In this post, you’re going to learn about the 10 best digital marketing ideas and strategies to exponentially explode the growth of your business. Get ready!
When I began my first online business venture way back in 2004, “digital marketing” was nothing compared to what it has become today.
For starters, Facebook and Gmail were just taking off.
WordPress didn’t really have a website until 2005, and there was no YouTube.
Google and SEO were in for sure, but PPC was kind of just getting popular.
And as for social media? Well, we were very limited as to what we could do with it.
So yes, it would be fair for me to state that we did things a little bit differently, mainly because the internet marketing landscape was just different.
Today, we’re inundated with so many opportunities to grow our business.
We’re forever being swamped by the latest tools, apps, services, and technologies.
We’re also constantly being taught this tactic, this method, this strategy, and so on. It’s totally mind blowing.
As Jacky Lovato accurately wrote in this post: if you don’t keep up, you’ll get left behind.If you don't keep up, you'll get left behind. Reading #digitalmarketingideasClick To Tweet
The digital marketing super-highway
To what ever degree, every business owner armed with a website sees themselves as some kind of internet marketer.
Every other internet marketing guru out there is preaching about some amazing new method or tactic you’ve got to use in order to stay ahead of the game.
It can be freaking overwhelming at times, I can tell you.
One of the questions I get asked a lot as an online marketer, particularly from individuals and businesses just starting out online, is this –
Do I really need to learn digital marketing, or can I just build a website and wait for people to find it in Google?
I know what you’re thinking –
But Fabrizio, everyone knows how to do online marketing, it’s 2017 for heaven’s sake.
No… Not everyone knows about online marketing let alone how to do it properly.
Perhaps you’re savvy enough to know a thing or two about it, but you can’t assume that everyone else who jumps online these days is instantly fortified with digital marketing knowledge.
Here’s the real reality. There are thousands of individuals and businesses who have no idea where to start when it comes to online marketing.
Heck, most of these folks don’t even know how easy it is to get a website up and running in 2017.
Businesses that have been long established ‘offline’, hit a brick wall when it comes to the online world.
Because most offline based businesses never cared about marketing on the internet in the first place, until that is, it was time to care.
So, if you run an established offline business that’s just starting online. Or, maybe you started an online business but still don’t have a clue as to where to start with digital marketing, just keep reading.
To answer the ultimate question that’s on your mind right now –
Do you need to know digital marketing?
Yes, is the short answer.
Interest in digital marketing has certainly continued to grow over the last five years. It’s now critical for any business getting online to get to grips with good internet marketing practices.
The digital/internet marketing playing field changed
Internet marketing methods are somewhat different from conventional offline marketing tactics.
Most offline or traditional marketing techniques are based around “advertising” and, or “cold hard selling”.
The internet, although share similar values and principles, primarily with regards to advertising, is still a very different landscape altogether.
Advertising is just one “tiny” piece of the online marketing puzzle… The rest of the puzzle is made up of other types of internet/digital marketing tactics.
In this post, I will share with you just 10 of the best digital marketing ideas and strategies you need to know about.
Sure, there are hundreds more out there, but you need not worry your head about the 1,000 other techniques to grow your business online just yet. Just focus on the ones that really matter for now.
So, without wasting another second of your time, let’s get cracking.
10 Best digital marketing ideas and strategies every business needs to know about
Once again I’ll remind you, if you’re reading this because you’re lucky enough to understand the importance of having a website for your business, then move on. This post is NOT for you.
The percentage of small businesses with a website in 2014 was said to be around 53%, meaning that a staggering 47% of small businesses didn’t have a website. (Source).
That number might be less now, however, some small businesses still don’t bother with a website because they feel it’s either too expensive to build one, or too time-consuming to manage one.
Or they simply just don’t understand how much of an impact a website can have on their business.
A mobile responsive website is so important for your business to grow and prosper. Especially when you weigh in the fact that 60% of internet access is occurring on mobile devices.
SmallBizTrends made an interesting point in one of their articles here. It said –
With a website, your business stops being invisible.
My word, that is so true. Because without a website, your business is virtually invisible to those trying to find it online.Without a website, your business is virtually invisible to those trying to find it online.Click To Tweet
If your business does not have a website that is mobile friendly, then I recommend you start here immediately.
Digital Marketing Idea #2: Start blogging
Oh no, not blogging… I hear you say.
Quit your moaning and keep reading.
Blogging has been around for some time now. Almost every internet based business manages a blog of some type.
Back in 1999, a list was compiled by Jesse James Garrett where there were only 23 blogs in existence on the internet (Source).
According to this infographic, as of 2013, the number of blogs in existence exceeds 170 million.
