More businesses than ever are hopping on the digital marketing bandwagon, though you don’t have to abandon traditional methods altogether, it is in the best interest of your business to get yourself seen and heard online.
The most effective marketing platforms offer a mix of various media types that could include print, video, or digital techniques. In this article we are going to focus on the digital side of your marketing strategy and talk about how you can really build a presence online.
Advertising legend James Randolph Adams once said, “The most common trouble with advertising is that it tries too hard to impress people.” Before ditching the traditional forms of advertising your company has relied on in years past, such as Yellow Pages ads and radio jingles, in hopes of developing an online marketing platform, it’s important to have a plan.
Developing the Right Marketing Plan for Your Business
When developing a plan, instead of trying to impress consumers, try to figure out what works to best attract them. Depending on the nature of your business, having a marketing plan could be a little more complicated than setting up a Facebook page or a Twitter account. And the plan could be totally different depending on whether your business deals in products or professional services.
For example, a professional services company might require multiple plans to get the most out of their online marketing. A team of doctors or firm of lawyers might have one plan for the group and sub-plans for each individual within the group as well. Here are some things your marketing plan should include.
- Website – Having a company website is useful, but having a website that makes use of WordPress is even better. That’s because WordPress allows you to use something called plugins which work in the same way that apps work on a smartphone. One of the most useful marketing plugins available automatically updates the status of all your social networks that fresh content is available.
- Social Media – Social media is a quick, efficient way to share relative, fresh content. Because they are interactive, they help build relationships with clients. Additionally, there are billions of people who use social media networks. Taking out a full page ad in the Yellow Pages is a great way to attract local clients but social media can help you connect to consumers around the globe.
- Content – When you frequently add fresh content to your website then it helps you rank higher in Google’s natural search listings. A criminal defense law firm might include blog articles on their website with topics such as seat belt safety, what to do in case of an accident or how lawyers can help reduce a DUI charge. A dentist might include information about the importance of teeth whitening. And a roofing company might have content that stresses the importance of using solar panels or gutter guards.
Using Content to Build Relationships
The content in your digital marketing plan isn’t meant to gain consumers. A lot of people assume that the purpose of the content is to get new customers, when in reality the purpose of the content is to build relationships. This is especially true for those who offer professional services.
Someone looking to hire an accountant or a lawyer is more likely to hire someone they not only like, but also feel they can trust. And the best way to get consumers to like and trust you is through the content you offer on your website. When you offer content relevant to your industry, then it validates you as a credible professional.
Selecting the Right Content
So what content should you add on your site? It should be things that fall within your niche within the industry. Find the one area that you’d like to concentrate on and then use your website to frequently publish fresh content that both engages those who follow you online and causes Google to rank you higher in their natural search listings.
Keep in mind that consumers want to feel like they’re getting the services of a specialist. That’s because although specialists often charge premium fees for their services, they are worth it. Specialists rise above and beyond the challenges required to wear the title, and are recognized as experts in their field.
Trade Associations and Digital Marketing
Another way to share niche content is by joining a trade association. Some professionals make the mistake of joining too many of these organizations and end up spreading themselves too thin. Choose a small number of groups that will help build your reputation as a specialist and go from there. If necessary, attend a couple of meetings and discuss with a few other industry leaders or trusted clients to confirm that this is the right group for you before joining.
Once people see that you’re willing to invest in a professional relationship with them, then they will be more likely to hire you for your professional services. Newsletters sent through email, fresh content on your WordPress site, and updates to your social networks are all ways to help further strengthen these relationships.
Freelancer Mark Harris works from the comfort of his own laptop whether he’s at home or spending time at his local coffee house. Even when he’s not actively writing or working on a marketing project, he spends time on sites like www.bgs.com where he reads useful information in their latest blog articles. Most of Mark’s free time is spent outdoors exploring the many beaches around his home in White Rock, British Columbia, whether it’s through hiking along the shore or kayaking the local waterways.