A 3 Step Guide to Marketing your Brand Online

Get started with effective and economical digital marketing using these two digital channels.

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Courtesy of Carlos Muza

In this age of technology, the Internet has become our prime source of information and entertainment. People are constantly using their smartphones and tablets to shop, study, watch movies, read the news, and what not. It’s become an integral part of everyday life, to the point where people use these devices as soon as they wake up, right before they go to bed, and everywhere in between.

For a Business or a Freelancer, it is important to be where your Audience is — Online.

Digital marketing is what allows your brand to be seen and heard in the virtual space. The major ways in which it helps a business is by expanding brand awareness, increasing traffic, and encouraging a two-way conversation with prospects. The fact that it is cheaper and takes less time than conventional offline marketing is just icing on the cake.

To be a competitive business owner, you need to embrace some aspects of digital marketing and leverage digital channels such as search engines, social media, email, and other websites to connect with current and prospective customers.

While it’s easy to get lost in this pool of options, choosing the right channels for the right goals, and taking the most effective first steps is imperative when you set out to create a brand for your business online.

A good Digital Marketing strategy needs to have three things:

  • Clearly defined business goals
  • Planned and targeted efforts through the right digital channels
  • Regular analysis of results, and tweaking of the strategy accordingly

Step 1: Define your business goals

It is important to plan out what you want to achieve through your digital marketing campaigns. Some basic business goals are:

  • Create brand awareness
  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Increase sales and conversions

Your business goals should be clearly defined, relevant, attainable, measurable, and time-bound. It’s also important to keep re-evaluating and updating these goals with time.

Step 2: Market using the right Digital Channels

Now that you know what you want to achieve through different marketing campaigns, it’s time to choose the right channels and use them to accomplish these business goals. Here are two digital channels that you can start with, to begin an online marketing campaign for your brand/ business.

  • Search (Organic + Ads)
  • Social Media

Search:

Search is a simple yet effective way to reach out to your audience when they’re looking for you (or products and services similar to those you offer). There are two ways you can use Search to promote your business — SEO, and SEM.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

This is an unpaid and organic marketing method. It involves improving the website in order to increase ranking and visibility in relevant searches, hence driving traffic.

  • The simplest way to optimize your site for search is by using the right keywords and putting out relevant content.
  • Quality back-links to your web-page also improve search engine rankings.
  • Apart from optimizing the content, you can also optimize what lies ‘under the hood’ of your page. Some things you can include in your website’s HTML for Technical SEO is a descriptive Title, Meta-Data, and an Alt-Text for images.

Here’s a resource to help you learn more about SEO https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo
(Did I just improve their SEO by linking to it? Yes!)

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

This is a paid service to show ads for your business when someone searches for relevant words or phrases. Your ads appear as search results on the very top of the page, hence increasing visibility.

  • Ads are shown only to people who are interested in your business and have searched for keywords relevant to it.
  • You are only charged when someone clicks on your ad and goes to your website, making Search Ads a viable option even economically.

Know more in detail about SEM and how the Ads to be displayed are chosen- https://www.wordstream.com/search-engine-marketing

Search is a great way to be there for your customers or prospective customers when they’re actively looking for products or services like yours.

The most important tool you need for effective marketing using search is — Detailed Keyword Research. You should target keywords with:

· High search volume
· Less competition
· Relevance to your business.

Some keyword research tools to help you with this are — Google Search Console (SEO), Google Adwords: Keywords.

High visibility on the Search Results page, whether through SEO or SEM or the right combination of both, can help you direct interested people to your website, hence increasing brand awareness and the possibility of conversions.

Social Media:

With more than 3 billion people around the world using social media, it presents an incredible marketing opportunity. Each social media platform has its own demographics, engagement, and purpose, which is why it is important to choose a platform in sync with your business goals.

Here are the most popular ones you can start with to cater to your different business needs:

· Instagram: It relies on pictures for conversation and hence works well for visual-based businesses, like art, food, retail, and beauty. Due to its wide reach, Instagram is useful for reaching out to new people and generating leads.

· Twitter: It is a great platform to initiate conversation, build brand awareness, and provide real-time updates to your audience. Popular for its hashtags, Twitter allows you to learn what people are talking about and craft your tweets to take part in popular conversations.

· YouTube: This is a platform with video-based content and a reach in billions. Most searched for its how-to tutorials, it is the perfect place to market service-based businesses using engaging videos.

· LinkedIn: It is ideal for professional networking, B2B lead generation, and recruitment. LinkedIn is unique because of its narrow, more work-oriented focus.

It is very important to be up-to-date with ongoing trends, and regularly post content that engages the audience.

Strategic and consistent use of Social Media can help you grow brand awareness, encourage two-way conversation with prospects, and build customer loyalty.

Missing out on the many marketing benefits of Social Media, along with its ease of use and creative freedom would be foolish in today’s time.

Step 3: Analyze, Review and Tweak your strategy

The best part about being online is that everything is measurable. Web properties, social media accounts, and other digital marketing initiatives can all be linked and tracked.

Digital marketing analytics give you a way to assess your progress. By using these tools, you can see which content performs well, where and how you’re reaching your target audience, which channels have the best engagement, and the journey your audience takes before converting into paying customers.

Without evaluating and understanding the analytics, your marketing endeavors won’t reap the optimal results.

Digital marketing is anything but stagnant with new trends and technologies continuously influencing consumer behavior. Hence it is important to generate insights that help you better understand your customer, their thought processes, and how you can better align with their wants and needs.

Keeping these insights in my mind, you can evaluate the effectiveness of your existing marketing strategy and tweak it accordingly.

After successfully using and reaping the benefits of Search and Social Media, you can also incorporate an E-mail Marketing Strategy for your business, by sending out specific emails to cater to different sections of your audience.

With targeted marketing campaigns through the chosen channels towards your business goals, followed by a post-analysis of the campaigns, you’re off to the right start towards digitally marketing your brand!

by Amisha Singh | instagram: amixhaa

🇮🇳 • Politics, Facts, Opinions • Poetry & Prose • Marketing | Programming | Content Writing • Engineering Undergraduate, Panjab University, Chandigarh

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