This is part two of a two part article. You can link to part 1 HERE
This digital marketing guide is a mix of questions I’ve been asked by SME business owners and managers over the past few years. I’ve extracted the top 101 marketing tips for you to consider when setting up and marketing your business, this is the second part of the article.
I hope you enjoy the read.
51. Plan to repurpose content
Creating great content isn’t easy, there’s so much content already out there that you have to rise above the noise and ensure your content successfully achieves its objectives. You also want to ensure you squeeze the most out of every piece of content you create to effectively manage your budget and amplify the impact.
52. Tell don’t sell
People don’t like to be sold to so don’t use any content you produce as a blatant sales tool. The key to success is to help solve a problem or educate or entertain an audience through storytelling.
53. Blog for success
Blogging is not a short term fix, it takes time and it can sometimes be difficult to convince people that by putting the time in, they will reap the rewards. So for all of those who doubt the power of a blog post check out this recent Hubspot survey.
54.Create an editorial calendar
Creating an editorial calendar provides a To Do list, a timeline of what needs to be done, by whom and by when. It keeps everyone involved aware of the deadlines, subject matter, media etc. and holds them accountable to deliver.
55. Promote and distribute your content
The content on your web pages, on your blog and other online articles still need to be promoted to extend interest and engagement. Every time you publish content you should consider distributing it across your social networks of choice, your email newsletter or even through paid advertising.
56. Set up social media profiles and pages
Make sure to optimize each of your social media profiles, add a compelling bio, include keywords and a web URL linking back to your website. You own the content on your site and it’s where most conversions are made.
57. Sync up with your business goals
Social media activity should be factored in as a part of your integrated marketing approach towards achieving your overall business objectives and must be considered as part of your content strategy.
58. Focus on the key platforms
There’s no point in spending all of your time on Facebook, for example, if none of your customers or prospects are there. Focus on the platforms that count and it may be appropriate to concentrate your efforts on one platform at a time.
59. Set up a social media listening post
One way to do that is through Hootsuite, which is a platform that allows you to connect multiple social media streams and monitor them on a single platform. Other options include Google Alerts and Social Mention.
60. Understand your Social Media resourcing issues
Social media is about interaction and the more time and effort you invest into that endeavour, the more you are likely to gain. It’s not a broadcast medium where you can just launch a one way dialogue and expect positive results. At the end of the day the question you should always be asking yourself is “does this make sense for my business?”
61. Define the rules of the conversation
Who it is you want to engage with e.g. is it Current customers? Potential customers? Industry sources? If you’re not sure, then use your listening post to monitor activity for a while and build up a picture of the social media environment.
62. Don’t be afraid of technology
Social media is not a technology, it can be viewed as another route to market but many people get flummoxed by technology platforms, it doesn’t take long to get comfortable with each platform and there are many “how to” guides available through searching on Google.
63. Identify budget considerations; it’s not all free
Social media has never been free because of the time and effort involved in supporting it. The organic reach of social media platforms is in decline and the monitisation of social media platforms needs to be considered and factored into your budgets.
64. Create a social media policy document
Social media and the law is a subject that comes up time and time again and it’s still a grey area. Whoever takes care of your social media needs to know the guidelines that they’re working within.
65. Create and direct the offer
If you’re launching a new product or service, your offer won’t be applicable to all segments of your audience. By asking the right questions upfront you will have built a picture of your ideal customer and understand the issues they face. This information will help decide the offer and the medium to deliver it.
66. Make sure someone has responsibility
Appointing a campaign project manager with responsibility for the project plan ensures any issues can be quickly identified and conflicts resolved upfront.
67. Cover each stage of the sales funnel
By creating content targeted at the different stages of the sales cycle and promoting to segmented email lists, you are supplying proof points along the journey to illustrate to your prospect why your solution is better or will uniquely meet their needs.
68. Design your landing pages
Best practice when promoting a product, service or event is to drive visitors to a specific landing page where they can convert (and that’s the main aim). A good landing page will make the difference between a conversion and a bounce.
