Digital marketing offers you countless avenues that you can use to take your business to the next level. It’s an opportunity, but it can be overwhelming to deal with so many numbers and acronyms and companies promising the next big thing. So how do you develop an effective strategy that focuses on the channels with the highest returns? These digital marketing tips aim to help you do just that.
#1- Develop Your Plan
As already said, a strong digital marketing strategy requires you to be strategic. The internet has created infinite possibilities. You can’t do everything, nor should you try. Instead, craft a focused, informed plan that revolves around your business’s objectives and resonates with your brand and industry.
SMART goals have become a mainstay in productivity-focused articles. They’re:
SMARTs are the difference between planning to lose weight and planning to lose ten pounds in the next six months. Apply the same logic to your digital marketing goals. Identify precise, quantifiable gains that you want to achieve over a limited time frame, and set yourself up with the tools and metrics you need to consistently track your progress towards them.
Do Your Research
Realism requires information. Read up on digital marketing statistics and know out the average returns across different channels and industries. Talk to marketing professionals about the ROI you should expect tomorrow in light of where you are today. Get the intelligence that will help you to set your goals and to understand both past and present company data.
Invest Your Resources Wisely
Figure out your digital marketing budget and determine where it will go. First, how much do you intend to allocate to digital, as opposed to traditional, channels? In 2020, the average was about 45-50% of the total budget, but you need to find the ratio that works for your business.
Next, decide how much you want to do in-house. How robust is your marketing department, and are they strong digital marketers? Do you need to hire additional personnel, or outsource the work to a digital agency?
Different agencies have different specialties, so look for one that fits into your overall vision. Talk to companies, and don’t be shy about asking for references. You have the right to be selective.
Even if you hand over the reins, be an active partner. No one knows your business the way that you do. Make sure that the content aligns with your brand image, and give your agency the feedback they need to continually refine their campaigns for you.
If you do everything in house, then your ongoing commitment increases. Creating SMART goals doesn’t mean that you should mindlessly follow plans that aren’t working. Tweak your goals and your strategies in light of how channels perform.
#2- Improve Your Website
Overarching strategy is crucial, but let’s talk about specific digital marketing tips that will allow you to maximize your digital presence. First up, your website.
Your website is your virtual home. When it comes to your customers, it’s the beacon that should be calling them and the online destination to which everything else should be pointing them. Take a hard look at your current website. It may be time to tweak it or even to redesign in full.
Your website should answer questions, not provoke them — at least when it comes to your business and goods or services. Your landing pages should be clean and clear. Customers should be able to scan them and move between them with ease.
When people land on your site, do they instantly understand who you are and what you do? Is your site easy to navigate with clearly identified calls to action? Are the right elements visually emphasized on every page?
I know your parents taught you to clean up before guests arrive. Follow the same principle here. Your online home should be an attractive and uncluttered place.
Use your images and layouts to tell a coherent, engaging story with your website. Audit your visuals. Are they high quality? Current? On brand? Think about your colors and other graphic elements. What mood do you want to set for your site, and do they effectively foster it?
Ask people how they respond to your site. How does it make them feel? Do they get frustrated or overwhelmed? Of course, you can and should use tools such as Google Analytics to understand how users interact with your site, but don’t neglect conversational evaluations. Sometimes an outsider’s eye can catch issues better than any graph.
A strong search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is an essential part of digital marketing for any business. When people search for anything related to your business, do Google and other search engines send them your way? It takes time to build domain authority, which is one reason it’s critical to build SEO into your long-term business strategy. There are things you can do immediately in order to improve your search performance.
- Incorporate the right keywords into your landing pages
- Double and triple check your site security
- Make sure that your website speed is as fast as possible
- Establish internal links between the pages of your site
- Link to relevant and high quality content
- Court backlinks from external sites
#3- Claim Your Listings
This one’s the simplest of the digital marketing tips to apply. You want to collect and control all official listings for your business. Make sure that people specifically searching for your business or for businesses like yours can find you. Even if you’re confident that you’re on all the right sites, perform an audit of your listings. Is all the information up to date? What online directories and review sites feature you? Are there others that should but don’t yet? Each site will have its own, easy-to-follow directions that will allow you to claim your listing. Once you do so, you’ll be able to respond to any online reviews and ensure that your business information is accurate.
