7 Best Practices for Digital Marketing

2021-07-16

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7 Best Practices for Digital Marketing

Gone are the days of pamphlets and billboards - think of your digital strategy

Best Practices in Digital Marketing

In the digital age, we are flooded by notifications, advertisements, and information on a daily basis. As recipients, we filter out as much of this as possible in order to preserve our time, energy, and attention. But as a startup, how can you cut through the noise and reach an active audience? 

Digital marketing can lift up small businesses by reaching wide audiences without requiring too many resources. However, successful digital marketing calls for a strategic and intentional approach. This guide will share the best practices for digital marketing so that your start-up can gain traction and establish a name for itself in the marketplace.

Tip 1: Identify a Target Group 

Before you begin creating content and publishing posts, think about who your target audience is. Trying to cast a wide net can backfire from vague and weaker messaging. Choose a market by considering factors such as size, wealth of consumers, existing competition, and the value that you would be offering. Is your service unique enough to make an impact? How does it compare to those already in the market? 

Once you have a group in mind, you can gain a clearer picture of your audience by coming up with buyer personas, or hypothetical identities, and think about how to speak to them directly through your messaging. For instance, come up with a target customer’s name, age, job, income, location, and problems that they may be facing. Think about their main sources for information, favorite social media platforms, and any niche interests that they have. Having concrete individual profiles in mind can help you figure out the most effective way to reach them and how to best appeal to their needs. Using buyer personas were shown to make your site two to five times more successful with target users.

Tip 2: Invest in Social Media Marketing

With more than half of the world now using social media, it’s undeniably one of most effective ways to spread information and gain access to an audience. The most popular platforms include:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Reddit
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest

When considering which ones to use or focus on, think about the ones most popular with your target group. Be mindful not only of the community that you’re targeting, but also of the norms and etiquette expected on each of these platforms. While they all exist within the realm of social media, each one has its own rules around when and how frequently to post, the quality of posts, length, style, and more. It would be helpful to familiarize yourself with these unsaid expectations before using any platform.

Timing can be important as well. For example, studies show that when targeting teenagers, the best times to post during the school year are mornings and nights. Defining the optimal times for your target group can boost the performance and reach of your posts.

Tip 3: Personalize Emails

When it comes to direct communication with customers, nothing can compare to email. 94% of people say that checking their email is the number one reason they go online. Furthermore, a study found that email campaigns have a return on investment of 4400%. This translates to $44 earned for every dollar spent. 

One of the best tactics to use in email marketing campaigns is personalization. Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened. But, be sure that you are offering true value in the emails that you send out and avoid spamming customers’ inboxes.

Tip 4: Build a Network

By building a network, you gain credibility as a startup and therefore trust from customers. By reaching out to journalists, influencers, potential business partners, and other prominent figures in the public sphere, you can develop connections with people who already have an active audience. Whether through press coverage or an endorsement from a reputable company, you’ll be able to build credibility while reaching a greater number of people.

Tip 5: Tailor Content for SEO

To improve your company’s visibility on search engines, define a list of commonly searched keywords by your target group. For start-ups, it’s best to target long-tail keywords, which are three or four words. Since 50% of searches are four words or longer, these queries offer a few advantages:

  • Being much more descriptive than one-word searches, they are clearer in their intent
  • Because they are more specific, there’s less competition
  • They make up a large percentage of all searches

Once you have a list of keywords, adapt your content accordingly to show up for as many of those keywords as possible.

Tip 6: Keep an Updated Blog

By creating and regularly updating a company blog, you’ll equip customers with the knowledge needed to use your service. For example, if you’re selling a product, create content to guide them through the buying process. A DemandGen Report reported that 47% of buyers engaged with three to five pieces of content before contacting a sales representative. You can also create content that will pique readers’ interest and generate a greater need for the service you provide. 

Keeping a blog also draws more traffic to your website and ranks you higher on search engines for keywords. You can also gain more traffic by guest blogging, which will also allow you to reach a greater audience.

Tip 7: Prioritize Customer Service

Word travels like wildfire on the internet, so the quality of your customer service can make or break your reputation. Having high quality customer service and availability in the form of live chat, phone, social media, and email can bolster ratings of your company and compel customers to share your service with friends and family. For example, Zappos grew into a billion dollar company by giving its customer service reps the authority to prioritize customer satisfaction over all else.

While experimenting with all of the different tactics mentioned above, remember to track your performance results and adjust accordingly. With the right strategies, digital marketing can be a powerful tool to get your startup off the ground. Though it can be initially intimidating to get your name out there, take advantage of these best practices to expand your reach and grow your business. 

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