Would you open up a business and keep the news all to yourself? Of course not! You’d want to get out there, let people know you exist, and can provide them with what they need.
That’s what digital marketing is here for. Without it, the word about your business probably won’t reach the right (number of) customers, and you might just not survive.
And for most new business owners, that first year is all about surviving. It’s the year that makes you or breaks you. It is the period when you try to make a name for yourself, spending every waking moment working and probably many sleepless nights.
But guess what? It doesn’t have to be that hard. Not now that everything has gone digital.
Digital marketing channels can help you reach your ideal customers quickly and in a very targeted way.
Follow along and find out how.
First Things First: A Website
Nowadays, you can’t run a business without a website. At least not if you want to be successful and have a strong and recognizable brand. After all, we all turn to the Internet for everything we need, from entertainment to information, services, and products.
To be precise, research has shown that an overwhelming 84% of customers will first look up the products and services they need online. 40% of them will browse through three or more websites to compare options, offers, and prices.
Your potential customers are no different. They will Google your new company and expect to find your website with the information they need, even if it’s only your location and working hours.
If they don’t find it, you’ll basically cease to exist in their eyes. And guess what they’ll do next? They’ll turn to your competitors that do have a website.
This makes your website the focal point of your marketing. Not only does it contain all the information about your business and makes it available to customers at any time of day or night, but it is also a sign of credibility and professionalism that drives most of the purchase decisions.
Now Let Everyone Know Your Website – And Your Brand – Is Out There
A website is, therefore, the starting point of your business and a crucial aspect for all further digital marketing strategies. And one of those strategies is search engine optimization (SEO), which ensures your online visibility is high.
When customers look up a keyword that’s relevant to your business, SEO strategies are there to make sure your website comes out at the very top of search results. That’s what we call great visibility – users googling and you popping up right in front of them.
Why is this important? Because research has shown that 67.6% of users will click on the first five results in Google search, while the rest of the clicks will go to the other five results on the first page. What about the second page of search results, third, fourth, and so on? Basically, no one ever goes there, so you don’t want your website buried there either.
In addition to website optimization, a crucial part of SEO is also your Google Maps account optimization. Creating and properly optimizing your account on Google Maps will further boost your online visibility, mainly for the so-called local searches, helping you attract local customers.
So, if you have a Google Maps profile, Google will give priority to your business and show it in search results when customers search for services and products in your specific area. Of course, in order for Google to recognize you as a relevant local business, that profile will need to be set up and optimized properly.
Get Social and Spread the Word
Now that you have your main online assets up and running, it’s time to spread the word further and start building your brand and reputation. After all, your reputation usually precedes you, doesn’t it?
There’s no better way to do that than through social media. It is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to reach potential clients. So, if you’re just starting out, don’t forget to set up profiles for your company on relevant social networks (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.) so you can start strengthening your brand and building trust among your customers.
Nowadays, brand image and trust play a crucial role in the buyers’ journey. Whether or not customers choose to work with you will depend largely on how they perceive you and whether they trust you.
So, what you should focus on doing on your social platforms is engaging in conversation, sharing valuable content, addressing questions and issues that are important to your customers, giving advice, and similar.
What you should avoid is direct sales and promotions. That’s what your customers are bombarded with on all fronts almost every hour of every day, and social media is a sort of safe haven for them.
Use social media to build credibility, trust, and rapport with your followers, show them what your values are and give them a reason to trust you and do business with you.
Keep in Touch Via Email
Once you’ve built your social following, or while you do it, you should also work on your mailing list. Setting up an email marketing campaign will be another great way to promote your business and stay in touch with customers.
As people slowly become aware of your business, get to know your products and offers, now is the ideal time to start compiling a list of those potential customers, as well as existing customers that have already purchased from you and are likely to come back again.
Through email marketing strategies, you can contact your potential and existing customers at a very low cost with a high ROI, generating $42 for every $1 spent.
But how exactly can you collect those email addresses for your mailing list? It can be as simple and straightforward as asking customers to sign up in exchange for special promotions and gifts. You can also offer added benefits in your newsletters and guarantee your subscribers will be the first to know about special discounts.
At all times, you should keep in mind to treat your mailing list professionally, making sure your emails are clean, professional, and contain valuable information. Also, make sure not to come out too strong or overwhelm your subscribers with the number of emails you’re sending them. Pace yourself and your emails and always have your customers’ best interest at heart.
Go Digital – Secure Your Growth
With these digital marketing efforts, your first year in business might just prove to be significantly less stressful than you first expected, and it will definitely prove to be more successful.
Digital marketing strategies are the present and the future of business and they’ll not only keep you afloat during your first year but help you expand your operations, making your business successful in the long run.
The reach and possibilities of digital marketing are almost countless, and with a good digital marketing agency by your side – the sky is the limit.
About the author
Matej is a digital marketing expert, CEO, and head strategist at Kala Presence, with more than 10 years of experience in the marketing industry. For both his local and worldwide clients, he offers comprehensive, hands-off digital marketing solutions, fully personalized strategies, and complete market domination. He perfected his skills in the most competitive U.S. market, and now uses the valuable knowledge, techniques, and experience he gained to further promote and advance digital marketing in Croatia.