One of the ways Internet changed the world of business was by allowing businesses of any size to market their products and services more effectively. You could have buckets of money to throw at your online marketing and sales efforts. You might be facing the financial problems many small-business owners face and be able to put together only a shoestring budget. It doesn’t matter — with some creativity and hard work, you can use the digital world to grow your business.
The one problem small business owners might face is where to start, and what to focus on. There’s just so many things that can be done online. There are fewer things that can be actually beneficial to a business, but there are still lots of them. To help you focus your efforts on the activities that will bring you the most reward, here are three tips you should consider when delving into the world of digital marketing and sales.
Work on Your Visibility
You might have heard the phrase “if you build it, they will come” tossed around in the business setting before. With digital marketing, one of the worst things you can do is think that just because you built a website or made a social media profile, people will start flocking to your business.
Things simply don’t work that way. Unless you make an effort to promote your website, landing pages, social media pages, or any other type of asset you have, they will go largely unnoticed by your potential customers. So the first and probably the most important tip is that a digital marketing asset doesn’t do a lot on its own, and creating one, or a few, is only the beginning of the work.
Try Out Different Kinds of Marketing
In the digital marketing landscape, there are several different types of marketing you can use. Search engine optimization is concerned with making your assets appear on the first page of search results when someone searches for terms related to your business or products. Social media marketing, as its name says, is marketing performed on social media. Email marketing is a surprisingly effective type of marketing. And you can always go for PPC, especially search engine advertising. That’s plenty of things you could be doing to increase visibility, and you shouldn’t disregard any of them.
This advice comes with a caveat — don’t do things just because they’re fashionable. Justin Morgan, who specializes in SEO for dentists, advises that SEO should only be used if there’s a clear ROI. The same philosophy can be applied to any other type of marketing. Maybe focusing most of your efforts on email marketing is the best course of action for you. Maybe it’s SEO or social media. Maybe nothing works except paid advertising, and maybe you can do a little bit of everything. But remember that you have to find what works, and avoid doing the things that don’t.
Make Sure Everything Looks Good
In the digital world, just like in the analog world, looks matter. There are design trends, best practices, and must-have features that will influence how your potential customers perceive your website. And going retro usually isn’t a good option in the digital world. So, you should be aware of web design trends and ensure that your website looks contemporary. You should also keep an eye on any new options offered by social networks that will allow you to enhance the visual appeal of your pages.
The visual aspect of your online assets isn’t only about an appealing design. It’s also about your assets being able to be displayed well on various different devices. Around a half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. Having a website that’s not mobile-friendly will drastically affect your website traffic. Responsive design, an approach to web design that allows a website to be displayed well on various screen sizes, is rightfully considered to be one of the essentials for business websites.
Bonus Tip: Be Wary of Shortcuts
Along your way, you might be tempted to take shortcuts to achieve some of your goals. You might come across people and companies who will offer you incredible results in very short time and at a suspiciously low cost. And while no one can stop you from doing engaging in these sketchy activities, our parting advice to you would be to avoid it.
If you look at the history of Google algorithm changes, you’ll notice that the biggest search engine in the world has been very effective in detecting and punishing unethical activities. Simply put, people who gamed the search engine for a while sooner or later found themselves severely penalized, sometimes to the point of not being able to recover for months. Doing everything by the books and making sure that you stay in the good grace of major players such as Google and Facebook is your best bet that you’ll be able to reap the rewards of your efforts.