69. Promote the offer on your main website
CTA blocks can be used throughout your site to promote the campaign to visitors browsing your site. Have the CTA block above the fold but there’s nothing to stop you repeating the CTA at the end of the page.
70. Take every opportunity to engage
It would be easy to just provide the downloaded content and move on to the next task but while you have an engagement with your prospective future client it makes sense to try to encourage additional interaction. This can be done through the thank you page.
71. Use video to promote your products and services
Video has many advantages that can elevate your offer above your competition and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Video has the added advantage of letting people see who you are, what you look like and introduces the human touch to business.
72. Plan and storyboard your activities
Before you start filming there are a number of things to consider:
- Pick your topic
- Storyboard the sequence as part of the video plan
- Write the script
- Decide on the “actors”
- Decide on the call to action (CTA)
Ensure the sound quality is good, if required use external microphones. Check the lighting, shoot the video, edit where necessary and upload to you website, YouTube account or both.
73. Decide the type of video you will create
According to Google, video is much more likely to show up in search than standard text based info. So it makes perfect sense to include video activities in the content marketing engine that you’re working to create. There are different types of video so choose the type you want to shoot depending on the objective of the project.
74. Optimise your video for search
Video content can be hosted on YouTube and embedded on your website. Each video should be optimized for search using the title tag, description and tagging. Makes sure video access is set to public.
75. Promote and distribute your video
The most popular platforms to promote and distribute your videos are YouTube and Facebook. Don’t just upload your video and expect it to go viral, you need to work hard at getting it visible and that probably means paying to promote it.
76. Set up a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising pilot programme
If you want quick results you may need to consider Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. By adding PPC into the marketing mix you’re adding another opportunity to promote your business and your content and increasing the chances of searchers finding the solutions you offer and clicking through to your website.
77. Decide on the mix of organic versus paid
Organic search optimisation needs a medium to long term approach, PPC advertising can give you positive results within an hour of going live. If your business is seasonal or you are looking to launch a new product and want to give it a boost or if you’re looking for immediate results then PPC can help your business.
78. Target your Ads
You can target your Ads to specific languages, geographies or demographics. The Ads only show when searchers type in key phrases that you’re targeting, therefore you attract highly qualified, highly targeted users through to your website resulting in an increased conversion rate.
79. Decide on your advertising spend
With PPC advertising you can set a daily budget, you can switch it on and off whenever you like, you can be very specific in who you target and really, really importantly, you can track and measure the results.
80. Remarket to your previous web visitors
The more you expose your brand to a potential customer the more likely they are to engage with your brand. As very few first time visitors to your site are ready to convert, make sure they remember you by setting up a Remarketing campaign via the Google AdWords platform.
81. Test key phrases for SEO
With an SEO campaign it can be months before the results of key phrases are known, with Pay Per Click advertising your advertisement will appear on search results pages as soon as your Pay Per Click campaign goes live. This means you quickly get to know which keywords are working and which are not and you can tweak your web and online content accordingly.
82. Prioritise where you spend your budget
Prioritise activity based around specific events and on best return and think about front loading most of the activity into the first 6 months of your business year, dependent on your sales lead times.
83. Use social media to amplify your message
Social media and content marketing are closely aligned and social signals can also affect ranking so the more your content get shared, liked, +1’d, RT’d, downloaded etc. the happier you’ll become.
84. Build your audience
The vast majority of visitors to your site will just be browsing. By adding an email capture block to the key pages of your website, you can build your own audience by encouraging visitors to subscribe to your blog or enewsletter or download your ebook or view your webinar.
85. Create sales “bundles”
MacDonalds make a lot more profit from asking us “do you want fries with that” or persuading us to “Go Large” and many retailers take the opportunity to cross sell and upsell at point of sale (ever been to Sports Direct?). In many cases the bundled items are discounted if bought together.
86. Implement an email marketing process
With the rise of mobile technology, people continually check their phones throughout the day and this includes looking at emails. So you can get your message direct to the user and get a very good Return On Investment (ROI) from email marketing.
