You must be hearing Digital Marketing phrase quite regularly now. There are several companies offering these services and Digital Marketing Courses are being taught in almost all the IT training centres. So it must be something special? Isn't it? For those who don't understand what exactly it is -
Digital Marketing is the marketing of your products or services using digital technologies, for most of us it is the internet. So basically, via search engines, websites, social media platform like Facebook, twitter, instragram etc. Or any digital medium available.
In this blog, I want to cover those small to medium scale businesses/shops which are either unaware or afraid of digital marketing. Marketing is crucial for any business growth, most businesses try one or another way of marketing. So why not try digital marketing? Let's review easy steps to move to digital marketing -
Step I - Ask yourself, is digital marketing useful for my business?
Don't just jump into the wagon because some sales rep tells you digital marketing is the next big thing or only way to go. Let's try to answer these questions -
- Is my target customer uses internet/smart phone? -
- Can I reach additional users/customers using digital technology like Social Media, Search Engine? -
With increase of smart phone and easy & cheap access to internet, you will see maximum population is covered under this. I bet, 95% of you will answer yes to this question. I am not able to think other 5% business :)
Again, if the answer of the first question is yes, the answer to this question must be yes. This is like, if you are selling your stuff in one city, with the help of digital marketing you can reach customers outside your city. That is additional customer and additional revenue.
If answer of any of these question is yes, you can proceed to the next step. If the answer is no, please drop me email :) I would like to understand your business.
Step II - Take Risk
Any successful business owner is always ready to take risks. Make sure it is a calculated risk to invest in digital marketing. Digital marketing will require investment and initially, you won't be able to predict the return on investment (ROI) or you may not get any return at all! Be ready to take that risk.
Risk can be minimized by using professional agencies.
Step III - Decide your digital marketing area & strategy
Digital Marketing is a generic term and it holds lots of techniques like Search engine optimization, Search engine marketing, Social Media optimization, Social Media Marketing. Also, digital presence is required for all these. Decide or discuss with your professional agency - what is the most beneficial for your business types. When I suggest a kids wear shop for digital marketing, I would like to start with more common and inexpensive area i.e. social media marketing via Facebook. If someone is suggesting you to design website first and then start working on digital marketing - it would be the wrong approach for offline stores as there is no known digital customer to search for online business. Start with social media marketing, get idea of the digital world and based on a response move to website design and then SEO.
Please note, SEO process takes more than 6 month to take your website in top search result and for common business - it is very unlikely to get into the top search result unless you are ready to spend a lot on it.
Step IV - Be Patient! Be Creative!!
My experience with client is their expectation from Digital Marketing. Sometime client starts asking for result in one/two weeks. In my experience, in most cases it will requires a couple of months to establish good connections, followers to your social media pages and also as mentioned SEO will take a good amount of time. So be patient, observe the statistics over the period - it should be upward graph each week. Number of likes, number of reach etc should be increasing with steady growth. Run few boosted post, check the response - calculate ROI and redesign strategy if required. If it is handled by professional involve yourself, ask for the statistical analysis. You know your business and customer better than professional team.
The key is to keep users involved in any of the digital marketing activity. Be creative with plans to get more followers, to get more customers. Generate some value adds for customers so they follow your business on social media. More follower, more possible customers!
Step V - Analyse, review, restart!!
In frequent interval of 3 months - Analyze the digital marketing performance. If returns are great, excellent! Else restart from Step I with a new marketing strategy.
My suggestion will be to take baby steps, don't over do it. I have seen many firms spending a lot of money on digital marketing with questionable results. Unless you are an online business, possibility is that digital marketing may add maximum 15-20% of additional revenue - so invest wisely, take help from professional where necessary.