If you're reading this article it's probably because your business has been surviving off of word-of-mouth alone but here lately it just isn't what it used to be anymore. Sound close to home? Maybe your customer base is running thin. Maybe you've ran out of referrals. Maybe you just aren't satisfied with "making a living" anymore and you want to see your company truly grow and flourish. No matter where your business lands on the spectrum, digital marketing should always be a part of your business plan. If you aren't utilizing it you're missing out on precious revenue vital to your company's success. If you're using it - but using it the wrong way - you're throwing away the money that could be growing your future.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital Marketing (also referred to as Online Marketing) is the process of promoting your business or product online through search engines, social media, videos, emails, and display ads. Why is Digital Marketing important to your business?
Within a matter of a decade, the technological revolution has reshaped the landscape of business strategy making it nearly impossible to be successful without a rich, online presence. The effectiveness of printed media like newspapers and magazines continues to drop in readership. Even once thriving companies are finding themselves struggling against the rising tide of digitally-savvy competitors. Digital companies like Netflix have put traditional companies such as Blockbuster completely out of business and Google has replaced the YellowPages entirely. Without an online presence, your business is lost in the sea of competitors who do have one and chances are your business won't survive long.
What types of media make up Digital Marketing?
The foundation of digital marketing is separated into three major categories that overlap at many points: paid, owned, and earned.
Paid media is any type of advertisement that you pay for. The most common type of paid media are Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and Display marketing.
Owned media refers to online assets that you own like your business website, any emails that you send out, or a blog being run by your business.
Earned media refers to your social media accounts and any articles or mentions written about your business from outside sources.
Where should you start?
With an entire sea of opportunity for your business to swim in, it can be difficult to put a finger on where to start. Many business owners and amateur marketers dive in head first without much understanding under the impression that if they throw enough money into it they are sure to see a return of investment. However, digital marketing is only ever as successful as the foundation that it rests on. Without that solid foundation, you won't see a significant return of your investment. Successful digital marketing depends on developing long term, dedicated strategies for your business, your brand, and your market.
The entire concept of these strategies will be based on one important concept: to create shared value between what your business' needs and goals are and what your customer's needs and goals are. Where these two goals overlap will guide you in your initial journey to map out what your long-term strategies for digital marketing will be.
We'll be discussing how to build out these 3 core strategies in our next blog!