In a relatively small number of years, the internet has changed the way the world works. From video rental shops to courier services, dozens and dozens of industries have been killed or forced to change because of the internet. One of the fields that have adapted to the times is marketing. In the past, it was all about print ads in magazines and newspapers as well as TV and radio commercials. Now, they’re just one part of the equation. You also have to factor in influencers, SEO, and social media. What was trendy a few months ago could be a total fad now.
All the terms and trends could be confusing and overwhelming. To get an idea on how to get your online business started, here are the dos and don’ts of digital marketing:
Don’t: rely on paid advertisements only
For new businesses, ads can be one of the best ways to drive traffic for a website. You can attract customers from all over to visit your site even if they haven’t heard of it before. The downside is advertisements can be expensive without delivering actual results. For instance, you’re paying a search engine to put your site to the top of the results page. You’re the first thing the consumer sees when they look up a term. They look at your website, but they don’t buy anything. Your traffic may increase, and you have to pay for the ad, but you didn’t sell anything. The good news is that you can always focus on improving organic traffic to get visits. With SEO-focused content, you can get to the top of the results page without paying for every click it gains. The challenge is doing it right. If you do it yourself, you can save money, but it doesn’t mean it translates to actual sales. It’s best to hire a digital marketing company with experience and skills to get results.
Do: keep your brand consistent
It can be subtle, but all brands have a message they send out. For each ad, social media post, and company email, companies have a feeling they want to exude. For example, Nike has been praised for their successful ads since their first “Just Do It” commercial in 1988. One particular promo with a message that’s still strong today is their “If You Let Me Play” campaign in 1995. It features little girls saying facts about the benefits of female sport participation. 25 years later, Nike is still garnering praise with their latest ad. The two commercials are targeting different issues and was produced in different times. But the company’s branding remains the same: inclusivity is their priority. It’s one of the reasons why their ads are so effective. Nike is valued at a whopping $32.4 billion, making it the leading apparel brand in the world.
Consumers are much more likely to buy from a business with consistent branding. The better they can recognize their image and message, the higher the level of trust is. If a company suddenly pivots and rebrands, it can lead to distrust and criticism.
Don’t: go for a broad target market
The internet has enabled small and large businesses to sell to customers all over the world. Shipping has become easier and accessible as ever. Worldwide advertising is even more convenient. If you want to, a simple post on social media can reach people in different continents. The downside is that a lot of consumers are wary of shopping abroad, especially from lesser-known businesses. A 2017 survey found that two-thirds of customers prefer buying from local shops. They say it’s because the products are of higher quality, and they like that the money goes to the community. Even if you can, it might be better to stay local, at least for the time being.
Do: personalize your content
Digital marketing can be complicated due to various ever-changing factor. One way to instantly make the job easier is by narrowing your target market. If you know which demographic you want to reach, choosing and crafting your brand is simpler. For example, if you want to sell to Millennials and Gen Zers, a good place to start is by going by their interests. A survey by the Pew Research Center found that people under 30 are more likely to prioritize the environment than their older counterparts. One way to encourage them to buy from you is by using eco-friendly products and packaging.
A good way to advertise your business effectively is by putting yourself in the customers’ shoes. If you don’t think your site is worth buying from, your consumers will share the same view.