So you’ve decided to walk away from the 9 to 5 and start your own business. Congratulations. But now it’s time to get down to business and get started with the details. Read on for the information you absolutely must know about creating your online presence.
You’ll need a website
It doesn’t really matter what kind of business you plan to establish — you need to have a website. If you’re setting up your one-person dog walking site, you’ll probably be fine with a simple homepage and contact information. A solo legal practitioner will most likely need something different.
Do I need to hire a web designer?
Very small business owners with simple, in-person, local businesses can often set up their own websites without a web designer. Freelancers often benefit from working with a web designer and a graphic designer to come up with a coordinated look.
If you do decide to create your own site, there are plenty of online resources that really are the best way to learn online marketing for simple purposes. And don’t forget you’ll need to arrange web hosting services.
If you need help building a digital strategy, a digital marketing agency is going to be your best bet — searching online for “tips for business marketing for beginners” is just not a good idea. But make sure you have a clear idea of what the agency is offering before you sign up. Some of the best online marketing services concentrate on market research, and others do search engine optimization work; others offer comprehensive packages, including supervising content production.
Digital marketing companies have the goal of improving your company, through a variety of strategies in which they specialize, such as in increasing and improving your online presence, integrating online platforms, using optimization strategies to increase traffic, and performing market research, the latter of which becomes the basis of the efficiency of the others. In essence, it is the basis of data driven marketing, which integrates and maximizes customer related data in order to empower marketing strategies.
Data driven marketing employs information gathered from customers over time to inform decisions on what a business ought to do or not do, particularly in regards to disseminating information about products or services. Ideas and concepts are measured against collected data to validate effectiveness.
So, what are some of the potential applications for the gathered data in terms of what digital marketing companies do?
Digital marketing companies dedicate themselves to the importance of building your brand, through a range of strategies depending on goals and data. Part of brand management is accomplished through logos and tag lines, but a great deal of branding happens through content management.
Digital marketing companies perform services such as:
?Website design and optimization
?Social media marketing
?Integrated software design
?Search engine marketing
?Mobile marketing and site integration
?Creation and placement of online ads
?Data collection and analytics
Two of the most common services provided by digital marketing companies are website optimization and content marketing. Website optimization, whether improving the landing page, the shopping experience, or the overall design and usability, is essential; most shopping for goods and services is done online, and happens quickly. Studies show that 40 percent of shoppers will leave a website if it takes too long to load, or if it takes more than three seconds to catch their attention. Based on that motivation, over 60 percent of companies that redesigned their websites, especially in order to be accessible via mobile devices, showed increased sales. Website optimization is an ongoing process that potentially delivers an improved customer experience.
Content marketing is more than search engine optimization writing; through blogs and informational essays, content marketing creates a narrative that builds a connection between company and customer. It provides information but it also gives a sense of who you are as a company and why you are the best at what you do or produce. Through carefully written pieces and use of buzzwords, traffic is directed to your site in an organic way. Currently, content creation and management are the second-largest sector of digital marketing budgets.
These are just a few of the things that digital marketing companies do; the best of these use customer data to inform their marketing goals, and then choose effective strategies from a variety of potential tools. Keep in mind that even a recently updated site may be in need of attention. A site that is only two years old may be outdated, and need to be upgraded to work with newer devices and browsers. This, along with more traditional marketing strategies, will keep your company current and ready to attract customers.