Digital Marketing. You know you need to do it, but it is all so overwhelming. So many articles, tips and tricks and things that you really would rather not have to learn about! I know, you’d rather just be making — in your studio sewing or crafting, making jewelry or knitting while streaming the latest show on Netflix. We’ll be writing a series of articles to help demystify digital marketing. Let’s begin with Digital Marketing 101, written especially for makers!
Whether you have a brick and mortar store, an online store, an Etsy shop or sell at craft shows, you want people to know about you. So, you’ve set up a website, and no one visits (or, you don’t even know if anyone visits or not). In our Demystifying Digital series of articles, we’ll explain in terms you can understand what it is all about.
Let’s get started!
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What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing is reaching your potential buyers with your message about your business, product or brand via digital or electronic methods. This means on their mobile phone, tablet or computer. It can be from your website, email or on social media. What really differentiates digital marketing from traditional marketing is that you usually can get very specific data on your marketing programs with a digital marketing program, that you can’t in most traditional marketing methods.
Example: A traditional marketing tactic is to place an ad in a newspaper or magazine. The publisher can tell you the distribution of the ad (how many people will receive the magazine or newspaper), but they can’t tell you how many people actually opened it and saw your ad.
With digital marketing, you can see exactly how many people visit your site and where they came from. If you pay for a digital ad campaign, you can see how many people came to your site, and if you sell directly from your site, you can see how many actually purchased! With a digital campaign, you will know if a marketing tactic is actually profitable! (We’ll have more about this in a future post. For now, let’s understand what digital marketing is.)
What are some of the main elements of digital marketing?
Website: In today’s world, everyone starts their search for everything at their favorite search engine, primarily Google. If you don’t have a website, people won’t find you.
Even if you have a brick and mortar store on a busy street corner, people won’t find you. They look for where to shop online, and then go to the store. You need a website. It doesn’t need to be fancy, have a bazillion pages, but you need people to be able to find your street address and phone number.
If you make amazing art to sell at craft shows, you need a website. How will people find you after the craft show? They thought about the item and want to find you again, to buy more. You need a website.
All About Social Media:
Okay, so you know you need a website. Do you really need social media? No. And, you don’t need to be on all social media. But, it helps.
- Facebook: Depending on your business, you should have a Facebook business page. People use Facebook as a directory. Facebook is also used as a way to communicate with businesses. One small business I have worked with ended up with no power or water due to a hurricane. People couldn’t reach them, so they turned to Facebook to find out how the business was, and when it would reopen. Make sure to complete setting up the business page to include how to find you.
- Make sure to include the address and phone number for your brick and mortar store, if you have one. If you have an Etsy shop, link to it. If you have a website (and you know you should!), link to it — make sure people can find you!
- Make sure to add a main photo that is relevant to your business.
- Fill out the About section, so they can get to know you.
- Add at least one post to introduce yourself to your potential customers.
- Once you get your Facebook business page all set up, you need to make sure to review comments at least daily. You can set it up so that all comments go to your notifications. While on Facebook each day, just read the notifications and respond to any questions or comments you have.
- Pinterest: If you are a maker, you need to be on Pinterest. Pinterest is the new search engine for all-things-pretty. People use Pinterest as a place to collect ideas via imagery. The important thing to remember is to make sure you add a link to your website to each of your pins. Then, if someone finds something they like, they can find you. There are so many tips for using Pinterest to grow your creative business, there will be a separate post about that topic.
- Instagram: Not critical, but if you’ve got a product that is visual, Instagram is all about the pictures! Instagram is great for brand awareness.
- Twitter: Don’t need it. Twitter is a place for conversations, it won’t drive your business. If you want to chat with people, great – set up a Twitter account. But, if this is all too much for you, skip Twitter.
- YouTube: If you have a product that needs to be shown how it works, or a technique that is cool, take the time to make some videos and put them on YouTube. YouTube is now the resource to learn how to do things. I was with a group of my friends recently and several of them commented that they learned a new technique from watching several YouTube videos.
- Linked In: Depending on your business, Linked In can be very valuable for networking with similar businesses. There are a bazillion groups, for just about any profession or locale. Linked In isn’t for finding new customers – it is for networking with like-minded professionals.
- And . . . then there are the other social media platforms that are trying to make a go of it, or have run their course. The ones above are the ones you might want to consider.
All About Email Marketing:
This is a great way to keep top-of-mind with customers who already have invited you into their lives. They’ve given you their email, and would love to hear from you! There is so much about email marketing, it will be a separate post (or more) with tips and hints for successful email marketing. You don’t need to start it right away, but you should start gathering email addresses from your customers, so you have them when you are ready. Have a sheet on your counter at your shop, or at your booth at the craft show.
Intro to SEO:
This is search engine optimization – don’t quit reading now! You know how you start searching for something on Google? You’ll see the search results. Some at the top are clearly marked as sponsored or as an ad – those are Paid Search Ads. Then, there are all of the results below. We’ll have several posts on the work that needs to be done to get your website listed in those search results. It is writing the right content, and making sure that the website is set up correctly. I like to tell people I’m working with ‘Not everyone can be in the #1 position for a search result’.
Intro to SEM:
This is search engine marketing. Remember those paid ads on the search results page? Well, these are them. The difference between SEO and SEM is that SEO is work you do to show up in the organic or natural search results, and SEM are paid ads, either on search results, or anywhere on the web. You know, like you looked at a website at a specific item, and then all of the ads you see on other websites are for that product? That is SEM, too – specifically called retargeting.
Where to begin your digital marketing program?
You need to start somewhere. Here are the 4 things I recommend you do now.
- Set up a website. It can be as simple as one page, with your business information and how to find you.
- Set up a Facebook page.
- Set up a Pinterest account.
- Start gathering emails from your loyal customers and followers.
Browse through more of our articles and tips for building your creative business with digital marketing.
Have more questions? Feel free to reach out to us at [email protected].