Essentially, digital marketing is the term used for anything you do online to promote yourself or your business. Placing content (writing, images, videos) on various online platforms, including social media channels, all comes under the digital marketing umbrella. Over the past few years, the disruption caused by the rapidly evolving advances in digital technology has left even well-established companies, leaders in their sector, battling like a dingy on a rough sea.
It’s here to stay
One would be forgiven for thinking that each new wave of digitalism is a fad, or that it isn’t relevant for ‘MY business’ because you are a local firm and have always got by just fine with word-of-mouth referrals. But increasingly, your potential clients are sitting in a coffee shop, scrolling away on their phone screen, rather than going for a walk around town like the previous generation. They are simply not seeing your logo or shop front. They don’t even know that you are there.
My point is this: to a greater or lesser degree, digital marketing is utterly essential to your business plan. 75% of all marketing budgets are now allocated to digital campaigns. This is not a fad. This is now a big part of how we communicate.
Learning a new road map
Don’t let this overwhelm you, though. Firstly, progress is rarely bad. There was a time in our history when a person could go their whole life without ever seeing a written word. What was once considered strange and unfamiliar has now become an intrinsic and enjoyable part of our lives.
Secondly, the tools we use to communicate in a digital world are different, but it doesn’t have to be rocket science. Think of it like moving to a new city and having to work out where everything is, which transport is going to be best for your commute, how to find the people who might become your ‘tribe’, which places to go to when you need inspiration, or nourishment, or support.
Navigating the digital world may not seem possible, right up until the point that it is. Granted, all this new learning takes time and effort. Learning a new road map can cause stress, but to survive and thrive in this new realm you must keep going out and looking for the next new street or restaurant, keep taking the next step.
A sound investment
The first stages of a digital marketing campaign seem hungry for a lot of time and resources that you are not sure you have. Social media can indeed be very time consuming to learn and become fluent in. The basics – to the more advanced techniques – to the etiquette – to the security; it can take many frustrating hours to learn how to drive the social media vehicle. But when you know how to move the machine and navigate the road, you can go anywhere. It’s a very sensible idea to invest some of your time and your budget in to learning these techniques if you aren’t already familiar with them. It can push you forwards months, often more, on your marketing journey, particularly if you enlist the support of a ‘native’.
It IS really you!
The exciting news I have for you is that digital marketing is, at the start and the close of the day, about communication. People are people, always, and communication is our natural state.
And here we get to the crux of the conversation. It doesn’t matter how many platforms you are on (though I recommend doing a bit of research to choose the ones that are right for you) and it doesn’t matter how much ‘techie’ language you have or how many hashtags you use. The only thing that really matters when it comes to conversion rates, is that your content is an honest and interesting reflection of your business. You might need to step back and look at yourself from a distance, and tilt your head a bit, and squint through someone else’s eyes, and re-discover – remember – your brand story.
I know that there is a compelling story behind your business, whatever industry you are in. I know that, because you are human, and because you have worked hard to get this far. The fact that you are still reading, 700 words in to this article, attests to your desire to keep climbing.
So, find out – or ask someone who is communication savvy to help you find out – what it is that motivates you to get up every day and keep working towards your particular goals. I can assure you, if you can communicate that effectively, on whichever platforms you choose, you’ll hit digital marketing gold.
To find out more about how we can help you set up your digital marketing campaign plan, or for advice on how to drive your existing one forward, give DM PR & Marketing a call on 01392 662742 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.