Mastering Digital Marketing for Local Sellers
Each enterprise's marketing necessities differ, yet some fundamental tasks can be implemented across all digital marketing endeavors. Here we present an elementary guide to digital marketing that can be utilized by budding businesses and establishments keen on integrating digital marketing into their comprehensive marketing strategy.
When devising a digital marketing strategy, three factors should be contemplated:
The components of your campaign should present a low-risk. This comprises a low cost and high success rate. You could establish a website, commence an SEO or PPC campaign, etc.
The components of your campaign should be scalable, implying they can evolve alongside you.
It should be straightforward to terminate any component of your campaign. This will safeguard against getting stuck in a long-term contract for a solution that isn't effective.
You need the ability to track the components of your campaign, enabling you to determine your return on investment (ROI).
Your digital marketing plan ought to be cost-effective, sufficiently flexible to grow with your enterprise, facilitate performance tracking and allow easy termination. A well-structured marketing plan is pivotal for ensuring the success of your business beyond two years.
Low risk, high ROI digital marketing plan
A website is crucial. An existing website might require redesigning to enhance mobile compatibility, resourcefulness and bring it on par with competitor websites. It's advisable to explore different designer options before settling on one. Make sure to engage with their clientele, assess their portfolio and ascertain economical pricing. Website design costs widely vary across firms and higher prices don't necessarily translate into better websites. For a simple 20-page website requiring minimal programming, costs ideally shouldn't exceed $3,000. Also, ensure the design company is reliable as this forms an integral part of any digital marketing plan and can't afford to fail.
Once the design company has been selected, the next logical step is to find an SEO company. Waiting until the website design is complete before commencing your search for an SEO company is a mistake. The role of your SEO company is to ensure that your new website is SEO-friendly. You might end up creating a website not compatible with search engines which would be a waste of time and resources. It's best to steer clear of website design companies claiming to be SEO experts. You can achieve better results if they prioritize SEO amongst their listed services.
Exercise caution when choosing an SEO company as many are either malevolent or incompetent. Approximately one in ten SEO professionals are truly skilled so it's essential to be thorough in your search process. Ask for client references and search ranking examples. Be as technical as you can get, beyond just sales pitches, you need competence on board. Your diligence will reap substantial dividends as mastering SEO is key to any digital marketing strategy and offers the highest overall ROI amongst all digital marketing components.
Subsequently, contemplate running a PPC Campaign preferably using Google AdWords which while having the potential for generating substantial business can also significantly drain your finances. Running a well-tuned AdWords campaign can be complex hence we recommend hiring a professional. PPC serves two purposes: (1) it drives immediate business, and (2) it allows you to manage growth while waiting for SEO efforts to kick in.
Your primary digital marketing components should be SEO and PPC which form the backbone of any effective digital marketing plan ensuring its success if executed well.
Higher Risk Digital Marketing Tasks
After mastering organic search via SEO and PPC campaigns you might consider venturing into other digital marketing avenues. These comprise Social Media, ReTargeting, Banner Advertising (Display ads), and Blogging. All these areas have the potential to generate profit.
Blogging/Content marketing - Blogs have the ability to expand the footprint of your website by attracting more visitors. High-quality blogs can also help you establish authority online. Ideally, blogs authored by business owners or key employees generate more interest among the audience. If outsourcing blog content, ensure it adds value for your visitors and maintains a high quality.
Social Media - Very few companies execute successful social media campaigns despite its hype. Social media can be extremely effective in certain situations but is not universally applicable. For instance, if a pipe bursts in your basement flooding it with water, chances are you won't be following a plumber on Twitter but would instead search Google for one using SEO or PPC not social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook. However, social media does offer advantages like facilitating communication with customers and promoting online reputation through satisfied clients' referrals. For a low-end campaign, we recommend either hiring a high-end social media agency or managing it in-house with regular activity (minimum two posts per month).
ReTargeting works best for complex sales cycles and larger companies with established brands but might not yield the same results for new or small businesses where PPC might deliver higher ROI.
Display Advertising - Historically banner ads based on CPM have performed poorly making it challenging to maintain a profitable campaign particularly for small businesses with new brands. If keen on display advertising we recommend Google AdWords where you pay per click as opposed to per impression coupled with tracking capabilities allowing performance monitoring against ROI.
These constitute the core components of an effective digital marketing strategy while there are several other options available we recommend adhering to tried and tested technologies first and then branching out into newer areas once you've mastered the basics.
SharpNet Solutions can assist you in starting a digital marketing enterprise if you don't have one yet.