For Business Owners; Digital Marketing Questions and Practical Answers | FAQ
If you are reading this then you are most probably a business owner thinking of implementing Digital Marketing for your business or hiring a digital marketing agency or looking for an in-house professional who will take your business to a new level.
Whatever the case is, let me start with the C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S!
You are taking your business to a new – challenging but exciting level! In this level, you can hyper-target your audience, track your KPI’s and see your ROI.
To help you do that, I decided to put together some common questions in digital marketing that various business owners usually ask me and share with you that small guide. Feel free to save this info and use it as a cheat sheet for improving your revenue.
So let’s dive into the CEO ́s FAQ in Digital Marketing as well as the practical answers to those questions!
QUESTION 1. Why My Small Business Needs Digital Marketing?
As a company CEO, you most probably are trying to achieve growth by reaching as many consumers as possible and convincing them to buy your product, don ́t you? If this is the case, then why not to take advantage of the fact that Digital Marketing has become more popular than ever before? Let’s take a look at some of the Digital Marketing benefits that can help your business to grow.
- You can target and be visible to the right audience: You can have the most appealing and highest quality product. Yet, it doesn’t matter if it is not shown to the right audience for your brand. One of the Digital Marketing advantages is that it allows to reach the right people at the right time and the right place and let them know about the product or service you offer.
- You can know your audience and manage the data: At the beginning of your business, you have nothing but a theoretical knowledge about your potential buyer. While implementing Digital Marketing activities you deal with various tools that collect and present your data about your target audience. For instance, you get insights about your audience’s demographics, geographic and psychographic profiles, which buttons did they press on your website, how did they find your website, how much did they stay and what did they do on your website, what do they speak about your brand on social media channels and much more. The more they buy from you, the more you can refine and approach your buyer.
- Two-way and personalized communication: Another factor that speaks about the importance of digital marketing campaigns is that your potential buyers can get a personalized online experience. This helps your brand to connect to people on a more human level and show your brand’s real personality. To be more precise regarding the personalized experience; you can greet and send people customized emails and messages, targeted offers and show them that you are not a cold organization but ready to listen and care about their desires on a human level.
- Lower cost compared to traditional marketing; If you compare the cost of TV advertising or billboards with Digital Marketing campaigns you´ll see considerable difference. The latter requires much less financial means and offers a much wider and more targeted audience than traditional marketing. This is an important factor, especially when your business is small and you cannot waste money but at the same time want to compete with the giant competitors on the playground.
- Sales and conversions; By improving your digital outreach you can improve your conversions and, therefore, increase your revenue. More specifically, having a positive brand reputation, tonnes of data about your users, targeted campaigns, availability everywhere will result in more leads, conversions, and higher ROI.
- Massive awareness and reputation; What do you think people do when they are curious about a particular product or service? Well, they do research online with a mission to find more information about the company; the website, social media presence, reviews by other buyers and more. What do you think will happen when they cannot find the company on the web? They might conclude that the business doesn’t seem to be legitimate and serious and will switch to a more another company – most probably to your competitor.
- Global reach and accessibility; In simple words, if you do not have a presence on the web you cannot be found and, thus, cannot compete. Your buyers cannot choose you if they don’t know about you; your location, working hours, the field of the business. No one will come knocking your door down. By implementing digital marketing activities you not only will be discovered by people but also find new markets and trade globally for a reasonable price.
- Your competitors are online; For every business to be successful, benchmarking is vital. You always need to follow your competitors and learn from them. Most probably, no matter in which field your business is operating, your competitors have already created their web presence. If your potential buyers search for businesses like yours and find the competitors ́website but not yours then you ́re out of the game.
QUESTION 2. What Does Digital Marketing Consist of? What are its Main Directions?
Digital Marketing includes but is not limited to
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) which is the process of optimizing your website for the search engines such as Google, Bing and others so that
- Your target audience finds your website easily
- Your website has a better rank than your competitors for specific keywords
- You generate more leads, conversion, sales, etc.
Content Marketing is another digital marketing area and is all about creating different types of content for different purposes.
- Some types of contents are blog posts, infographic, videos, case studies, checklists, etc.
- Purposes of content; brand awareness, traffic growth, lead generation, etc.
Email Marketing is a method of reaching your audience by various types of emails.
