Start With a Digital Foundation
Before you start to get overwhelmed with optimization, mobilization, engagement, and other “zations”, take a breather and think simple: build your digital foundation. Think of a foundation for a home or building. It’s pretty boring. It’s got no bells or whistles. Nothing special to look at. It doesn’t catch your eye. Yet without it, you can not have a structurally sound house or build off of it with aesthetic and functional elements.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with your digital presence, start here:
1. Get a Website
While offline marketing is not obsolete, online marketing is highly effective and requires that you have a website that can support a multitude of activities. Your business website, at the bare basics, should include:
• Your contact information
• A products/services page that lets potential customers know what you offer (helpful post: Writing Products/Services Content).
• A description that gives visitors a gist of who is behind your company (helpful: Write “About Us” Content)
• A contact us page, particularly with a form that collects an email address rather (than an email address that users can send email to).
• Some quality visuals (that don’t take forever to load or get stretched out)
2. Setup Social Media Profiles
You don’t have to start your social media strategy off with daily posts, scheduled posting tools, hashtag research, and intricate giveaways. Once again, start simple. Simply set up your social media profiles. Facebook and Instagram are your best bets. You can add more profiles later. Effective social media marketing takes time to develop, but it starts with creating your profiles.
For help setting up your social media profiles, use these posts:
3. Get Your Business on Digital Directories
Once you have a website set up, you can now make your business more digitally discoverable via online listings. There are hundreds of directories out there, but starting with the basics is a good first step. Keep in mind also that smaller directories will pull from larger directories, eliminating the extra work for you. Just make sure that all the listings you do create are identical and consistent. For help with setting up your digital directory listings, use these posts:
You may also need to look into claiming your listings, as many can get generated automatically or by users on particular platforms. For help with this, refer to:
Grow Your Digital Presence
Now that you have a website, social media profiles, and online directory listings, you have the tools to start building up your digital foundation. Here are your next steps for growing your digital presence:
1. Add a Blog to Your Website
Now it’s time to start thinking of the “zations” for your website. Search engine optimization, in particular. One of the best initial steps you can take to improve your SEO is to have a business blog where you put out relevant content for people who are looking for it. For more about blogging for your business, check out these posts:
2. Start Posting to Social Media
You don’t have to start posting multiple times a day with the most engaging posts of the century. Don’t let perfection paralyze you. You also don’t have time to spare, so utilize strategies to post efficiently on social media:
3. Collect Online Reviews
Being listed on directories helps your business, but getting reviews on those directories (where applicable) helps it even more. People trust online reviews more than ever before, and they will look to those reviews when deciding between you or your competitor. Here are some posts to help you with online reviews:
Start Digital Advertising
Now that you’ve got your digital foundation in place, and have gotten into a rhythm with maintaining those digital channels, it’s time to add in a new one: online advertising. Digital ads are not the simplest part of a digital marketing strategy, but they can be highly effective. Here are some digital advertising channels to start with:
Other Digital Presence Boosters
Market Via Email: Email marketing works. Period.
Produce Video: Online video is becoming more and more integral to successful digital marketing. Start simple with Instagram videos.
Use Automation Tools: Once you get a clear picture of the most effective types of content for your business, and the channels that perform best, you should definitely look into automation tools to help streamline things.
Optimize for Mobile: People are turning to their smartphones more than ever for news, email, and information. If your emails and website are not optimized for mobile, you are losing out on precious business.
Digital marketing provides new versions of old tricks when it comes to getting your business noticed and growing your customer base. It also creates unique opportunities for you to use your creativity and spread an authentic message. Take advantage of the above tips and tricks to give your business a discoverable, digital presence.