Digital marketing is an ever-changing world, and you can never stand still for too long before innovative new approaches are ushered into place, and those tried-and-tested formulae you had gotten used to become out of date.
If you want to get the most out of your online presence and help your business succeed, then getting familiar with the different trends and tools involved in digital marketing is a must. From learning more about social media, to understanding how a cyber security degree might help keep your business secure, there is a lot to know and understand. Read on to find out some of the most useful tips about digital marketing, and how you can implement them.
Start with a coherent strategic plan
To get the best results from any kind of digital marketing campaign, having a clear and well-considered strategic plan should always be a high priority. This requires investing time and resources to understand your audience and their needs, as well as what you offer as a business. The plan should include key performance indicators to measure success. A well-executed strategy will be able to identify the tools at your disposal, and how they may be used effectively. To learn these capabilities, search online or sign up for a cyber security degree.
Once you have an idea of the types of digital marketing tools you may want to use, you can then establish a long-term plan of action. Digital marketing may not always show immediate results, but a careful and patient approach can pay off great dividends and have a truly transformational impact.
Create interesting and relevant content for your audience
Content is king, as the familiar saying goes, and while it might be quite a few years since it was first coined by Bill Gates, the phrase still retains its relevance. If you’re not sure what it means, then here is a brief summary. The content that you share will always be one of the best and most important ways that you can connect with your audience, and help would-be customers make the change from browsing to taking real action.
Of course, when it comes to sharing and creating content online, making sure that it is of use and relevant to your market is of the utmost importance. If your business operates in health and wellness, for instance, then sharing information about a cyber security degree is unlikely to be of much use, and in fact, may even turn people away from your website. Instead you should regularly assess and research what kinds of subjects your audience is interested in, and generate useful information that will be sure to pique their interest.
You should also make sure that content is updated on a regular basis. Most major search engines have a preference for sites that feature fresh and original content, so avoid recycling the same old articles or images. As search engine policies are constantly evolving, it’s advisable to update your skills from time to time, either through formal study, under an online cyber security degrees, for example, or more informal short-form courses.
Choose a variety of forms and channels
There is a multitude of digital platforms to choose from nowadays, and a website is only one part of the picture. In fact, many businesses can happily promote and grow online without needing a huge website presence. The rapid growth of social media platforms over the past decade has transformed how businesses and customers can interact online, and being able to understand and implement these well can make a massive difference.
Not all social media channels will be relevant to all audiences, or types of businesses, however. Choosing the right channels for you requires careful thought and assessment. You will want to consider your audience demographic, their requirements and needs, and what kind of information they may be most receptive to. Rather than overwhelming your business or marketing team by attempting to do too much at once, it is often more effective to start with a single channel and establish it well, before then moving on to another and growing from there.
With a huge range of channels to choose from, it can sometimes be tough to work out what the best format of content really is, but images and video content always remain top performers. While this doesn’t mean you need to pivot your business into a multi-media channel focusing on video and photography, it is good to keep in mind, and look for ways to engage your audience in refreshing and interesting ways.
Along with meeting the needs of different audiences and types of content, various social media channels also bring in different factors that you may need to consider. If you have done, or are looking at a cyber security degree, then you may already realise that some channels can lead to more potential security breaches, and require careful thought about what kind of information can be shared and exchanged. While some larger platforms have made efforts to provide more robust security and encryption for users, allowing useful functions such as integrating e-commerce solutions into a single channel, newer and less rigorously tested social media sites may lack this.
Establish confidence and trust in your brand
Establishing trust in your brand is one of the most essential and important ways to help your business succeed, both in terms of online marketing and for your offline presence. A brand’s reputation is an enormously valuable asset, and can give it a highly competitive edge over others, when managed well. Conversely, the reputation of a brand is also very vulnerable to damage, if it is not maintained with care, hence it is always important to make sure that all online activity is in line with a brand’s communicated image and values.
There are a number of ways that you can use digital marketing to help improve and reinforce a positive sense of trust in a brand, and a cyber security degree is a great source of ideas. One simple way is to allow greater transparency, particularly, is through the use of reviews and customer feedback. Reviews are a great way for other customers to see honest and direct responses from other customers, get a better understanding of the product, and feel assured that they are likely to receive the product promised to them as it is described.
