Are you a business owner looking for ways to save on your marketing and advertising plans? Perhaps your upcoming New Year’s resolution will be to cut back on your overall expenses. One way to begin scaling back on your expenses is to consider doing your own digital marketing for your business. While digital marketing may seem overwhelming at first, with time you will quickly master everything your business needs to thrive in the digital marketing sphere and you will save thousands of dollars each year on marketing. Here are the top 10 best tips for DIY digital marketing to help you get started.
1. Plan Ahead. The key to developing a strong digital marketing plan without becoming too overwhelmed is to plan ahead. When you have extra time in your workday, start to write out future blog posts, social media posts, and other forms of ad copy you plan to use. You can also jot down basic ideas you have for future posts. You don’t have to publish everything at once, but by planning ahead you’ll always have ideas and content on the back of your hand ready to publish for those times when you need to advertise your busy but are short on time.
2. Schedule Posts. You’ve probably heard the expression “Time is Money” and when it comes to digital marketing, that couldn’t be more true. Don’t waste your time with manually posting updates on social media. Instead, schedule them out in advance using a social media tool such as HootSuite, Buffer, or Sprout Social. This will also help to ensure that your business’ social media pages are always active even when you’re too busy to update them manually. Pay attention to Facebook Insights and use other tools such as FollorWonk for Twitter to identify the best times to post.
3. Be Social. It’s mind boggling how many businesses forget the “Social part of “Social Media”. Don’t let this be you! Remain social by responding to comments and messages on both social media and through your website, blog, and e-mail in a timely manner. Respond to some of your follower’s posts, too. This will further increase your business’ online visibility and engagement.
4. Be Available. Your customers need you! Let’s face the facts: in 2014 not all of your customers are going to be reaching out to you in person or through the phone. Social media, email, and other online platforms may be their first place to go if they have a question, comment, or concern regarding your business. This means it’s more important than ever to make time to be available online for your customers. Plan at least one day a week to focus on just responding to messages. You may also want to consider holding a Twitter Q & A session or Google+ Hangout once a week to encourage your customers to engage with your business and ask questions.
5. Create Your Own Logo. It’s virtually impossible to advertise your business without a logo in 2014. If your business doesn’t already have a logo created, you can easily create one by using online logo design software programs. Once you have a logo created you can use it to help further brand your business through social media and other online websites. Plus, you can submit your logo to logo directories to create effective backlinks to your website and further boost your company’s SEO marketing.
6. Brush Up On Your Photoshop Skills. There’s no reason to be afraid of Photoshop. Photoshop is a very powerful tool that can help you to create strong images for your business to be used for your online profiles. Additionally, you can share images along with written content for your business to help increase engagement. Posts with photos have been proven to have higher success rates when it comes to shares, likes, and overall user engagement. The key to mastering Photoshop is to practice, but you can also turn to YouTube for tutorials or even consider taking a Photoshop class at your local community college. Many community colleges will offer a basic class for free or for a very low cost.
7. Recycle Old Content in New Ways. Have you heard the term “content marketing” Content marketing involves taking content you already have on hand and repurposing it. It’s absolutely essential to use in your SEO marketing now. Does your business have a really great blog with lots of share-worthy posts? Turn your blog posts into SlideShare presentations, share it on social media and content curation sites such as Scoop.it, and use it for various other forms of marketing. By repurposing content you’ll further increase awareness of your brand while saving time and money on your overall digital marketing process.
8. Connect With Others. Look for relevant communities to join online especially in the form of Facebook and LinkedIn groups. If your business is based locally, search for local communities to join and users who are from your area to connect with. Also, search for relevant hashtags for your community to help further increase your online visibility to your target audience. For example, businesses and individuals from Richmond, Virginia frequently use the hashtag “RVA”. By using this hashtag they are better able to connect with and be found by people local to their area who are most likely to benefit from their services.
9. Give Back. People like to support companies that give back. Support local charities and announce your charitable efforts online. Create posts on Tuesdays with the hashtag #GivingTuesday to increase viability. Offer items such as eBooks for free. You can also host giveaways and other promotions and require entrants to like your pages, sign up for your email list, etc. to enter. This is a fun and easy way to both give back to your customers and advertise your business online at the same time.
10. Never Stop Learning. You can’t expect to become a pro at digital marketing overnight. It takes time. Also, remember that digital marketing, SEO, and Social Media are constantly changing. This means it’s essential to constantly learn new tips, tricks, and methods about digital marketing. Some of the best ways to learn include reading about SEO and Social Media from authoritative sources including SEO Moz, Search Engine Journal, and The Social Media Examiner. It is also recommended to attend conferences that are held throughout the year on marketing, SEO, and Social Media. The initial cost for attending these conferences may seem high, but the price is more than worth it when you consider how much you’ll learn and how much it can help you to further enhance your business’ online advertising efforts.