One of the benefits of the internet is that business owners can now reach a large number of potential clients and customers, and at little to no cost. But digital marketing takes more than simply setting up a website or posting on Facebook. There are business goals to consider, strategies to create, and metrics like impressions and conversions that can easily be confusing.

Your digital presence starts with owning a piece of internet real estate. It’s no longer feasible to run a business, even a brick-and-mortar one, without a web presence. Consumers turn to the internet for everything from product research to location and operating hours. Having even a simple website that’s well-designed can give you an edge in your field, and if you have products to sell, your site can open up new markets and expand your business cheaply and easily. This post outlines the basics of various digital marketing platforms, what they can do for your business, and how to best approach them.

Business websites must be universally accessible and appeal to a target market.

Creating website content that captures the attention of visitors is one thing, but how do they find it in the first place? This is where Search Engine Optimization comes in. SEO is a crucial component of a successful content strategy. In addition to giving your content all that sweet, sweet organic traffic, it increases your brand’s visibility and site authority, helping ensure that the people who want or need your type of product or service can actually find you on the Internet – ideally before they find your competitors.

For social media success, find platforms that resonate with your market.

Having a profitable social media strategy takes three precious commodities: time, cash and manpower. With so many platforms to choose from, and limited resources available, it’s vital that you plough your energies into the channel(s) that will provide the best ROI for your business.

Effective email marketing.

Despite the prevalence of newer digital marketing methods, effective email marketing remains one of the most effective ways to reach your target audience and generate conversions. As with most marketing efforts, being able to create effective email marketing campaigns is a process. It requires a combination of good strategy, planning and analysing data to make improvements to your campaigns. However, the only way to learn and improve is to start emailing.

Find the right social platform for your business.

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, and, yes, even Google+ all have the potential to reach an audience of millions, but none of that matters if you’re targeting the wrong audience. That’s why it’s necessary to figure out which social media platforms jibe with your brand and design a strategy consistent with each platforms culture.

Keep an eye on metrics for measuring digital success.

Depending on your particular business plan and marketing efforts, some digital marketing metrics may be more important than others. Narrowing down your reporting to include the most relevant key performance indicators (KPIs) will reflect what digital marketing success looks like for your brand.

In conclusion…

Your digital marketing efforts should always be based on your business goals and needs. Decide what you’re working toward and choose platforms and metrics that best align with this.