By Mike Wood
With the madness going on in the world right now over COVID-19, every business is looking to jump into digital marketing. Many of you are way behind the curve, while some of you haven’t previously had any digital footprint.
So where do you begin? There is a lot of advice out there, good and bad, and many people who will promise you big returns for large sums of money that you likely don’t have at the moment.
Well, since you’re reading this article, it’s likely you are looking for free advice on how to go it alone. AllBusiness.com is one of the first websites where I learned the ins and outs of marketing, and now that I write for it, I thought I would put together a little free advice to help get you started (or hopefully at least motivated).
The state of digital marketing
Marketing in the digital age has taken on a decidedly new form than the marketing tactics of the past. A competent and effective online marketing strategy is now a major component of success for many businesses. But it’s also true that you may have put less energy into those digital strategies because your business was moving along just fine. Coronavirus and the advent of mass “stay at home” orders, however, might have you rethinking your internet marketing plans.
Of course, the importance of online marketing in the age of coronavirus cannot be overstated. Many of us have found ourselves relegated to home offices, trying to conduct business in an unusual method. We can no longer rely on the traditional marketing tactics that got us where we are.
You may also simply want to cultivate a new skill so that you will be able to cast a wider net and bring in more customers. Digital marketing strategies are the same, regardless of the presence of a global pandemic. So if you’re just starting out, let’s take a look at some of the basics of digital marketing to provide a solid framework.
Find out what your customers like and who they are
If you run an even moderately successful business, then you must be doing something right. There’s a reason you attract new customers and keep existing ones around, even if you don’t have much of a web presence.
A great place to start your foray into digital marketing is by finding out exactly what keeps those customers coming back to you. Is it your products and services? Your location? Your level of customer service? Or a combination of all that and more?
More important, you should try to understand exactly how your company fills the needs of your clients. What are they looking for when they call you up or enter your storefront? Understanding who your customers are and what they want out of your business can help you build a profile of a “target customer.”
Once you know who your target customer is, you will want to zero in on that demographic with your digital marketing strategy. After all, if you simply decide to wing it in regard to online marketing, you’re less likely to get a good return on your investment.