10 Digital Marketing Tips for Any Business
While larger businesses would usually have Digital Marketing specialist, as an entrepreneur, start-up or SME you may not have the budget for a dedicated Digital Marketing Professional.
Instead, many companies have tasked an existing staff member with managing this ever-changing sector. This can have a serious effect on productivity if that team member doesn’t have sufficient capacity but given the push toward all things mobile and digital, now more than ever, it’s so important to dedicate time to these mediums or risk being left behind. With this in mind, we’ve compiled some fundamental dos and don’ts for digital marketing, that apply to every business big or small, to help make managing your digital mediums easier.
Know Your Customer
Who is your current customer, who is your ideal customer and where can you find them? There is little to no point in spreading your efforts thinly over every platform if your desired customer only uses a select few. When your resources expand you might look at expanding your reach, but your priority and focus should be your ideal audience. Crucially, be sure to listen to the clients you have or those you are courting – use surveys and research, pay close attention to reviews of your product or service, and if a customer doesn’t choose your offering, be sure to find out why! This information will inform your future marketing strategy, but also might make you aware of changes you need to make within the wider business.
The Buyer Journey
The Buyer Journey consists of 5 stages; Awareness, Interest, Consideration, Conversion and Retention. Try to align your overall strategy with the Buyer Journey, and link any campaigns, or single piece of content to one of the stages. This will focus what you want to achieve from each action – and therefore allow you to judge whether or not your campaign or content was successful.
The best and most successful content is that which is considered useful, and provides value to the reader/viewer. If you can solve a problem for your target audience, you’ve already created a rapport with a prospective client or customer, and earned their trust. When they’re in the market for your product, they will think of you first – this is why relevant, useful, helpful content will outperform promotional content in the long run. Therefore, make sure 80% of your content is valuable to your audience, and use the remaining 20% to promote your product or service.
Using SEO to Make Your Content Go Further
Use Search Engine Optimization to your advantage when creating content. Instead of hoping for the best when creating new content, use your own data to inform what topics you should focus on. Time is a valuable and finite resource, and great quality content takes thought and time (whether that be an article, a video interview, a vlog, or inventive mixed media for socials), so don’t waste yours by guessing what your customers are interested in. Aim for quality over quantity, and use SEO tools to ascertain what your target audience and those in your industry are searching for – and then create it!
Your Ad Doesn’t Exist in a Bubble
We can spend days musing over the perfect messaging for our campaign, tweaking and editing until it finally goes live, only for that campaign to not perform as we’d like. Before dismissing the messaging as flawed, look at user experience and user interface to see if a technical issue, ad placement or misjudged keywords might have resulted in your campaign getting less traction. Don’t throw out your potentially perfect messaging when other factors might be at work. Additionally, if you find that there are no technical issues; look at political, environmental and societal factors that might have been at play when your ad was live – sometimes the right messaging can be placed at the wrong time. In essence, look at the big picture and remember that your ad does not exist in a bubble, but rather will be influenced by a myriad of factors, both inside of and outside of your control.
It’s a simple statement, but ensuring that your site is mobile friendly is vital to your digital marketing success. Mobile usage overtook desktop usage in 2015, so no matter your target audience, they are more likely to be using mobile than not. Mobile Friendliness is already a key ranking factor for SEO, but Google’s goal is to have a mobile-first index by April 2021 – this means that if your site is not mobile friendly it will likely be much lower down in any search engine results. Many businesses invested money into making expensive apps that could prove a nuisance to their clients (storage capacity etc.) when investing in a mobile friendly website could achieve the same results at a lower cost, while also improving their rankings.
Collaboration and Backlinks
Collaborating with complementary businesses, influencers and non-profits can have a huge effect on your digital marketing efforts. Aside from access to new audiences you gain, as well as a 3rd party endorsement (which is proven to be 3x as valuable as an advertisement), and increased traffic to your site – you also gain in backlinks. Backlinks are a type of SEO in which other websites direct their readers to yours (via a link). Having credible backlinks builds credit for your website within SEO rankings, and can help you rank higher in search engine results. Collaboration builds your brand personality and awareness while delivering measurable results for your site, making it a no-brainer!
Find Your Niche (Don’t Fixate on Competitors)
Competitor analysis is crucial to anticipating opportunities and threats to your business and is imperative to staying relevant within your industry. However, it’s easy (particularly when it comes to Social Media) to get bogged down in what your competitors are, or are not, doing. This point comes back to knowing your customer and understanding why they chose you. Every brand should have a USP (Unique Selling Point) that sets them apart from their competitors, and that’s what they should be shouting from the rooftops. It can be easy to fall into the trap of trying to be everything to everyone, but it is impossible to please every audience – trying to do so may alienate your current audience and make your campaigns less effective. You may end up with more traffic to your site, but ultimately fewer conversions due to a lack of synergy between your product and the audience you’re targeting.
Consistent Tone and Brand
This is a natural follow-up to finding your niche. Your brand personality should be reflective of your USP, and should be consistent across on your social media, content, email marketing, advertisements and even emails sent by your employees. Your brand fonts, colours, and visual style should be consistent across all platforms (this way your customers know they are in the right place!). For your visual brand, creating a handbook of brand guidelines is extremely useful. Your brand tone should reflect your USP in the same way – whether you see your brand ‘new and energetic’ or ‘experienced and professional’ or anything else, ensure that is reflected in your social media correspondents, email and replies to reviews. Always lean into what makes your brand unique.
The Why and When NOT to Create
Digital marketing, like the technology it lives on, is in constant flux. It can sometimes feel like each day brings another feature or platform to conquer – but before you jump on the next bandwagon, think about the previous tips on this blog and ask yourself if your campaign or content is; relevant to your audience, delivering value, in-line with your brand, a productive use of time, and can you measure its success against your buyer journey? Avoid running campaigns without thinking about how they relate to the long-term strategy. One of the most important questions any digital marketer needs to ask before creating anything new is ‘Why’. Why am I doing this? What am I trying to achieve? If the answer to those questions doesn’t relate back to your funnel and your bottom line, perhaps your time and resources are better spent on something completely different!