How To Start a Digital Marketing Business
Companies are starting to switch to online business because the Internet plays a vital role in making or breaking their success. People are now spending more time online to shop and buy goods, and businesses are taking advantage of this to promote and market their brand.
If you are looking to start a business but do not know where and how to begin, this is the right guide for you!
The Benefits of Digital Marketing over Traditional Marketing
1. Lower Cost
Unlike traditional marketing where brands must spend a lot to reach out to their target audience, digital marketing costs a lot less. Small businesses can implement an email marketing service and send direct emails to thousands of potential clients.
2. Larger Returns
In today’s digital age, social media platforms and email marketing have been effective in grabbing customers’ attention. If a brand has a lot of followers on social media, for example, a single ad post can already reach a lot of people very quickly.
When people see the ad, they will be encouraged to purchase the new product or service through the social platform.
3. Easier to Track Progress
With digital marketing, it is easier to track a brand’s business progress because owners immediately know how their ad is doing. Traditional marketing lets people wait for weeks or even months to assess the accuracy of their campaign.
Using email marketing software, for example, allows business owners to monitor the performance of their emails, to see, how many were read and delivered.
4. Easier to Adjust
Traditional marketing usually involves a lot or paperwork and contracts that are long-term or short-term. For example, if a business is giving out flyers about a free link building trial and some people would want to try it, they must convince them to sign up to the link building contract first.
If the campaign does not perform well, businesses must reach out to customers through phone or other means to stop the trail.
Digital marketing can easily adjust this scenario.
Customers can simply click on buttons or links on the brand’s website to unsubscribe, without having to call the owner. If the ad is performing well, they can go to the website and contact the company through chat or send the company an email whenever convenient.
The brand can change the ad if it is not performing well, by altering the Heading or the Call to Action. They can then send out the message to a section of the audience to see if the message is better received.
5. Brand Development
Digital platforms allow businesses to build their brand easily and quickly. A well-developed website is an effective and the most popular way to do this.
Posting blogs about products and services lets readers know more about the company without spending too much effort like traditional marketing.
6. Easy to Share
What is great about digital marketing is businesses have the option to share their campaigns and ads. They can enable social media and email buttons on their website that customers can share to their social media or email accounts.
This creates a multiplier effect that has the capacity to increase sales results.
7. Precise Market Targeting
Traditional marketing uses a platform with a substantial market to reach people with the hope to get the attention of some of them. This is not the case for digital marketing because it uses targeted campaigning that allows ads to be presented to clients based on their initial action or preferences.
For example, transactional emails like order confirmation emails are sent to customers following their request or actions in a business.
Digital marketing allows everyone across the globe to see a brand’s campaigns. This provides small businesses the rare opportunity to reach a global market through various digital platforms.
9. Customer Segmentation
Customer segmentation is when a large group of customers is divided into subgroups to increase sales chances and cut down costs. Digital marketing can do this easily.
For example, an ecommerce store offers a promo for women clothing. The owner can use the power of email marketing to send the offer to female customers only.
10. Greater Customer Engagement
There might be a lot of other businesses in one niche, and this makes the competition harder. But this is also an opportunity for businesses to move one step ahead among their competition by engaging with their customers even more.
Companies can answer questions from customers through email, chat, or even a response on their website’s comments section. This increases their chance of generating more sales.
Effective Digital Marketing Channels
1. Video Marketing
Video marketing is one of the most dominant trends in digital marketing today because it is effective in building brand awareness and improving traffic and conversion.
One popular example of this is video bloggers creating content that promotes their image or brand. Video bloggers can post them on YouTube, other social media accounts, and websites, attracting readership and conversion.
2. Email Marketing
Email marketing can give you the highest return on investments among these six digital marketing channels. It can give companies as much as 3,800% return, which is $38 in every $1 spent.
It allows businesses to deliver highly relevant content directly to a subscriber in a way that is non-invasive.
3. Content Marketing
Content marketing is also a highly effective way of getting high returns. Blog posts, news, checklists, infographics, and webinars are some examples of content brands can market digitally. Depending on the company’s target audience, any of these content pieces can be their best marketing tool.
