Quote: "The most inexpensive way to build brand awareness and credibility online is by writing well thought out articles, views, instructions, technical and general information about your products and services. In the digital era, content is king..."
In the past, people paid for each marketing message they wanted to broadcast. If you wanted to advertise during a prime time slot on the radio, you would pay a hefty amount for this regardless of who heard your message. Today, businesses can have their own newspapers (blogs), their own TV Channel (YouTube) and their own radio stations (pod casts) often without spending anything. Digital media has enabled lean marketing.
The numerous digital marketing strategies available are overwhelming to entreprneurs. The first and most important step is to determine one's marketing goals. For most SME's, there are two key goals:
• To generate leads from their target market that they can convert to sales, and
• to create brand awareness and credibility.
Below is a brief overview of how small business owners can start using digital marketing to create a lean, cost-effective and highly engaging digital marketing strategy to take their businesses to the next level.
Search Engine Marketing
Search Engines are the online portals that enable internet users to search for information e.g. Google, Bing and Yahoo. We focus on Google as it is the most used search engine.
Your potential customers are using a variety of search terms on a daily basis to find products and services that you might offer – but are they able to find your web properties (website, blog and social media) with these search phrases?
The following are key terms you must know about Search Engine Marketing:
a) Keyword research: - The first thing you need to do is find the keyword phrases (relating to your business) that people are using by using Google's keyword tool: https://adwords.google.com/o/KeywordTool.
b) Pay-Per-Click: - (PPC) refers to the ads you see on the top and also at the right hand side of Google's search results and is the quickest way to get to the top of search results. You simply bid on keywords, create an ad and every time someone clicks on your ad, you pay for that click. The important thing is to make sure you're taking search engine users to a landing page that is giving the reader all the information they need to buy from you in order to convert the lead into a sale.
c) SEO: - Search Engine Optimization is all about optimising your website so that Google knows that your web pages are related to the keywords searched for. There are a few ways to do this which include website content building, and internal & external link building. This has to be an on-going process for it to work and it takes quite a bit of time and effort. The benefit of SEO is that you won't be paying for the top spots in Google once you get there.
The most inexpensive way to build brand awareness and credibility online is by writing well thought out articles, views, instructions, technical and general information about your products and services. In the digital era, content is king. The more helpful, informative and relevant the content you publish on your web properties is, the more value you give to potential customers.
When you publish content that your target audience finds valuable and relevant, you will be viewed as a thought leader on the subject. People trust and buy from thought leaders. An added bonus is that content is essentially the backbone of an SEO strategy, so these two strategies support each other.
Think of the social media platforms that your target audience are using (such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest) and set up these accounts so that you can distribute content via these channels. You could also make videos featuring content that would be of interest to your target market and distribute it through YouTube.