- Some email types; newsletters, content promotion, welcoming email, abandoned card emails, etc.
- Goals; prospects nurturing, lead generation, etc.
Social Media Marketing is all about promoting your product or service on social media channels.
- Some goals of social media marketing; brand awareness, engagement, online PR, sales, R&D, etc.
- Some social media channels; Linkedin, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, etc.
Paid search marketing is one of the most expensive parts of digital marketing since it is the way to buy visits to your website via advertising. The latter can be Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Linkedin Ads, etc…
Affiliate Marketing is a type of advertising. Here you either put your product on the 3rd party ́s website and pay money to them every time that product is clicked by their visitors or vice versa; you place other ́s product on your website and get paid if your visitors click on that product.
Online PR is a process of implementing various activities to help your brand reach the public digitally. The goal is to control your brand’s reputation, influence your audience.
- Some channels for digital PR; Press releases, social media, forums, discussion threads, etc.
Influencer Marketing is the way to promote your product or service via the “influencer”. That very “influencer” is someone who is capable of advocate a particular audience to buy your product.
QUESTION 3. What are the Steps of Digital Marketing Strategy? Where Should I Start from?
- Organizing market research and competitor analysis to identify the key players in the market, doing benchmarking as well as finding out your strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities in a particular market.
- Brand identity and positioning is the next step of your digital marketing strategy. Set up your brand ́s vision, mission, purpose, value proposition, tone of voice, design and position your brand accordingly.
- Set SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) to be able to track and see further progress. (see question 4)
- Define your target audience and buyer personas to understand what is that very group of people at which a product or service is aimed as well as create several semi-fictional models of your ideal customer.
- Create the website, landing pages and blog – Every part of your website should be designed properly to draw people further into the sales funnel. Pay attention on the call to actions, keywords, and content, on-site and technical SEO optimization.
- Select the Digital marketing areas/directions you want to focus on and create a detailed strategy for each area; SEO, email marketing, PPC, influencer marketing, affiliate marketing, social media marketing, online PR, content marketing, etc.
- Set up the tracking and automation tools, relevant goals and automate the process as much as possible.
- Put into the practice your digital marketing strategy
- Track your process; Online sales, micro and macro conversion of your website, conversion rates, social media engagement, and other insights, lifetime value of a customer, etc (see question 4)
- Make continuous improvements; there is always a way to do a better job, create more creative campaigns, improve the sales funnel, etc.
QUESTION 4. How can I Measure the Effectiveness of Digital Marketing?
For measuring the success of digital marketing, first, you need to set SMART goals. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. For instance, do you want to increase your revenue/website visitors/subscribers/another thing by 60% from $10000 to $16000 by December of this year can be considered a SMART goal.
Choose an analytics platform to be able to set up the goals and measure the following metrics:
- Online sales, micro and macro conversion of your website; can be easily tracked if you attach your website to Google Analytics or another tool and set up all the parameters and goals.
- Users behavior on your website – number of visits, page views per visit, time spent on the website, channels visitors came from, bounce rates, searched terms, exit pages, clicked buttons and links and other interactions with the website
- Your website visitors ́ data; demographic and geographic information, device info, etc.
- Conversion rates from life chats, phone calls, and other channels
- Social Media Metrics – likes and shares, Audience Growth/Rate of Followers, active fans, Audience Demographics, Audience Mentions and much more.
- Search engine information – Organic search traffic, keyword rankings, conversion rates, backlinks volume, organic click-through rate, domain and page authority, etc.
- Advertising metrics – Reach, cost, CPM, CTR, CPC, etc.
- Emails metrics – Click-through rate (CTR), open rates, conversion rate, bounce rate, numbers of unsubscribers/subscribers, sharing rate, ROI, domain click rate, etc.
- The lifetime value of a customer
- Leads from influencer and affiliate marketing campaigns and much more.
QUESTION 5. How Fast can I get the Results? How Much Digital Marketing do I need to Boost My Sales?
This question is probably the most frequently asked question by business owners. Well, I can imagine how much you thrive to see the fast results on every action you implemented in digital marketing; thousands of organic visitors to your website, leads, and conversions.
However, there is generally no accurate rule when you can see the materialized results and when exactly will digital marketing boost your sales since it very much depends on the following things;
- How SMART your goals are; if the goals you set are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound then you will be able to see the results after some time.
