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Whether you’re a grassroots startup or a well-established business, all brands need a dynamic marketing strategy to thrive. Given that the business world is always in flux, finding the right marketing plan to fit your needs — and moreover, your budget — can be a challenge. Should you kick things off with digital marketing or is content marketing the best way to enhance your brand strategy? What’s the difference between these two options, and which is better suited for your organization? 

You’ve probably heard of content marketing and digital marketing without giving much thought as to why their differences matter to your business. While it’s true that the concepts are closely related, each performs a different function. Understanding those separate purposes can help you make informed decisions to improve brand awareness and ultimately bolster more sales. 


Engage Your Audience With Content Marketing

 

Content marketing is what drives the public perception of your business. A content-based marketing strategy involves creating quality content specifically designed to generate relevant interest in your company. After all, you can’t boost sales if people aren’t aware that you exist! But content marketing isn’t just about getting attention from new clients — it’s about finding creative ways to maintain connections with loyal customers too.

 

Different Types of Content Marketing

 

When it comes to developing your content marketing strategy, there are plenty of content types to explore. The types of content you choose will depend on your goals, audience, and industry. That said, there are some forms of content that many marketers find universally effective.

According to HubSpot, businesses that prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to see a positive ROI (Return on Investment). Everything you put on your website, into social media posts, and in your marketing emails is considered content — and we’re not just talking about text, either. Visual materials like images, graphics, and videos are a vital part of the content creation process too. 

Bottom line? Engagement is at the heart of all great content marketing. Engaging content empowers your business to genuinely communicate with consumers to answer questions about your services, highlight key product features, or demonstrate your expertise. Given the right balance of time, effort and consistency, content marketing is an affordable way to build brand awareness, thought leadership, and client trust. 

 

Enhance Your Reach With Digital Marketing

 

Now that you’ve created all this incredible content, how can you make sure that you’re using the best distribution channels to get the right eyes on your brand? That’s where digital marketing comes into play. If content marketing is the driver of your brand strategy, think of digital marketing as the vehicle. It’s what gets your great content out into the world to generate leads. 


Digital Marketing Tools & Strategies

 

You might have already noticed that there’s no shortage of digital marketing channels to share your content on. Each of these new platforms promises to reach more people than the last. According to a recent Awario study, there are over 3.5 billion users across social media channels alone. That’s a lot of noise! To reach the right people, it’s not enough to routinely post on your organization’s social media accounts; your content also needs to be optimized.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tactics are a tricky yet essential part of a well-rounded digital marketing strategy. You can use SEO best practices on blogs, web copy, social media posts, and more to help drive your business to the top of search engine results. That way, your business is easier to find by people looking for products or services in your industry. 

It may be tempting to try every content option and digital marketing tool on the market. However, producing and promoting content for the sake of covering your bases is both inauthentic and time-consuming. Strategize with your team to determine the best content for your niche, and focus on delivering those items well. Don’t be afraid to experiment to figure out what works! 

In many ways, content marketing could be considered an offshoot of digital marketing — and vice versa. That’s because, more often than not, both types of inbound marketing rely on one another to maximize your reach and enhance engagement. You may feel you don’t have the time, resources, or budget to effectively “do it all.” But you’d be surprised at how far even a little planning can get you towards your marketing goals. 

Ready to kick start your digital marketing strategy? Eager to revive your tired content marketing plan? Connect with us on Facebook or join us at our next YES event to bounce your ideas off other like-minded entrepreneurs!

If you’re like most small business owners, chances are you look for every opportunity to minimize your overhead costs and maximize your profits — all while maintaining an excellent product or service offering for your clients. A tall order, sure, but that’s just good business. Far too often, marketing budgets are the first resource to get slashed in the name of financial cutbacks. Unfortunately, this may not always be to your long-term benefit. 

In a digital landscape, where it’s much easier and more affordable to open a corporate Instagram account than it is to produce hardcopy marketing collateral, it’s easy to see and understand the growing dominance of online marketing. But what if digital marketing simply wasn’t enough? Don’t get us wrong, digital channels are absolutely essential for developing a well-rounded marketing strategy. But it’s not the only option. 

Here are three reasons why print marketing isn’t dead and why you should still incorporate print assets into your marketing efforts. 

 

Print Marketing Helps You Stand Out

It’s no secret that we’re living in the age of the internet, which has revolutionized the way we do business. The volume of people now using the internet worldwide has grown exponentially, especially over the past few years, clocking in at over 3.7 billion users. That’s a 7.5% increase since 2016! Given that growth, an IBM study shows we create a stunning 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every single day. Add to that the billions of users active on social media, and we’re facing quite the racket. Amidst all that noise, how can your business stand out through the use of digital methods alone?

With all this focus on digital platforms, producing print marketing materials is a great way to strategically expand your audience in ways that the competition might overlook. Considering the fact that people still have lives offline, it makes sense from a client acquisition standpoint to take our brand awareness efforts offline as well. That way, your business can cut through the overwhelming barrage of brand messages online to better connect with potential customers — wherever they are.

 

“Old School” Methods Evoke Trust

 

Speaking of which, you might be surprised to hear that not everyone prefers to live their lives online. Older generations, in particular, may be less inclined to adopt fully digital lifestyles. Regardless of age, there’s also a growing awareness of the need to “unplug” from time to time. That means many of your potential clients might be more inclined to engage with print materials than digital ones. According to one study, millennials actually respond better to print marketing than they do to email marketing. Why? It comes down to trust.

