Everything you do in your business is, ultimately, marketing, from the flyers you print to the way you talk to your customers.
Digital marketing is simply the stuff you do using your pc or phone to help sell your business, and that includes your website, emails, social media posts, the lot.
So, we’re all digital marketers in some form or other, even if we get someone else to do the actual writing or website building or email newsletter (like Akira does for clients in Canada and the UK).
The problem is, sometimes we don’t tie all our marketing ideas together in a cohesive plan, and it all starts to get a bit messy around the edges...
Top tips from digital marketing experts
That's why were delighted to find a blog on Moz by Bill Sebald* which asked digital marketers to come up with their top tips in the neatest digital form available - the 140 characters of a Tweet. Some of them are absolute gems, and we make no apology for shamelessly lifting the best and adding our own take on these excellent marketing hints.
Figure out how to be better, more useful, and immensely more helpful than all of your competitors.
Now this is nice and concise. After all, it should be the reason we’re in business in the first place. If we’re not better, or more useful than the next company, why would a new client want to use our services?
In marketing terms, the trick is to show prospective customers that you are better, smarter, more useful than the rest. That involves taking your website to a new level; making it accessible whatever device custoimers use, providing well-written informative text, and presenting it in an attractive way so people want to read it.
Measure what matters to the business - don't get hung up on metrics that don't drive to that goal.
Digital marketing make it easy to measure your online activities, but are you measuring the right thing? Many businesses just check how much traffic the website is getting, and how their website ranks for a limited list of chosen keywords. It’s all very interesting, but it’s a measure of activity, not of results.
The copy we write for small business websites is specifically designed so people to read the first paragraph or so, then pick up the phone and talk to the business direct. So, the website metrics will show a low amount of time spent on the site, and a higher bounce rate (the % of people who leave a website after viewing just one page). However, the real measure is how many phone calls the business is getting, and how many of them are from the right sort of customer. If they get more calls from informed, qualified customers, the website is doing its job.
Expect to get fired every time you talk to a client.
This may sound a little odd, but the principle is sound. Every time you have contact with a customer, give them a little extra. Impress them. Show them some business-based lurve. Remember the old maxim: it is six times more difficult to get a new customer than keep an existing one. (And probably 60 times more awkward to rebuild a business relationship that floats off down river due to neglect.)
Spend the time + research to find a niche within a niche. Once you've found it, create content that matches audience intent.
We love this one because it is both clever and so darn simple. It’s what most of us do in conversation with customers all the time. Face to face, you instinctively know the difference between a ‘level 1’ customer who needs a basic overview of the various wildlife-detecting widgets you sell, and the ‘level 2’ customer who requires a Mongoose-a-matic B679HDi series 4, in lime green.
The secret here is to write interesting content such as articles, blogs, social media posts, that appeals to BOTH types of customer. Here's why:
- The level 1 customer is interested in a niche market (wildlife detectors).
- The level 2 is interested in a niche within a niche (mongoose detectors).
- A blog written for a level 1 customer won’t put off a level 2 customer, and will reassure them they are with the right company.
- A level 1 customer will find a level 2 article interesting as it’s in their niche, even if some of the finer details of the Mongoose Whisker Differential Spectrum passes over their heads…
Clients must understand they're never "done" with their website (optimization, content, design, etc). If stop, eventually drop.
We want to give Dan Kern, the hero behind this insight, a huge hug. (OK, Kirsty the SEO guru wants to give him a huge hug. We’re happy with a hearty handshake.)
We know it’s hard for clients who have invested considerable time, money and effort into a brand new website to realise that Kevin Costner is the only person who can “Build it and they will come”. For those of us not living in a Field of Dreams, we need to keep all our digital marketing fresh, inviting, and interesting. Otherwise, the website rankings will drop as both customers and search engines lose interest in a statis, never-changing website and drift away elsewhere. (If you’re struggling with keeping your content current, by the way, we can help.)
The “Keep It Simple, Stupid” principle isn’t about dumbing down your business information. It’s about making it accessible, understandable, digestible. We hope that’s what our blogs do for SEO, website design, analytics and all the other stuff we write about.
Here's an example. The UK poet Michael Rosen overheard a conversation between and boy and his grandfather on a train**. The 4 year old is trying to read the moving LED sign giving travel information.
Boy: What are they saying, Grandad?
Grandad (reading) “Customers are reminded to take care of their bags and possessions to prevent crime, when travelling.”
Boy: What does that mean?
Grandad: Watch your bags or they might get pinched***.
It’s personal, punchy and to the point. Do the same in your copy and customers reading it will get your message quickly and easily. Try it!
Help from Akira
If you’d like to get a grip on your digital marketing, call Akira Studio. We can help in all sorts of ways, from making your website mobile friendly to writing your social media posts for you.
** We wish we’d found this ourselves, but we didn’t. Here’s who did! http://quietroom.co.uk/general/grandad-train/