If you are planning to start a business part time, perhaps from home, it is essential that you fully embrace the digital revolution, which means creating a solid digital marketing strategy to authentically connect with your target market, generate new leads, and strengthen your authority within your niche.
Here are five ways to do it: No. 1: Understand Your Audience The effectiveness of any digital marketing strategy will increase exponentially if you truly understand your audience, that is, your customer. Gen Z, millennials, Gen X, and boomers often see the world through different lenses, have different priorities and values, and use different ways of communicating. To better understand your audience, find out where your potential customers hang out online and go there. Find out which social media influencers they follow. See if they belong to any particular community on the social media platform Reddit. See also: Adapt and Reinvent: How Hard Times Can Be Your Opportunity to Start a Business. You can also publish surveys with digital services like SurveyMonkey to learn more about what your potential customers want and need. And you can track your business engagement and analyze customer data with Google GOOGL, + 0.78% Analytics. The idea is to interact with your customers, discover how they think, how they speak, what they value and how you can add value to them. 2: Take Advantage of Search Engine Optimization Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of making your digital content easily found by search engines like Google. For example, if you entered “digital marketing strategies to launch a business” in the Google search bar, Google would examine your massive content index to give you the most relevant and reliable information possible. Ultimately, SEO is one of the most profitable marketing strategies to attract targeted traffic. Customers found this way are genuinely interested in your product, information, or service. Additionally, SEO will help you build brand awareness and instill trust in consumers, as only legitimate businesses appear in the top search results. SEO is always changing. Lately, you’ve moved toward getting what’s known as “backlinks” to large, reputable sites. When you get these backlinks, your site gets a higher authority ranking. And now, with so-called “mentions”, Google will increase its authority when social media influencers mention your brand. Check out digital tools like Google Trends to find out which searches are trending. Answer the Public can help you find out what questions are being asked about a certain topic. And Talkwalker alerts allow you to monitor the internet for content related to your niche. Don’t be intimidated. If you continually create content that is relevant to your audience’s needs and contains actionable, trustworthy information, you’re already halfway there. The days of paying for billboard space and magazine ads are coming to an end. These days, the barrier to entry for advertising is incredibly low; all you need are some social media accounts. Considering that the average cost per click is only $ 0.33 and the cost per thousand impressions is only $ 7.19 on Facebook, FB, + 2.27%, this is an easy way to generate leads and sales. While this may seem like a relatively small amount, it still moves the needle for startups. 3: Engaging in Social Media “Social media has played a crucial role in the evolution of our business,” said Marc Dorman, president of Maron Insurance, a firm that sells business and personal coverage in Maryland and Washington, DC. “We are a very active organization on Facebook and we use this platform to provide value-added content and to communicate with our more than 5,000 customers.” Lately, social media has become an indispensable asset for any digital marketing strategy. You can use it to conduct customer research before launching your business. And once your business is up and running, you can use it to interact with your customers and distribute content and product information. Don’t Miss: Top New Retirement Ideas 2021 Social media platforms enable immediate engagement, customer feedback, and help small businesses create unique and authentic voices for their brand. To use them, first find out which social media channels your audience is using. Trying to be successful across all channels can be too difficult to handle. These tools can help you plan and execute your social media marketing strategy: Buzzsumo – This is where you can find influencers in particular niches, track competitors, and research trending topics and keywords. Missinglettr: Do you want to focus on producing blog content to attract customers? Missinglettr automates a part of your digital marketing strategy by scratching your blog posts and using them to create months-long social media posts. Hootsuite – This service is great if you are tired of hopping between all of your social media accounts. Instead, Hootsuite allows you to view and manage multiple social media accounts in one easy-to-navigate dashboard. No. 4: Create content for every stage of your buyer’s journey. Someone searching the web for a filling recipe for Thanksgiving is probably not going to impulsively buy your diet book. But if you offer them solid content upfront, they may come back for more recipes and eventually become repeat customers. Blogs and social media are great ways to attract new leads in the “know” stage of the customer journey. Here, you can provide value by answering common questions and then start building trust. Once the customer trusts you enough to come back for more information or entertainment, you can start offering more content in the form of free newsletters and e-books in exchange for their email address. Then you can start sending product offers without appearing pushy. 5: video, video, video People are more and more interested in watching videos when they are online or on their smartphones. Since January 2020, Facebook Live’s video audience has increased by 50%. And according to a survey by Socialmediatoday, “Video ads are the number one way customers go from discovering a brand to buying your products.” One reason: video is much easier to consume than written content. Read next: Start a small business by taking advantage of these 4 trends. The best videos for small businesses are 30- to 60-second customer testimonials or product tutorials. These formats connect with audiences because people like to buy from people. In addition, they highlight how the service or product works and establish trust by allowing previous customers to share their experience. A computer or camera phone is enough to start making videos for your business. On his website, digital marketing consultant Shane Barker has a great list of video marketing tools to help you get started. Drew Cheneler is the founder of SimpleMoneyLyfe.com and is an expert in credit, small business, and personal finance. This article has been reprinted with permission from NextAvenue.org, © 2021 Twin Cities Public Television, Inc. All rights reserved. It is part of America’s Entrepreneurs, a Next Avenue initiative made possible by the Richard A. Schulze Family Foundation and EIX, Entrepreneur and Innovation Exchange. More from Next Avenue: