In today’s world, having a strong digital presence is essential and your success is likely to depend on your ability to market your new business effectively online. But is this something you could do yourself, or is it the preserve of the professionals? Read on and make up your mind.
What is Digital Marketing?
In a nutshell, digital marketing comprises all the activities you undertake to promote your business in the online world. Your business’s home on the internet will be your website. As people visit your website, you’ll be introducing them to your business and what you offer, and hopefully converting them into clients.
However, no matter how good your website is, your potential customers need to know that it’s there and to be able to find it. This is where your digital marketing activities come in. These are likely to include Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Marketing (SMM). The creation of your website, and the accompanying digital marketing activities, are all things which you can outsource to specialist agencies, or which you can do yourself.
Designing a website doesn’t necessarily require any expertise in coding but rather the ability to write good content and illustrate it with strong images and other features. Lots of website builders exist, which are platforms enabling you to build your website without having to concern yourself with what actually makes it all work.
You might use Squarespace, Wix or WordPress, or a website builder provided by the company you’ve chosen to host your domain. Plenty of options are available. You can select one of the design templates provided by your website builder which means that the structure of your website is already laid out for you, together with things like the fonts and colours. You then provide the content in the form of text and images, and arrange things appropriately on each page. You can use your own photographs or utilise stock images available on the internet.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is about presenting ads on Search Engine Results Pages (SERP’s). When someone types a search term into Google, or Bing, or whatever search engine they’re using, you will want your ad to appear when that search is relevant to your business. You are charged each time your ad is clicked and so SEM is also known as Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC).
When someone clicks on one of your ads, they are taken to a page on your website. This page is called a landing page and is not necessarily your home page. In fact, landing pages should be designed to match as closely as possible the search intent of the prospective client typing in (or speaking) the search query. It is the function of your landing page to captivate the person’s attention, persuade them that they should engage with your business, and show them how to do so.