It’s almost that time of year when you review your marketing plans and set goals for next year. During that process, you’re probably going to look at what worked and what didn’t, and if you’re like many companies we talk to, you’re looking to spend more money and time on digital marketing.
Companies are wising up to the fact that digital marketing should produce measurable business results, and so you may be setting goals for your online marketing for the first time. Good for you!
We’ve talked before about how an overall plan is really important to making sure that the time and money you spend online gets the best possible outcome (check out #1 in this article). But what tactics should be included in your plan?
Whether you’re doing it in-house or outsourcing your digital marketing, developing an online marketing strategy is only the first step toward achieving your business goals. Here are 6 marketing activities that are essential for successful small and mid-market digital marketing.
Although there has been an explosion of social media sites in the last few years (anyone using Periscope yet?), there are 3 sites that offer a very real benefit to businesses as they develop their marketing strategy. The Big 3 — Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are powerful platforms from which to launch and spread a message. When you’re considering how to spread the word through social media, consider your audiences, and if you’re paying for social media advertising, targeted audiences and multiple campaigns offer the greatest benefit.
Analytics was once an option only available to businesses willing to invest large sums of money in software and people to perform analysis. Today, there’s Google Analytics (a popular, free option). But if you’re really looking for a wealth of insightful data, you’ll need to dig deeper. Look for software that can tie results back to leads and revenue so you know exactly what works.
Pro Tip: Don’t just scratch the surface. Check out this article on 12 marketing metrics your boss probably doesn’t need to know about.
Voice and Brand Messaging
Branding has been around since the early days of advertising, but brand messaging is growing in importance as small and mid-market businesses seek to gain greater recognition in the crowded online community.
Today’s buyer may spend more than 4 hours each day online, but they have become immune to the headline grabbing ads of the past. If you have only a few seconds to capture a potential customer’s attention, your primary objective must be to promote a consistent, effective message and voice.
A voice and brand style guide can be a powerful tool to keep your online marketing strategy consistent, not just for web messaging and content marketing, but also to keep online complimenting your offline efforts.
Pro tip: Don’t get caught up in trying to please everyone in your company. Think of your primary audiences first when writing communications from your website content to blogs and emails.
Closely related to voice and brand messaging is content creation. Content creation is simply the process of actively engaging potential (and existing) clients by providing them with informative, educational and entertaining information.
Buyers of your services and products expect to find information online that’s focused on their needs. In response, marketers are creating more content, which affects quality.
Cheesy, cliche, and obvious sales pitches are no longer enough. Today’s consumers not only want to connect with you for your product or service, but they also want you to provide interesting content.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO helps your company get found online and where your business will appear when someone enters specific search terms. You want to be deliberate in how you publish content on your website, being sure to include words that your prospective customers use as they describe your product or service.
Search engines tweak their ranking algorithms constantly, and it can be tough to keep up with it all. Moz is a great resource for practical, common sense SEO advice, but don’t hesitate to contact a pro that can help attract more people to your website.
Pro tip: It takes much more than simply putting keywords in a page or optimizing meta tags for proper SEO. Here are some SEO myths you should be aware of.
Conversion Rate Optimization
Your company might have been doing search engine optimization and writing content, but the single most underutilized activity when it comes to digital marketing is conversion rate optimization.
Conversion rate optimization, or CRO, is simply a fancy way to describe the process of testing different things in order to get more business opportunities from the website visitors you already have.
Pro tip: Did you know that you can make smaller, incremental changes to your website in order to get more leads? Because conversion rate optimization involves writing, design and development, growth driven design is a great solution to scientifically design for better results.
The most successful businesses have learned how to effectively use every tool available in their digital strategy. Regardless of how small or large your business may be, these activities are crucial to the success of your online marketing strategy.
What are you planning on doing differently next year? Next quarter? Next month?
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