Digital marketing is more important than ever. In fact, it’s the only way many businesses can easily market themselves these days. With the threat of the coronavirus, even many pundits who forecast the impending digital revolution were surprised with the rapidity of change these past few months. Live events and conferences worldwide were scuttled, and new barriers to travel have made in-person meetings illogical, so that most now favor doing business online.
Each agency has its focus. Some concentrate on building smart, interactive websites for clients, while others focus on search engine optimization. Yet every digital agency should have a social media component.
And for those of you without an agency who consider yourselves experts, now’s the time to take that plunge. Businesses are clamoring for people with social marketing expertise. If you’re just starting out, one of the best ways to break into digital marketing is still through social media, as all you need is a laptop and an Internet connection.
Though it’s necessary to have your company profile on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and any other platforms where your desired audience is, just having social media accounts won’t bring customers to you. Do this, but also focus attention on how to grab people’s attention.
Take yourself on as a client. And especially consider:
- approaching other businesses
- branding yourself
- developing your social profiles
- carefully pricing your services
- making strong sales pitches
- producing relevant content
Businesses will want you to do all these things for them, and by promoting yourself in a way that turns heads you’ll attract the attention you need to succeed.
Start writing a blog. Make yourself relevant and position yourself as an expert in the field. Write about things that interest the audience you’re trying to attract.
Even if writing isn’t your strength, you can incorporate photography into your social media posts, especially on Instagram. Or, if you’re an extrovert with a gift for gab, why not vlog instead of blog? Videos are even better at getting your message out, and they can attract attention more quickly than a lengthy blog post.
Check out TikTok. It’s one of the best platforms to make videos go viral. It’s easy enough these days to set up a marketing or explainer video. If you want some ideas, there are thousands out there from celebrities and others bored while quarantining.
It needn’t cost much either. You’ve most likely got a smartphone or tablet with video capabilities, and there are dozens of free video editing software applications that can help, like FilmForth; it helps you make cuts, rearrange scenes, add soundtracks, and do all sorts of innovative things that you’d otherwise have to pay a professional to do.
Utilizing the Cloud
Even as a small business you can utilize the cloud. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies can support your efforts tremendously. How can it help you?
Here are a few ways:
- Analytics: Using cloud-based servers will provide you with better data, which is what fuels any well-run advertising or marketing campaign.
- Convenience: It allows you to work from anywhere with Internet connectivity, while collaborating with others.
- Economics: Saving money is important for any business, but particularly for startups. Cloud computing saves on infrastructure and hardware, and can save in other ways as well.
- Innovation: The time-saving aspects of cloud-based apps allow you to spend time focusing on what your clients need.
Not to mention all the powerful tools that cloud services can provide to improve your efficiency. Plus, cloud providers can quickly scale their services, allowing you to meet clients’ needs without having to spend on costly infrastructure. They also provide greater data storage capabilities, regular software updates, added security, and numerous ways for you to enhance marketing outreach through Internet advertising, online PR, and e-mail marketing.
It can even help you with signing contracts. One cloud-based application – eOriginal’s SmartSign – can save money on paper, ink, printers, and scanners. Founded in the mid-1990s, eOriginal, the grandfather of e-signature technology, is an SaaS company that stores all your contracts securely in an e-vault on a cloud-based server. According to one review, it provides “easy and quick signatures for client contracts.”
Many larger companies generate leads through big marketing events, which aren’t likely to come back anytime soon. Digital marketing will help them pick up some of that slack, and you should be there to meet them. They’ll need people to help them produce leads through content marketing, SEO, social marketing, and influencer campaigns.
This is especially true for those in the B2B market who’ve been slow to adapt to digital marketing. To survive, they’ll need to adapt, and when you can’t meet customers in person, channels like social media platforms are where they’ll foster these relationships.
Salespeople will need to learn to adapt to these digital strategies, and it’s likely there will be fewer sales trips and more Zoom meetings. The times call for different approaches.
CEO of 123 Internet Group Scott Jones spoke of the uncertainty of the times, and how companies are embracing digital transformation.
“We have seen a real spike during the last few weeks from companies wishing to create or update websites,” he said in March 2020, adding that his company would, “launch new e-commerce channels and create social media campaigns focused on home-workers and a real focus on using influencers and SEO to reach new audiences.”
Companies are looking at ways to continue networking outside of conferences. They’re also looking at innovative ways to use their marketing budgets. Businesses are now open to all things digital.
“There’s a window of opportunity here – when things are back to normal budgets will be going back into live events and that’s what they will be spending their time on,” said Ratnesh Singh of Buzznation – an events technology agency – though he then added, “But if they see the benefits and opportunities that digital channels can offer, this will become part of their long-term marketing contingency plans.”For digital marketers, the time looks to be exactly right.