Every successful campaign is supported by effective marketing strategies. Before the popularity of the Internet, businesses and salespeople promoted through print media paid for TV and radio advertising and participated in trade fairs. Marketing strategies to increase customer base used to be costly, that only medium and large businesses were able to afford them.

Thanks to the Internet and social networks, small enterprises, even home-based businesses, can now reach their target audiences without breaking the bank. The playing field has been leveled.

Just because more businesses are opting for digital marketing does not mean that traditional marketing strategies, at least their concepts, are no longer relevant. Digital marketing is the use of the Internet and online-based technologies to promote products and services.

The medium and distribution channel may have changed, but the practices remain the same. For instance, the concept of cold calling is still being practiced through e-mail marketing. The best practices for TV advertising are applied in the creation of short-form videos for social media.

Digital marketing strategies are influenced by traditional marketing practices that focus on customers. Capture and hold their attention. Know their pain points and create content that solves these.

As a small business owner, you should capitalize on the many benefits of the Internet and digital technologies. Here is a guide on digital marketing techniques that incorporate timeless marketing strategies.

Build an Idea Pool based on the pain points of your audience

A shampoo brand, through a TV ad, shows a man in distress because of itchy dandruff (pain point). It then enumerates the solutions it offers to address the pain point. Customers, customers, customers.

Digital marketing is all about creating and distributing relevant and helpful content. The volume of website traffic is meaningless if it does not translate to a high volume of conversions. A content that focused on the pain points of the target audience ranked #10 for traffic but #1 for conversions and converted 4% higher than any other post.

Identify the pain points of your target audience, and ultimately expand your loyal customer base by:

  • Interviewing a selected member of your target audience
  • Browsing through online communities, forums, and message boards where the audience frequently hang out, and take note of the issues they discuss
  • Sending out survey forms to your email subscribers

What are the key points to note?

  • What are the problems your audience is trying to solve?
  • What are the challenges they face when seeking solutions?
  • What factors influence them to choose a certain brand or company?

Analyze your findings and write down relevant topics. This pool of topics will provide you ideas on the content to create and distribute.

You should also explore predictive analytics which can give you in-depth knowledge about your audiences’ personalities and preferences. Predictive analytics is “the practice of extracting information from existing data sets in order to determine patterns and predict future outcomes and trends.” (Webopedia)

Create relevant and useful content that will capture and hold your audience’s attention

One of the basic principles of “quality content,” according to Google, is to not deceive your audience. This is applied to any form of marketing, whether digital or traditional. If you promote a webinar that promises useful tips, you should strive to deliver accordingly. Never do clickbait tactics.

When writing a piece of article or creating a script for a short-form video, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does this help my audience?
  • Would I do this if search engines did not exist?

“Focus on the core problem your business solves and put out lots of content and enthusiasm and ideas about how to solve that problem.” Laura Fitton, INBOUND & Influencer Relations, HubSpot

Produce content relevant to the audience at every stage of the sales cycle

Producing quality content is not only to acquire new customers. It is also one of the most effective customer retention strategies.

The message you deliver to prospects is different from existing customers. Set clear goals for each sales cycle. Here are examples:

Awareness – This prospecting stage involves strategies that will introduce your brand, products, and services. The goal is to capture the attention of the target audience.

Discovery – This stage focuses on those who have expressed interest in your brand and offerings. You can use analytics to find out the geographical location of those who visited your web pages. You may check social media analytics for data on those who interacted with your content. You can then create content to further stimulate their interest.

Evaluation – Keep those who have interacted with your content interested by inviting them to sign up to email newsletters and updates. Blast interesting and useful newsletters with powerful calls-to-action. Make your pitch. Provide an easy-to-follow guide on how to make a purchase, share your content or any other conversion goal you may have.

Purchase – This is the stage where the conversion occurs. It may be a purchase, a sign-up or a share. Thank your new customer. Send a personalized message that gives helpful after-sales information such as customer support hotlines.

Loyalty – Your existing customer base is a rich source of new business. Send them updates on new offerings, promos, and any referral programs. Building customer loyalty is key in expanding your audience and getting new customers. A study suggests that 83% of satisfied customers would be happy to provide a referral. Also, 92% of buyers trust referrals from people they trust.

Many pre-Internet customer acquisition strategies remain applicable today. Know your audience — their pains, motivations, and desires — and offer solutions that your products and services provide. 

There is no one-fits-all content. A prospect may find an article introducing your brand helpful, but this does not offer much value to an existing customer. Understand the needs of your audience at every stage of the sales cycle to guide you in creating relevant content.

Through digital marketing, you create relevant and useful content and distribute it via the most effective platforms. The best part is that you do not have to worry about breaking the bank. Publish articles and white papers on your blog, post high-quality photos on Facebook and Instagram, and distribute informational videos on Youtube.

Make the most of the wonders of the Internet and online-based digital technologies.