Starting and running your own business is difficult. There are many moving parts and demands to keep tabs on, and with a New Year comes new business practices and impending digital marketing trends. For those about to launch their new business endeavours, developing an actionable marketing plan is critical to success.
Developing an effective and successful digital marketing plan, however, can be more challenging than first expected. Marketing trends are fluid and constantly changing. When crafting a digital marketing strategy, you need to keep your eyes wide open and you and your team knowledgeable of what’s ‘in’ and what’s ‘out.’ By not having a strategy in place, your business will only produce poor results.
Set Objectives and Understand Your Demographic
Like any business endeavour, you need to set reasonable objectives for your business to aspire to; without them, you’ll be in the dark about your business, with employees also unable to know what it is you’re expecting from them. Sit down and discuss a plan for your first year, and then expand it to three years then five and so on. When your business is up and running, you’ll want to keep reviewing your objectives and alter them accordingly.
Before you can create a digital marketing plan, you need to first understand your demographic. How can you cater to your customers if you do not know who they are? After all, your digital marketing plan should be attracting those who are interested in your business and whatever it is you’re selling. Once you know who you’re marketing for, you can start converting them into customers.
Segment your customers using behaviour, age, sex, geography, skills and interests. You can create a fictional profile of who you should be targeting, and then use this profile and apply it to real people who can convert into sales and revenue.
Build an Effective Website
You should consider your website one of your biggest marketing tools, one that is full of potential, and when coupled with other marketing tools, the hub of your marketing system. Build an effective website, and it’ll help towards your SEO, social media and reputation in general. When creating a website, it should have the following:
- Aesthetically Pleasing: The design of your website should be based on your demographic. If you’re, for example, targeting teenage girls, then your website’s design should represent this. However, a minimalistic design in general is more widely accepted than not, so keep this in mind.
- Make it Responsive: As the years go by, we’re becoming more impatient and want instant results. No one wants to wait around for a web page to load, and unless someone is desperate for your services or goods, they will only click off from your website and find a faster alternative.
- Improve Your Photos: Having professional photographs will improve your site’s authority. In 2017, stock photos were in decline, and this is only going to heighten in the 2018.
- Focus on SEO: 2017 waved goodbye to keyword stuffing, ‘spammy’ adverts and unoriginal content, and said hello to SEO that would benefit customers rather than corporations.
Create a Successful SEO Strategy
Keywords are at the heart of SEO, and so you’ll want to select the right ones. Compile a list of keywords associated with your product or services, and plug these keywords into Google’s Keyword Tool for the best phrases to place on your website and focus on.
Once you’ve found the keywords most specific to your business, you’ll want to place them on your website in a natural and organic fashion. When it comes to website ranking in Google and other respective search engines, you should have web pages tailored to specific keywords. For instance, if you’re selling sports equipment, you should segment your products and have relevant keywords for each product page.
Other ways to improve your SEO is by setting up a company blog. Here, you can include keywords in blog posts, while also becoming an authoritative voice in your industry. You should also create an off-site SEO strategy, and have a link-building plan in place.
Utilise Social Media
A large portion of younger (and older) generations are glued to social media and have many profiles of their own, ranging from Facebook to Instagram, to even Pinterest and YouTube. For businesses, this can be a blessing, as it shortens the gap between you and your customers. Set up social media profiles and communicate to your demographic. Promote yourself, but also show that you’re more than a corporation after their custom. If you’re looking for the best ways to use social media and which platform is the most successful, click here.
Digital marketing is wholly effective and can certainly drive successes. However, it is also an ever-changing field, and one you need to remain knowledgeable of if you’re wanting to stay on top. Stay current on SEO news and practices, and your business will have a fighting chance against your competitors.
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