If you’re running a local business, one of your constant wishes is for some simplicity when it comes to marketing your business online. While these days there exists more opportunity than ever before to get your products and services before a vast audience, all of this comes at a price. That price is your sanity as you try and juggle all the various elements involved with your digital marketing strategy.
Your audience may hang out in several different places, and it’s your job to coordinate this into a coherent online marketing strategy that you can use.
Beyond the basics of optimizing your website for local search, you need to proactively engage in marketing tactics designed to deliver your optimal customer to your virtual (or actual) door.
As a small business this can be become problematic quite quickly. You may not have the staff to handle all the various pieces that make up this marketing puzzle, and things fall through the cracks.
In order to help avoid this, we’ve identified 7 digital marketing tips you can easily set into motion that will simplify the process, and help your small business thrive.
7 Actionable Tips to Simplify Your Digital Marketing Strategy
1. Be Smart about Using Social Media
Let’s start with potentially the biggest time-suck as well as the one with the most potential for lead generation. There are differing opinions as to whether social media is at all worth the time spent with it, and our answer is that it most certainly is, but only if you have a plan and an idea what you’re doing.
Regarding a plan, understand that you’ll need to identify and utilize the social platforms that your audience does, whether that’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest or YouTube. Don’t try and retrain them!
Once you know this, use your social media channels to engage, offer and communicate. Be active and seek out engagement. For many of these platforms, especially Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, you have the opportunity to use highly-targeted advertising to build new audience members and extend your brand’s reach. This can be a huge advantage.
One tactic to employ with your social media channels is to be sure and cross-promote and point to the pages you’d like people to end up. Also, each platform has its own strengths and limitations. For example Facebook recently announced that they were opening up Facebook Instant Articles. This is a direct response to the capabilities offered by Google+ and LinkedIn as publishing platforms.
2. Get Responsive in Website Design
It’s now well-known that mobile makes up a tremendous share of the online audience. There are several reasons why it’s imperative to have a mobile presence, and one of the easiest ways to accomplish this is through the use of responsive website design. This will enable your site to look as you’d like it to no matter the platform your viewer is using.
One very good reason is that having a mobile-optimized site will help your chances greatly getting ranked in Google’s Mobile search results. They do look at the state of your site, and if you are well optimized and your competition isn’t; well, that’s a good thing!
Moreover, depending on the type of local business you have, much of your audience may be out and about, and being able to find you using their phones and other mobile devices is marketing in the moment, and can get you more traffic and sales.
Also, you’ll be able to utilize push notifications if you’d like to, sending coupons, discounts and flash sale notices with ease. Not to mention the number of phone calls you can take if you are being found locally. All in all it’s a win-win.
3. Don’t Overwhelm your Visitors
While it’s bred in our nature to let our visitors know everything about our business, products and services, the truth is that the human eye and psyche respond better to bite-sized pieces of information.
People are notorious for “scanning” a web page, looking to see if it contains some of what they are looking for. This is why it’s vital to make sure you utilize sub-headlines liberally, and with intent. People will read these, and if they like what they see, will read your paragraphs.
Use imagery and lots of white space, so that your page does not appear cluttered, and link out to more in-depth information where appropriate.
Have multiple calls to action on the page, and especially one above the fold. Have all of the calls to action address the same issue. Having more than one purpose to the page is sowing seeds of confusion in your visitor’s mind.
Make your pages easy to fathom and easier to navigate. Use all the contact tools you can on your site and listings, such as click to call, chat and maps.
4. Targeting is Everything
Did you know that only 31% of consumers feel as though marketers do a good job of targeting when it comes to content and advertising? Making sure you’re getting the right people in front of your products and services is key to turning a profit in any business. Trying to be all things to all people rarely works, and this will be abundantly clear when you venture into paid advertising. The last thing you want to do is pay for ads to get traffic that is not appropriate for you.
Understanding your target customer profile can seem like heavy lifting, in fact the opposite of simplification. However, once done, your job going forward is far more basic. Creating a detailed customer avatar that profiles them minutely gives you the best chance to deliver targeted ads that get results.
As it applies to your web pages, knowing who your ideal prospect is allows you to shape your messaging far more effectively. Use as many data points as you can to form these profiles. Obviously some of these will include geographical location, keywords, demographics and sales history.
5. Aggregate Your Marketing Data
Forrester Research did a recent study and found that marketers on average use around 15 different systems to hold customer data. That is indeed the opposite of simple.
While each marketing channel will have its own set of data; your email autoresponder, social media suite, Facebook, Google Analytics and so on, it’s vital to be able to see your data with a centralized view.
There are CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools that can help with marketing automation like this, and you should really consider this if your business is growing. Manually keeping track of all this data streaming in from multiple marketing channels is not feasible, and will soon prove unworkable.
Combining your data for a comprehensive view will enable you to create more robust customer profile data. Your CRM tool is continually gathering information such as purchases, email opens and responses, offer choices and much more. All this data is automatically entered for you, allowing you to see what you need to improve your business.
This type of marketing automation will help you keep track of the many platforms your audience can be found these days. It will also consolidate the data from each channel, providing a 10,000 foot view of your prospects and customers.
You can also keep track of every email campaign, social media posting, or whatever type of marketing or content you are reaching your customers with. This will give you with detailed data you can analyze in order to optimize your campaigns going forward.
6. Consider an E-Commerce Element
Many small businesses think of e-commerce as a tool where you can sell physical products from your website. While obviously true, several elements of e-commerce can work well for almost any local business.
Certainly if you have products you can sell from your site, you’re leaving money on the table by not employing an online shop. This is very easy to set up and can generate additional income without much effort.
If you have the type of business that needs customer contact to drive sales, you can still benefit handsomely by using e-commerce methods such as click to call, online chat, online reservations and other communication tools to enable your business to be open 24/7, gathering leads and prospects you can contact.
7. Repurpose Your Best Messaging
One of the best ways small businesses can extend their reach without having the luxury of a large staff is by repurposing quality content into other forms and platforms. Take a great blog post you’ve written, and use it as the basis for a number or social media posts or tweets. You can fashion it into an email series, and even a slideshow or video. How about a podcast, short report or webinar? The possibilities are many.
This allows you to maintain consistency in your messaging across several platforms, and inject content and presence into multiple marketing channels quickly and easily. Each channel has its own unique flavor, so a bit of tweaking can be required.
One other thing to know is that there are many benefits to doing this that may not be obvious, such as increased content presence online, more direct traffic, inbound backlinks, increased authority and much more.
The best part about this is how it relates to extending your reach. Quality content shared across several social media channels can have a compound effect on how many people actually have the opportunity to see your message. This is an opportunity not to be taken lightly!
There You Have It, Marketing Simplification in 7 Steps!
Nothing is as paralyzing as overwhelm when it comes to marketing online. Not be able to be agile in your marketing because you lack the systems in place to facilitate this is no longer acceptable.
Take the upfront time necessary to set up systems that will allow your small business to simplify your marketing, and you’ll find that you’ll be freed up to spend more time on expanding and growing your business.
If you would like to discuss how we can help you make your online marketing life a lot simpler or need help with marketing automation, please call us today at (623) 521-1418 or learn more about this topic by checking out our Digital Strategy page.