Owning a business, let alone starting one, is a tremendous undertaking. Marketing your company is a full-time job in and of itself, and you might find your efforts not paying off to the extent you’d like. There’s a natural give-and-take with digital marketing that can be difficult to master on your own. Without the right tools and knowledge, you might feel like every effort you take to promote online is a shot in the dark. There are a few ways to go about improving your online presence and stimulating growth.
Going to college and earning a degree in business today can give you an amazing foundation to grow your company. Contemporary business programs even offer specializations in digital marketing, which can be covered through private student tuition fee programs. As both a student and business owner, you’ll be able to gain real-world mastery of every skill you develop in the classroom at the same time. Before you embark on that journey, however, there are five digital marketing tools to pick up now that will ensure your growth for years to come.
Attractive Email Operating System
Email clients allow you to collect, organize and manage hundreds of different email addresses related to your business. One of the cornerstones of online growth is the generation of potential customers’ emails through landing pages and social media incentives; these addresses become leads, which you then target through a series of email marketing campaigns. Email operating systems also make it easy to keep existing clients engaged with your brand. From alerting them to special offers, exclusive deals and newsletters, you are able to maintain an active presence that ensures customers stay connected.
Your hosting service impacts the response time of your website, which has a major impact on its search engine optimization (SEO) and user experience. The right hosting service will be both affordable and reliable; it should have a built-in management system that makes editing your website and updating its information a breeze. Hosting services range drastically in budget. Some only cost a few dollars a year while others are over $150 a month. The scale and needs of your business will dictate the right platform for you. It’s a good idea to weigh your current traffic and demands with projected growth rates; if you run a successful campaign on social media, is your site prepared to handle the influx of traffic?
The standard hosting service shares its server with many different sites; having your own space online, which increases speed and security, costs more. You could invest in a VPS (virtual private server) or a dedicated server, which is a physical box you rent. However, these two suggestions are generally not necessary for the average business site, so you shouldn’t buy them unless you have IT experience and genuinely require their added services.
Followerwonk Engaging & Retargeting
Followerwonk is a free digital marketing tool that allows you to manage multiple elements of your digital presence. It includes tools for search, analyses and optimization that can all be performed from one centralized platform. Search Twitter bios, track followers’ behavior and get customized social media reports to strengthen your strategy.
Engaging and retargeting are two processes that must be timed perfectly to work. Engagement is the first step to making a connection, but after someone knows about your business, how do you lure them in? That’s where retargeting comes into play. By using Followerwonk, you can create detailed profiles for your followers and even divide them into different segments that make it easier to retarget them later.
Paid Social Media Tools
Paid social media tools like Hubspot are costly but tend to offer the greatest level of depth and control over your site and social channels. When you have a profile on multiple sites and are often running advertising campaigns on them, it’s crucial to know what’s performing, what’s not and how much of a return on investment you’re really making. Paid tools can also be used to make many of the mundane social media management tasks easier. Rather than having to log on and post everything manually, for example, you can run an editorial calendar and schedule all your tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts a week ahead of time.
Paid services also tend to offer user insight statistics and suggestions that help your content perform better. Access to follower behavior, for example, can help you plan ahead, make content that resonates more and target your audience more accurately. The cost of the platforms is generally offset by the added income you make from increased conversions.
Volunteers like college interns are a great way to divvy up the work you have for digital marketing. Although they’re young, volunteers in the college age bracket are digital natives; they’ve grown up on the web, so they’re able to bring a direct insider’s perspective to the table. Combined with their growing knowledge and emerging skill sets, volunteers can help develop, deploy and manage digital marketing strategies without costing you a fortune. For small businesses or startups, relying on volunteers in the beginning might be the only option anyway. It’s definitely something to consider as you plan your next marketing move.
Digital marketing takes time, effort and resources to succeed. New businesses and entrepreneurs rely on the web to build their brands and create a loyal customer base. Creating content is only a small piece of the pie; using the right tools will give you greater access to details that should shape a strategy and help it succeed.
By using everything at your disposal, you can help your company’s digital presence do more than just exist. It can thrive, convert and continually delight your audience with content that always feels fresh and relevant.