Required Reading: Your Customers Need to See You on the Internet
The internet has revolutionized marketing, and research has shown that companies that implement a solid digital marketing strategy have up to three times higher revenue growth expectancy. Despite this, online promotion can be obscure and daunting at best; time- and money-consuming at worst. In See You on the Internet: Building Your Small Business with Digital Marketing, Avery Swartz, founder and CEO of Camp Tech, a tech workshop company for nontechnical people, provides a framework for companies to promote themselves online. The book delves into everything from SEO to data security. CRM Editor Leonard Klie recently had a chance to discuss her five-step plan for digital marketing.
CRM: The theory all along has been that small businesses appeal to more local audiences that can be better reached in more local advertising, so why should they be on the internet?
Swartz: Small businesses should be on the internet because everyone is on the internet! The local audiences that they are hoping to reach, and the local advertising itself, is all taking place online. Small businesses (and organizations of any size, really) need to meet their customers and clients where they are, and today that means being on the internet.
How has the internet changed marketing, and what should businesses do differently as a result?
The internet has changed just about everything when it comes to marketing. Businesses can get online faster and cheaper than ever before and can communicate with their customers and clients digitally. My book breaks down all the possible ways for a business to grow their digital presence, from their website to their social media, from their email marketing to their online advertising, and so much more.
Why is digital marketing so difficult?
Digital marketing is so difficult because the tools we use keep changing, and they change quickly. From the software and apps used for digital marketing, to the social media platforms that come and go, it can be a lot of work to stay on top of it all. That said, the core fundamentals of digital marketing strategy don’t change nearly as quickly.
What have companies been doing wrong with digital marketing?
The No. 1 mistake that I see so many companies make is failing to set goals for their digital marketing. All companies should have clear, specific, actionable goals that tie directly back to their business goals. I don’t think that businesses need to write complex marketing plans, but at the very least they should identify what they’re trying to achieve.
What are your five steps for improving online marketing?
The five steps for digital marketing success that I talk about in See You on the Internet build on the idea from the last question—the idea of having goals. Once you have set your marketing goal, the five steps are the following:
1. Determine which metrics you’re going to use to measure your progress.
2. Measure where you currently are.
3. Make a plan for what you’re going to do.
4. Measure how you did.
5. Learn from your efforts.
You can repeat the cycle as many times as you need or want. It’s a framework that makes a lot of sense. It isn’t that difficult in theory, but in practice, I find many people forget to follow each step.
What is the main point you hope readers will take away from reading this book?
I hope that readers of See You on the Internet take away a feeling of confidence. You don’t have to be technical to succeed with digital marketing, and you really can do a lot of the work yourself. I hope readers feel better equipped by the end of the book and are excited about growing their presence online.