More than ever, digital marketing is essential for small and medium-sized businesses, whether it is to raise awareness of your brand, acquire new customers or retain existing customers. It is now common for self-employed people and entrepreneurs to get involved in their digital marketing or delegate the task to a third party.
Let's be honest, digital marketing is an extremely broad subject in terms of its terminology, its technical aspect and its constant evolution. This article is for people who want to know where to start ... It should be noted that the different digital marketing initiatives fall into 3 categories, and this will be the basics we’ll begin with.
What is digital marketing?
First, digital marketing is a mix of many things, social media, blogs, websites and any other online promotional products are all part of digital marketing.
Digital marketing is used for several things:
- Increase your visibility.
- Increase your interactions with your customers.
- Obtain more information about your target customers.
- Develop a bond of trust.
As mentioned above, digital marketing can be divided into 3 categories: earned, owned and paid media.
- Earned media: This is digital visibility that you didn’t have to pay for; we can call it ‘word of mouth’ on the web. These are actions taken by users that make your brand shine. For example, sharing your social media posts, recommendations and mentions of your business on other sites or accounts. It's free advertising created for you!
- Owned media: This is media that you own and that is directly related to your brand. For example, your website, your blog, your Facebook or Instagram. These pages belong to you, and you manage its content.
- Paid media: This is all the ads you pay for on the web. All paid social media posts, influencer partnerships, or advertising, like Google Ads, to appear at the top of search engine results.1
The content you post is important and should follow a guideline. Doing an assessment of your branding (either by yourself or by a third party) helps you to understand what kind of content to create. For healthcare professionals, the content should be informative and precise in addition to following all industry regulations2. Sharing relevant content for your audience allows you to gain more credibility and attract potential customers easily.
Most people also like the ability to book an appointment online. A call-to-action (CTA) button on your website could be very helpful. Did you know that 60% of patients want to be reminded of their appointments on their phone?3 This is an option offered by GOrendezvous. Obviously, the more you listen to the needs of your customers, the more likely they are to be loyal to your business.
For paid ads, it often takes several tries to find your winning formula. Testing different types of ads will allow you to see what works best for you and what brings your target customers.
Obviously you don't have to do all the legwork yourself, you can hire an agency or someone specialized in digital marketing to help you. However, it is always useful to have a foundation in order to fully understand it and be able to apply some techniques long term.
Digital marketing is more accessible than you think!