Think about it this way: the internet is rife with scammers, hackers, and virus-ridden hyperlinks. Sometimes, that translates to mistrust of online businesses and their offerings. Since there is a cost attached to designing, printing, and distributing print assets, scammers are much less likely to pay up when they could just run a phishing scam. Consumers are often more receptive of print because it indicates legitimacy and authenticity. 

 

Hard-Copy Ad Materials Are Tangible & Tactile 

 

In a world of fake news, PhotoShop, and social media filters, authenticity seems to be a rarity these days. As consumers confront their growing mistrust of online content, it presents business owners with a unique opportunity to return to traditional modes of advertising. Conventional marketing tools tend to be more tactical and, therefore, more likely to spark engagement. Why? Screen-time has become more distracted and passive than ever.

When was the last time you watched TV without scrolling through your phone at the same time? In a 2018 survey, Nielsen found that most audiences juggle multiple screens simultaneously. That means a consumer must encounter your brand online dozens of times before your messaging sinks in — if at all.

Print marketing, on the other hand, is tangible. Customers can bring it home with them, hang it on their fridge, and even cart it around on the side of a tote bag. In that sense, your brand messaging becomes a more permanent part of their lives. Plus, according to neuroscientists, our brains concentrate more easily and retain information more effectively when reading print versus online text.

Ultimately, to grow your business, it pays to develop a robust marketing strategy that incorporates both print and digital mediums. The two in tandem will help grow brand awareness and client trust across multiple audiences.

Hungry for more SMB marketing advice? Bring your appetite to our next monthly YES Mixer for a casual networking opportunity with other local business owners. And yes, there will be food and refreshments, too!

The world of business is continuously changing, and our culture’s obsession with technology demands that entrepreneurs evolve, too. In many ways, there’s never been a better time to start a business. With the rise of the internet, opportunities abound through digital marketing to reach new and ever-expanding markets.

So how do you navigate the digital era when the goal isn’t just to survive as an entrepreneur but to thrive? At Your Entrepreneur Society, we spend a lot of time helping Small to Medium Businesses (SMBs) grow, and digital marketing is a significant part of that effort.

Whether you’re a new startup or an established local business, digital marketing is essential to the long-term success of your brand. When it comes to staying competitive, any entrepreneurs unwilling to adapt to digital trends get left behind. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of five top reasons why entrepreneurs should use digital marketing. Let’s jump right in! 

1. Expand Your Reach

 

Think of digital marketing as your go-to toolkit for entrepreneurial outreach. Inside your toolbox, you’ll find the nuts and bolts required to build a business —  and it never comes down to just one tool.

The internet offers unique, unparalleled access to myriads of local and international audiences. Businesses can use a strategic combination of digital marketing practices, like web pages, blogging, email marketing, and social media, to reach heaps of new customers online. After all, how can you make a sale on your products or services if nobody knows you’re in business? 

 

2. Grow Your Brand 

 

Let’s talk about entrepreneurial growing pains — yes, we all get them at some point! Building brand awareness and maintaining relevance are two of the most difficult ongoing challenges SMBs face. Fortunately, building your online presence is a great way to get your business out into the world and convert new audiences into paid customers.

Social media is a great place to start. According to this 2018 Facebook study, 86% of Canadian consumers use social media to discover new products and services online. Talk about a huge market! Consistently posting relevant, targeted content across the social media channels most suitable to your customer helps increase brand awareness.

 

3. Stay Competitive

 

You might be reading this and wondering, “Okay, so without digital marketing, we fall behind, but if every business uses digital marketing, how is it possible to get ahead?” The truth is, not all businesses use digital marketing yet. For those that do implement a digital marketing strategy, you get a sneak peek right into their playbook. 

It used to be that you had to covertly keep an eye on your competition from secluded street corners or through tedious market research. Nowadays, you can track competitor success straight across their social media channels. Keep an eye out for what types of content they post and tweak your own strategy based on how their content performs.

 

4. Improve Your Marketing ROI

 

Traditional marketing tactics like offline ad campaigns, billboards, or T.V. commercials are notoriously expensive. Digital marketing, on the other hand, is an affordable alternative with powerful results.

Consider social media ads. Let’s say you’ve posted some brilliant blog content on Facebook that performs well with your followers, so you decide to boost the post. Even at rates as low as $3, you can get your content — an extension of your brand — in front of thousands of people uniquely targeted based on their personal details and activity within the social media platform. You can’t buy that kind of precision just anywhere! 

 

5. Enhance Your Entrepreneurial Network

 

Digital marketing isn’t just about connecting with your direct customers; it’s also a fantastic way to network with other SMBs, both locally and abroad. Digital marketing empowers you to present your business as an industry leader, too, which is particularly vital in the business-to-business (B2B) industry. Sharing highly valuable content that your fellow entrepreneurs relate to, just the same as your customers, is a win-win. 

Despite the various benefits of digital marketing, many businesses remain resistant to adaptation. While there’s certainly still merit in implementing traditional marketing methods, companies should take advantage of modern digital alternatives. With even the smallest digital shifts, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results. Trust us — entrepreneurship is what we do!

Want to connect with other like-minded entrepreneurs? Join our YES Victoria community on Facebook, and keep tabs on upcoming events and learning opportunities!