Owning a small business is an exciting adventure. For any successful business owner, it takes hard work, luck, and knowledge to get your business to succeed.
Successful entrepreneurs aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. They work long hours and grind diligently for their business. Many entrepreneurs are quick to jump into nearly any situation but hesitate with marketing.
Visibility will be the largest hurdle for any small business. Marketing is a crucial element for any business, and if done correctly can catapult your business to success.
Thankfully digital marketing skills can be easily learned and honed in overtime depending on your market needs. If you are looking to grow your business, here are the digital marketing skills you need.
Branding is one of the most important digital marketing skills a business should master. Proper branding will guide you to pick the right colors, target market, tone, and guide your content creation! Needless to say, branding guides almost every aspect of your digital marketing.
Entrepreneurs and business owners will also want to utilize personal branding as well to help promote their new ventures.
So, what is branding? Branding is the look, feel, and tone of your business that makes your business recognizable to your target audience. It includes your tone, colors, logos, and features of your business.
How to brand yourself or your business
i). Write a brand strategy: This cheat sheet should map out what makes your brand who they are.
What makes it likable, unique, and trustworthy to your audience. Ask yourself: what the goal of your brand is, and how your brand solves problems for people.
ii). Create your brand identity: Brand Identity is the messaging, colors, and images that you will use to grow your brand. Your brand personality will have its own tone of voice, such as informal or sarcastic, fun or serious, and use that to accomplish the goals of your brand strategy.
iii). Identify your target audience: Your target audience will be who your brand will directly speak to. This is essential for any business to know their customers and preferences well.
Some things to include in your target audience is types of content social media platforms, and hobbies. With a tailored target audience, it will make it easier to create content for your audience!
iv). Marketing your brand: How you communicate with your business. With your completed identity, target audience, and messaging, it is time to start marketing your brand! With the previous steps complete you will be able to create your social content, email messaging and site to fit your brand and target audience.
v). Be consistent: Branding is about consistency. That includes imaging, colors, and types of content. For effective branding, it is a good idea to use a tool like the Lingo brand style guides to make sure that you are consistent so your brand is more memorable to your target audience.
Branding is an essential skill for any entrepreneur and business owner. With proper branding, you can make your business easily recognizable. With proper branding, you can target your ideal audience, and have a guide for building your sites, marketing campaigns, and content!
2. SEO – How to Get Your Business to Rank
SEO isn’t a marketing buzzword. SEO or Search engine optimization is how you can optimize your site to rank for keywords. Great SEO isn’t built overnight but is a necessity for any business looking for online customers.
Search engines, like Google, are one of the most important steps in the customer journey, discovery. Discovery is the critical step in a customer’s journey to a business.
Imagine, a house flipper looking to flip a home. They don’t have the money to buy the property themselves, so they search “hard money lenders”. This search will populate many results, and whatever result matches best will earn their business.
Search traffic is one of the most important ways you can build your business. BrightEdge found that 51 percent of all website traffic and 40 percent of revenue comes from organic traffic. If your business isn’t using SEO, you are losing money!
SEO must-haves for your business
i). Keyword Research: Identify the keywords you need your business to rank for. These can be a mix of long-tail or short-tail keywords, such as your product name or services, or related searches that could lead to a future sale, such as ‘what are hard money loans’.
Use Seo sites or free SEO tools to identify the best keywords to target based on search volume, difficulty, and competitors.
ii). On-Page Optimizations: On-page SEO refers to your website, pages, and blogs, and how they use keywords. Search engines to crawl your site for keywords and user experience to rank your website.
You can optimize your page by increasing your page speed, using keywords in the headers, titles, copy, descriptions, and images on your site. Be careful not to over-optimize, as this can penalize. Here is a checklist for how to optimize your on-page SEO.
iii). Link Building: Link building shows search engines that you are a trustworthy source and can increase your domain authority. The more links you have for your site, the more legitimate your site is!
You can build links by writing site blogs, guest blogs, responding to PR pitches, and using directories. If you write great content for your site, you will ever see your links grow over time!
SEO is vital for your business to grow its customers and sales. By making sure to optimize your site for SEO you make it easier for new clients to find and buy from your business!
3. Content Creation
Whether on your site or for social media, content creation is one of the must-have digital marketing skills for any business. Creating the right content will depend on your target audience, but consistent content is needed for any business to grow and thrive online!
Your content is how your audience will see your business, so creating content is one of the most important digital marketing skills you need to have. Use your site to provide information, and social media to connect to your clients, and emails to nurture your sales.
Types of content will vary for your target audience, platform, and goals. For effective content creation, you will need a content strategy for your business. Using your branding strategy, you match your brand tone, the target audience to the correct platform.
Many business owners make the mistake of making content without a goal, but each piece of content you make for your business should have a clear goal and type.
Examples of different content types
- Informational: Content that informs your audience on how to use your business or products. Think infographics, facts, blogs, case studies, or statistics.
- Branding: This type of content is for growing your brand, and building loyalty with your customers. Some great examples of branding content are behind the scenes, Day in the Life, about us, and interviews with employees.
- Sales: This content is purely made to drive conversions and sales for your business. Giveaways, Contests, Sales announcements are all examples of sales content.
- Engagement: Social media is social, so engagement is a great way to build an audience of promoters for your business. These could be quizzes, polls, funny videos, and more.
You should also make sure that you are using your content wisely, and posting on the right platforms. Each social media platform has different audiences, types of preferred content, and ideal posting times!
Using your target audience, you can identify the right platforms and content for your business. Some sites make it easy to create content, such as Canva, with drag and drop templates you can easily modify.
Content creation and social media will help you inform and engage your audience, making it easy to grow your business using your digital marketing skills.
Summary: Digital marketing skills for business growth
Digital marketing is an essential skill for every business owner. Digital marketing not only makes it easy to identify your brand and audience, but can lead to more traffic to your site, and more sales.
When used correctly, businesses that implement digital marketing will quickly expand and grow. The digital marketing skills you need to grow your business are:
- Branding: From your logo to your blogs, your brand will be how your audience recognizes and interacts with your content.
- SEO: From a google search to a client, SEO can build your business quickly with the right keywords. Optimize your website for SEO and pick the right keywords to lead your clients to you!
- Content Creation: Blogs, social posts, videos. These are all essential for your business. Align your content with the right goals, and platforms to properly inform, sell, and engage with your audience!
What are the digital marketing skills you have mastered for your business?
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Catherine Way graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor’s in Advertising. A freelance content marketer for industries such as photography, mortgage, and real estate. She has written for Silver Doctors, The Paper Source, Active Rain, and Progressing Income. She enjoys creative outlets like writing, designing, dancing, and modeling. She currently writes and reports for Prime Plus Mortgages – Hard Money Lenders Arizona.