Branding is perhaps the most often ignored aspect of digital marketing – an approach that produces real tangible results over the course of days, months and years rather than minutes, hours and even days. It is old-fashioned, slow and long-term – three attributes that make it an old-school digital outlier, at best. Yet, branding is essential to the success of any online business. It sets your company’s voice and image in your market – creating the perception that you are ‘in fashion’ and ready for prime time. Read on to find out how you can leverage simple and effective digital tools such as blogs, videos and social media accounts to grow your business and achieve outstanding visibility and reach!
Blogs: Blogging is one of the simplest but powerful online marketing tools. Your blog should be anchored to your website’s content and messaging – and should prominently feature your company logo, tagline and key benefits. As you start blogging, take the time to build a community around it that can provide insightful feedback and recommendations. For example, if you offer a blog on growing herbs, invite your community to suggest herbs they might enjoy growing. Building a large base of followers on your blog is the best way to build brand presence with platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
Videos: YouTube, Google+ and social video content sites like vimeo all offer great opportunities for brand exposure. Your video content can engage and inform your audience; it can show off your expertise; it can demonstrate your creativity. Above all, though, it can make a lasting impression on your customers. Consider submitting short, entertaining videos to popular video sharing services, such as Google’s vescent or bloog. The sooner you start, the better!
Guest Blogging: One of the quickest ways to get others to notice your digital marketing blog posts is to ask a popular personality to write a guest post for you. For example, I recently heard of an online consultant who uses twitter to effectively promote his blog posts and he’s now getting lots of traffic through his twitter accounts and his blog post about his company. His business partner uses his blog posts to engage potential clients, and her blog has received tons of new followers since she started posting on twitter.
Facebook: One of the easiest ways to get people to notice your brand is to create an online presence through Facebook. You can do this by creating an official page for your brand or building a fan/business page in Facebook. Facebook fan pages have a number of advantages over official Facebook pages, which should be clearly understood before committing to them. The page will almost certainly receive a lot more exposure than a Facebook page alone. You can also leverage social media monitoring tools to boost your brand’s visibility in the newsfeed.
Google+: Google+ is emerging as a great way to improve visibility in the search results for your business page. This comes from how Google+ allows you to integrate your content with that of your fans, greatly assisting in giving you an increased level of visibility to your fans. It’s important to remember that although Google+ has a number of benefits when it comes to digital marketing, its limitations are often not understood well. It’s worth exploring Google+ carefully before committing to it, as its functionality still varies somewhat from other social media sites. It will, however, allow you to increase your page’s visibility to members of your core audience, resulting in potentially greater conversions.
Email Marketing: For many companies, digital marketing doesn’t always stop at a new website and a new blog. Many companies have a significant email list, and email marketing can take advantage of this large database of contacts. A clever technique you can use is to send promotional email teasers to your list, as the recipients may well be searching for digital marketing information. You could then link to your new website or blog from the promotional email, or even ask your existing members to visit your new site or blog to see what’s new. This can boost your online presence, as well as helping you establish a presence on the social media side of things.
There are a lot of other potential digital marketing strategies that are yet to come to the fore, and as the market becomes more fragmented, it will become increasingly difficult for smaller businesses to operate in a meaningful way. However, if you focus on the things that you do well and spread your online presence out to multiple places, then your chances of success will rise significantly. The days when a local business could just as effectively promote themselves via radio, newspaper, or other media are gone. In fact, it seems that every single day there’s another social media platform that allows people to share their experiences and tell others about services and products they’ve come across. In order to maximise your future marketing efforts, you need to ensure that your online presence is robust enough to stand up against the ever-changing landscape.