Understanding Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is just marketing with neat new toolbox. Almost every piece of small business marketing you did in the “good old days” has a cousin in the digital world.
And digital marketing, like any marketing, is about reach and conversion. We use marketing to reach more prospects in new and different ways. We use marketing to convert those prospects (to move them further along in the sales process).
Indeed, digital marketing has some neat tools, but what you should care about is that it amplifies both reach and conversion.
And it helps small businesses compete on a level field with much larger firms.
Read more: It's Not A Building...It's Better
It’s not a building…it’s better
Your website is the cornerstone of your small business marketing in the digital world. It’s a lot like a brick and mortar building, but with some nice advantages. In fact, we’re going to run with that example a bit.
If you have a location that does walk-in business, you know how important appearance is. You make sure the parking lot is clean, the building is well-maintained, all your signage is exactly right. Your website will demand the same care, which is another story entirely. Your building is the “face” of your business that prospects and customers see.
Your website is your “digital face”; and just as important. Think about it, your website is selling for you 24/7/365. Your building is probably sitting empty and locked for 12-14 hours a day. But every hour of every day, your website is there telling prospects about your business and your products and services. A small business website is an investment in both time and money, just as your building is. And it is just as important.
Read more: Direct Marketing Is Still Irritatingly Effective
Direct marketing is still irritatingly effective
Digital direct marketing (used mainly to refer to email marketing) does have its ugly side. We’ve all received unwelcome and, at times, inappropriate email advertising.
While the purchase of list data for direct marketing is every bit as expensive as it ever was, email marketing itself does not have the costs of printing and postage that are associated with direct mail. However, clumsily conducted email marketing can get you blocked by prospects and, in extreme cases, get your domain blacklisted with anti-spam sites.
You also need to be sure you’re on the right side of the law; a number of laws have been passed to combat spam.
Read more: Being Social With Customers Was Always Important
Being social with customers was always important
My father always used to stress relationships in business. He had file after file of business cards with personal information about his clients scrawled on the back. And he “knew” someone in just about every line of work that he’d dealt with before, trusted, and was completely loyal to.
But in today’s digital world, social media is far more than courtesy and glad-handing. If there was one aspect of digital marketing that is unlike anything before it, social media is that animal.
Social media amplifies your reach, gives you different ways to interact with the market, and introduces the concept of fans. Fans—people who support and recommend your brand, yet may not have ever done business with you—can really move your brand along in social media. And remember, popularity on social media adds to your website’s search ranking.
You want to reach and engage customers through social media. The more ways to touch and engage, the better.
Read more: Good Marketing Is Still Good Marketing
Good marketing is still good marketing
The basics of marketing have not changed. You still have to know the market: your customers and your competitors. You still have to have that crisp “elevator pitch” to tell prospects why they should do business with you. You still have to offer products and services that meet market needs.
But, in terms of your ability to reach prospects and convert them, you’ll find everything your business needs in digital marketing.