So, you’ve decided to get into digital marketing. And that makes perfect sense, for recent murmurings in the press industry have pointed out just how ineffective and costly the more traditional forms of marketing can be.
According to a recent expenditure report, UK newspapers typically loose £155 million in print advertising. It is therefore no wonder that so many are now focusing their efforts on digital forms of promotion.
The same goes for business. The world we live in enables any organisation, no matter the industry within which it operates or the type of customer it targets, to jump straight into some fascinating forms of marketing.
The most exciting aspect of digital marketing is that you can absolutely do it yourself and it doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, it doesn’t have to cost a penny.
All you need is some guiding principals, a great product and the following completely free digital marketing methods.
1. Hit LinkedIn
If you’re of the traditional mindset when it comes to marketing, you may still fancy the prospect of branching out personally and making connections with possible leads. There is no better way to do this than LinkedIn.
If you’re not already on there, sign up for an account and complete your profile. Then, start to make connections. Seek out people within your industry who could potentially provide leads or become prospects themselves. Connect with them and introduce yourself.
LinkedIn is a far more gentle way to market yourself directly than cold calling. Give it a try – you should find people are far more receptive.
2. Become a guest blogger
The key to successful digital marketing lies in raising your profile on the web. One of the best ways to do this is to maintain a content calendar so that you can begin writing articles for blogs within your niche.
Shortlist five or six that are a good fit and get in touch with the people who run the site (look for a ‘write for us’ section – that’s normally a good sign). Tell them you’d love to write for their blog and provide some example post ideas that demonstrate how you can add value.
It’ll feel like hard going at first, but the more you push, the more posts you’ll have published and, with each post featuring your name, image and bio, you’ll quickly start to build a valuable digital persona and be recognised as a thought leader.
3. Create some videos
Anyone can create a video and publish it – you just need your smartphone and a YouTube account. When it comes to digital marketing, the videos can be product demonstrations or ‘to-camera’ pieces where you deliver a brief, engaging story of your company’s history, it’s values and the benefits it offers customers.
Better still, provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the inner workings of your business – such content is incredibly popular with audiences.
Your videos can then be embedded into blog posts on your website or added to the front page. Video remains one of the stickiest mediums on the web and will keep people on your website for longer.
4. Write an e-book
You may not consider yourself an author or publisher but in digital marketing, you can absolutely be both. You don’t need to be Shakespeare (although if you’re not particularly proficient at writing, it pays to have a proofreader handy) – the passion for your business and niche will carry you through.
Brainstorm a few ideas for an book that will offer visitors to your website a genuine benefit. It doesn’t have to be the size of War and Peace, either; a three or four page guide to achieving X with Y will be enough.
Once created, add your e-book to your website and social media pages and place it behind an email form where people must provide their address in order to access it. You’ll start to build a valuable list of subscribers as a result.
5. Maintain a regular social media posting schedule
When you first enter the world of social media marketing, it can feel like you’re simply shouting relentlessly into a big void, but as with anything digital marketing-related, it takes time.
If you haven’t already, set up Facebook and Twitter profiles for your business and aim to post at least one update per day to both of them. Mix links to your blogs with retweets of material from influencers within your industry and news items that relate to your business. Use relevant hashtags and, in time, you’ll find people will start to follow you.
Confession time. Every tip above will work, even if you don’t have a penny in the bank to spend on marketing. But they’ll all take time. Some will take an awfully long time. But when things start to take off in digital marketing, they really take off.