How to Improve your Digital Marketing Presence
Unless you have been living under a rock for the last 10 years, you most likely are fully aware that the world of business has been revolutionised by the internet and the onset of digital marketing. Some businesses have seen this as a challenge or a negative development. The businesses that have thrived in recent years are the ones that have embraced the opportunities that come with an online audience.
The good news for a lot of businesses that have been slow to make it to the digital table is that it is still not too late! The cost for your business to get up to speed with effective digital marketing is much less expensive than the cost to your business if you don’t.
The biggest obstacle for many businesses is the time it takes to manage digital marketing channels such as social media. This is a very valid argument as everything you post on your social media channels reflects your business, so you need to take the time to make sure that your content positively reflects your business.
Like most things in life there is a trick to managing digital marketing effectively. The only challenge for small businesses is to learn the tricks on how to efficiently manage digital marketing to maximise the possibility of getting a return on the time and money invested.
Here are a few tips that will save you time with your digital marketing endeavours. These tips will also help you to support your offline marketing work which will increase revenue for your business.
1. Develop a Digital Marketing Strategy
This may sound easier said than done but this is not as hard as many business owners and managers think. A digital marketing strategy template will evolve overtime, you just have to see what works best for you and your business. Take an hour or two to sit down and look at what digital marketing channels are available to you. A lot of these channels are free to use such as social media and email marketing software. Just pick the channels that your target audience use and try not to spend precious time on channels that will yield very little exposure or interaction for your efforts. Identify your primary goals for digital marketing such as driving traffic to your website (especially if you sell products and services on your website), increase footfall to your physical business, increase online sales queries and/or maximise positive exposure for your business online. Now grab a cup of coffee and open up Microsoft Excel on your computer.
Make a list
Make a list of all the digital channels you plan to utilise on a piece of paper then plan out on the spreadsheet activities such as how many times a week you will post on Facebook and when to send out a newsletter to your database. Set objectives for each social media channel and allocate responsibilities with deadlines for team members. Allocating responsibilities is very important if you have staff members who have a lot of knowledge about your business and your customers.
High value traffic
Utilise their knowledge and their relationship with your customers for social media content and to highlight to your customers that you value your staff (most of your customers work for someone and will have a positive perception of your business if they think you treat your staff well). Digital marketing channels such as Google, social media and email marketing should primarily drive high value traffic towards your website which will ultimately increase sales through the online checkout or at your cash register.
2. Set up Online Channels to Communicate to your Target Market
Now that you have your strategy in place and you have a good grasp of what you would like to achieve with your digital marketing work, it is time to set up and brand the online channels you would like to use. Some channels will be easier to set up than others. We would recommend that you get professional web design advice and help when setting up or redesigning a website. A website is extremely important for a business.
Index your website
A poorly designed website can cost you valuable online and offline sales. Websites that do not function properly with defective webpages and online checkout system can seriously damage the trust and patience a potential customer has with your business. It is essential to make sure that your website is optimised for strategic keywords. This is important as Google and other search engines will use this to index your website so that they know what search terms to show your website for when their users look for websites that sell or provide information about the products and services you provide. The better you optimise your site, the higher you will appear on the search engine rankings.
Try to appear above competitors!
Try to appear above competitors! Social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are relatively straight forward to set up. Just make sure that you set these channels up correctly with good grammar on descriptions and posts. Always use high quality images that reflect the competitive advantages of your business or the benefits of using your products / services for banner images. Put yourself in the shoes of your target market when you post content on social media. Ask yourself is the content something that they are interested in and how could the post shape their perception of your business.
