5 Digital Marketing Strategies For New Businesses - A Beginner's Guide
You've decided on a business name and logo, got your products and services ready to go, and have just received news that your website is live. Now what?
Here we uncover the first steps you need to take to help you and your business on your way to success in the online space, covering the main elements of digital marketing that as a new business, are critical to cover.
SEO is probably one of the most difficult and complex aspects of digital marketing, and one of the main reasons so many companies choose to hire a SEO agency to help them. However, as a new business, money is often tight, so here are a few tips to cover the SEO basics yourself before you look to work with somebody down the line for more advanced SEO strategies.
- Make sure Google knows you want your website to show in the search results. My first tip is to set up Google Search Console and submit your XML sitemap, then make sure all pages are being indexed. There are plenty of great guides on how to do this if it sounds unfamiliar to you. After a website goes live, it can take several days for Google bots to crawl it and index it (which means that when somebody searches your business name in Google or Bing, your website shows up). If your website still isn't showing up, contact your website development agency and ask that they make sure your robots.txt isn't blocking your website from being indexed (don't worry, they should know what this means!).
- If you have a WordPress website, then I would highly recommend installing the Yoast SEO plugin - this will become your best friend. Here you can choose what you want your title tags and meta descriptions for each page to be. This the text that shows up in Google and encourages people to click through to your website, so you want to make sure it clearly explains what your page is about, and why people should click on it to visit your site. Title tags in particular are also important for SEO when it comes to keywords - if you want your website to appear when your prospective customers search certain "keywords", make sure they are included naturally in your title tag.
- As mentioned above, SEO is often completed by a team of digital marketing specialists who spend many hours working to get you appearing in the top positions in Google for your high priority keywords, so it's difficult to cover all aspects of SEO in a brief article such as this. One final easy-to-action tip to help you however, includes setting up a Google My Business account to help provide more information about your brand. Note this can also be called a Local Listing.
2. Social Media
Social media is crucial to businesses of all sizes, but especially new ones looking to raise brand awareness. Depending on your business type, ensure you have set up branded social media accounts across the most relevant channels - Facebook and Instagram are the primary ones chosen for most businesses. Make sure your logo is set up as the profile picture, and create a schedule so you are posting a range of content across your channels several times a week. Mix it up - include some promotional, some relevant news articles, some personal, and some "just for fun" content to appeal to different people within your target audience.
But having great content on your social media pages means nothing if you have zero followers so create a plan for letting people know about your social media profiles. Make sure there are prominent links on your website to your social accounts, and post on local business pages. Initially, you may also want to put a small amount of money behind Facebook ads aimed specifically at getting people to like your page. Whatever you do, make sure you don't buy followers though - it's not a great look for your business and can go horribly wrong!
3. Content Marketing
Content marketing can be as simple or as complex as you like. For a new business, I would suggest starting small - thinking about the different type of content (ie. blog articles or resources) that your ideal customer would want to read. Good content marketing provides VALUE to readers and if done correctly, nurtures them into becoming customers. For example, if you were a hairdresser who specialised in fixing hair disasters, then you can think about the types of problems your target audience would face, and how you can provide value without pushing your business too hard. You could create a blog article with your top tips for fixing brassy hair, then the last tip could be to hire a specialist hairdresser, followed with a call to action for them to contact you for a free quote. You can also use this as an opportunity to encourage people to subscribe to your email newsletter which can then be used to nurture the prospect until the time is right for them to engage your services.
4. Email Marketing
Email marketing is a great way to keep top of mind for people you know are interested in your company. Find different ways to get people to become subscribers of your newsletter - whether you can offer a free consultation or a discount off their first order when they subscribe, there are lots of different possibilities - even running competitions! Then make sure to nurture these people. If you sign up to a free program like MailChimp, you can even create automatic emails that get sent out over a period of weeks - you only have to set this up once, but each new person that subscribes goes into the series and every few days will get a new email from you. The tip here is to vary your email content - ie. for the welcome email, introduce them to your company and how they can benefit from engaging with you. Here is also a great time to ask them to follow your social media accounts. Then on day 4 of the email series, they may get sent an email where you share your top tips to overcome a problem they would likely have that's related to your industry. Day 10 might be a case study or reviews showing why your business is so great, and day 15 could be explaining the benefits of your product or service in more detail. Also ensure you are creating new emails and sending these out often - ie. whenever you complete a major project or add a new product to your collection, to prevent your brand from being forgotten!
5. Start Advertising Online
This is another step where many companies decide to enlist the help of a digital marketing agency, but if you're still looking to do it yourself, below are the top areas to do further research into. Many new companies are already strapped for cash and wary of spending any on marketing, but if people don't know you exist, they can't become your customers. And while SEO, organic social media, content marketing and email marketing might help you get some good customers and revenue if done correctly, advertising is still a fantastic way to reach people who may not realise they need you! While there are many different types of marketing you can undertake, here are the main ones:
- Google Ads (formerly known as AdWords). These are the websites that appear (most of the time) at the top of Google after you search for a particular topic. You get charged each time somebody clicks on the ad to go through to your website, so you'll need to invest some time in learning how to set up a basic, profitable campaign.
- Google Shopping. If you sell products, Google Shopping could also be a great platform for you. You connect your product feed in the back end of your website with your Google Merchant Centre, and little image icons will appear showcasing your products in relevant Google searches.
- Social Media Marketing. This is great, especially if you have a visual product. You can get hyper-specific with you want to target (e.g. women, 45-65+ years old, who live 45km from Perth, who are interested in shopping, horse races, and fashion, who also have a birthday in the next month BUT only earn over $100,000) to make sure your ads are being delivered to the most relevant audiences. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest all offer paid services.
Starting out in the online world can be very scary, but it doesn't have to be! The main tips are to make sure that your company, service or product is in front of your target audience. And if you are looking for somebody to help you take the next step with your digital marketing, there are many great individuals and agencies out there. Just do your research and read reviews before signing anything. This is your business and your baby - have fun!
If you are looking for a digital marketing agency to help your new business get off to the best possible start, why not contact Australian digital marketing agency Living Online - we've helped hundreds of businesses reach and exceed their online marketing goals so not only do we talk the talk, but we also walk the walk.