This article was written by Kay VanAntwerpen, an Entrepreneur NEXT powered by Assemble expert. If you are looking to take the NEXT step in your business then we encourage you to check out Entrepreneur NEXT powered by Assemble.
In today’s world where people are glued to their devices for work and for play, the most important advertising delivery platforms are internet-connected devices. According to the PEW research center, 28 percent of American adults are on the internet “almost constantly,” while 45 percent report using it “several times a day”—meaning that 81 percent of Americans use the internet a whole lot every day.
If your business hasn’t established its digital presence, you can be almost certain that your competitors will reach your customers first. Eighty-one percent of consumers conduct online research before making a purchase. That’s not the only reason you need a digital presence, though. Digital marketing is about more than just existing on the internet. Instead, you can utilize the web to become a powerhouse of sales generation, customer loyalty, and brand recognition.
It’s not difficult to optimize your digital presence, but you do need time, a coherent and precise strategy, and the core expertise—digital marketing isn’t just a skill you can pick up on the fly.
Hiring a full digital marketing department is often unreasonable, especially for small businesses. The average salary for a digital marketing manager alone is $69,755. That’s why many companies turn to small agencies such as Assemble, The MOM Project, and TopTal which we’ve touched on in a previous article.
Below, we’ll look at five ways a digital marketer can help superchare your business.
1. Precision email marketing sales funnels.
Almost 294 billion emails are sent and received daily, but email campaigns are somewhat unique. When done correctly, your readers will hang on every word and look forward to your correspondence like an old pen pal. When done poorly, your emails will get dumped in the trash before they’re even opened, often doing nothing more than annoying your potential customer.
An email campaign done right not only grabs attention but builds a tangible relationship with your potential customer by providing interesting and valuable content, exclusive deals, and more—eventually converting your readers to customers.
When handling your email, a good digital marketer will:
Curate and purge email lists, removing inactive email addresses.
Draft engaging email campaigns that increase brand awareness and build consumer trust.
Develop alternate email campaigns for specific lead varieties.
Design email layouts to match your brand aesthetic and messaging.
Develop leads through email communications with potential clients.
2. High digital visibility.
As we mentioned earlier, most customers perform some kind of online research before making a purchase. If you’re hitting your visibility goals, you’ll be the first name to pop up when a customer conducts product research. If you’re not doing anything, your competition will show up first.
To be visible on the web, you’ll need an artful social media presence, precision SEO (search engine optimization), and perfect mobile responsivity on all of your digital platforms. A good digital marketer knows how to work where all of these factors intersect. They’ll assure you’re the first name to crop up when a customer searches for products or services in your field. They’ll also make sure your name appears with reputable sources, and that your reputation speaks for itself.
3. Data-driven analytics.
Sure, you may be getting lots of likes on your Facebook posts, and your blog may get a few shares here and there, but these are just “vanity metrics” —ultimately, it can be difficult to tell whether or not you’re getting any tangible return on your investment.
Fortunately, digital marketers don’t treat their field like some nebulous art form that can only be qualified in the abstract (that stuff is for painters and musicians). Instead, they work in the field of tangible statistics and data analytics. A good digital marketer will not only track your numbers but will also ensure they improve over time. Some of the statistics you should see are:
Organic, direct, referral, social, and paid traffic
Click-through rates (CTR)
Macro and micro conversions
4. The power of customer engagement and reputation management.
Social media is one of the most fundamental ways the internet revitalized the marketing game. Your customer base can communicate with you at the click of a button. Major social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are necessities. You can’t simply just exist on these sites—you have to actively use them to engage your clientele. A heavy stream of social media traffic doesn’t mean anything if you’re not able to convert those visitors into customers.
A skilled digital marketer will do more than keep your posts fresh. They’ll personally engage with your audience, listen to their wants and needs, and respond in a way that not only leaves the customer happy but also curates a positive reputation for your business.
Which brings us to one of the most overlooked elements of social media: reputation management. In the digital era, news of a negative customer experience travels nearly instantaneously. Take into account review sites such as Yelp and Yahoo Reviews, and it may seem like a single bad day can become a permanent black spot on your digital reputation.
Not so with a skilled digital marketer. While monitoring customer feedback and conversation, your marketer will speak directly with disgruntled customers and help solve their problems quickly and resolutely.
5. Valuable and beneficial content.
Content creation is the crème de la crème of digital marketing. It brings in three times the leads of traditional marketing formats at 62 percent of the cost. Content creation brings your audience to you.
It’s easy to create content the wrong way, though. Too many businesses fall into the prototypical “advertisement trap” where each piece of content they publish feels like a blatant call for business while providing no valuable information or entertainment to the consumer. Returning viewers, this does not create.
When you ask what kind of content your company needs, you should think of the content you would like to consume. Good web content is ideally entertaining, but above all else, it should be useful.
This is where a digital marketer can be most useful. They’ll help you create content that postures you as an expert and a thought leader in your industry. This content can come in all shapes and sizes, including:
- Blogs and articles
- Guest articles
- Digital contests
As you may have pieced together, content creation is an art form. This is another reason to have a professional handle the labor—poorly created content will turn a customer away quicker than rotten bananas.