If you’re like us and you run a small business, you know the importance of expanding your customer base and reaching new eyes. Marketing is everything when it comes to business growth, but not enough business owners understand how to make it work for them. While traditional marketing is still useful and you should never toss away your business cards, various types of digital marketing are the way forward.

But what is digital marketing anyway and why the heck is it so important?

Well, digital marketing is any type of marketing that uses digital means to reach customers. Most of the time this marketing comes in the form of internet-based communication and content. We’re here to talk about what types of digital marketing are used for marketing a business. So pour yourself a cup of Joe and pull up a chair.

SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

SEM is the first thing that most people think of when they think about digital marketing. SEM is search engine marketing and it’s somewhat of an umbrella term, but in this context, we’re using it to mean paid marketing, which is also often referred to as “PPC” or “pay per click” marketing.  Lots of small businesses start out with SEM while they grow the rest of their digital marketing strategy. This means that you should have room in your marketing budget to accommodate routine SEM payments.

Why is it so important? Well when you use SEM, your business’s website will appear at the top of search engines by default, but potential customers will know that you’ve paid for this spot due to the “ad” label. That said, this is still a great way to gain more traffic.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

SEO is the king of digital marketing and all business owners should include it in their digital marketing strategy. When you use search engine optimization, you’re setting your website up to move up the search rankings. Because many people never venture beyond the first page of Google searches, this is crucial. SEO has many benefits that SEM just can’t match. While both are useful, SEO is popular for a reason. When you invest in good SEO, you’re setting your website up for a future of success instead of just success at the moment. That SEM will be the stepping stone for your business, but SEO will keep your strategy afloat.

SEO has to do with several things. You need to have an updated and accurate Google My Business page, great keyword use on your site, and valuable information. Many people make the mistake of using bad tactics like “keyword stuffing” (or overusing keywords for SEO purposes instead of useful purposes). This practice can hurt your SEO. This is one of the reasons that it pays off to have a professional. SEO ends up paying for itself over time and you don’t have to pay every time you want an ad at the top of the search engine.

Local SEO

Speaking of SEO, local SEO is also important if you’re a brick-and-mortar business that’s trying to drum up local customers and support. You want to make sure that you’re targeting the right people, right? A lot of people, 76% in fact, will visit a business within a day after searching for it on their smartphones. For you to turn up on that smartphone search, you need to utilize local SEO. Local SEO is broken down into several categories and there are several ways to make it work for you. It requires you to use local keywords and have an accurate position on Google Maps. This allows customers to recognize that your business operates out of their town or city. You can also build your local SEO by acquiring backlinks from other local businesses both in and out of your niche. This tends to be a tradeoff between businesses, so this is a great time to talk to local business owners about negotiating an arrangement.

Content Marketing

Content marketing and SEO (local and otherwise) go hand in hand. But what is content marketing? Content marketing is when you utilize blog posts and other valuable content to attract customers and build your SEO. While blog posts were once for people writing personal accounts on Livejournal or filling on food blogs, many businesses now use them as part of their digital marketing strategies. When you use content marketing, you fill your website with valuable keywords. This means that people browsing the web who are looking for a specific service, or even an answer to a question, will come across your page.

When you use content marketing, you’ll come off as an expert in your niche, which will help you build customer trust.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing has little to do with your website and everything to do with keeping up with social media trends. Everyone knows about social media marketing and how it can contribute to growing a business, but are you taking advantage of it? When you hire a professional for your digital marketing strategy, you’ll be able to find and target your ideal audience with social media marketing. For example, if your target audience is made up of millennial women, you may end up focusing on utilizing Instagram because that’s where that demographic “lives” on the internet.

While social media marketing contains traditional ads and hashtagged content to attract new people, you can also utilize influencer marketing. Younger audiences tend to prefer this marketing style as they don’t respond as well to standard digital ads.

Try These Types of Digital Marketing to Grow Your Business

These are just some of the various types of digital marketing that you can use to help your business grow and thrive. Whether you’re using SEM, SEO, or social media marketing (or a combination of the three), you’ll discover that your business grows in record time.

So if you need of someone to help out with your digital marketing efforts, EraserFarm has a small, crackerjack team of experts ready, willing and able to help. Contact us and let’s get started working together today.