Digital marketing is becoming increasingly important to startups, especially when they’re just getting started. a to z of digital marketing Traditional forms of marketing, like print advertising and TV commercials, require you to pay money to get in front of your audience, which can be difficult if you don’t have much capital to begin with. Luckily, digital marketing doesn’t require much capital at all; once you’ve spent the time and effort necessary to produce the content that your audience wants, you can share it with them using the internet, and it will be seen by thousands or even millions of people without costing you anything!
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Understand the Basics
Digital marketing is a pretty broad term these days, but at its most basic, it refers to any marketing that uses digital technology and online platforms, says Angela Stringfellow of Venture Atlanta. In other words, your social media posts are digital marketing because they’re published through a platform like Facebook or Twitter. Digital marketing also includes email campaigns, search engine optimization (SEO), advertising and more. In fact, digital marketing channels will be responsible for nearly 75 percent of all advertising spending by 2020. That said, if you want to integrate digital technology into your startup in order to make it stand out from competitors and grow faster than your competition—here’s what you need to know. Understand where digital marketing fits into your business: As noted above, digital marketing has become an essential part of doing business in today’s world. But there are many different ways to use digital marketing to promote your company and drive sales growth. If you plan on using social media, SEO or pay-per-click ads to generate leads for your business, that type of marketing can fall under digital marketing. However, if you just want to do some public relations outreach on LinkedIn or conduct a PR campaign via traditional news outlets such as television stations and newspapers—that would not qualify as digital marketing since those methods don’t rely on online platforms.
How to Sell Digital Marketing Services to Local Businesses, Know Your Target Audience
Digital marketing can be very difficult for small businesses because of its fast-paced nature. It is easy to get distracted and make mistakes. Before diving into digital marketing, it is important that you take a step back and consider your target audience. This will help you stay focused on who your primary customers are and what type of message they want from you. In fact, some new business owners say it’s more important than creating a product or service people actually want! If you don’t know who your target audience is, it can be hard to create an effective digital marketing campaign. Think about who you would like to buy your products or services and think about how they communicate with each other. For example, if you run a flower shop in New York City, most of your customers might be young women in their 20s and 30s. They probably use social media sites like Facebook and Instagram to share pictures of flowers with friends and family members. You could focus on digital marketing channels like Facebook ads (which cost less money) to reach these potential customers as opposed to Google AdWords (which costs more). Digital marketing doesn’t have to be expensive – just focus on using platforms where your target audience spends time! Once you have identified your target audience, you can start planning out how to reach them. The first thing to do is research. Researching digital marketing options will give you a better idea of which marketing strategies work best for different audiences. There are many free resources online that offer tips and tricks for digital marketing; however, paid software programs may be worth it depending on your budget and needs. Once you have done the research, decide which strategy works best for your company based on: 1) Cost 2) Efficiency 3) Reach 4) Return 5) Time 6) Skills Once you’ve decided which digital marketing strategy works best for your company, go ahead and try it out!
Do Keyword Research
Keyword research is essential for new businesses because it’s a great way to find out what kinds of products or services people are searching for online. If you aren’t doing keyword research as part of your digital marketing strategy, you could be missing out on some potentially lucrative product opportunities. Conduct keyword research by brainstorming keywords related to your niche and researching them using tools like Google Trends or Google Keyword Planner. You can also use keyword research to figure out which keywords are driving traffic to competitors in your industry. This information will help you develop a more targeted marketing campaign that focuses on topics that resonate with potential customers. It’s also helpful if you want to attract potential investors—they may ask about how much traffic comes from certain keywords before they decide whether or not they want to invest in your business. The same holds true for content marketing: keyword research is important so you know what kind of content to create. Again, there are many keyword research tools available; my favorite is SEO Book’s Free Keyword Tool. After plugging in keywords related to your content topic, SEO Book gives you an idea of how many monthly searches those keywords get along with other relevant metrics such as search volume trend data and alternative keyword suggestions.
Create Visual Assets
As your startup grows, so does your need for visual assets. Your business may not have a marketing budget just yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reach potential customers with digital marketing techniques. In fact, there are many ways you can reach out digitally without spending a dime and compete with businesses that do have money to burn. If you want more customers without allocating a lot of capital for advertising, it is imperative that you create captivating images and videos for use in digital marketing. Here are some quick tips on how to create visual assets for digital marketing:
● Decide what type of content you want to promote before creating an image or video. For example, if you run a company that sells eco-friendly products, consider taking pictures of these products against beautiful nature backgrounds instead of having them set up on an ordinary table or shelf. ● Make sure your visual assets are high quality and professional looking. If they look like they were made by amateurs, potential customers will not trust your business enough to purchase from you.