It’s also important not to curate your feedback, and only allow positive reviews to be displayed. While it might seem as if a negative rating or feedback may put others off, it can actually boost confidence in a brand, as customers can see how you respond to it, and how you go about resolving complaints. Showing a variety of feedback ratings also increases trust, as customers can see that you are comfortable with allowing people to have their own opinion.
Another important part of creating trust in a brand is by establishing a safe and secure online presence. This is particularly essential if you are taking or sharing customer information online, and a cyber security degree can help you understand what you may need to consider. Financial data, personal information, private email addresses, images and other sensitive information can pose an enormous risk of harm to both you and your customers if these fall into the wrong hands, so you must do your utmost to prevent this from happening.
Harness the power of data
A great advantage of a cyber security degree, is that it can allow you to create a more secure online presence, and understand how to make the most out of the insights and tools available to you. Website analytics are an invaluable source of data and give you an in-depth, highly personalized understanding of your audience demographics. Looking at this information can help you pin point precise insights into areas such as the locations where your key customers are based, where they might find out about your business, and even the times of day, or types of device that they access your site from.
This level of information can be of great use to a business large or small, as it enables you to create a more specific and tailored marketing approach, rather than taking too broad a strategy. By being more focused in who and how you target people, you are more likely to increase your conversion rates, and boost growth. Of course, as with any kind of valuable data, information from analytics must be kept secure and safe, as it may contain sensitive content that can increase your site’s vulnerability to an attack. You may want to consider a cyber security degree, to help you learn how to prevent a potentially harmful scenario.
Take a look at your competitors
Competitor research is always a valuable activity, and it can give you some hugely beneficial insights into how to improve and grow your digital marketing campaign. This does not mean duplicating the approach your competitors are taking, but instead, investing time in understanding what they are doing, and what it may offer them. Remember that your business may have different markets or products, which require an alternative approach. However, by taking a look at how others approach the task, you may find some fresh new ideas to inspire your own efforts. You may also learn how not to do something.
Aim to create a connection
Creating a connection with your online audience is one of the most powerful and long-lasting ways to make a positive change with digital marketing. Of course, connections require an exchange of information, so having an appreciation of online safety, such as taught on a cyber security degree, is often key.
There are many ways to inspire and nurture connection with your audience, from tried-and-tested approaches, such as creating a mailing list or newsletter. To do this, it’s worth looking at how to maximize the impact of website traffic and encourage visitors to provide their email address and sign up. Nobody wants an inbox packed with constant streams of promotional content though, so you should aim to make this as appealing as possible. Offering discounts, useful and interesting free information, or exclusive offers can be a great way to encourage people to provide their email address and sign up. These and many more approaches to fostering connections would be covered under a cyber security degree.
Another great way to foster a connection with your audience is by encouraging them to participate and get involved with your activities. Social media can be an especially helpful channel for this, as campaigns can allow users to see and share their own details on a brand’s platform, in exchange for visibility.
Optimize your website for the latest tools
With constant developments in digital technology, making sure that your website and digital channels are optimized and up to date can in itself be a huge advantage. As well as helping you to keep your website safe from attack because of outdated technology or software, optimization also allows you to take advantage of emerging innovations, and stay ahead of competitors. For more information on the latest tools, check out the reading materials on a cyber security degree as these will often list the newest ones.
One key development that is growing in popularity, and looks set to do so in the future, is the use of voice activated searching. It is estimated that within a year, more than 50% of all online searches will be carried out through voice, and with a growing reliance on mobile devices such as phones and tablets, this is certainly unsurprising. To make the most of this trend, it is worth adding a snippet to be featured in search results for users looking for businesses near them, or with other common criteria.
Consider a more personalized approach
Personalized online marketing is another key area of growth, and has been made more commonplace through major e-commerce sites. These have used customer purchase and website history data to create more tailored recommendations, virtually in real time. If you have ever searched for a dream holiday location, and found a pop up advertisement showcasing a current deal, then you have certainly experienced the serendipitous feeling of this form of marketing.
This does not necessarily require a complete transformation of your marketing, but some well-considered strategic planning, which can have enormous benefit when done well.
There you have it – digital marketing will always be one of the best ways to help your business grow!