The digital marketing ecosystem is huge, and at times, overwhelming.
When clients ask me ‘what should I be doing to grow my business?’ the answer is always ‘how long is a piece of string’. There are so many paths to choose from, but my recommendation always comes back to the same idea.
Spend time on the actions that drive your business forward.
This is where a good marketing strategy comes into play. A marketing strategy helps to dive through the clutter of what you should be doing to market your business and drill down to the steps that will make a real difference in reaching your target market. This will help ensure you are spending your time and your resources wisely.
Exactly what it sounds like – creating content as a form of marketing. Essentially this is the basis of all digital marketing, what varies is the way it reaches the audience through free or paid mediums. Content marketing can be copy, image, video, audio or a combination.
Content marketing allows you to connect with your customers, position yourself as an expert, set yourself apart from your competitors, give value and build trust.
Content marketing can be delivered through any of the mediums below.
It seems every day there is a new social media channel to explore. Some of the more popular channels include:
Social media has opened a whole new world for businesses to connect with their target audience like never before.
Social media is useful for businesses of all sizes and is incredibly cost effective. Platforms can generally be used for free, while paid reach allows for detailed targeting including: age, locations, likes, dislikes, socioeconomic status, relationship status and more. This means you can be sure you’re reaching the right people and spend your advertising budget wisely instead of the spray and pray approach of traditional advertising.
When using social media to market your business, there are a few things to keep in mind.
You don’t need to be on every channel. It’s more important to pick one or two and do them well.
Social media should be social! Channels should be used to create reciprocal relationships, and two way dialogues.
Let’s start from the top here. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization AKA Google lovin’!
So how do we get the Google lovin’?
The answer is both simple, and complicated at the same time. Simple: build a website that utilises best practise and answers your user’s needs. Complicated: keep in mind the Google algorithm containing over 200 secret indicators.
Sounds frustrating right!?
While this can be true, it’s also true that:
Of all the digital marketing tools, SEO can be the most effective over the long term.
This is for three reasons:
1. Warm leads: When someone reaches your website because of your SEO efforts, it’s because they’re looking for your exact product or service, at the exact time they need it.
2. The effects compound over time: While other mediums like paid advertising are only effective for the course of a campaign, SEO investment will pay dividends for the life of your business or website.
3. If it was easy, everyone would do it: SEO takes time, patience and commitment to see results. This means that if you’re willing to put in the effort, you already have a leg up over your competitors.
For those new to this game – SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing or paid advertising using a platform like Google or Bing.
Ads are shown at the top of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) and are displayed based on the relevance to keywords or query the user has entered, and your budget. Your budget comes into play here based on the ‘bid’ amount you’re willing to spend per view or click, your daily budget, and how this relates to competitors. The long and short of it is – pricing can vary wildly depending on how many searches occur per day, and how many companies are competing for those results.
When using SEM it’s essential to make sure your ad copy, and the relevant landing page is top notch!
With SEM, although these leads are qualified, they’re just a few clicks away from choosing a competitor if you don’t give them exactly what they’re looking for. This is where good branding, web design, copywriting and photography really shines.
For example, if a user has searched for ‘emergency glass repair Gold Coast’ make sure your ad links through to a page with your availability and instant booking options for emergency glass repair rather than just a list of available handyman services.
Sending an email newsletter is also known as a blast, and when using this channel I like to keep that in mind. Email marketing is becoming an increasingly crowded space.
The way you use email marketing can determine whether you’re damaging or enhancing your brand.
Using email marketing can be an important tool in the belt, but it helps to keep in mind the following tips:
Consistency: If you’re promising a monthly newsletter upon sign up, make sure you’re sending a newsletter monthly! Customers need to know that they can trust and rely on you. If you’re not keeping up your end of the bargain, how can they believe in your product or service?
Keep it clean: Every newsletter should have a good old scrub once in a while. Invite subscribers to hit the unsubscribe button if they’re not opening your emails. This will help you save money, as generally, you pay per email sent or the total amount of subscribers on your list. This also ensures that you’re talking to the right people, and not wasting your time on a lead that’s going nowhere fast.
Give value: I know I keep coming back to this one, and for good reason! The newsletters I subscribe to and read regularly offer tangible, valuable information in every blast. Think about your own inbox – I’m sure you do the same! Whether it’s an informative helpful article, or a great discount code, make sure it counts.
Like email marketing, text marketing has its place, but should be used sparingly.
I like to think of text marketing as the end of the road or a last resort. it certainly shouldn’t be part of your regular digital marketing strategy.
Being on the receiving end can be incredibly invasive, and very frustrating if used too frequently.
If you do go down this route keep it brief, make sure your message is time sensitive and easily actionable.
Now it gets fun! Retargeting is a paid medium of digital advertising that allows you to display ads to customers that have previously shown an interest in your product or service. You can do this through social media (Facebook and Instagram) or Google by installing tracking codes into your website header code.
You can get very specific and creative with the ads displayed, for example setting up funnels that drip feed your points of difference to potential customers and reinforce your brand over a period of days, weeks or months.
This technology is why you might search for a fridge one day, and the next day your news feed is covered in fridges!
Very interesting stuff.
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