Many small business owners get confused between the role of digital marketing and social media when social media is but an ingredient; along with websites, blog posts, e-books etc. It has come to our attention that many companies have different definitions of what digital marketing really means. At Elite online Solutions, we believe that digital marketing is any type of advertising that can be done online in order to create brand awareness and build online communities. It’s a less expensive means of advertising your product or service in such a way that offers the consumer a chance to notice your brand in a quick and convenient means. Since traditional, offline marketing efforts have declined due to the change in consumers’ purchasing habits, you need to meet them where they’re most likely to be found: online. It’s important to note that there are three different stages of digital marketing, according to HubSpot: AWARENESS STAGE Blogs – perfect for creating awareness on Google by using the correct keywords. Videos – great for being able to share them on social media platforms such as YouTube. Infographics – quick and easy pieces of information in order to be found on social media platforms. CONSIDERATION STAGE eBooks – a great way to collect leads from individuals who already know what they’re looking for. Webinars – attracting the correct audience due the fact that a webinar is more complex than a simple video. DECISION STAGE Testimonials – the perfect way to nudge consumers to purchase your product/service when displayed on your website. Case studies – case studies offer more in detail content for consumers who are ready to purchase. DIGITAL MARKETING CONSISTS OF Blog posts Websites eBooks Social media platforms Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Display advertising Game advertising Affiliated marketing Content marketing Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Inbound marketing Outbound marketing Email marketing Webinars BENEFITS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES? LEAD CREATION Depending on the industry and the level of competition already on social media platforms such as Facebook, lead generation is possible (taking into consideration that you have a quality product and you’ve managed to create some level of brand awareness) However, it’s also important to understand that social media platforms in particular do not replace the need for an actual sales team. Since it is possible to generate leads, following up on those leads and converting them into actual sales depend on the sales team. WEBSITE TRAFFIC You simply can’t begin to implement digital marketing efforts without a website; preferably a mobile-friendly website. Since we’re always on the go, wanting quick information in an instant, it’s wise to invest in a mobile-friendly website for optimum results. Remember, social media platforms and other digital marketing means rely ultimately on your website for the final sale. Develop a great website and you’re halfway there. BRAND AWARENESS Digital marketing is great for brand awareness. Blog posts, video, infographics, and high-quality images are perfect for the awareness stage; making it possible for consumers to get a feel for what your brand is all about. They may not necessarily be at the decision stage, but it’s the first step to getting them there. TRUST DEVELOPMENT It’s all about trust; especially when you expect consumers to invest money into your product/service. Taking into consideration that brand awareness and trust go hand in hand, it’s important to remember that achieving these objectives take time. It’s not an overnight success story and you’ll need to do plenty of jabbing before you can throw a right hook. ONLINE COMMUNITY BUILDING What better way to build a community online than by implementing digital marketing efforts. It’s advisable to build your community based purely on organics, however, there is the option to advertise your brand in order to get people to notice you. Since organic reach on Facebook is pretty much non-existent, you’ll have to find other means of getting consumers to follow or like your page; via word of mouth or paying for advertising. Need Help? Employ the expertise of a professional digital marketing agency such as Elite Online Solutions to grow your idea from a dream to an actual business. Yes! Help Me Grow My Business!