● Consider using free tools such as Canva and PicMonkey for easy editing and designing options when making visual assets for digital marketing purposes. These tools make it easy for anyone to create professional-looking images in minutes with no prior design experience required!
Pick the Right Channels
If you want your startup to succeed, and how to sell digital marketing services to local businesses, choosing an appropriate digital marketing channel for your business is a must. But how do you figure out what channels are best? Here’s how to take a look at where your target market spends their time online. Then find out which marketing channels they use most often in those spaces and decide if it makes sense to focus on them as well. While there’s no guarantee that using those same channels will lead to success for your company, chances are good that it will help get you off on the right foot. When picking marketing channels, ask yourself: Where does my target market spend their time online? Which of these platforms do they use most often and why? Do any of these platforms align with my business goals or provide valuable customer insights that I can use to improve my product or service offerings over time? How can I make sure that my marketing efforts reach my target audience? How much time and money should I invest in each channel (and when)? What results am I hoping to achieve from each channel? Are there other ways of achieving those results without investing so much effort into digital marketing? At what point will I reevaluate my progress? After all, it’s easy to get excited about digital marketing—there are lots of shiny tools and tactics to try!—but remember that execution is key. Keep your expectations realistic by focusing on incremental improvements rather than overnight successes. It might not be flashy, but planning out a series of small wins before going all-in on one channel or tactic will give you more insight into whether your marketing efforts are working—or need more work.
Create Content That Converts
Marketers know their audience, and they create content that will grab readers’ attention and sell a product. Before you can create valuable content for your startup, you have to research your audience. What is its demographic? What are its interests? Marketers use tools like Google Trends and Facebook Audience Insights for insight into what their target audience might want. Once you know who your audience is, it’s time to create content. If you don’t have an in-house writer or marketing team, hire one! It’s worth it to get high-quality content from professionals who understand how to write for your niche market. If creating content sounds daunting or time-consuming, remember: It doesn’t have to be perfect! A lot of startups rely on social media posts as well as infographics and videos (if applicable) because these types of content tend to go viral quickly. And if you do create content that converts, more people will start to notice your brand—and maybe even buy something. As with any digital marketing strategy, test content before creating large amounts of it. For example, run A/B tests on different headlines to see which performs best with your audience. By creating content regularly, you’ll continue to grow your online presence while also growing sales at your company. The two work hand in hand when done correctly! Create content regularly to gain followers and build your brand. Then, once you’ve gained some traction, create an email list so that customers can subscribe to receive content directly from you. Having an email list gives you a way to reach out directly to potential customers who may not yet be aware of your business. You’ll have all of their contact information, making it easy for them to sign up whenever they’re ready. Make sure each piece of content has a call-to-action (CTA). Every marketing campaign should end with some sort of CTA telling viewers what action they should take next. In other words, every piece is meant to convert someone into becoming a customer or follower instead of just simply entertaining them for a moment or teaching them something new about your industry or niche market.
Measure, Learn, Repeat!
It’s a smart idea to use digital marketing as an investment in your business, not an expense. As with any form of marketing, you want to do some testing and measure what works before putting more money down. Think about your budget and decide how much you want to spend before taking a big risk on things that aren’t working for you. Then, take a step back and analyze your results. Did certain marketing campaigns bring in more customers than others? Were they able to convert those customers into leads? Are you spending too much time or money on one particular strategy? If so, it might be time to cut bait and try something new. Digital marketing is all about learning from mistakes—even if they cost you some cash upfront—and using that knowledge to make better decisions going forward. You can apply these principles to every aspect of digital marketing: online advertising, email marketing, SEO/SEM, content marketing, social media marketing, and more. The key is measurement! Without measurement tools like Google Analytics or Facebook Insights (or other free tools), you don’t really know whether or not your efforts are paying off. You can still run successful digital marketing campaigns without sophisticated software (many people have had success with free platforms like Twitter) but I highly recommend diving in and getting yourself familiarized with analytics tools so that you can track exactly what kind of impact your digital marketing efforts are having on your bottom line. Measurement isn’t just important for digital marketing; it’s important for everything you do. Whether you’re running a company or simply trying to lose weight, measuring progress is essential to making progress. Measurement helps keep us honest and lets us see where we need improvement. So even if you don’t have access to fancy digital marketing software, set aside sometime each week to look at your numbers and see where improvements can be made. It’s worth it!