- What exactly in Digital Marketing are you implementing; More specifically if you want to have long-lasting results and are implementing SEO or content marketing, it takes months of dedicated work before your company ranks high on search engines for specific keywords. In contrast, if you are more into advertising, your keywords will appear on the search engines immediately when your campaign goes live. And you will generate quick traffic. However, you will disappear from search engines when the campaign ends.
- What resources (people, money, time) do you have; How many people are in the group, is there a budget to get published in famous journals, start advertising, implement influencer marketing or other things which require financial means, etc.
- In which development life-cycle your product is; is it in the introduction, growth, maturity or decline stage? In other words, do you need more brand awareness, trust, sales, conversion, reputation management or completely new positioning?
- What does your business do, what is the value proposition, how it differentiates itself from competitors and many other questions.
There are many other factors need to be considered to understand when approximately you should be seeing some results. This is the same when you ask your fitness trainer about how long will it take to lose 20 kgs. Thus, the only right answer to this question is “IT DEPENDS”.
QUESTION 6. How Many Professionals should I Hire for My Digital Marketing Team?
If you are considering building a digital marketing team that your business can benefit the most then here is the list of professionals you need to hire to boost your brand on the web. I try to avoid to state any position name here because day by day new positions are created. Thus, let’s speak only about the responsibilities of your Digital Marketing team members.
Person 1: Call this person a Manager or Project Manager or Marketing Manager or Team Leader – doesn ́t matter; this is a person who deals with your digital marketing team and management, set budgets, hires people as and follows that all the tasks are ready on time. This person also needs to have leadership skills, can combine and represent the whole digital marketing team.
Person 2: Deals with Digital Marketing Strategy, analytics, and conversion optimization. Creating buyer personas and KPIs, doing marketing research, creating strategies for all the marketing directions and conversion optimization, tracking and measuring the progress of activities.
Person/Group 3: Manages the content and on-site SEO optimization. They come up with the content strategy (landing pages, blogging, ebooks, white papers, email blasts, videos, brochures, etc.), write and optimize content for the search engines as well as collaborate with the Strategist, Designer, and the Social Media team. Please note that being able to write beautiful sentences in a particular language is not enough to be a Content Writer. So make sure to hire someone with appropriate qualifications and abilities.
Person/Group 4: Creates brand recognition and engagement on social media channels such as facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, etc. They put the strategist ́s social media plan into action, automate as many things as possible and track the results.
Person 5: Gets the business to rank high on search engines like Google, Bing, etc. Collaborates with Content writers, Strategist to implement on-site and technical SEO as well as tracks the performance. Works closely with the Online PR group for implementing an off-site SEO. Forget people who insist on the death of SEO. The latter is alive and is more complicated than before.
Person/Group 6: Handles the online PR, affiliate, and influencer marketing part. More specifically, enhancing the company’s voice and presence through online channels, managing media relations, building relationships with online influencers and implementing influencer campaigns, Finding new affiliate relationships and converting them into partners – these what this person/group will be responsible for.
Person 7: This person deals with Paid search advertising; starting from the strategy to implementation and analysis of ad performance. Please note that SEO and Paid search specialists are different from each other. The first one deals with the organic search, the second one deals with advertising.
Person 8: Automates the Email Marketing part, creates smart audiences, manages databases, drives engagement and tracks the results. Collaborates with the Content Writing team for creating content for different types of emails.
Person/Team 9: A person/group who will use visual language to communicate a company’s personality to its potential clients. UI/UX design, graphic design – all these are the responsibilities of the design team.
Person 10: is a person who has knowledge in coding and is responsible for implementing the technical part of the marketing strategy. This can be an expert who creates the website, collaborates with the SEO specialist for implementing the technical part of SEO (sitemaps, robots.txt, website speed, etc…)
Weather you are an owner of a big company or a small startup, in order to encourage people to buy your products online, it is vital to have a professional marketing team. Avoid hiring only one person and give all the responsibilities to him/her if you want a high quality work. Instead, create a well organized digital marketing team and you will see the real results.
I hope my Digital Marketing guide for Business Owners was helpful and you will get started with Digital Marketing soon. If there are other questions you cannot find here, feel free to drop me a message by filling the form bellow.