Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Large corporations might have huge marketing budgets, so they can afford to be a little sloppy about how they spend it. They also have plenty of marketing people who can run around and experiment with the latest fancy marketing idea. Entrepreneurs? We’re different. We run lean and mean organizations. We can’t afford to waste money on ineffective marketing, and we certainly don’t have a lot of extra time. So, when you think about what you’re going to spend on your marketing campaigns, you need to think about both money and time.And the best return on your marketing spend — both time and money-wise — is digital marketing.As an entrepreneur, digital marketing is absolutely essential for your business to succeed —especially in the early years and months when so many businesses fail! You may not be a master digital marketer, but you need to become one. Digital marketing is the most powerful, efficient and cost-effective way to get your message, service or product out there.That said, you don’t need to drop everything else to become an expert in digital marketing! You don’t need to study a bunch of technical details and thousands of digital promotion strategies. You just need to learn the basics of online marketing and implement a good strategy. Related: 10 Secrets to Building a Successful Digital-Marketing AgencyI’ve spent years and literally tens of thousands of dollars to learn about and implement various digital-marketing strategies. I now teach other entrepreneurs how to implement the specific strategies that helped me create two multi-million-dollar businesses. From my own experience and research, here are my top six suggestions for entrepreneurs for 2022 that will get you the best ROI for your digital-marketing spend. 1. Video marketingIf you’ve read any of my articles, seen my YouTube channel or looked at any of my blogs, you know that I’m always talking about how powerful video is! In 2021, 86% of businesses used video marketing (up from 85% last year), and 93% of marketers who do use video say it’s an essential part of their marketing efforts. When you focus on using video, awareness of your brand grows much more rapidly. Using video will increase your sales and help you build relationships. 2. Social-media marketingIt’s just common sense that you want to show up where your potential customers and clients are, right? And where is everybody? On social media. Social media is not just vacation photos and cat videos anymore. Entrepreneurs have found that it’s the quickest and most effective way to build their brand. I know that marketing on social media can take up a bunch of your time and energy! So, it’s important to focus on strategies that will pay off. The first step is to do research on your target market — what they like, what they worry about, what excites them, what their issues are and, specifically, where they show up on social media. Once you’ve done that, you’ll know which social-media platforms to target first. I always suggest you start with one platform and master it before going to others. When you laser in your focus this way, you won’t waste your time building up an audience that won’t convert into business for you. 3. Pay per clickYes, you need to pay to play! I know that you can post great content for free and find traffic organically. So, it’s tempting to play it cheap when it comes to your digital marketing. Don’t be tempted to ignore paid ad extensions and ad campaigns. One of your best marketing spends is Google Ads. You’ll get much better results when you use both organic and paid-search query traffic. Don’t be cheap about it and miss out on what this service can do for you! Related: 5 Powerful Digital-Marketing Hacks to Increase Sales4. SEOYour business has a website, right? But are you getting the most benefit out of it? If you aren’t using search-engine optimization (SEO), then the answer is “no!” SEO ensures that the people who would be interested in your service or product can actually find you! It’s what puts your ad or post on the first page of a search rather than the 47th.Investing in SEO is relatively inexpensive. It’s also evergreen, so it will continue to attract new customers and build your brand awareness. Once you’re aware of the keywords that search engines use, make sure that you use them in all the copy and content on your website as well as other content you post elsewhere. 5. Content marketingBy now, most entrepreneurs understand that content marketing is the way to go. In this kind of marketing, you create content that your target audience would find valuable. It doesn’t focus directly on pushing your product or service but on the needs and desires of your target market: what interests them, what worries them and their issues that you can help solve. It’s based on your understanding of your target market from your research and the knowledge and expertise you can offer them to make their lives better. 6. It’s serving not selling!You can do blogs — or better yet, vlogs! — or infographics people can share on social media. Any content marketing you do should aim for the same things: to get attention, build trust in you and your brand’s message and offer real value. You want to attract people to you by offering content they appreciate and can use. Related: The 5 Best Digital-Marketing Strategies to Empower Your BusinessThese digital-marketing strategies work — if you work them! Be consistent and persistent with your digital marketing. You won’t get results instantly. Your first attempts won’t be perfect, and they don’t have to be. Just get started, then keep going. And if you do, you’ll see some amazing results that will make all the difference to your success.