4. Social Media Marketing
Many potential customers use social media to browse for products, which is why it is important for businesses to create social media accounts. If a customer buys a product through one of their social media accounts and likes the company’s products, he or she will recommend their product to others, increasing leads and conversions.
What is great about using social media is brands can post updates about their campaigns with links that can take customers to their website to increase traffic.
SEO stands for search engine optimization, which means optimizing a brand’s website to rank on search engines like Google. This is a way for viewers to search for a company’s website easily on search engines, which helps increase traffic and the chance for conversions.
You just need to apply SEO practices on your client’s website, like adding relevant keywords to their blog posts, to rank well.
6. Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
PPC works when advertisers pay platforms that display their ads every time a user clicks on their ads. It is a method of buying viewer visits to a website instead of earning organic visits.
There are many forms of PPC, but search engines are the most popular. Advertisers bid for an ad placement on sponsored links on a search engine.
The ad shows up when people search for keywords related to the campaign. For example, if advertisers bid on “digital marketing business,” the ad will appear at the top of the search results page.
When a visitor clicks the ad, advertisers pay a small amount to search engines.
Ways to Begin a Digital Marketing Business
1. Improve Your Skills
Before you even begin your digital marketing business, make sure you master the necessary skills for it. This means not only being equipped with the abilities but also being able to resolve issues that may come along the way.
One helpful way to develop your skills is to work in an environment that your future clients may work in. This allows you to gain experience and will help you shape into a well-rounded and understanding professional.
It is important to remember that soft skills are just 50% of what you can become. You must be results-driven as well.
You can start working with small-time clients or on a marketing company to learn the skills and channels you will use in the future. You must be able to design ads, build landing pages, learn systems like Salesforce and Marketo, and construct positioning and messaging.
2. Be a Contractor to Start
Big things come from small things, and that is why it is better to start as a contractor before becoming a founder. You can start receiving contracting work, while you hold a full-time job.
This allows you to learn things without risking too much. You get to learn invoicing and how taxes work, small elements in marketing that are extremely important.
You also learn how to manage your time wisely that can become useful when you switch to becoming a full-time digital marketer.
Becoming a contractor lets you create valuable relationships with your clients also as you provide your services and create trust and loyalty. It allows you to know the right costs of your services in the future as well when you have gained much experience.
To become the ideal contractor for this business, you must get accustomed to creating a proposal and contract and signing necessary documents. Learn and research on how you create the right proposal and how to negotiate properly.
3. Create the Right Business Model
Your business model acts as a guide to your digital marketing business. How you bill for your services and the services you give are the crucial parts of how you effectively manage your business.
You can bill your clients through:
- Hourly – Most of your time might be spent with a one-on-one discussion with your clients. You will have to talk about setting up and launching campaigns, maintaining a system or method that works for your clients’ business, and restructuring accounts.
- Flat Retainer – This is based monthly where you evaluate how much time and work you might spend for a client and you both agree on a monthly rate. Your clients can also estimate how much they will spend working with you for say, 6 months.
- Commission-based – This is where you get paid when your clients make money from sales. If your clients get high sales, they will build trust and loyalty to you because it shows you are excellent. Having huge returns for your clients means getting high pays.
An hourly or flat rate is a good start.
4. Identify Your Niche
It is tempting to work with any type of industry when you are starting your digital marketing business. There are many digital marketing agencies on the market, but only a few specialize in a certain industry. You should be one of these few people.
A specialized digital marketing business can make onboarding easier because you know what works and what does not for your niche. This is unlikely when you do not have a niche to focus on and you have too many variables to focus on.
A specialized business can also boost your skill set, which you can run ad campaigns for businesses in your niche with expert experience behind you. It also provides you with an advantage over your competitors because your clients will have peace of mind when you only cater to businesses like theirs.
Choose a niche that needs your skills and knowledge.
5. Know Who Should Be in Your Team
Creating a team to grow your agency is the most crucial element in your business. You cannot do all the things on your own because a successful business must divide the work to people.
One common mistake that agencies experience is starting a business without the right people on board. You need these experts on your team:
- Web Developer/Designer – A web designer is the person behind the creation of a website. He or she can be an expert in Java scripts, CSS, or HTML.
