Digital Marketing: Advice and Tools for Business Owners

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The key to having a virtual presence both professionally and personally is to become an expert in the art of self promotion, according to New Jersey-based IT guru and former journalist Randy Fisher. He is the owner of the DigiWise Career Services in Somerset, NJ.

“Observing behavior allows one to focus and see how business prospects behave on web sites,” he says. “It becomes easier to experiment and get closer to what the customer needs and move them to action.”

As a contributor to the business book, Cracking the New E-conomy: Business Tools for the Entrepreneur, Fisher profiled successful and prominent business owners. The book was published in 2000.

Best online marketing tools for entrepreneurs

According to a study last year by GetResponse, an online marketing platform with more than 350,000 customers across the globe, the most popular marketing tool for small businesses was Facebook. Among other things, the study examined digital marketing strategies among hundreds of small businesses during the 2016 holiday season. Among the businesses surveyed more than one third named Facebook advertising as the digital marketing channel they primarily use use to “improve or increase holiday sales,” according to a release from GetResponse. Fisher recommends that small business owners examine the trade offs and balance of functionality and other factors when determining the most effective digital marketing tool. “The tools must have the ability to export as much of one’s content and data as possible,” he says. “It’s a pain to start from scratch, just because you didn’t bother to check whether or not your data was locked into a secure format.”

Another cogent tidbit of advice to entrepreneurs, Fisher suggest business owners effectively track their digital marketing return on investment, the best place to start is a a careful and basic analysis of costs. “The cost of the monthly expense of digital tools is essential,” he says. “Startups should keep track of this, as well as consulting and hired help fees and your time getting things rolling can all add up.” He says once a budget is established and business owners know how much they are spending quarterly, they can evaluate progress towards long term goals. Fisher adds that forming strategic partnerships is an essential and frequently overlooked benefit of digital marketing. “An owner may partner with someone—who never buys anything—but refers business ten fold over the initial investment of time, expense and effort,” he says.

Lastly, the small business strategist offers these final tidbits of advice to business owners when it comes to digital marketing:

*Focus on where your customer is, and goes—individually and groups. “Even if you’re not sure of all of the characteristics and behaviors of your customers—understand that it is a learning experience for even the pros,” he says.

*Pay attention to setting up things properly. “A well designed and functioning web site; content that’s focused on the targeted customer; a clear product/service offering and connected with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Fisher adds that once things are set up, digital marketing activities become speedy and prolific.

*Social visibility. “Use digital marketing to generate awareness and profile from in-person activities—presentations and seminars—use the in-person relationship building to keep in touch via social media,” he says.

*Don’t ignore the analytics. Fisher says paying close attention to details and specifics will give business owners insight into what’s appealing to customers.

*Experimentation. “Try new things and different tactics,” he says. “If you can’t measure { a specific tactic} it’s probably not worth doing, because you won’t be able to figure out what’s working, or what could work better.”

     *Don’t give up or give in to self-doubt. “The digital world never stands still, with tomorrow bringing a new set of problems, challenges and opportunities,” he concludes. “When you succeed, make it a point to celebrate and share with your customers and stakeholders.”