking as well. Examples of those are backlinks, which are links you find on another website. When users of that website click on a backlink, they’ll be directed to your blog posts, website, or other types of content. In order to rank higher using backlinks, you should utilize those from reputable sites. This means you should be linked to a high-authority or trusted website. That way, search engine crawlers will view your site or page as credible, and your chances of being ranked higher on search engines increase.
Technical SEO: This has something to do with a website’s coding. The loading speed of websites is heightened when your website utilizes well-structured data along with optimized image compression. If your website has a higher loading speed, then you may rank higher on SERPs.
Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC): PPC is a type of advertising that charges you a certain fee depending on how many clicks your ad receives. One of the most used platforms used for PPC is Google AdWords.
PPC And SEO: The results you get can be even better if you combine PPC and SEO. This is because PPC puts your ad at the top of SERPs, so you’re more likely to receive traffic. Most often, people clicking on a PPC ad are already interested in the product or service mentioned in the ad and may even be ready to pay for it. Also, if you have a compelling PPC ad, potential customers are more likely to on it.
2) Web Design
Another element of digital marketing you must be familiar with is web design. No digital marketing is complete without this because all leads will be directed to your website. Your website is one of the first sources of information about your business that potential customers will encounter. It is a crucial part of your marketing strategy. That’s why you should have a website that leaves a positive impression on everyone who sees it.
Your visitors will be more likely to leave your website if it isn’t appealing or if it takes too long to load. To keep them interested, try using designs that are related to your brand. Plus, make sure that your website makes it easy for anyone to find the information they need.
Take note of user experience as well. You might want to simplify your navigation system as this makes browsing a website a more pleasant experience. Likewise, it ensures that your website will load quickly.
3) Content Marketing
Another vital element of digital marketing is content marketing. Blogging, together with other forms of textual content, has become more popular lately.
Establishing a blog for your business will help you increase customer engagement. It’s now considered one of the go-to means of getting information and updates on a wide range of matters, coming second to online news outlets.
You need to make your blog posts informative and relevant. That way, not only are you helping your potential clients, but you’re also engaging with them. You can even use your blog to build credibility. Show your readers that you know what you’re talking about so they’ll trust your services or products, too.
4) Mobile Marketing
Since most consumers use mobile phones, mobile marketing is one of the elements of digital marketing. With mobile marketing, you can make your interaction with customers more direct.
When they receive a text message from you, they’re more likely to read and reply to it. This cuts down the time it takes for them to respond since they probably already have their phone with them when you send them promotional SMS. As a result, it’s now easier for brands to connect with their customers.
5) Social Media Marketing
The digital world is continually growing as more and more people are getting on the internet every day. Social media, in particular, has become incredibly popular among people of all ages. That’s why social media marketing is another crucial element of digital marketing.
Many businesses use social media to better engage with potential and existing customers worldwide. It would be wise for you to do so as well. With social media, you can release content specifically for your target audience. You have the freedom to decide how many posts you create per day or what your posting schedule will be.
However, you must first identify the demographics of your audience. Doing so will allow you to choose the type of content that aligns with your customers’ needs. This also helps you get the most bang for your buck.
Probably the most important part of this strategy is making sure that your audience remains engaged. You have to give them reason to be on the lookout for your posts. If you stop releasing anything for a long time, then your customers might lose interest in your business altogether, so keep those posts coming.
Moreover, you can keep up with your competitors with social media marketing. You’ll be able to see what they’re currently posting on their social media accounts. In addition, you’ll have an idea of what content on social media is most likely to be shared or discussed.
It’s always a good idea to check new trends in social media marketing. If you’re aware of what’s happening around you, then it’s easier to adapt to any changes in the industry. Doing so will also help ensure that your brand remains relevant for a long period.
6) Personalized Email Marketing
Many visitors are reluctant to make a purchase the first time they visit your website. That’s why you have to utilize other digital marketing strategies apart from having a landing page. This is where email marketing comes in handy.
Email marketing includes sending messages to customers through email. However, this doesn’t mean you can send the same thing to everyone on your email list. Doing this might make your customers think you’re spamming them as they may not be able to relate with the content of your email. That’s why it’s best to personalize your emails before sending them out.
Moreover, automating your emails will make the task easier for you. You can use email templates for this, but see to it that your message is written well.
If you’re just starting your email marketing campaign, it’s a good idea to send a welcome email to let your customers get to know you more. This makes for a great ice breaker and is an excellent way to establish a good relationship with potential customers. As you continue along with it, you can use software that’s particularly designed for email marketing.
7) Reputation Management
Most importantly, you need to take the element of reputation management into account when dealing with digital marketing. Reputation management or reputation marketing is a way of promoting your existing image.
You can do this by highlighting positive customer feedback you’ve received or letting your customers state their opinions via customer-generated content.
To ensure that your brand maintains a positive reputation, you must be proactive in your review response and monitoring. This means you must analyze what your customers are saying about you online. Most companies even hire a professional to do this. Once you know what people like and don’t like about your business, you can generate a proper solution if the situation calls for it.
Reputation marketing is also connected to search engine optimization and social media campaigns. This is because SEO enhances the visibility of your brand in single searches. Thus, enhancing your brand reputation will attract more leads when they find positive information about you.
Importance Of Reputation Marketing
The most crucial part of online reputation management is the reviews your customers are giving you. A new customer’s decision to buy from you is highly influenced by your previous customers’ testimonials. More consumers would be more convinced to purchase something if the brand’s reviews are mostly positive. Regardless if potential customers are offline, they can still get information about you from people who’ve tried your products or services.
Because of that, maintaining a good reputation online is important. You must take advantage of the ‘free advertisement people are giving you with their positive reviews. In this day and age, more brands are starting to value customers’ reviews like gold. Positive feedback serves as the building block of your online business.
Quick Links :
8) Web Analytics And Effectiveness
Lastly, you need web analytics to determine if your digital marketing campaign is effective. Web analytics involves the collection and analysis of gathered data to get a comprehensive view of web usage. Web usage is, in turn, used to optimize websites. Google Analytics is probably the most used platform when it comes to measuring website traffic and activity.
It’s important to note the difference between marketing analytics and web analytics. When talking about web analytics, specific metrics for your website are used. These can include but are not limited to page load times, page views per visit, and time spent per page. On the other hand, marketing analytics is limited to converted leads, sales funnel, traffic, and leads acquired. However, both types are essential when making sound decisions about web standing and presence.
Deciding what to do with your digital marketing campaign without analytics is like walking down a street blindfolded—you wouldn’t know which direction to take in order to get to your destination. Analytics acts as a map that guides your marketing decisions and helps you get the results you want.
Utilizing online digital marketing enables you to connect with a bigger audience in a cost-effective and quantifiable manner. Compared to traditional marketing, you can maintain better relationships and increase customer satisfaction while saving money in the process.
However, if you use all the elements of digital marketing without proper consideration, you may not be doing your business any good. You should find out which ones are appropriate for your brand and target audience. You can do this by gathering the right data, such as the demographics of your customers, and analyzing them. Once you know who you’re catering to and how best to reach them, you can decide which aspects of digital marketing may work best for you.
David Blanch is a digital marketing specialist. He is highly knowledgeable in content marketing and search engine optimization. David has been sought as guest speaker for webinars and also shares his expertise through blogging. He loves sports, watching action movies, and woodworking during his free time.