- Market Researcher – He or she researches promotional activities and campaigns for various digital marketing platforms. You can be this person.
- Content Creator – You need a writer for this role. The writer uses compelling words to represent a brand. His or her role can significantly affect the success of your marketing strategies.
- Graphics Designer – He or she should know how to edit and improve images or videos as promotional materials. The designer must know how to match the content of your writer to the images or videos.
- Editor – The editor proofreads the content and checks the images or videos of your posts or other campaign materials. He or she makes sure the quality of your campaign materials is exceptional.
- SEO Expert – Once your content is finalized, the SEO expert comes in. He or she applies SEO practices to client websites and other marketing platforms to rank them on search engines.
Aside from skills, you also need to look at the characters of each role, so you can set the right working attitude for your business. Your team should be hardworking, committed, results-driven, and have a positive attitude.
6. Write Copy That Sells
Your sales copy should always be catchy and attention-grabbing because you need to sell your services. You can follow an effective formula in creating your sales copy:
- Your headline should arouse interest.
- You should have product solves on the problems that consumers commonly experience.
- Establish your credibility that you can solve customers’ problems.
- Include testimonials from other customers, if applicable.
- Highlight the benefits and uses of your products and services.
- Create an offer with a strong guarantee.
- Create urgency with the purchase.
- Ask for a sale.
This formula presents a process of when clients arrive at your website to the moment, they ask for your service.
7. Design and Build Your Website
As mentioned earlier, a website is a necessary tool for your digital marketing business. This is where customers can visit to check your services and know more about your brand.
Make the design and layout of your website simple yet attention-grabbing. It is also important to make it user-friendly, so people will not leave your website the moment they arrive.
Put a contact form as well to gather email addresses for email marketing. It is also essential to get a hosting service that can make your website load fast on any screen.
8. Generate Leads to Your Website
SEO was mentioned earlier, and this is important in generating leads for conversions. Some of the SEO activities you need to execute are using relevant keywords in every post, anchoring internal and external links to your website, and installing the Yoast SEO plugin to your website.
Your team plays a key role in making this all work. When done properly, traffic will eventually come to your website.
Make sure to also post regularly, so you can create a credible and reliable brand image to your visitors.
9. Use Promotional Email or Email Marketing
Email marketing is powerful in converting leads. When you create a list of prospect clients, you are building valuable assets for your business because your customers have given you the permission to send them promotional emails.
This also means:
- You are using a marketing strategy that is highly effective and low cost, compared to radio, print, or TV marketing.
- You are developing a long-term relationship with customers.
- You are providing them something they are also interested in.
As mentioned before, use a contact form on your website that asks for email addresses from your visitors.
11. Use Upselling and Back-End Sales
Back-end sales and upselling work closely together. Back-end sales allows you to sell your services to customers again after an initial sale, while upselling lets you invite customers to purchase more of your services through add-ons or upgrades.
If customers like your service, they will purchase from you again if you do a follow-up. You can introduce services that complement the first purchase. You can also give them electronic coupons to redeem when they visit you again.
After purchasing your service online, you can opt for a link or a button that introduces related services your customers can browse on. Giving rewards to your customers can strengthen their loyalty to your brand.
Digital Marketing Trends to Try
Aside from learning how to start digital marketing, it is also essential to choose an advertising tool that is keeping up with technology. When you are outdated, you have limited reach.
The following are digital marketing trends that can work best for you:
1. Social Commerce
This is the process of buying directly through a social media platform, and ecommerce stores can benefit from this. Shoppers do not need to leave the social media platform to purchase, making it more convenient for them.
Social commerce can also reduce the chances of sales abandonment, which is when shoppers are directed to the actual ecommerce website. A Shopify store, for example, provides easy linking for Instagram.
2. Direct Messaging
Direct messaging allows brands to get more personal with their clients through messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, Viber, and WhatsApp. These forums provide the convenience of texting that ensures immediacy of an online conversation.
Customers are already familiar with the environment in these messaging apps from conversing with friends, so using these apps is a fantastic opportunity to build connections with customers. Brands can take sales and address complaints using direct messaging.
Companies can encourage users to message them directly to create the connection.
