Digital Marketing is the present and future of marketing — Ajayi Olalekan
You may ask why?
I think the answer is quite obvious; technology has become a major part of everything we do today — marketing inclusive.
As a graduate of Mass Communication, with a major in Public Relations and Advertising, I decided to pivot to digital marketing in 2019 when it dawned on me that the world had moved several miles ahead from the traditional media and towards the new media (internet enabled medium of mass communication).
Now, this doesn’t mean radio, TV and the rest do not still have a ground today — of course they do. However, the big players in the media industry recognise the power that the new media wields which is why they leverage strongly on the internet to amplify their message. This has given rise to a concept described as “media convergence” — merging different forms of mass media technologies into one.
Having seen the power of the internet, let’s go back to our discussion on digital marketing.
What’s digital marketing?
To start with, digital marketing is a combination of two words; Digital (technology) and Marketing (promotion).
Digital Marketing can further be seen as a systematic approach to generate demand and loyalty for your brand using digital channels such as social media, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), online advertising, email marketing, etc.
The goal is to reach your target audience with your message and to drive in traffic to your business or your social cause.
Digital Marketing is so vast and incorporates a lot of skills and other smaller industries, e.g copywriting, article writing, graphic design, Web design, email automation, video and audio editing, photography, communication.
Some of the industries that also come to mind when you mention Digital Marketing are content marketing and information marketing.
As an entrepreneur or a small business owner, you cannot afford to look away from the subject of Digital Marketing.
Because technology is a core part of the lives of your target audience (whoever they are).
The question then is how can I leverage Digital Marketing for my business?
Firstly, it is necessary to know that digital marketing is a very wide industry. There are at least 15 different fields under digital marketing.
We have Social Media Marketing, Pay Per Click (Google Ads), Email Marketing, Content Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, Influencer Marketing, SEO and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) — to mention a few.
The reality is that you do not have to explore all of them. You only need to find which of them works for your business, which in itself will require some time to test to discover what works — and what doesn’t.
Because of the vastness of digital marketing, I’ll just share a few tips on how you can leverage on the most basic aspects of digital marketing — Social Media Marketing and Google my Business — for your small business.
The tips below will also cost you nothing to implement considering that money is one thing many small businesses do not have so much to throw around.
6 TIPS ON HOW TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA FOR BUSINESS
1. Know Your Customer
This in my opinion is chief of all counsel whenever you want to embark on any marketing endeavour. You must understand who your customers are to a good extent to be able to know which digital marketing approach to employ.
In context, this knowledge will help you know which of the social media channels they use frequently, which is where you need to be present and build visibility.
2. Focus on One Social Media Platform
Oftentimes, small business owners spread themselves too thin that they are not effective on any front.
Find out which of the social media channels is the primary channel used by your target and focus on it. With time you may choose to add more channels, but master the use of your primary channel before branching out.
3. Focus on Brand Building
Avoid being sales on social media understanding that social media was designed originally for people to connect — not to sell.
Building a strong online brand presence is your surest way to excel online. This may take a long time, but it will be worth the effort. Focus on building your brand and connecting with your ideal target. A good way to do this is what I’ll discuss next.
4. Create Educative Content
A sure way to connect with people is to seek to help them. People feel open to relate with those they find resourceful and helpful. Build an authority status in your industry by educating your prospects. This will naturally build trust and warm them up to buying from you.
5. Use Google my business
Well, as an addition to your social media presence, make sure to utilise this great feature to get your business before more people.
Setting up your Google my Business page will make you easily discoverable when people search for your kind of business especially within your location.
6. Learn Social Media Advertising
I am suggesting you learn as against giving people your money to advertise for you because the latter can be very expensive. There are also too many quacks out there posing as social media advertising experts and you don’t want to waste scarce resources.
Facebook for instance has a learning platform called Facebook Blueprint where you can learn how to run Facebook and Instagram adverts at no cost.
Allocate time to learn and practice, it will surprise you how fast you can become a guru around these things.
Utilise these six tips and watch your digital marketing game improve. With time you can then decide to commit time and resources to testing and utilising other high-level digital marketing strategies in your business.