That very article also calculates that there are somewhere around 170,000 new blogs added to the internet every day.
Those are astonishing numbers, right?
So, why should you even consider using blogging in your business, and how can you use blogging to help your business grow and prosper?
Glad you asked. Let’s take a look at some ways –
- Blogging can help you share timely and relevant information with your customers. Think of it as a direct way to communicate with your customers.
- Businesses who use blogs receive 67% more leads than businesses who don’t market with blogs. (Source)
- Blogging can help you dramatically improve your search engine rankings, thus driving more targeted and relevant buyer traffic to your business website.
- Blogging can help you add that all-important “human element” to your brand, help you build more connections, reinforce relationships and help you earn the trust and loyalty of your customers. That’s important if you want them to buy from you again and again and again.
- Blogging is a cost effective marketing strategy, simple to setup and every business should be using.
If you want to learn how to set up a blog for your business, check out this post.
Digital Marketing Idea #3: Search engine optimization
Having a great looking website is all well and good.
Creating useful, compelling content is all well and good.
You might also have some amazing products or services on your site that people really need and love too.
But what good is all of it if no one can find it.
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, is more important than most people realize.
I speak to many business owners and bloggers alike every single week, be it online or offline.
To a lot of these folks in business, when it comes to creating online visibility for their website or services, they immediately begin to talk about advertising and using PPC.
I’ve heard many stories of how some companies are spending ridiculous amounts of money every single month on tools like Google AdWords and Facebook Ads, just to make sure their website is seen above their competition.
There are even companies set up to rob small businesses blindly like this, and I’m probably going to annoy a lot of people in that industry saying that.
The problem is that many small business owners have been brainwashed to think that SEO is just too complicated, or simply too time-consuming to actually do.
Then there’s the waiting game to see if your SEO efforts will pay off.
I’m not saying that PPC is bad in any way. I know a lot of great marketers out there who know exactly what they’re doing and getting from their PPC campaigns.
I’m saying if you’re just starting out, however, you don’t want to be blasting your entire budget on PPC.
When you implement simple but effective SEO practices into your website marketing strategy, sure it takes time to see any genuine results, again especially if you’re just starting out with your website.
But I can tell you the rewards are far, far, far greater, and long lasting too.
And the best thing is? You don’t have to throw your hard earned cash down the drain. Search engine traffic is free and on top, if you know how to do it effectively for your website.
Check out this amazing post by Don Purdum over on Unveil The Web where he shares a great hack for ranking high in Google search using the right “messaging” and “relevancy”.
In addition, if you need to scrub up on your SEO, I highly recommend this SEO book from the Amazon Marketplace.
If you run a WordPress website, consider installing a powerful SEO plugin. I recommend something like Yoast SEO, which is free. Or, something like SEOPressor for more site-wide on-page optimization options.
Digital Marketing Idea 4: Guest blogging
Guest blogging is nothing new, and only a few years ago it was considered as being a very powerful link building and traffic generation strategy.
Sadly these days, if you try building SEO backlinks using guest blogging the wrong way, or more appropriately if you use unnatural spammy link building tactics in your guest posts, you could potentially get your site slapped by Google.
Guest blogging, however, is still a very powerful way to do the following:
- Brand promotion and increasing credibility.
- Tapping into a blog’s traffic source and driving SOME of it back to your own website.
- Building relationships with readers from other blogs and communities.
I want to highlight that brand promotion and credibility goes a long way in helping you to establish your website or blog online with guest blogging.
I’ve made plenty of new connections just from guest blogging on relevant and industry leading blogs in the past, so I know it works.
As for getting backlinks and referral traffic? Well, from my own experiences with writing guest posts, guest blogging has not always been the best tactic for this.
I’d like you to check out the graphic below taken from an incredibly insightful and data-driven case study article over on BloggerJet by Tim Soulo.
Tim gathered data from some 239 guest posts from some 400 bloggers and proves to a certain degree that guest blogging is not often the best strategy to use for driving referral traffic.
Do check out the post here, it contains some other valuable information, tips, and ideas to help you get the most from your guest blogging campaigns.
Guest blogging is NOT the best strategy for driving referral traffic!Click To Tweet
Digital Marketing Idea 5: List building and email marketing
Here’s another thing that I find astonishing.
During 2016, I connected and worked with some of the most amazing clients I’ve ever had to work with.
I discovered that a few of those clients hadn’t even started to think about building an email list for their business.
To me, that’s just crazy because an email list is probably the most valuable and responsive asset you can have in your business.
I don’t want to sound like a broken record and tell you – hey man, you’ve got to build your email list, over and over again.
Instead, I want you to digest some of these thought-provoking email marketing stats below.
If you’re thinking to yourself, well I can just build up my Facebook page fans or Twitter followers instead.
