Taking The Jump Toward Online Supremacy
Marketing a start-up is an incredibly daunting task for the budding entrepreneur. That’s because it remains one of the most important tasks when starting a business. No one knows your brand, and the market is yet to trust your product.
Digital marketing, however, offers the millennial businessman the opportunity to showcase his/her brand, product and service for a fraction of the price of traditional advertising. Furthermore, the digital marketing environment allows you to measure your brand’s online presence and return on investment.
It’s a no-brainer! With internet penetration at an all-time high in South Africa, the best thing for the young businessman to do is to jump into the whirlpool of digital marketing as soon as possible. However, to prevent yourself from drowning, and in an attempt to claim that ‘Top Spot’ in your industry, following a few useful tips won’t hurt.
Data Is Your Best Friend
If you’re a start-up owner, or new to digital marketing, forget your BFF and your trusty dog; data is your new best friend. Before assuming the task of developing your own website (or finding an agency to build the site for you) make sure that you sift through enough online data to understand whether your service/product is marketable.
If you have access to Google Keyword Planner (and the know-how to understand the figures) you can determine search volumes within geographic areas that you are marketing. Also, make use of SERPs Keyword Rank Checker to find out who is the current industry leader online, and ‘borrow’ a few of their digital marketing techniques.
Make sure you know exactly what the market is asking, what people are looking for, and what they need. Often there is a tremendous difference between what the layman is communicating from word-of-mouth compared to what they search for when online. Know the difference by using data.
Most importantly, data will allow you to manage and grow your online presence. Big data can assist you in finding what website pages deliver the most traffic, what the bounce rate is per page, and what avenues are being used most when people find your site.
Be sure to learn the ins-and-outs regarding Google Analytics as soon as possible, as this will provide you with all the data described above.
Google Analytics integrates with your URL, tracking all data in association with your website. Why pay a digital marketing agency to do the work that you can do yourself? You could also learn a few useful facts about the digital market in the process.
Become A Content Marketer
As a business-owner, content marketing can be incredibly satisfying. It is another method of digital marketing you can do yourself, saving your business money and putting your brand on the map.
Content marketing can be as complex as the creation of videos and infographics, but it can also be rather simple. The writing of blogs or ‘how-to’ manuals (white papers) can be done by the aspiring business-owner in her/his spare time.
Blogs and white papers can then be loaded online, either as an entity in itself (creating interest for the online user) or as a sales ploy; exchanging content for a visitor’s email address or entry into your online sales pipeline.
There are a few reasons why a small-business owner should be doing their own content marketing:
- The business owner knows more about their particular industry than the marketing agency. The marketing agency can do a substantial amount of research, but they cannot understand the market from the perspective of the business owner, and the realities that the market experiences.
- The business owner should understand the customers’ needs better than anyone else (that is, no doubt, one of the reasons he/she starts their business). This puts them in a perfect position to be able to create content specifically catering for the user. This will entice the user to consume the content.
- Search Engine Optimisation (methods of making you page rank higher on Google or alternative search engines) used to be a science that involved a lot of keyword, link-building and backend trickery. Nowadays, thanks to the advances of modern search engines (particularly Google), any good content that provides the user with actual value is going to assist in the positive ranking of your website. Make use of free online tools like Quick Sprout or Woorank to see how your website performs with regards to SEO.
Taking the jump, trusting in data, and doing a bit of extra content-creation work is a surefire way of getting your brand revealed online. If your website is built, and you understand the importance of data and content, you can open up an assortment of avenues to pursue when creating an online brand profile.
Possibly the most important factor to remember is that the global and local market is moving online, so it is in the small-business owner’s best interests not to be left behind. Make the right choice and start to invest time, money and effort toward your brand’s digital marketing.