How To Start Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Every single day, around three and a half billion searches are carried out on the internet, by over five billion users. You’d think that would be good news for businesses who want to get their messages out there to a thirsty new audience, but it’s not that simple. A staggering 75% of people never get as far as the second page of Google search results, which means that unless your website is ranking among the top 10 organic listings, you may as well be scribbling a message in a bottle, chucking it out to sea and hoping for the best.
With so many businesses grappling for results on Google search engines, a well developed digital marketing strategy is essential for companies of all sizes. But getting found online is about much more than writing a few optimised blog posts. It’s about developing digital brands that are instantly recognisable, and creating content that’s shareable, original and targeted to your perfect customer.
It’s often said that a goal without a plan is just a wish, and that’s particularly true when it comes to digital marketing. Here are six strategies to help you build your online presence and turn browsers into loyal customers:
Remember the Five Ss
Back in 2000, Dave Chaffey and PR Smith wrote a book called e-Marketing Excellence. Although times have changed a lot since then, the principles remain the same and are still used by big brands everywhere. The book focuses on the Five Ss:
Sell: Your products and services are your number one asset, so make sure you know them inside out and let customers see them the moment they visit their website. If you’re too cryptic, or it takes too long for people to get the info they need, don’t expect them to hang around.
Speak: Building relationships with customers and demonstrating your understanding of (and commitment to) their needs has never been more important than it is today. Social media has provided an excellent opportunity to engage your customers in conversations and build trust, so it’s essential to have Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as a minimum in your online arsenal.
Serve: Ultimately, visitors to your website want to know one thing: what you can do for them. Whether it’s to gain an answer to a difficult question, find a great product at a bargain price or find out where to go for advice, they will only stick with you if they can see you clearly add value from the outset.
Save: It’s not glamorous or exciting, but keeping costs low is always an essential part of business. Online marketing is significantly cheaper than traditional print and post marketing, so use it to your advantage.
Sizzle: With so much competition out there, generic waffle won’t do. Customers want to see content that’s exciting, engaging and about topics that matter to them, so make sure every bit of what you put out there leaves them wanting more.
Know Your Audience
If you haven’t already undertaken a customer profiling exercise, now’s the time to start. In order to reach your perfect customer, you need to start with understanding who they are, so take the time to study your audience, work out what they want, and create a strategy that’s targeted to them.
Use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Sometimes, the world of SEO can seem unfair. You can have the best written, most insightful content out there, but if it’s not properly optimised for search engines it will come way down the list from stuff that’s often poorly written and inaccurate.
The simple fact is that without SEO, your digital marketing efforts will fail. The good news is that you can have the best of both worlds; beautifully written content that people love, combined with the winning formula that gets you found online. All you need to do is find someone who’s good at both, and just sit back and watch the customers fall in your lap.
Use Social Media Marketing
The average person now spends 28% of their online time on social media, which makes it one of the best and easiest ways to make contact with potential customers. Try to juggle too many social media campaigns at once and you’ll set yourself up for failure though. Instead, find two or three that your target audience are most likely to use and put your efforts into those. For example, a company that sells retirement homes will be wasting their energy creating Tik Tok campaigns, whereas a clothing brand selling kicks to 20 year olds will be expected to have a presence on the latest social media platforms. Work out what your customers want and where to find them, and you’re halfway there. Just one or two posts a day is all you need - nobody likes to be spammed!
Get a user friendly website
Few modern businesses can survive without a website, and since yours will often be the first opportunity for people to learn about what you do, there’s no room for error. A website is your chance to make a good impression, so make sure it’s attractive, clear, in line with your brand guidelines, mobile friendly and easy to navigate. It’s also a good idea to update your website every few months in line with the latest trends, so you can keep your place in the rankings.
Remember your old school networks
Yes, online marketing is essential these days, but don’t forget your local contacts. Partnering with nearby organisations - especially when there are local events to get involved in - can significantly boost your follower count and make it easier for people to find you online.
What not to do
Of course, understanding the no-nos of digital marketing is just as important as having a list of things you’re planning to do. Here are a few:
Don’t just stick to writing: One common mistake is to focus only on written content. With the average internet user spending just 2.7 minutes on each website they visit, you have to make sure you grab their attention fast. Reams of words without a break are a turn off, so as well as blog posts and web pages, make sure you mix it up with images, videos, infographics and gifs.
Never ignore feedback: Building a brand that people trust is all about showing them you genuinely listen to them and care what they think. Today’s customers can smell lip service a mile off, so pay attention to feedback and show you’re committed to learning and growing from your mistakes.
Don’t forget your existing clients: While you’re busy out there searching for your dream customer, don’t neglect the ones who put food on the table in the first place. Take the time to reward your longest serving customers for their loyalty and you’ll have a happy relationship for years to come.
Do you need a digital marketing strategy for your business? Contact us today for a no-obligation quote.