Building an email list for your business is unlike building a following or network on social media.
Yes, you can have 15,000 followers on Twitter.
Yes, you can have 20,000 fans on Facebook, and all the rest of it, but here’s the thing, you’ll never, ever own those fans and followers.
By building your email list, building your own network, you will own it.
Even if you can only muster a few subscribers each day, it all goes towards building your power list.
The image below shows how my email list growth per-month has trended over the last couple of years. Not impressive by any standard, but at least I’m doing it, right?
Don’t waste all your time on social media, build your email list building. It’s cost effective and it can be a very profitable for your business, so get on the case.
Digital Marketing Idea 6: Social media marketing
I just told you not to waste all your time on social media, now I’m going to tell you to use social media.
Am I taking you on a wild goose chase here, or what?
No, really I’m not.
The thing is you can’t ignore social media because it’s not going to go anywhere fast soon. Social media is here to stay for a very long time, whether you love it or hate it.
And as more people flock to sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest, you need to start thinking of new ways to get your business noticed, and in front of your target audience, using social media.
The aim with social media, however, is not to be on every single platform you can find. But to be on the platforms that give you the most back.
In other words, be where your audience is.
For instance, if your target audience happens to be on Facebook and LinkedIn, focus on those two sites and make it really work for your business.
If Twitter, on the other hand, isn’t working for you – don’t waste your efforts trying to make it work.
A lot of businesses just plod along on every social networking platform they can find, month after month, wasting time, money and valuable resources. This is useless to them, especially when their target audience and potential customers could be somewhere else entirely.
If you want to learn how to make the most of social media for marketing your business, I urge you to check out this amazing book.
Digital Marketing Idea 7: Content marketing
Content marketing is the big trend these days, and it doesn’t have to be complex or complicated at all, not to begin with anyway.
So what is content marketing anyway?
In a nutshell, content marketing is simply creating and using useful, compelling, problem-solving online content to attract and convert prospects into paying customers.
Content can be created using a variety of mediums and platforms such as video, audio, eBooks and white papers, webinars and live-stream video, presentations and more.
Blogging and social media can be included in your content marketing strategy.
If you want to learn what a content marketer is actually responsible for, I recommend you check out this post on CopyBlogger.
Digital Marketing Idea 8: Outreach and influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is a tactic, again, that hasn’t been around for very long, but, its growth in popularity has been phenomenal in the digital marketing world.
When done right, influence marketing can be very effective for any business online.
So what is influence marketing anyway?
According to this source: Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on using key leaders to drive your brand’s message to the larger market. Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you instead inspire/hire/pay influencers to get out the word for you.
So just in case, you’re still at a loss with this, it means using industry leaders and influencers to catapult your message about your products and service to a wider audience.
Here are some useful tools to help you with your influence marketing and outreach campaigns –
- BuzzSumo Influencers
- Ninja Outreach (Influential blogger outreach, recommended)
- Mention (Identify the most important people talking about your business)
Digital Marketing Idea 9: Adding your business to Google Maps
OK, so if you have a business you’d like to improve online visibility for, the simplest thing you can do is to ensure your customers can find you online.
Asides from getting a great looking website with a powerful marketing message, make sure your business is listed on Google maps (Previously known as Google Places).
With your business firmly placed in Google Maps, your customers can find you easily, and even leave you valuable feedback for using your services, which will help you attract even more customers.
Digital Marketing Idea 10: Pay Per Click
I’m guessing that you probably thought that I was totally against using Pay Per Click ads, right.
Well, I’m not. I simply don’t think PPC should be the first focus for marketing and promoting your website or business if you’re just starting out.
That being said, using PPC is probably the quickest way to get traffic to your website.
If you’re smart enough about it, you can create a very relevant and compelling offer, along with some great content and use targeted PPC ads to get people flocking to your offer.
I would not recommend you start using PPC with the mindset that you’re going to convert cold prospects into buyers instantly.
I would recommend, however, that you use PPC to build your customer base, by offering a valuable incentive in line with your business offerings. You can then think of ways in which to convert your prospects into buyers later on.
Check out this book on Amazon if you need an introduction to Pay Per Click.
Wrapping it all up
So, once again, I’ve only outlined what I believe to be the most relevant and most effective digital marketing ideas and tactics of today.
Internet marketing doesn’t have to be costly. All of the strategies I’ve outlined above can be cost effective when done right.
Additionally, each of the tactics above can open doors to even more opportunities for your business.
You may even discover new ideas and methods to market your business online.
If you’re just starting out online or moving your brick and mortar business to the online world, hopefully, these 10 powerful online marketing ideas and strategies will come in very useful.
The very best of luck.