Six Tips To Improve Your Business’s Digital Marketing Strategy
Any business owner knows why digital marketing is important. As more customers take to the internet for researching and purchasing, a solid digital marketing strategy is becoming a necessary tool for a thriving business.
Second-year Grace student Kari Groen knows this all too well. She studies digital marketing and has a minor in entrepreneurship to help her photography business, Kari Claire Photography, flourish. Groen fell in love with photography when she helped with her yearbook in high school. Her classmates took notice of her work and asked her to do their senior pictures.
Despite her success among her classmates, Groen knew she didn’t have the business knowledge needed to take her photography to the next level. When she found out about the digital marketing major at Grace, she saw that all of the classes she would take were related to what she was already doing. Now, she directly applies the tools she develops in her classes to her growing business.
Groen shares six tips she’s learned for improving your business’s digital marketing strategy.
1. Find Your Niche
One tool you’ll want to learn early on for your digital marketing strategy is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This is how you can increase traffic to your website with keywords, which are words and phrases that people are using in search engines. Finding your specific niche will help drive traffic to your website when people search for related terms.
Groen focuses on wedding and portrait photography. She hopes to get into destination photography in the future, but for now, most of her shoots involve weddings, engagements, and senior pictures. A high-volume keyword such as “photographer” might not perform well on her website, but the key phrase “wedding photographer” is more specific to her work.
“Figure out what brings out the most creative side of you,” Groen suggests, when it comes to finding a niche. “Try everything and do what makes you most excited.”
2. Post Frequently
One of the most important tips for a digital marketing strategy is to post frequently. The more you get your name out to potential clients, the more likely you are to get hired, and the more you will see why digital marketing is important. At first, just choose a few platforms that you want to focus on. Groen uses Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest; she recommends posting three times a week and on stories every day.
When she first started on social media, Groen would post every time she had a new shoot. Now that she is more experienced, she knows that she can recycle content and save some photos for when she is in between shoots.
Groen also recommends keeping track of posts that you enjoy and can recreate on your own platform. She keeps track of sounds or videos she wants to use in the future.
“I’ll take a few pictures from a shoot and spread them out so I have consistent content and I keep my face fresh on people’s feed,” Groen says. “You have to be okay with stepping into the uncomfortable because that’s where you’re going to find the most unreached potential.”
3. Try New Social Platforms
It could be easy for you to stick to platforms that you know, and while that isn’t a bad way to start out, you should branch out to new platforms once you get comfortable. Groen only started using TikTok and Pinterest in the past couple of years. She was hesitant to try Pinterest, but she soon found that it was perfect for her business. As more people from Pinterest book her, Groen sees yet another reason why digital marketing is important for a photographer’s lead generation.
When a bride is planning her wedding, she will often use Pinterest to find inspiration. Each time Groen uploads a photo to Pinterest, she can use keywords to attract potential customers and link to her website. That way, when a bride pins one of her posts, the bride can go right to her website.
The bottom line is this: when you’re looking for new platforms for your digital marketing strategy, don’t just stick to the platforms you’re comfortable with. “Optimizing new social media platforms to reach people can be weird to adjust to,” Groen says. “But it’s already paid off for me.”
4. Maximize Your Schedule
Each industry has its own seasons to keep track of. You might be steady at all times of the year, or business might pick up during certain months. Groen’s photography business is busiest from April to October, when weddings and graduations are in full swing. This summer, for example, Groen has one or two weddings every weekend.
Groen’s slowest time is December to March. This is what Groen calls “investment season.” She focuses on learning more about her craft, connecting with other photographers, and increasing her digital presence. She attends webinars and researches marketing tips so she can build her brand and book customers for the next busy season.
If your business has a slow season, you can follow Groen’s lead and use this time to focus on your current and future digital marketing strategy. If you stay consistently busy, you’ll need to find a rhythm that works for you.
5. Find Other Professionals in Your Field
Whether you’re just starting out in your industry or you consider yourself a pro, it is good for you to be in community with others in your field. There will always be new tips you can learn, and your community can build you up if you’re having trouble. In addition to her dream of destination photography, Groen hopes one day to open a photography studio, where she could not only hold her own shoots but also bring a community of photographers together.
“Community over competition is so important,” Groen says. “You need to be able to connect with other professionals around you. It’s so easy to get drained creatively. Bouncing ideas off each other and getting creativity flowing again is so refreshing.”
When she was first starting out, Groen was a second shooter for a wedding photographer. Now, Groen is bringing second shot photographers with her to her own shoots. Just as she was mentored as a new photographer, she has the opportunity to give tips to other photographers.
Unless you’re brand new to your field, there are likely people who have less experience than you and people who have more. By connecting with professionals in all stages, you are able to learn how to improve your skills in the trade as well as your digital marketing strategy. Not to mention, there are opportunities to collaborate online, multiplying the reach of your content.
6. Set Boundaries
This is a tip that is used across professions – and for good reason. Between busy and slow seasons, schoolwork, and making time with friends, Groen has had a lot to keep track of. She has learned two very important lessons: categorizing her priorities and saying no to things that don’t fall in those categories.
It’s easy for her to go full in with social media because she knows why digital marketing is important, but she has learned to understand her limits and take a step back if she needs to. This includes social media breaks and taking weekends off.
“You have to learn the balance of not overextending yourself,” Groen says. “Nourish yourself and your mental health. You can’t be going 100 on two different channels the whole time.”
Using digital marketing for your business could be a challenge at first, but you will soon find that it pays off. You can reach an audience you otherwise would not have had access to.
While Groen could have skipped college and gone directly into the workforce, she already sees how her education has had a direct impact on her business. She is grateful to digital marketing Professor Heidi Miller, who encourages her to apply her projects and assignments to her business.