Marketing allows your customers to understand your business, your products, and why you’re unique. Good marketing can help you reach your target market, increase your customer base, and ultimately, boost your profits!
Today, your business needs a mix of online and offline marketing, and this post is going to explain how to master and grow your online (digital) marketing. Let’s get started!
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is any type of promotion or marketing initiative using an online platform, service, or a type of technology. There are five main aspects of digital marketing.
- Devices – Any device or type of technology a consumer is using to interact with the marketing; including smartphones, tablets, computers, TVs, etc.
- Platforms – These are the social media platforms, emails, websites, and any other application.
- Media – This is any paid, owned and earned communications channels for reaching and engaging with audiences.
- Data or Analytics – This is any insight data collected on target markets to inform businesses on how to best interact with their target audiences.
- Technology – Any interactive experiences businesses use to market their product, such as in-store kiosks or email campaigns.
Each of these aspects require different strategies and can take years to master (but don’t worry, it doesn’t take years to get results!).
5 Ways to Improve Your Digital Marketing Skills
1. Create “likeable” and “shareable” content
Successful digital marketing all starts with good content. Content is anything from photos and videos to blog posts or recipes. It’s anything that you create to help promote or “market” your business. Bad quality content can be very harmful, while great content can make the difference between thriving and surviving at the end of the year.
To build great content, it has to be a mix of what you want to say and what your audience is interested in. This middle ground can be hard to find. Here are some tips:
- Look at what your competition is doing – This can help you get insight into what’s working for them and how it may be able to work for you.
- Create content that is helpful – This tip is more relevant for blogs; yet is important if you want to create written content. Your blog content should be engaging and useful for your target audience so that they actually read it. Put yourself in their shoes, if you were a consumer buying your product, what would you want to know? For example, if you’re a vegetable producer, share tips on how to keep produce fresh in the fridge or how to make stock out of peels and cooking scraps.
- Tell your story – This can be a great place to start with your content. Food is extremely personal, so people want to know more about where theirs is coming from. Share your background, how you grow food, and where you do it! This can be done through photos and videos too!
- Look at your analytics – This may be simple, however a great way to know what your customers want is to look at what they like. Use your social media and website analytics tools to see what content is getting the most traction. Something working? Keep doing it.
2. Optimize your content for mobile devices
If you have a website that hosts your content and store, it’s extremely important to optimize for both mobile and desktop use. There is nothing more frustrating than clicking on a social media link to be sent to a website that hasn’t been formatted for mobile. A true mobile-friendly website is not only aesthetically pleasing, however also functions correctly and seamlessly. Your customers should be able to access your website from any browser and device, and should get what they’re looking for—immediately.
3. Use social media to build brand awareness
Simply put, there’s a lot out there. Consumers have more choice today than they’ve ever had in regards to food. It can be extremely overwhelming to know which is the best choice. As a marketer, it is your job to convince them you’re the best choice. Use the power of social proof to show consumers why your business is exceptional. Try these methods for the best results:
- Ask current customers to provide testimonials and share them on your channels
- Share customer photos on social media by asking them to use a specific hashtag (#) to be featured
- Collaborate with “influencers” that have a big following and get them to talk about you!
- Post content that people will want to share and watch the follows roll in
Each of these methods are great forms of marketing – and they didn’t come directly from you to the consumer. The use of social proof strengthens what you have to say, because in short: you’re not the only one that thinks your product is great!
4. Use email marketing to connect with customers
Unlike social media or ads, emailing creates a direct channel from you to consumers and can be an extremely productive marketing tool. According to a survey by Mckinney iConsumer, email is still the most effective marketing channel—nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined.
To make the most use of this tool you need to build an email list right from the start. As you continue to grow your business, your list will continue to grow. It is important to note that smart digital marketing is not only about getting new customers and growing your customer base; it is also about creating lasting business relationships with your customers.
Getting a repurchase from an existing customer is a lot cheaper than getting a new customer. Emailing allows you to keep communication open and generate personal relationships.
5. Focus on organic engagement
If you have a little bit of experience in social media marketing, you’ll know that it’s all about engagement. The higher the engagement, the more likely you will be able to sell something!
There are two main forms of engagement: organic and inorganic (or paid). Paid ads on Instagram or Facebook can allow you to reach a broader audience, however can come across as pushy and gets expensive—quickly.
Organic engagement comes from good content and is the most sustainable moving forward. It creates a long term following, trust with your followers, and is a great form of social proof! Ads can work; however, focusing on creating great content and an online community is much more effective and durable in the future. If you’re just getting started with digital marketing, spend your funds on the content, rather than paying for inorganic engagement.
Digital marketing is a broad and complicated topic. People spend years studying the ins and outs of what makes up a successful digital marketer. It can be extremely complicated, yet it doesn’t have to be. Picking and choosing what methods are tangible and work for your business can make a huge impact.
To get started with social media platforms and platform digital marketing, we’ve created some great resources to help you!
Additionally, explore the world of email campaigning using Mailchimp, a program that allows you to schedule your emails ahead of time and automate the process. If you want to learn more about Mailchimp and how to use it to the best of your advantage, check out this post.
Now that you have the tools and tips to get started, there’s nothing stopping you!
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Your need-to-know guide for social media, e-mail campaigns, and branding for your farm.
Nina Galle writes blog posts, templates, free tools, and other helpful resources for farmers and markets.