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Digital Marketing Strategy: A Startup Guide for Entrepreneurs

Digital Marketing Strategy: A Startup Guide for Entrepreneurs

The customer’s journey isn’t what it used to be. Folks aren’t just going online to find the products and services they want. The web is also where they go to conduct their own independent research, share their experiences products, exchange information with other prospective buyers, and shape the conversation about your brand and others like it.

Knowing who your audience is in terms of their relevant beliefs, experiences, likes, and dislikes is the starting point for any successful strategy. Keep reading to pick up some tips for how to fine-tune your web marketing to stay on top of the latest changes.

Grow Your Business by Going Social

Whatever your industry happens to be, your audience spends more of its time than ever on social media. All the major platforms, from YouTube and Twitter to Facebook and Instagram, now double as an all-purpose public square and de facto search engines for everything under the sun. Research shows that nearly 8 in 10 U.S. internet users are on Facebook and more than 1 in 3 have used social media to look for jobs.

In light of these facts, reaching out to engage with current and prospective customers on social channels can drive recognition of your brand, build consumer confidence in your level of service, and furnish opportunities for you to help guide the discussion already taking place.

There are lots of ways to successfully leverage the social web to drive traffic to your site and get the word out about who you are and what you offer.

  • Establishing a brand presence on a social platform like Facebook is just the first step. Once you’re there, listen and learn. Share attractive content like industry news or research and engage with your audience in the comments sections. Modeling transparency by asking and answering questions helps build trust—something that is often in short supply in the era of fake news.
  • Do your own informal market research by polling your followers. Sharing the results in turn can catalyze further discussion and carry the conversation forward. Sharing valuable content in this and other ways helps establish you as an authority in the places that count for your audience.
  • Don’t be shy or stingy with the hashtags—they help draw traffic to your social media presence or website.
  • Attract new pairs of eyes and fresh interest by distributing recommended content available via your social channel’s internal search function. Doing so will also help you network with other influential individuals and organizations.

Harness the Power of SEO

In the era of an increasingly autonomous customer base, your web marketing strategy is incomplete without a proper application of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Even with smart social outreach, you can only do so much to manually boost your brand. That’s where SEO comes in, with its reliance on keywords to drive web traffic to you by giving your content a robotic leg up in search engine results.

Use Google Analytics or a similar tool to determine what search terms drive traffic to your site. Build your content around these and related terms, which you can discover through analytic techniques like those discussed below. They will be your ticket to outperforming your competitors in search results via paid ads on Google and other targeted marketing efforts.

It turns out long-tail keywords are among SEO best practices. These three- and four-word phrases are better suited than single keywords to catch the attention of search engine algorithms. They are so central to successful SEO because of their effectiveness in generating organic traffic to your site. After all, they account for 70% of web searches.

Finally, partner up with kindred sites offering similar content and offer to write guest content in exchange for a link to your site. This is a popular indirect way to optimize your targeted keywords. Make a habit it out of it and watch your reach grow by leaps and bounds.

Put Analytics to Work for You

Finally, use any number of analytics techniques to sharpen your web marketing arsenal. Marketing analytics measures and analyzes marketing performance, and examines underlying customer trends and preferences, to optimize your future return on investment.

Monitor your campaigns and their outcomes through a variety of metrics, including keywords, time spent by web users on your page and the number of unique visits and pages browsed per session.

The numbers don’t lie. Companies that keep pace with changes in how their audiences are doing business in 2018 and beyond have a competitive edge. By going social, optimizing your web presence, and using data-driven analysis to see what works and what doesn’t, you can stay at the head of the pack.


Christian Golden, PhD, writes about tips and trends in digital marketing and social media for TrustRadius. He is a philosopher by day who loves teaching and digging into the big questions. His extracurricular interests include making music, reading comics, watching (really old) movies, and being in the great outdoors.

 

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