87. Don’t send out general messages to your complete database
Chop up your data into several buckets and run separate marketing campaigns to each segment. That way you can customise your messaging and focus your offers at those who will be interested, rather than to everyone.
88. Send your audience to the right page
Whatever marketing campaigns you’re running please try not to send your audience to your website home page. It won’t be tailored to your offer. The best practice is to build specific landing pages focused on the campaign with a clear call to action (CTA) e.g. Book Now, or Download the brochure.
89. Remember, lead generation is not the end game
The collection of leads is only the beginning. Don’t leave it all to chance, nurture those leads through the pipeline by engaging with them. Provide additional information that may help them decide to become a customer.
90. Get the best return from the leads you collect
Your demand generation engine needs to to ensure a steady flow of leads, and you need to make the most of every sales lead you generate. The best way to do this is to prioritise leads through a lead management process.
91. Introduce a lead management process
Many of the contacts you generate won’t be ready to buy immediately. If you call these people up or try to push them into making a purchase before they are ready, you risk losing them entirely. Introducing a method of scoring leads enables you to rank each lead for quality and prioritise them accordingly.
92. Nurture and convert those leads
Lead nurturing is the art of keeping in contact with leads, often through a series of emails, until they are ready to commit. Providing a regular supply of interesting and relevant content can significantly increase the proportion of leads that will eventually buy from you.
93. Don’t forget your offline marketing activities
Offline marketing activities such as events and seminars are a great way to get face-to-face with your audience allowing you to establish your reputation and credibility as a true professional. Don’t forget to take advantage of online platforms to promote your event in advance, helping to attract an audience.
94. Don’t neglect your existing customers
Putting together a cross-selling or up-selling process or campaign can bring in additional business from a captive audience in a much cheaper way. Don’t assume that your existing clients are aware of all of your products and services.
95. Measure everything
Set your KPI’s and business metrics when you’re deciding on your aims and objectives and monitor progress on an on-going basis. This can be done through your web analytics package and this is now also offered by many social media platforms. This will tell you what’s working and what isn’t and enable you to quickly make changes where necessary.
96. Make sure your marketing is “Joined Up”
If you’re implementing a campaign make sure your messaging is consistent across all (offline and online) channels and media. Consistent messaging across multiple touch points is still very important. Customers collect information from various sources before making a purchasing decision.
97. Invest in staff training
One of my favourite quotes is:
CFO asks CEO: “What happens if we invest in developing our people and they leave us?”
CEO: “What happens if we don’t and they stay?”
98. Test, Test and Test again
What works for one site or campaign may not work for another so test your headlines and your CTA placements. Change the images and the colours until you get it right and continue to experiment. If you have a large audience you could try A/B testing or multi-variate testing of your landing pages. Take a close look at your web analytics package.
99. Pull it all together
Traditional marketing works on the concept of getting your marketing messages out to the masses and hoping some of it sticks. It’s a numbers game but today people don’t want to be interrupted or sold to. The core of what we’ve looked at over the previous pages can be described as Inbound Marketing. This is marketing based on content that uses the power of the internet, social media, paid advertising and email marketing to help business get found online and increase conversions.
100. Make sure you see the big picture
Take time out to look at the medium to long term issues you face and how you can integrate your offline and online marketing activities to get a bigger bang for your buck.
Find out more information about Big Picture Marketing here:
101. Now find the time to do all of this
Well, there is a good chance that left to your own devices you won’t be able to find the time to do all of this or to keep up with the continual changes in social media, digital marketing and whatever comes along next… That’s why you need to bring in some help and support and you can find it here:
If you’d like to download a more comprehensive version of all 101 marketing tips in pdf format, you can do so HERE
Here’s a link to a client case study that hopefully demonstrates the power of the internet and inbound marketing.
If you’d like help to introduce or improve your own lead generation engine, then get in touch today and find out more about how I can help you grow your business. Call 01803 413481 or email firstname.lastname@example.org