Every entrepreneur knows that they should be using digital marketing to grow their business but many are intimidated by the jargon and complexity of the industry. Each of the points below only skim the surface of what is possible but they will give you some guidance and food for thought.
1. Define business goals
Whilst it sounds so simple, the biggest mistake companies make when investing in digital marketing is not to have a clearly defined set of business goals.
Ask yourself the following questions and until you have the answers you should not be spending a single cent:
- What are we trying to achieve as a business?
- What can we afford to pay per sale?
- Who is going to manage this project from start to end?
- What does success look like?
- How much marketing budget are we going to spend?
2. Set up Google Analytics
Google provides a number of free tools to help you succeed on the web. The most useful is Google Analytics (GA). It is imperative that every single website has GA installed and configured correctly.
GA enables users to measure the success of each digital channel. There is no point investing money in a channel if you cannot understand how many sales that channel has provided.
Every time a customer completes a transaction on your site they should be shown a thank you page. Firstly set up your GA account, then create a GA goal and place the code on to your thank you page. This code will fire every time a transaction is completed, registering a goal completion in Analytics. You can then log into Analytics, look at the conversion report and see which channel (SEO, AdWords, Facebook, etc) has provided the most conversions for your product/service.
3. Email database
Every company should be building an email database. This will consist of people that have either bought or are interested in your company’s products/services. Your email database will drive your cheapest possible cost per acquisition as you are marketing to people who have already used or shown interest in your product/service.
It is important to always obey the latest privacy laws regarding email. To brush up on your knowledge you can find them here.
You should email your database enough to maintain contact but not so much that they decide to unsubscribe. When deciding if to send an email consider if the content that you are providing will be interesting and informative to your users. If the answer is yes, send it. Emailing uninformative information more than once a month is likely to lead to a large number of users unsubscribing.
4. Search engine optimisation (SEO)
SEO will always provide your second cheapest cost per acquisition after email and is an essential part of any digital strategy. Google’s algorithm is extremely complicated. However, it can be distilled into three basic parts: technical, onsite content and links.
If you do not have the budget to hire a specialist SEO agency you can still improve your SEO rankings.
Google loves fresh content. You should be blogging as much as you possibly can about your chosen industry and then posting links to your content on your social channels (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn).
Google also loves high quality, contextually relevant sites linking to your website. Your first stop for links should be to ask your existing partners/clients to link back to your website. Next make a list of every software/digital supplier that you use and offer to write them a testimonial if they link to your site.
Signing up for a MOZ subscription will provide a great starter toolset to guide you on how to improve your site for technical SEO.
5. Paid media (Google AdWords, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn)
The type of product/service that your business offers will define which of these mediums will work best for you. In most cases Google AdWords and Facebook adverts will provide your highest return on investment.
The key to all paid media is ensuring that it’s tracked correctly so that you can measure your ROI. In addition to Google Analytics tracking, each form of paid media will have its own conversion pixel. It’s absolutely essential to install each of the medium’s tracking pixel on your thank you page. Not only will it count the number of conversions, but it will also allow you to optimise the campaign towards the best performing keywords, demographic or advert.
Retargeting should also form part of your paid media strategy. In its simplest form, a user visiting your website is cookied. You can then retarget the users that do not buy your product/service with a message encouraging them to do so.
If you take one message away from this blog post it should be that business planning and tracking return on investment are the most important digital marketing factors. If digital marketing acronyms leave you confused check out my list of meanings here.
Tom Sadler is sales and marketing director at indigo digital.
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