Today, our online experience is so much more than checking emails. Currently, we use the internet to communicate with family and friends. We also engage in online shopping, church services, and classes. Furthermore, entertainment is one of the popular functions of the internet today. We literally live our daily lives online.
In today’s digital world, there is no such thing as “offline” anymore. That means if you don’t have an effective online strategy, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.
Digital opportunities are increasing. And the online experience is evolving. Owing to content creators, businesses, and app developers who keep finding innovative ways to help us shop, learn, and connect.
So whether you are looking to start a business, expand an existing one, or work for one, having an effective online presence is critical. The same goes for you even when you run a personal blog or work in a (religious, political, governmental, or non-governmental) organization.
What is Digital Marketing
Customers may form favorable, unfavorable, or conflicting opinions of your brand after interacting with it online. To give your customers a fantastic online brand experience, you must use digital marketing (online marketing). The use of the internet to promote your brand is known as digital marketing, according to Digital Marketing: Its Components.
You can provide a fantastic online experience for your audience by having a solid understanding of digital marketing concepts and how to evaluate their effectiveness. Your organization’s or business’s online performance will be enhanced by digital marketing.
Online advertising, business directories, social media marketing, mobile apps, and search engine optimization are some of the elements of digital marketing.
Here’s how you can make digital marketing work for you:
Create a Brand Identity
Your brand includes your logo. It is also a set of values, beliefs, and principles that guide everything you do as a business owner. If you want people to trust you, then you need to show them that you care about what matters to them.
Customers may visit your website, interact with you on social media, read an email from you, or use your mobile app. Each of these points of connection with your brand gives them information about it. How you behave and interact on the internet should be in line with your brand.
Online Business Directories
An online business directory is a website that contains a list of businesses and organizations. And you can search for them based on their niche, location, or both.
The listings present information about each business’s name, physical address, contact information, social media, and website links, and the services and products offered.
The article, Business Directories: Their Benefits for Your Business, explains the advantages of listing your business in a business directory website that will provide for your business or organization.
If you are doing business in Ghana or you are a foreign business seeking to attract Ghanaian customers, I will recommend you list your business here on Ghana Yellow Pages. Click here to do so.
Content marketing is a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not vividly promote a brand but is purposed to generate interest in its products or services.
In my opinion, digital marketing is content marketing plus direct selling on the internet. Whereby content marketing is the indirect approach. As a business or organization, you can either tell your audience to patronize your services or products directly. Or you can provide them with content that will hopefully create this desire. You cannot do one without the other. You have to do both.
The activities of content marketing are developing and distributing content. And each includes the various elements of digital marketing. It is best to see your digital marketing system as a content marketing machine.
Initially, having a website for your company was a way to demonstrate your legitimacy. That is not the same for today, though.
A website is now created as a component of an online marketing plan. That will support customer engagement with your brand and nudge them toward specific website actions.
These website actions can include purchasing your goods, joining your organization or contributing financially to it, booking a reservation, signing up for a course, downloading an ebook, watching particular videos, or getting in touch with your company.
Achieving these goals begins with increasing traffic to your website. If people do not come to your website, they will not be able to perform these actions there. However, you cannot drive traffic to your website unless you have content. Content that gives them enough reason to do what you want them to do on your website.
To improve your audience’s online experience on your website, however, consider the following in addition to your content:
- A fast-loading website,
- An easy to navigate website,
- A mobile-friendly website,
- The use of chatbots,
- Product recommendations,
- Quality but compressed images,
- A search button,
- Beautiful web pages,
- Reviews & testimonials,
- Easy buying and payment options,
- Personalized options, and
- Delivery/shipping options
Search engine optimization (SEO)
When your website is done, search engines must index it. It is one of the sources from which you can get free website traffic.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing the quantity and quality of website traffic coming from search engines to your entire website or a portion of it.
Your content should be optimized for search engines. This includes your blog posts, product descriptions, web pages, social media posts, videos, etc. Have you noticed that these days, along with results from websites, posts from YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter appear when you search for something on Google? You should use SEO for your content because of this.
For instance, search engines like Google and Bing visit websites using bots. Websites are listed in an index after information about them is gathered. Imagine the index as a huge library where a librarian can bring up a specific book (or web page) to help you find it at the moment you are searching for it.
The order in which the pages should appear in the search results for a particular query is then determined by Google and Bing’s algorithms. That is after they have examined the index of web pages. Web pages that are more related to the customer’s search are therefore displayed higher on the search results page.
Relevant keywords should be used in titles, meta descriptions, headings and subheadings, page URLs, and the actual content itself as part of an SEO strategy.
Search engine marketing (SEM)
Search engine marketing is using paid advertisements that show up on search engine results pages (SERP) to market a business. You can indeed pay for your content to show up in search engine results.
With SEO, traffic cannot be purchased. However, SEM gives you the choice to purchase search engine traffic. They are the outcomes for search queries that typically come before organic results.
SEM may take the form of brief, text-based advertisements. Product listing ads (PLAs), also referred to as Shopping ads, are also included.
The terms PPC (Pay-Per-Click) and CPC (Cost-Per-Click) are also used to refer to this advertising method (cost per click). Google Ads is a good example. When the advertisement appears on the search results page, you are not charged. Only when the searcher clicks on your advertisement do you get charged.
Advertisers place bids on keywords in order to get the highly sought-after paid ad spots at the top of the SERP. The words people type into Google’s search bar are known as keywords.
The top position goes to the auction winner.
The biggest advantage of search engine marketing is that it gives businesses the chance to display their ads in front of potential customers who are looking for their goods and services just as they are about to make a purchase.
You can distribute your content using emails in addition to search engines. Email marketing is the practice of using email to advertise the information, goods, and services offered by your business or organization.
One of the most successful digital marketing channels is email. It converts well across a variety of industries.
Obviously, you need an email list before you can launch an email marketing campaign. Real and active emails should be on your email list. Additionally, the individuals on your list ought to be those who are enthusiastic about what you have to offer. Furthermore, a large list is ideal.
Here is what you can do to build an email list
- Place a pop-up on your homepage.
- Include a sign-up form in the footer or navigation of your website.
- You can gather email addresses in-person at an event or at your physical store.
- Your social media pages can have a signup button added.
- Add a newsletter subscription option during checkout
- Run advertising campaigns to encourage email signups
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is another aspect of digital marketing. Social media marketing (SMM) is the practice of promoting your business through social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, and Instagram.
To promote your company or organization, you create content for all of the widely used social media platforms.
The connection and customer information that social media offers can be used to change consumer behavior. Social media is a great way for your company or organization to meet people. Your chances of utilizing social media apps to further your company’s or organization’s objectives are increased when such friendships are mutually beneficial.
Social media marketing demands a flexible strategy with quantifiable objectives. The social media strategy you employ cannot be the same from year to year.
Nevertheless, the following are constant:
- Keeping up with and optimizing your profiles.
- Posting images, videos, stories, and live videos that showcase your brand and draw in the right audience
- Responding to reactions to your posts such as comments, shares, and likes.
- Creating a community around your brand by following and interacting with followers, clients, and influencers.
- Using social media advertising to promote your brand
Lastly, focus on customer service. If you’re looking to build a successful business, then customer service should be at the top of your list. Besides, you cannot be a business without customers. And when it comes to building a loyal following, nothing beats good old-fashioned customer service. The same applies to digital marketing.