When starting up a business, you are likely to be overwhelmed with the large quantity of information and advice out there. Whilst lots of this information is good information, some of it gets lost in the process.
Good marketing is essential to get your business up and running with customers. But the digital marketing landscape is constantly shifting, and whilst you are in the early phases of your business, you need to be taking advantage of the modern marketing tools available to you.
Below, we will identify six key things you should be aware of when it comes to modern digital marketing.
The volatility of social
Identifying which social media platforms to focus on is an ongoing job. Many companies in recent times flocked to Facebook to reach an organic audience on their pages. However, as organic reach took a nosedive, the platforms paid technologies became essential.
With the consistent rise and fall of social media platforms such as Snapchat and Vine, whilst it is important your brand is represented on the right platforms, it is equally important that you know when to ‘jump ship’ and evaluate where you should be focusing your time.
As your customer base grows, you will begin to identify the social media platforms that see the most engagement and return on ad spend. It is important that this is recorded, and time and budget is distributed accordingly.
This is important across all marketing. Understanding where to commit your time, which ‘waves to ride’, and generally using the right tools and evaluating this on a regular basis.
Email marketing (2.0)
One such platform that has stood the test of time is email. Email marketing practically formed one of the key components of digital marketing, an often-professional way to reach customers and retain them.
Many marketers viewed email marketing as ‘dead’ at the advent of social media marketing. However, email marketing continued to stay relevant through all of this, if anything growing stronger in the process.
There are two key reasons for this, the first being the quantity of email service providers continuing to enter the market, with constantly adapting service offerings in line with latest technology and trends. The second being the resurgence of the paid newsletter, being included in a newsletter that curates the best content from a topic. We are seeing high levels of engagement and lengthy email lists off the back of this.
For new companies, you should be aiming to build an email list from the offset. Ask for your customers email (with proper consent for marketing purposes) and give people the option to subscribe to stay up to date with your offerings, activity etc.
A shift in influencer marketing
An important area of your marketing approach is to identify those with influence in your market or niche. The return on investment of having someone promote your product or service to their followers is often greater than traditional search engine optimisation or ads.
Most small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) use influencer marketing. The downside to this continued popularity in influencer marketing however is that it is growing in cost.
To tackle this, we are seeing companies seek out ‘microinfluencers’, those that are smaller players in the market as opposed to those with large follow counts.
There are several benefits here, the obvious one being the reduced price. Microinfluencers will charge significantly less than an influencer with enormous reach. The secondary benefit is that they are often operating within a niche, so their following is more refined and focussed to who you are aiming to sell to.
As a start-up, identify those that are influencers in your area and negotiate a promotion. Continue to measure the results and identify whether this popular approach is right for you.
PPC is becoming increasingly automated
Even as recently as a few years ago, marketers were largely running ads manually through major platforms such as Google and Facebook to reach prospective customers.
We are now seeing a shift to largely automated pay per click (PPC) ads. Whilst we had previously seen software programs attempt to automate the process, the ad platforms themselves have now released and refined in-house automation tools to make the process of reaching the right people easier.
This has largely been aided in the advancement of machine learning, the ability to automatically place bids and place the ads in relevant areas. This has made what was once a tedious task very time efficient.
As a start-up, be sure to get familiar with the automated marketing tools available to you. As touched on earlier, having identified the social channels you will be using to reach your audience, use the in-house tool options to optimize your ads. Google offers smart bidding, whilst Facebook’s ‘Dynamic Creative’ allows you to test out thousands of different ad variations.
Chatbots are not a fad
Throughout your research, particularly when it came to the development of your website, you may have stumbled upon the option to incorporate a chatbot.
Whilst many marketers were sceptical of this during their inception, companies have increasingly begun to include a chatbot on their website. Whilst a human response is preferable, studies suggest that an option to use a chatbot is preferred than outreach via email.
Having the chatbot setup to deal with the most common questions saves you time in responding to non-essential queries and increases customer satisfaction if set up correctly. This allows you to spend your time dealing with other areas of your business.
Focus on video
Content marketing is important to any successful digital marketing campaign. Whilst blog posts and attractive images remain important, video has become essential to get your growing audience to engage with your company.
With YouTube reporting a massive one billion hours of video viewed every day, the potential with video is enormous.
All social platforms support video content, so be sure to brainstorm some ideas about how you can capture attention with the use of video. Showing off your product or service, doing a pre-recorded Q&A and discussing trending topics in your niche are some staple ideas when it comes to creating engaging videos.