Digital marketing is an ever-changing and highly competitive arena. Standing out from the crowd is a real challenge, particularly as eCommerce has become so popular with today’s consumers.
As such, devising a good marketing strategy can be daunting, but marketing your brand doesn’t have to be complex or expensive. Today’s businesses have a number of low-cost marketing options available to them that can help their digital marketing strategy.
Here are some of the best choices.
Let’s kick things off with video — a versatile tool in the marketer’s arsenal. Videos have become one of the most popular forms of content on the internet. As such, there are plenty of tips on generating leads with video marketing.
But why exactly are videos so prevalent online? There are a few reasons. Videos are easy to understand and allow for different content formats, like instructions and storytelling. They can be vastly different lengths and still be effective. This means whether you’re making minute-long explainers on TikTok or hour-long essays on YouTube, the possibilities are endless.
This means videos are ideal low-cost marketing tools. You can use a video to build a rich narrative around something you sell, creating an aspirational image for the viewer. You can also take a more straightforward approach, using a video to highlight new releases or notable product features.
Videos are also helpful pre and post-purchase. For example, you can utilize live-action testimonials from customers to inspire trust in what you have to offer. If you’re marketing something with a bit of a learning curve, an instructional video can help to demystify it.
Another key benefit of video is it overlaps with several other marketing strategies. Pursuing the other strategies in this guide often means considering video in the process.
Just be mindful of how you approach your video content. While conversions are the end goal, it’s important that digital marketing offers some immediate benefit to customers. That’s why avoiding salesy content can strengthen your strategy in the long term.
2. Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization — or SEO for short — is about making your website more attractive to search engines. This, in turn, makes it more visible to customers and increases your chances of a sale.
All online businesses should consider SEO. If you’ve ever had an internal discussion about in-house IT support, expect a similar one about search engine optimization. That’s because an in-house team can be invaluable, considering SEO is a complex and ongoing concern.
In simple terms, a website appears in search engine results if it offers value to the people using it. SEO-friendly websites feature popular keywords, as well as useful content in an appropriate format. They also work well technically (e.g., load fast and are mobile-friendly) and have other websites and people talking about them.
SEO can be broken down into different tasks for easier understanding and better results.
Tools like Google Analytics can help you understand your audience in more detail, including where they’re coming from and what they’re doing on your website.
You can then move on to keyword research. Using the right keywords helps you attract customers to both your broader site and specific pages. Moz Pro is a great tool for this task, though it needs a subscription for heavy use.
When optimizing your website, look at how to improve a visitor’s overall experience, too. This means creating a content strategy (blog posts are an excellent place to use keywords, for instance) and beefing up technical performance. Other moves, like making videos or adding chatbots, improve usability and make you more appealing to search engines in the process.
While SEO requires some initial investment and education on your part, it offers massive returns (financial and reputational) and merits significant attention.
3. Social Media
Social media has evolved into an incredibly versatile marketing platform. It’s very easy for businesses to sign up for various social sites and draw in lots of new customers in the process.
That said, it’s important to understand there are different kinds of social media success. Do you want to increase your income? Grow awareness of your brand? Boost sales or bolster your reputation? You’ll likely want to do more than one of these, but it’s wise to focus on one or two initially.
When it comes to posting on social media, a good starting point is repurposing existing content. Anything with a strong visual component works well, so try and focus on things you can attach a nice picture to or turn into a video.
The visual-friendly nature of social media platforms makes them an ideal place for eCommerce merchandising. Social media is also good for quick updates (like stock notifications), so make sure you feature these on your channels.
At the same time, remember social media is… well... social. Encourage your followers to interact with you via polls and giveaway posts and answer any questions they ask in a timely manner.
It’s important you don’t spread yourself too thinly. Focus on networks that play well with your content and are used by your target audience. If you are selling life insurances, is TikTok the right place for you? It could be, but if you want to try something new, see how your current experiment pans out before starting another one.
Influencers are another way of leveraging social media to good effect. An influencer encourages customers to make purchases within a specific niche. They’re seen as trustworthy sources of information by those following them.
An influencer helps you spread your marketing message to more potential customers by endorsing your products in the right way. This is a great way to use social proof in your broader marketing efforts.
Influencers are useful if you want to increase brand awareness or website traffic. However, you need to find influencers from within your industry for their efforts to bear fruit.
Influencers tend to appear on specific social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. This is because these platforms are very influencer-friendly. They offer shoppable ads and visual-driven formats, which allow influencers to work more effectively.
Influencers do best without too much oversight from the brands they partner with. However, you should agree on a broad format and ownership rights before production starts. But if you want a more performance-based agreement, you may want to brush up on your knowledge of performance marketing definition as a guide. You may also want to consider an incentive the influencer can promote in their content. An exclusive discount for their followers is often a lucrative idea.
The benefits offered by influencers are valuable, if not monetarily, then certainly reputationally. Be sure to partner up with them and include them in your digital marketing strategy if it makes sense for your business.
Emails may seem a little old-fashioned compared to the other strategies on this list, but don’t be fooled. They’re still an effective way of delivering a range of marketing messages.
A common format for email content is the trusty newsletter. This offers a roundup of business news, product announcements, how-to articles, and anything else you think is useful to your customers.
Since you probably have a mix of new and returning customers, you may want to send slightly different emails to different groups. Recent customers may benefit from an email drawing attention to your site’s features or full product range. Returning customers, meanwhile, may benefit more from a relevant product or service update.
You can use email marketing tools to make assembling emails easier. These tools offer templates and a high degree of personalization. For instance, you can address emails to specific people, which is an excellent way to inspire affection from customers.
You can also gain insights into how customers respond to your emails by using data on metrics like click-through rate and unread emails. This offers some overlap with sales automation solutions, which help you identify new sales opportunities.
You can even use your email signature to connect subscribers to your other content channels. Try adding links to your website and social media accounts. This helps customers stay in the loop with your broader business activities and is an easy way to ensure more chances at a sale.
While the nature of marketing is always in flux, there are still plenty of simple, effective paths you can take. Don’t be afraid to look past these strategies, too, to refine your marketing plans further.
In broad terms, a good rule of thumb for digital marketing is to meet your customers on their terms. This often means using the channels of communication your customers enjoy most.
Visual, easy-to-process content is ideal for conveying ideas quickly and easily to potential customers. Other SEO and email marketing strategies are a little more complex but ideal for getting people to your site and offering more detailed information.
A mix of strategies is recommended to get your business the attention (and conversions) it needs.