Whether you realize it or not, every time you go online you are leaving a digital footprint behind, but that’s not the type of digital footprinting we are going to cover today. Rather, we are going to cover the purposeful art of digital footprint marketing for small businesses.
You can look at your digital footprint or that of your business as an ever growing portrait of who you are online. This portrait, believe it or not, is consumable by the public. You can take measures to prevent this from occurring, but there’s a lot of reasons why you want a digital footprint. The following information is there to help educate you on the topic as well as help you make the right choices for your businesses digital footprint marketing.
Why Digital Footprint Marketing Matters:
Digital footprinting helps companies target content to specific markets and their consumers. It the exact type of research all major businesses do in order to get your attention and your business can benefit from it as well. Whether you are aiming to target your audience, looking into an employee’s background, or tracking your audience’s movement once on your website, digital footprint marketing can boost your small business.
It’s not possible to have ZERO footprints online, so the first step is learning how to market yours. It’s actually not as hard as it seems as long as you’re willing to put in the legwork or hire someone to manage it. If you’re going to do it yourself, you should know the basics:
What’s A Digital Footprint?
Every time you use the internet you are leaving stuff behind. This stuff is your digital footprint and the act of doing so is called digital footprinting. Pretty much anything you do is part of it, but the most common forms are social media interactions (shares, comments, likes), email records, app use, using the internet for media (Pandora, YouTube, etc.).
Nearly everything you do is part of your online history and it’s very possible to be tracked by databases or viewed by other people.
How Exactly Am I Leaving A Digital Footprint?
It’s not just nefarious corporations looking to feed you there products, although this is certainly part of the digital footprint marketing model, it’s also all of your social activities. How many times have you shared a comment on Facebook or retweeted something you found interesting? I’m sure it’s a lot and you probably never thought about how it adds to your online history.
If you are getting paranoid (and that’s certainly not my intention), you can always make sure you have privacy settings in place to make it harder for your social history to be shared. When a website offers new policies and settings, don’t just randomly click accept because they often increase the visibility of your data.
Starting Your Digital Footprint Marketing:
Now that you know more about what digital footprinting is and how it occurs, you can actually use this information to your benefit. From remarketing to social media marketing, it’s now easier than ever to target an audience looking for information related to your business.
Before anything else, you should know that the end goal of every digital footprint marketing campaign is increasing business revenue through your website. This means you need exactly two things:
- Landing pages that are primed to convert
- Website traffic
I put them in that exact order because there’s no point in having website traffic if you’re not converting them into clients, readers, customers, or whatever noun you want to use. It’s also a good idea to have the next few items:
- Email marketing (newsletter, discounts, etc)
- Search engine marketing (AdWords)
- Social media marketing (and a strong presence)
I wish I could say it’s as simple as simply starting up a Facebook page and raking in the dollars, but it’s doable. No matter what type of service you are using to get people to your website, you have to be there when they’re looking for you, they’re having a problem and your service or product solves that problem, or you offer them a solution to a problem they never knew they had in the first place (i.e. making their life a bit easier).
For example, I’m assuming that if you’re reading this post on digital footprint marketing, you’re either interested in starting up a campaign or having a problem managing your digital footprint. The purpose of this post is to be informative and offer you a solution to your problems.
Search Engine Optimization for Digital Footprint Marketing
Let’s go back to the first two items we suggested you need in order to see an increase in your business revenue: landing pages and website traffic.
Getting your website in front of the right people at the right time might just be the hardest thing to do. No longer do you just build a website with some basic copy and customers find you. That died out a long time ago and in it’s place is search engine optimization.
When you first conceptualize your website, you should have SEO in mind. Alongside a strong UX, search engine optimization is the most important factor in whether your audience stays on your site. This means having interlinking pages, well written copy that is optimized for your targeted keywords (if you need help selecting keywords we have you covered), and simply knowing who your best customer is. Of course there’s a ton more information for you to consume, but this is the basics of having good on-page SEO.
So, in order for you to use SEO in your digital footprint marketing do the following:
- Research keywords that are relevant to your business
- Build buyer personas so you know exactly who you are going after
As long as you have those two down, you’re well on your way to getting more site traffic (especially in comparison to those who aren’t optimized).
Search Engine Marketing for Digital Footprint Marketing
Digital footprinting isn’t complete unless you have some kind of SEM campaign (AdWords being the prime source). AdWords has an option to remarket your business to visitors of your website who may not have made an immediate inquiry or purchase. It’s really clever and works well in most cases where you want to position targeted ads in front of a defined audience.
You can deliver remarketing ads via text or image display format. These ads are managed in Google AdWords and are shown on websites visited by your targeted audience that are part of Google’s display network.
You might want to use remarketing if your sales process is long, or even simply because you work in a competitive market. If executed the right way, remarketing is a powerful tool to improve sales conversions via digital footprinting.
Remember cookies? Well, remarketing works by placing cookies on your visitor’s machine. They only appear when the visitor meets a certain criteria that you define, so you don’t have to worry about spreading cookies all over the internet. When this criteria fits, their cookie ID is added to your remarketing list and you can then target them.Spreading some digital footprint love Click To Tweet
Social Media Marketing for Digital Footprint Marketing
In order to standout on the overcrowded marketspace that is social media, you need to be highly relevant to your audience. This means reaching the right segments of an overall audience. We’ll take a look at Facebook targeting, but the same theories apply to Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Instagram.
The best way to maximize reach is by targeting content to small, sub-categories within your defined audience. You can reach your audience using a number of ways:
- Relationship Status
- Educational Status
When using organic Facebook targeting, you are providing a portion of your audience with content that they’re already interested in. You know they’re interested because Facebook tracks a user’s digital footprint like none-other. By doing so, the users you target are more likely to engage and convert. The great part about user engagement is that they continue to spread your digital footprint marketing without you doing anymore work. When they engage with your content, that user’s Facebook contacts have a chance to see your post even if they don’t fall within your specified audience. That’s huge!
Digital footprinting has never been easier thanks to social media. Again, though, your efforts will be fruitless unless you have landing pages designed to convert. So you can probably see how digital footprint marketing is a multi-part effort, but it’s one that you’ll benefit from if implemented correctly.
Final Words on Digital Footprinting and Marketing:
While we feel like we covered a lot of information, it’s really just the beginning of digital footprints. Nearly everything you can think of is part of having a digital footprint:
- Owning a website
- Organizing a conversion funnel
- Climbing the ranks of your favorite search engines
- Building an AdWords account that converts
- Engaging with your audience on social media
- Constructing an email campaign
- Keeping your blog updated and fresh
As you can probably tell, there’s a lot to digital footprint marketing. Now that you know more about it though, you can formulate and start your own digital footprint campaign. Now get out there and win some conversions.