Social media advertising
Social media advertising is highly recommended as organic posts on Facebook will most likely reach less than 5% of the people who like your page. Use your digital marketing strategy to identify the target market you would like your social media ads to target. Articulate your target market for the products and services you wish to advertise. Other digital marketing channels to consider are email marketing, Google Ads and display advertising on third party websites. Mail Chimp offers free design templates for your email marketing efforts. These templates are basic and should be tested before sending out to your database. It is important to test email newsletters on different browsers and email providers such as Gmail, Yahoo and Outlook. Google Ads and display advertising can cost a lot of money if not set up correctly and if you do not effectively target the right audience for the right products and services. Use these particular services with extreme care and undertake plenty of research before pressing the go button on any of these types of paid campaigns. Pay per click campaigns cost you money every time someone clicks your ads so make the clicks count!
3. Build online audience with target market for your products and services
One of the most challenging aspects of digital marketing is building the right audience for your website, social media channels and email marketing campaigns. Everything should evolve around your website and your website should also build your audience for your email marketing database and social media channels. As mentioned earlier, it is really important to get the SEO right for your website to attract the right audience to your website.
Social media channels
On your website, the social media channel icons for your business should be prevalent with links to these channels. This will encourage people who like your business and website to follow you on your social media accounts. It is also a good idea to ask website visitors to subscribe to your newsletter. On your social media channels, the best way to build your audience is to invite your network to follow your channels and to post interesting and relevant content for your target audience. People will like and share content that they like with their network on social media that have similar tastes to them. These shares are seen as endorsements by friends and family of the people that engage with your posts. This will build credibility for your business. It is also possible to set up advertising campaigns on social media channels such as Facebook that will help you build likes for your page.
A lot of businesses also hold competitions where entrants have to share and engage with content to enter. These methods are very effective at building an audience relatively quickly on social media. Building your email marketing database can be supplemented by offline activities such as capturing contact details of customers who purchase in your shop. This can be done through running competitions, setting up loyalty clubs or offering to email customers their receipt rather than giving them a physical receipt. An emailed receipt is very beneficial to a customer as they are less likely to loss it. You can also capture email addresses when customers purchase from you through your website. Sharing a link to your email subscriber sign up form on social media is also very effective. Simply highlight the benefits of signing up for your email newsletter such as receiving exclusive offers or a discount on their next purchase.
Always make sure that subscribers opt in to be added to your database to satisfy GDPR requirements. Having a big audience on social media and for your email marketing database is a fantastic benefit for your business as it drives traffic to your website and builds a relationship with your customers which encourages them to purchase from your business again and again. Keep in mind that you should not over promote your business on social media or send too many emails to your database. You don’t want your audience to think you are only after their business.
4. Measure your Results!
How will you know that your digital marketing efforts are bringing you a return on your time and budget investment? When you draft your digital marketing strategy you should outline your key performance indicators (KPI’s) for each digital marketing channel. Your KPI’s for social media could be to attract 150 visitors to your website every week and / or to receive over 20,000 impressions every month. To measure your results you should analyse Google Analytics for your website, social media insights, email marketing reports and Google Ads. These analytical tools will give you valuable data on how each digital marketing channel has played its part towards your overall digital objectives.
The beauty of digital marketing
The beauty of digital marketing is that every investment you make is trackable. Not everything you do will be a massive success but you will quickly identify what is working for your business and what is not. Don’t ever be afraid to stop a campaign and go back to the drawing board if you are not happy with the performance of your ad campaigns. Try different wording, call to actions and images to find the right mix that resonates best with your target market. You may not have the time or the technical expertise to carry out all of the outlined tasks for your business. It may be worth meeting with a web design and digital marketing agency to see which tasks you would like to outsource that may give you a better return on your investment. It is important to always present the best side of your business to your target market. Do not settle for any social media post or email newsletter being sent out on behalf of your business that does not give a positive reflection of your business.
Contact our Digital Marketing Manger Jonathan if you would like any further tips and advice on how to run an effective digital marketing campaign for your business. We would be happy to meet for a coffee and help you get the very most from you digital marketing efforts.
Márla Communications are recognised as a top Email & Marketing Automation Company on DesignRush.