If you have brick-and-mortar locations, claiming your listings will help with local SEO. People often search for nearby locations when seeking to fill an immediate need. You’ll also help people to find your office or store when looking for directions.
The most important listing is your Google My Business profile, but you should also claim listings with:
- Apple Maps
- Bing Places
- Any industry-specific directories
Finally, you should also set up an official Facebook page for your business that links to your website and provides your contact information. Even if you do nothing further with Facebook, setting up your own page prevents anyone else from creating a page under your name.
#4- Craft Your Content Strategy
A business has to provide more than their advertised goods or services. You need to provide relevant and high-quality content that entertains or informs your consumers.
Instead of direct selling, content marketing involves the creation of material that attracts users and solves common problems. For example, an arts-and-crafts emporium might publish a blog post on five projects for fall, or an article on how to keep bubbles from ruining resin pieces. These pieces might link to related products, but they aren’t direct promotions.
In addition to building relationships with your target audience, content marketing is one of the best things you can do for SEO. It gives you the opportunity to incorporate high-yield keywords in an organic and sustained way. A content library also helps to establish you as an authority on certain topics with both Google’s algorithm and customers.
But what should go into a good content strategy?
Set Your Objectives
As with any channel, you should have specific objectives for your content marketing. Not only will they allow you to measure your performance, they should inform your choice of formats, types, and topics.
Content marketing can help you increase:
- Brand Awareness
- Brand Loyalty
- Customer Engagement
Of course, these can and will overlap, but develop each piece of content with an eye to your main objective.
Pick Your Format
One reason that content marketing can do so many different things is that there are many different forms of content you can publish online. These include:
- Email newsletters
- White papers and ebooks
- Videos and podcasts
- Social media posts
Trying to work on customer loyalty? A regular newsletter may be your best bet. Want to get your product in front of new eyes for the first time? Google ads may play a large role in your content strategy. Trying to generate leads? White papers and ebooks are the way to go. For SEO purposes, it’s hard to beat the payoff of a regularly published blog. Write relevant and engaging pieces. Create and evaluate your work for its SEO value.
Choose Your Topics
What concerns or topics is your audience researching? You can use AI tools, such as Google’s Keyword Planner, in order to get suggestions for terms related to ones you’ve already identified as being important.
Part of choosing your topics is deciding what approach you’re going to take. Does a how-to piece make the most sense? A well-researched guide to a thorny problem? A humorous and shareable infographic?
It’s no secret that generating killer content takes time and energy. But frequency and consistency are key. It’s better to space out content at regular intervals than to dump a bunch of content all at once and then go silent for weeks or months. Figure out how often you can commit to publication, and build your content schedule accordingly. Many businesses hire freelancers to help, which is something to consider if content creation doesn’t fit your schedule or skill set.
#5- Use Google Ads to Target the Right Searches
SEO takes time. Search engine marketing (SEM) lets you jump to the head of the line. Instead of waiting for customer searches to find you, you can target their searches directly. Search ads makes customers see you when it matters most — when they’re actively looking for what you’re selling. They show up as regular listings, albeit with the disclaimer that it’s an ad, in search engine results pages.
Perhaps best of all, Google Ads lets you decide how you want to calculate success. You can allocate your ad buy according to cost per click (CPC), cost per thousand impressions (CPM), or cost per action (CPA), such as a sale or download.
And search ads work. According to Google’s own metrics, advertisers receive an average 8:1 ROI from their campaigns. But Google Ad campaigns can serve as sinkholes for your budget, particularly if you’re bidding on expensive, high-volume search terms for which you can’t compete. Unless you’re an industry leader, you’re unlikely to see enough corresponding conversions to justify the expense.
Use Google’s Keyword Planner and other SEO and SEM tools to find search terms that may have moderate search volumes but are cheaper and more likely to convert. A simple tweak in phrasing can make all the difference.
#6- Take Advantage of Artificial Intelligence for Digital Marketing
If you use Google Ads, you’re already using AI in your advertising campaigns. But in this data-driven world, you can and should leverage the latest technology and use big data to maximize your marketing efforts. In addition to a handful of digital marketing tips, this digital world requires digital brain power.
AI can help you personalize content, integrate chatbots into your site, and automate routine tasks. It can save you time and allow you to focus on those aspects of your business that require your direct attention. With Redstitch’s digital marketing, you can combine our human expertise with the most sophisticated AI tools in order to optimize your website, plan ad campaigns, develop a content strategy, and more.