Many companies are making a shift to digital marketing. This includes employing tactics such as email, display advertising, pay-per-click, search engine optimization (SEO), video, mobile, and social. Let’s take a closer look at three that can really deliver: email, social media, and SEO.
Email marketing is a form of direct marketing that uses email as the vehicle for communicating a message to customers or prospects. The term is reserved for emails that are meant to enhance customer relationships, improve customer loyalty, acquire new customers, or convince customers to buy something immediately.
Email marketing allows for tightly focused targeting and, if executed well, can increase sales conversations and generate repeat sales. It helps you gain valuable feedback from your customers and builds relationships, loyalty, and trust. But, in order to cut through the clutter in a customer’s Inbox, your email marketing must be highly creative, very clear and concise, and not too “salesy.” But be sure to brush up on all the privacy and SPAM laws on the books before you embark on an email campaign.
Social media marketing includes blogging, tweeting, and posting (and also advertising) on social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Social media marketing doesn’t cost a lot, but it can be incredibly time consuming because conversations are always happening and platforms are always changing.
With social, the goal should be to become a thought leader and seed the space with your message. But you need to do more than spew information if you want to create results in this space. You have to create dialogue and start conversations around trends, technologies, and ideas. This is what engages your audience and makes them want to follow you, but it’s easier said than done. Although it takes just minutes to create a profile on social media networks, it takes lots of time to create a presence that people want to follow.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a process that improves the unpaid “natural” or “organic” traffic to your website via image search, local search, video search, or industry-specific vertical search engines. SEO involves editing a website’s content and HTML and associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines. There are a few basic SEO methods (like adding keywords to your site content) that you can do on your own, but the more involved SEO techniques are better left to professionals.
SEO offers a high return on investment because it ultimately generates more targeted traffic to your site. This, in turn, should result in additional sales since the people clicking through to your site will most likely be interested in what you do. SEO also increases brand visibility and improves usability and accessibility. It does take time to build organic traffic, however, so SEO is a long-term positioning tactic, not a way to increase short-term cash flow.