Whether you have an online business or offline business, digital marketing is the ultimate solution for generating sales, leads and business promotion. There are a lot of ways to do digital marketing and this might confuse you if you are new or have been in the business just for a little while.
Before I begin, let me first explain what are marketing channels actually? Marketing channels are platforms, methods, tools, and strategies that businesses use to get in touch with the target audience with an aim to sell products, generate leads, and grow audience. For example, Facebook is one marketing channel that you can use to promote your products or get in touch with your potential buyers.
Top 5 Free Digital Marketing Channels For Your Business
There are hundreds of digital marketing channels and the list might overwhelm you because you don’t know which marketing channel is right for you. In that case, you might want to figure out which marketing channel will actually work for you and which won’t. And you may also not want to burn out yourself by spending money on the marketing channel that does not work for you. Here I have compiled top 5 free digital marketing channels that will work for your business.
- Social Media Marketing
There are tons of social media sites, however, not all are created equal. Some social media sites are more suited with certain age group or interest. For instance, Instagram is popular with Millennials (people who were born between 1981 and 1996, or who are between the ages of 22 and 37 years). Snapchat is popular with Generation Z (people born in 1997-2010, people under the age of 22 years). Pinterest is popular with women, Pinterest reach 83 percent of the American women between the age of 25 and 54 years. Every second two professionals join LinkedIn. About 45 percent of LinkedIn users are associated with upper management (directors, managers, CEO) and 94 percent business-to-business marketers are using LinkedIn.
Social Media Marketing Tips
Choose a platform that best suits for your business: Based on aforementioned figures, if you want to market to the people in the age group of 22-37 years, use Instagram. If you want to promote to professionals and B2B marketers, use LinkedIn. If your target audience is people under the age of 22 years, use Snapchat.
The moral of the story is you have to do research on the demography in the social media and market your business, products, content accordingly.
Give preference in developing relationships more than generating sales: This might confuse you, however, the truth is you generate more sales if you focus on customer relation. Social media marketing actually is relationship marketing, you use social media to connect with your potential customers, clients, buyers. Social media marketing is long term goal oriented, it is not used to drive instant sales but generate sales over the years. In order to generate sales for many years to come, you have to develop connections with your target audience. When you develop genuine followers, sales will follow. Your genuine followers will also become your brand ambassadors. In order to develop stable sales, you need returning customers and you can do this by building connections on social media.
In order to build connection with your potential customers, you have to be active and consistent. You have to develop a genuine brand presence that your followers enjoy interacting on a regular basis. You can network better if you post daily instead of once a week. Since you have to be very active, it gives more sense to use a handful of social sites instead of dozens of social sites. If you are using a lot of sites, you will be spreading thin, which will create difficulty in connecting with your target audience.
Influencer marketing is a marketing method where people with a large fan following on various social sites will promote your content, products, and business. Influencer marketing is very effective because the influencer marketers have a genuine fan following and their followers genuinely believe what they promote.
Influencer marketing is very effective digital marketing method because it gives something called “social proof.” Social proof is opinion, reviews, testimonials, and recommendation from people on social media. A lot of people are influenced by social proof.
Generally speaking, there are six main types of influencer marketing campaigns:
- Sponsored content
- Product and content collaborations
- Competitions and giveaways
- “Takeovers” on your platforms
- Long-term ambassadors
Influencer marketing is not actually free. In fact if you want to hire a big influencer marketer, you are required to pay him. However, you can also find a lot of small social media influencer who does not expect cash payment. They will promote your products, content, business for freebies or promote their accounts in return.
Influencer Marketing Tips
Find an influencer marketer on the right platform and related to your niche: The basic idea behind influencer marketing is reaching the target market. For example, if you have products for people in the age group of 22-37, find an influencer marketer on Instagram. If you are selling beauty products, your influencer marketer should not be someone whose audience is gamers.
You should also consider about audience engagements. You can find how engaged the audience is by checking likes and comments they get. If the influencer has 10K followers, yet not even 100 people liked their content, you are with the wrong influencer.
Work with small and moderate influencers: Unless you are spending a large sun in your influencer marketing, you have to work with someone who has more than 5K followers and less than 50K followers. If you want to work with large influencers, you have to pay hefty price. Small and moderate influencers are less demanding.
According to the consumer behaviour, people are more likely to be impressed with common people rather than celebrities. That’s because common people interact with people in a better way compared to celebrities.
Develop a long-term relationship: Long term relationship with influencer marketers pay better than short term relationship. You need to be proactive in developing strong relationship with your influencer marketer. You should consider on making your influencer marketer your brand ambassadors.
- Content Marketing
Content marketing means marketing your products, services, business through useful and interesting content. You write and publish contents on your blog, website, social sites and reach to your target audience through social sites, emails, newsletters, ezines etc.
You can create different types of content to reach your target audience, for example:
- Case studies
Content marketing is very effective. According to a research, content marketing cost 62 percent less than traditional marketing yet generate three times more leads, sales
Content marketing is basically related to social media marketing and search engine optimization.
Content Marketing Tips
Create useful and interesting content: Your content should provide value to your potential customers. Your audience should be getting useful and interesting information from your content. For example, if you are selling beauty products, you can create video, article, podcasts, infographics etc about beauty tips.
Create different types of contents for different channels: You should create different types of contents and publish on various channels. For example you can create videos and publish on youtube, create infographics and publish on facebook or pinterest. By doing this you can reach your potential customers on various channels. You can also repurpose your content. For example, you can create a video based on your article, or create a slideshow, or short social media posts. Content marketing takes time, however, it is very effective.
- Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization or SEO in short is a method to make your content, website, products, business visible on search engines. When your website, contents, products are ranked high on search engines you will not only generate traffic but also sales.
While doing SEO, you have to focus on Google search because it has the largest market share. However, you should also consider on other search engines like Baidu, Bing, Yahoo etc.
Search Engine Optimization Tips
Keyword research: SEO begins with keyword research and using the keywords on your content for search engines to pick up your content and rank high n search engine result page. You should consider using keywords that are less competitive yet have high search hits. There are a lot of keyword tools such as Google Keyword Planner, Ubbersuggest etc. You can also use sites like Buzzsumo to check out what type of contents are viral on social sites.
Update your content regularly: Search engines like contents that are old and updated with fresh contents regularly.
- Email Marketing
Since email marketing is associated with spamming (sending a lot of contents to a lot of people), many people believe that email marketing is not as effective as it used to be. However, you have to reconsider this belief. Email marketing has 6 percent conversion rate which is not really bad. In other words, f you send emails to 100 people, 6 people will buy your products and services. The best thing about email marketing is it does not cost you anything and you are in control. You are never affected by social media or search engine algorithm.
How to do email marketing
- Build subscribers and end emails regularly.
- Send a follow-up email to consumers who abandon their shopping carts.
- Send emails to your buyers asking feedback on their purchases.
- Send emails about new products, giveaways, discounts etc.
- Send emails asking them to leave review and feedback.
Email Marketing Tips
- Write a good sales pitch.
- Segment your email list and send emails to match their interest
- Use email templates and mass email providers.
Digital Marketing Checklist
Digital marketing does not cost you a lot of money if you use the right platforms and right methods. Here are some key points.
- Use a handful of channels and remain very active.
- Give preference on developing relationship.
- Focus on making your audience your brand ambassadors.
- Partner with the influencers on your niche.
- Share valuable contents on various platforms
- Try making your marketing campaign your long term goal.
- Give preference on social media optimization and search engine optimization.
- Write a compelling sales pitch and use your sales pitch as baits.