Carm Lyman is President of Lyman Agency.
We live in a digital world that empowers consumers with more information about products and services, as well as peer reviews and experiences to help with purchasing decisions, and a seemingly endless number of options to choose from in any industry. As consumers embrace this digital ethos, a sound digital marketing strategy is now crucial to the success of any brand.
A few months ago, I attended a workshop on how to grow your online presence. The speaker, Elizabeth Udell, broke down the core areas of focus that all digital marketers need to pay attention to for a successful online presence. Drawing on what I learned, and my own experience helping clients, here is my advice on how to get started.
Boost Your Websites Effectiveness
Your most valuable owned asset is your website. So how do you improve your website’s effectiveness? Use blog posts, press links and SEO for the best visibility and experience. Provide a great user experience by thinking critically about the interface, including the layout, visual design, text, brand, sound and interaction. Be informative and tell a story — what makes you unique and different?
Address The Many Faces Of SEO
A good SEO strategy goes far beyond just buying search terms related to your brand, and it’s important to remember that your SEO is only as good as your content. Be sure to think about both on-page and off-page SEO, as well as local search optimization and business listings.
On-page SEO is about optimizing the pages of your website so they are crawled by Google. Off-page SEO tactics are about driving traffic to your site via other channels and building a stronger brand presence online. Off-page SEO can be acting as a contributing author on a blog or media site, commenting in forums, or using well-tagged videos and photos that track back to your brand. Both on-page and off-page SEO are very important.
If you’re a business that serves local or regional customers, optimizing your business listings is also key. This includes taking advantage of local business listings, as well as keywording your site with your location. The idea is to ensure that you’re being found as your potential customer does a local search for the business you’re in.
Take Advantage Of The Marketing Powerhouse That Is Social Media
Social media is a powerhouse for marketers because it can support almost all marketing objectives, from brand awareness and lead generation to community engagement. Ways to win on social media (i.e., growing an engaged audience) have evolved and changed frequently over the years. Nowadays, the most important user actions to drive are sharing and saving, so consider that as you create and post content.
Use Sponsored Content And Influencer Marketing
With more than 3 billion people around the world using social media, it’s no surprise that many purchasing decisions are made with the help of influencers and sponsored content. So a focus on working with content creators and crafting video content is a good place to start. Beyond increasing awareness of your brand and demonstrating your expertise in your field, sponsored (paid) content and having other reputable parties speak positively about your company and offerings play an important part in growing an online presence.
The power of influencer marketing and sponsored content is often tapped in the cannabis industry. For example, I’ve noticed a couple of brands promoting products and accessories in upscale boxes to celebrities and tastemakers.
Stay On Top Of Emerging Digital Marketing Vehicles
As digital marketing continues to evolve, there are some key trends to watch, including the rise of mobile apps and text message marketing, increased consumer interest in video and image marketing, user-generated content and the uptick in voice search on smart devices, an area that’s been growing for several years.
There are more ways than ever for a customer to discover your company, and a sound digital marketing strategy will help build your brand’s reputation, increase brand awareness and provide visibility about your products/services when consumers are searching.