Digital Marketing in 2024: An Easy Guide for Business Owners

In today’s interconnected world, establishing a robust online presence is essential for the success of any business venture. But with so many options available, where do you begin? It can be so overwhelming to think about juggling everything you’re already doing plus thinking about how you’re going to market your brand. We’re here to help educate you on what digital marketing is and give you the basics on the available digital marketing strategies, highlighting the pros and cons of each, along with some best practices to help you make informed decisions.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO helps people find your website on Google for the most relevant keywords for your business’ products or services. SEO is a long-term marketing approach that focuses on providing the best possible user experience from search engines to your website through high-quality, shareable content. SEO is very much so impacted by seasonality for many industries and also operates like supply and demand.

  • Pros: SEO enhances your website’s visibility on search engines, driving organic visibility, traffic, and rankings while increasing brand awareness. It’s a cost-effective long-term strategy that builds credibility and trust among your audience.
  • Cons: Results may take time to materialize, requiring patience and consistent effort. The landscape is competitive, necessitating ongoing optimization to maintain rankings. Some businesses may even require a minimum of 12 months of SEO before they will see results from their efforts due to the nature of SEO.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)

Whether it’s Google ads or social media ads, the options here can be endless. Paid ads operate faster than organic search and you can do much more with an ads campaign than you can for an SEO campaign; however, SEO and PPC complement each other very well on the search engines and go hand-in-hand in the world of digital marketing. If you’re not ready for ads yet, SEO can help your business grow slowly and steadily with you. By the time you’re ready to run ads, your SEO will signal to Google that you’re a trustworthy, established brand and can ultimately help your ads perform better. Compelling ad copy can help maximize click-through rates to your site to meet your goals.

  • Pros: PPC offers instant visibility, allowing you to target specific demographics, control the time of day your ads display on the search engines, and track results in real time. You only pay when users click on your ads, providing a measurable return on investment (ROI).
  • Cons: Paid ads are very much “pay to play” and costs can escalate quickly, especially in very competitive industries (lawyers, e-commerce/retail, etc.). Without proper targeting and optimization, campaigns may yield low conversion rates or ROAS, leading to wasted resources and dollars spent.

Social Media Marketing

You can’t go anywhere in 2024 without being smacked in the face by the latest viral trend from TikTok, Instagram, and more. The power of online virality is at an all-time high with users chasing their next “thing” that’s going to pop online and make them an overnight sensation (*cough* Reesa Teesa). Now more than ever, people are seeking out a personal connection with your brand on social media.

  • Pros: Social media platforms enable direct engagement with your audience via posts and reels, fostering brand loyalty and driving traffic to your website or profile links. They also offer diverse ad formats and targeting options to reach specific demographics effectively.
  • Cons: Growth on social media can be really fast or really slow, and managing multiple platforms can be time-consuming, requiring a consistent presence and content creation. Negative feedback or viral controversies can damage your brand’s reputation if not handled properly.

If you’re not ready for paid ads, Social Media and SEO strategies are a more cost-effective solution to promote your brand to your audience online. With social media platforms operating like search engines, organic search and social are the PB&J of digital marketing.

Content Marketing

Content Marketing is considered to be any piece of content or copy that helps educate your audience on what your business is, what you offer, and more to help establish your authoritativeness and expertise in your field or industry. Content marketing can include anything from your website copy to your social media captions, copy for your email marketing, ads copy, videos, infographics, and more. Focus on providing value through informative, entertaining, or inspirational content.

  • Pros: Content marketing establishes your expertise, educates your audience, and builds trust over time. It’s versatile, encompassing blog posts, videos, infographics, and more, catering to diverse consumer preferences to help deliver the best possible user experience. 
  • Cons: Creating high-quality content requires time and resources. Planning out an impactful content calendar is key to keeping tabs on all your content marketing channels. It may take time to see tangible results, as success hinges on consistency and the gradual accumulation of audience trust.

Email Marketing

If you keep an email list of your customers, then you should absolutely be doing email marketing. Email marketing is one of the most impactful ways to connect with your audience and keep them up to date on what’s going on with your business. From announcements to sales to newsletters to new product launches, there’s always something to talk about! The neat thing about email marketing is that you can segment your email sends based on demographics, behavior, purchase history, and more with targeted messages for each audience.

  • Pros: Email marketing allows personalized communication with your audience, nurturing leads and driving conversions. It’s cost-effective and boasts high ROI potential, especially when leveraging segmentation and automation.
  • Cons: Overly aggressive or irrelevant emails can lead to unsubscribes or damage your brand reputation. Compliance with data protection regulations (e.g., GDPR) is crucial to avoid legal repercussions.

Reputation Management

Your online reputation is everything these days. Negative and positive reviews online – whether on your Google Business Profile, Yelp, or other directory, can have significant influence over how people view your brand in the real world. Are you known for excellent customer service or are you known for doing sloppy work, or selling bad products? These are important things to consider when expanding your digital marketing efforts.

  • Pros: Reputation management focuses on monitoring, influencing, and improving how your brand is perceived online. By actively managing your online reputation, you can enhance credibility, trust, and customer loyalty. Positive reviews and testimonials can attract new customers and differentiate your brand from competitors.
  • Cons: Negative reviews or social media backlash can tarnish your brand image and undermine customer trust. Responding to negative feedback requires tact and diplomacy, as mishandled responses can exacerbate the situation and make it really hard to bounce back from. Reputation management efforts may require ongoing monitoring and intervention to maintain a positive brand image.

Let’s Grow Together!

Running your own marketing campaign on top of operating your business can be challenging and time-consuming. While you’re the expert in your business, working with digital marketing experts can help alleviate you and take your brand to the next level. Digital marketing offers endless avenues for new and existing businesses to help establish and grow their online presence and brand power. Success in digital marketing requires patience, persistence, and a willingness to adapt to ever-evolving trends and technologies. Connect with us today to learn more about how we can help you grow!

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