There are many marketing platforms to grow your business, but below are the top 5 channels you should focus your energy on, especially if you are a new business just starting or trying to grow your business. If you master these digital marketing channels, you will give yourself a leg up over your competition.
One of the best tools often overlooked when starting a business is a CRM. What does CRM stand for, you may ask? Customer relationship manager, in simple terms it’s where you store all your business contacts so you can market to them in the future.
What features should a CRM have:
- Ability to adjust the data you collect
- Text marketing services
- Email marketing services
- Ability to track user behavior on your website
- If you are an e-commerce store, follow and append purchase data to your customer profile
- Marketing automation services
A good CRM will help you scale your business and avoid headaches down the road as your business grows. It’s a central intelligence system you can’t live without if you are serious about growing your business.
The two most popular platforms are Google Ads and Microsoft Ads. Even though the two platforms are saturated with business, they are still practical tools to get customers to purchase your product or services.
I am sad to say many agencies bring a bad name to these two platforms. Usually, the agency is either novice, does the bare minimum, or is overwhelmed with clients and doesn’t optimize correctly. If this channel is executed flawlessly and managed by an expert, your business should start seeing results in as little as two weeks.
Variety of ways you can advertise on this channel.
- Search engine results (usually at the top of the page)
- Display ads
- Gmail ads
- YouTube ads
The big player in this space is Facebook, or should I say Meta, which is now the parent company of Facebook and Instagram. Facebook ads and Instagram ads for a small business are essential. You get access to a wealth of audience data that otherwise would be very hard to get.
The key to success in marketing on Facebook is to know who your target audience is. If you don’t know that yet, start testing different audience combinations with the data they provide to see what works for your business.
Usually, within a month of testing, you would find a winning segment that brings your business more leads.
A pro tip: never stop optimizing this channel. Always keep testing different creative and segments so that your ad does not suffer from ad fatigue. If the ad gets seen repeatedly by the same people, they get tired of it and render your marketing useless. Try to be seen no more than two times per week by the same person. Facebook makes this easy on you as they have data that will show you when this is happening.
One of the most undervalued tools in small and sometimes large businesses. Email is one of the most affordable marketing tools in your arsenal. The reason is that at some point in the customer journey, the user raises their hand to sell them something by signing up to your email program.
Now, if you are just starting your business, you won’t have that many emails, to begin with, but as your business grows, you will start collecting a lot of them, but first, you need a place to store them. At the beginning of this article, I said a CRM is essential. This is where you will store customer data, including emails.
You will want to collect as much data as possible on who your customer is so that you can eventually segment your audience to email them relevant offers properly. I’ll give you an example of what proper segmenting is.
Email Segmenting Example
Let’s say you own a chocolate store. You have the milk chocolate fans and the dark chocolate fans. They each sign up for your email service. If you knew that milk chocolate fans don’t love dark chocolate, would you send them an email about milk chocolate? The answer is no. Unless you think you can convert them into fans of dark chocolate. Although that can take time, you slowly need to transition their mindset into loving dark chocolate. So you would send an educational email series to the milk chocolate fans, talking to them about how wonderful your dark chocolate is. As soon as they buy dark chocolate, then you can add them to both your email segments.
As a consultant, I see a lot of blasts all, email programs. This means you send the same email to all your customer lists. This is one of the fastest ways to get customers to unsubscribe from your email. Who cares? It’s just an email, you might say. When you start advertising, and it’s costing you $10 to collect an email and send an email, and five people unsubscribe, that just costs you $50.
Now you can see how important segmenting is. To segment, you first need to collect the data and have the ability to segment it easily. This is again when I reiterate the importance of a good CRM. Without it, the chocolate scenario would not be possible.
Notice I did not say SEO. The reason is that if I did, you might get intimidated. The reality is that to succeed in SEO. You need great content on your website. There is a lot more to SEO, like having a fast site to host the content and people sharing your content and referencing your brand with a link back to your website when they mention you, aka backlinks, but without that great content, search engines will ignore you.
Back in the day, you could get away with mediocre content, but search engines are becoming very smart at indexing their data and understanding what the user meant when submitting their search. Search engines want to get the best, most relevant answer when their customer questions a specific subject/product or service. Now, if you are the expert and provide the best, most in-depth explanation to the search engine’s customers, they will reward you with being at the top of the search results.
Now, if you are number 1 of a search result, you should expect a low to mid 20% click-through rate to your website. So if 100 people search for milk chocolate, you will get 20 people to visit your site. Do the same for dark chocolate, and you get another 20 people. Do you see how this adds up? Being number 1 for search results is challenging as you compete with millions of articles on the subject, so make sure your content is better than anything else. Eventually, you will grow your website and take that number 1 spot.
Have a question? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll try my best to answer it.