Micro-influencers are people with a lot of followers on their websites or social media accounts and with a few sponsorships. Using this trend for digital marketing allows brands to have a better engagement rate with their customers than the popular influencers.
This means brands can dedicate more time with each of their followers. Micro-influencers have followers around 30,000. This is more manageable in sending promo campaigns than with millions of followers.
4. Interactive Emails
You can put some twists into email marketing to beef it up. Instead of sending plain emails, you can deliver stunning, pixel-perfect emails that look like those from a graphic designer’s work.
This type of email aims to send promotions to customers that act as web pages where people can click buttons. Aside from wanting to impress customers with designs, these emails can also improve conversations because people would like to click buttons with images rather than plain text.
5. Sentiment Analysis
Sentiment analysis, also known as social listening, is the practice of evaluating users or customers’ reactions to a service or product. This is usually done in various social media platforms. This trend uses algorithms and data-collecting tools to gather responses for brands and analysing them.
Brands can post a product or service and add emoticons of different emotions that people experience. They will know who like their products or services but did not meet their expectations.
6. Alternative Social Media Channels
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are some of the popular social media platforms for digital marketing, but there are others that are starting to gain interest, too, like Reddit, Medium, Pinterest, and Snapchat.
These platforms have a lot of professional and business-minded users who are potential customers. Unlike Facebook or Instagram, these platforms have a lot of young users who are only there to socialize and gain popularity.
7. Programmatic Advertising
Artificial Intelligence can take part in the digital marketing business, too. Machine-learning algorithms and artificial intelligence make the job easier as they can optimize advertising campaigns.
A software can handle customer targeting, performance tracking, media buying, and ad placement. With this, marketing tends to become better, and ai can free up your time, so you can do other things.
SmartyAds and Adobe Marketing Cloud are some of the examples of software you can use.
8. Featured Snippets Optimization
Snippets are like small windows for websites that people can see on search engine results. Having snippets that can sell is crucial to generate more leads for conversions.
Featured snippets should contain content that is well-structured, easy to understand, and clean.
As mentioned previously, video blogging or vlogging is becoming popular in digital marketing because it is more direct and personal. Snapchat, Instagram Stories, and YouTube are some of the popular platforms for posting vlogs.
Vloggers or brands can speak directly to their followers that creates a direct connection. They can live stream a marketing event that followers can easily join when online.
They can also post videos of customer feedback or interviews about their products and services. Getting the right content for the video is key here.
10. Marketing to Gen Z
Generation Z or Gen Z are born from mid-to-late 1990s to early 2010s. This market group is young but growing adults. The key in marketing to them is how you style your content.
Gen Z is sensitive to authenticity, values privacy, and diversity, and appreciates a good sense of humour. If your clients are targeting them, you need to use marketing strategies that are more modern and up to date with the latest trends.
The Importance of Mobile Marketing in Digital Marketing
A lot of people are using smartphones to browse for and purchase products and services primarily because of the device’s convenience. Therefore, it is also crucial to optimize digital ads, social media images, and web pages for mobile devices.
Mobile customers need to experience the same positive experience they had with a desktop. Brands need to configure websites as mobile-friendly and that have features where people can easily download things through their mobile devices.
What Types of Content Should You Create?
The content varies on the needs of your client’s audience at various stages of a buyer’s journey. It should aim to help a brand’s market overcome their challenges and achieve their goals.
To help you create the right content for your clients, here are the various stages of a buyer’s journey and the content that matches each stage:
- Awareness – It is where people arrive at the brand’s website or social media accounts to check who the company is. Blog posts, infographics, and short videos are what people usually read or check.
- Consideration – This stage is where people start to gain interests in the brand’s products and services and want to know more. Ebooks, research reports, and webinars are more comprehensive than the content mentioned from the previous stage.
- Decision – This is the final stage where customers buy the product or service. Testimonials from other customers and case studies would help convince targeted buyers that the brand’s products and services are worth it.
The benefits of digital marketing are quite advantageous than traditional marketing. You can do a lot of things in one sitting and place with digital marketing.
If you follow the tips presented above, you have a high chance of ensuring you convert visitors into buyers. This means large returns for your business.