The digital landscape has absolutely revolutionized the marketing industry, and amazingly, it’s done so in a way that benefits even the smallest of businesses. But while most businesses acknowledge that they need to take advantage of digital marketing, all too few understand it well enough to use it effectively. Here are some tips to help you set yourself apart.

Focus on User Experience

Let’s start with something that rings true whether you’re advertising using the latest digital platform or stuck in the comfort zone of traditional media: The user’s experience is critical. If customers are turned off when they are trying to browse or buy, good luck getting them back! What does that mean from a digital marketing perspective? Make sure your websites are easy to navigate and don’t take too long to load. Have a system in place to answer inquiries. Take advantage of automated tools and add-ons. It’s all customer service. Work to make it a smooth experience.

Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin Too Soon

Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of trying to use every single platform available: SEO, PPC, paid social ads, organic social ads, partnerships with influencers, and the list goes on. Yes, all of these are effective digital marketing channels, but if you and your staff can’t keep up with them, you are doing yourself more harm than good. Start off with one or two social accounts, and don’t be afraid to shift to others if your engagement isn’t catching on.

Educate Yourself About Paid Digital Advertising

Paid digital advertising or programmatic buying opens the doors to drilling down to potential customers by demographic and geographic information. You can tailor your ads and message directly to the audiences you seek. It’s amazingly powerful, but you need to understand how the process works and what you pay for. PPC (or pay-per-click) ads on search engines use a straight-forward method, while sites like Facebook use an auction method where bids are placed for share. Do your homework before you buy, and make sure you’re taking advantage of free, organic SEO and social techniques to rise through their rankings and algorithms.

Don’t Dismiss the Value of an Email List

With all these new platforms, email may seem quaint. Don’t ignore it. A well laid out email newsletter with a special offer is still immensely effective. Get your customers’ email addresses and reach them right at their inboxes.

Digital offers opportunities that marketers could only dream of less than a generation ago. Understand how it works and put it to work for you!