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PART TWO – BUILDING YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS, Behind The Scenes

October 21, 2020
Building Your Online Business, Behind The Scenes

Now that you have decided to build your digital strategy, what’s next? In Part Two of our “Changing Your Business Model to Survive” series, we’ll explore popular digital marketing platforms and channels available and weigh the pros/cons and features of each.

Website

Your digital real estate is just as important as your physical location. Consumers no longer pick up the phone to call; they’re looking to connect with you online—at any time, from anywhere. When it comes to building or revamping your website experience, there are many options available varying in scalability, price, editability, and speed to market. Here is a sampling:

  • WordPress: About 30% of websites today utilize WordPress, which uses prebuilt, editable templates and plugins to address the needs of a wide variety of sites—including blogs and landing pages, eCommerce, and more. From its user-friendly content management system (CMS) that allows you to edit and publish content with ease, WordPress is ideal for many businesses to included hosting options. It also tends to be the least expensive option of those outlined.
  • Magento: This user-friendly e-commerce platform provides online merchants and brands with a flexible shopping cart system. Magneto allows online retailers to create a customizable, integrated eCommerce website without the help of a developer. Its interface is as easy as drag-and-drop, its built-in marketing and SEO tools are a real bonus, and there are a host of integration options with other services such as Amazon and eBay. With Magento, online merchants can create a unique and engaging shopping experience for customers.
  • Custom HTML: A custom HTML website allows you to design a unique, one-of-a-kind online experience that matches your unique brand and needs. Custom HTML websites are written in a globally accepted language, meaning the website will appear in all most all web browsers globally. While typically your most expensive and time-consuming option, custom HTML websites are known to be the more SEO-friendly and customer-centered, allowing you to design a website focused on the customer’s needs.

Social

Social Media Marketing allows you to engage with current and potential customers at every stage of the consumer’s purchasing journey, allowing you to tell and share your brand story, engage with customers, and build trust among audiences. With a defined strategy and frequent presence on social, you’ll retain and create loyal customers, increase website visits, develop leads, and improve conversion rates. Most important, you’ll learn about your customers’ wants, needs, and behaviors.

There are two components in social media marketing (1) Organic Social and (2) Paid Social:

  • Organic Social speaks directly to your current followers, followers of followers, and people following any used hashtags and is often used for storytelling, building relationships, and engaging with existing customers.
  • Paid Social is used to expand your radius and customer database, increase brand awareness, generate leads, and promote deals, content, events, or products—targeting audiences based on gender, interests, hobbies, employer, zip codes, and more.

Each social platform has its own merits and best practices:

  • Facebook: Engaging audiences, collecting reviews, customer service (messaging), targeted advertising.
  • Instagram: Build and maintain your brand, storytelling, and content marketing.
  • Twitter: Building industry authority with real-time updates.
  • Pinterest: Sharing and highlighting products and targeted advertising.
  • LinkedIn: Reaching B2B and B2C prospects and current audiences.

Since COVID-19, social media has become the second most popular digital activity. In our post “The (Re)Rise of the Influencer“, we discussed the surge in traffic to social platforms. Our third part of this series will discuss optimizing these campaigns and the reports you’ll need for decision making.

Paid Search

Paid Search is an essential component of an effective digital strategy, providing you the capability to reach your audience instantly based on their activity in search engines like Google and Bing. Paid search provides a host of benefits, including the ability to target your competitor’s customers.

Paid search encompasses several model types, including PPC (pay-per-click), CPV (cost-per-view), CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions), and CPA (cost-per-action):

  • The pay-per-click model is the most widely used form of paid search; it means you don’t pay until someone clicks on your ad. Pay ad types can include image ads (shopping, display, and retargeting ads) and text ads (text only displayed at the top and bottom of search results).
  • In the cost-per-view model, you pay once your ad is clicked or viewed. Ads typically consist of video., which tend to run on YouTube and commercial-based streaming sites.

The types of Paid Search ads you choose will depend on your marketing and business objectives, goals, and budget. There are many Paid Search options available varying in price and visibility. Effective campaign strategies may employ multiple methods to guide prospective clients and customers to their final purchasing decision.

Email

Are you looking to speak directly to consumers who have opted-in to receive information or learn more about your business? Email marketing allows you to engage current and prospective audiences whose email address you already have captured via other marketing efforts. Better yet, you can target specific customer segments based on prior actions or behaviors, such as previous purchases or shopping cart abandonment. Segments help convert prospects into customers, build and maintain brand loyalty, and drive website traffic and conversions.

Email marketing platforms include smaller business programs like MailChimp, Constant Contact, and Campaign Monitor. Larger businesses will benefit from programs offered by Mautic, HubSpot, Adobe, and Salesforce.

 

Now that you understand some of the benefits of the common tools available in your digital marketing toolkit, stay tuned for part three of this series—we’ll discuss the best practices to implement your online presence,  as well as to measure and optimize success.

Missed Part One? Read it here.

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