There is no doubt that digital marketing is the key to success if you are planning to get your brand out there in the market and compete with the big guns.
But again, what concerns a lot of business owners and marketers is, ‘How do I get started?’
That’s why we thought of putting our ultimate list of digital marketing tips for small businesses spelling out the steps that can be followed for a successful campaign. The checklist is divided into 4 categories or as we call it the marketing mix:
- Website Optimization (CRO)
- Online Advertising
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Social Media Marketing (SMM)
Now before you jot down the marketing checklist, make sure you master the;
- Digital marketing trends you should be following in 2018
- Best digital marketing practices for effective marketing
1. Website Optimization / Conversion Rate Optimization
It is the process of using controlled experimentation to improve a website’s ability to drive increased goal completions. It involves testing and implementing various user behavior and data driven techniques for better presentation of the website.
Optimize your website for conversions even before getting your prospects into the sales funnel
Website Optimization Checklist:
- If you haven’t updated your website from a long time, it’s time to do it. Have a clean, modern and responsive website. Consider using a CMS like WordPress, so that it’s easy for you to manage and make changes whenever needed.
- Setup on-page and local SEO ( Learn from the ultimate on-page SEO cheat sheet )
- Have a blog on the website and make sure that the content is churned out on a regular basis.
- Position your call-to-actions at appropriate places ( Learn the science behind call-to-actions and conversions )
- Optimize your website for better load time and speed
- Use more images and visual content on the website
- Optimize user flow and website architecture
Here is the step-by-step procedure to optimize your website for 300% more conversions.
2. Online Advertising / Ad Campaigns
It is the process of putting out a company’s promotions and collaterals through paid channels like AdWords, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, etc. to reach out to a targeted segment of audience. This involves various steps like competitor analysis, building audience lists, campaign setup, campaign maintenance, etc.
You need to advertise to reach out to your customers. Sooner the better!
Online Advertising Checklist:
- Only advertise on relevant channels. Easiest way of recognizing channels is by following where your competitors are promoting. If you have money to spare, you can try spyfu.com or semrush.comwhich will eliminate the manual work involved in the process.
- Use camel case for your ad headlines. Never use uppercase, it freaks-out people.
- Include your focus keyword in the headline without miss, it helps people understand your product or service offered.
- Keep your copy straight and convincing. There is no beating around the bush when you are spending money to get people to your website.
- If you are planning to do banners and responsive ads, make sure you pick the right image, do the right design and communicate well.
- Be conservative with your budgets. You don’t have to outbid your competitors all the time for more impressions, outbid them only at that time of the day or the week when the ads convert the most.
- Go with the data, not with your guts. Do some research and understand your target audience, optimal delivery time, competitors, best bid strategies, conversions, etc. and act accordingly.
- Always track and monitor the campaigns. It will help you in bettering your future campaigns.
3. Search Engine Optimization:
The process of optimizing your website and brand for better ranking on the search engine results page (SERP). It involves various steps like keyword research, copy optimization, on-page and off-site optimizations, etc.
It’s worth investing time, money and resources in SEO. It pays off when it kicks in!
Search Optimization (SEO) checklist:
- Churn out content for your business regularly on your blog, social media pages and content syndication sites.
- Target only one keyword for each piece of content that goes out. Don’t be greedy, you cannot rank for all the keywords you plug-in.
- Content quality is very important. Never put up second quality content, there is a Google’s algorithm called “Fred” which is gatekeeping the quality of content. Learn more about Fred from here.
- List your business and website on local directories if you are targeting local customers and businesses.
- Build quality backlinks and ping backs. One of the best ways of doing this getting some PR for your business and guest authoring on other websites. You can also try influencer marketing if that works for your business.
- Ask your customers to leave positive reviews and feedback on Google Maps, Yelp, Facebook, JustDial, etc. Google looks for ratings and positive reviews on these websites as one of the ranking factors. As you receive reviews, promote them on social media and respond to the users by thanking them or addressing their issues.
- Optimize your images – give them a name, alt text and plug-in your keywords wherever necessary.
- Submit your website to search engines on a regular basis. If you are using a static sitemap, update the file so that search engines get something new to crawl.
4. Social Media Marketing
It’s a process of promoting your products and services on social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc. to engage, educate, nurture and convert your prospects. It involves steps like content generation, content distribution, targeting, group and community participation, etc.
People are social listening. Be available and active on social media
Social Media Marketing Checklist:
- Plan your social media calendar listing out all the things you should be doing on all your marketing channels. Your calendar should contain different types of content, categories and distribution mediums.
- Create and distribute content that is engaging. If your content is worth sharing, people will start following and remembering your brand.
- Use social media as a nurturing platform, not as a selling medium. People like to follow brands on social media more than buying stuff through social media.
- Build contacts and prospects on social channels, especially if you are using LinkedIn for marketing your products and services.
- People like to hear often from the brands they follow. So, make sure that your churn out content on a regular basis to keep up with your followers.
- Check twice and get it approved by two people before posting anything on social media. Avoid making mistakes, even small mistakes can cause a disaster.
Attracting and finding new customers is not that hard when you can target the right audience, show value proposition through marketing channels, engage them on different mediums and nurture them to believe in what you do.
Integrated digital marketing covering these channels and checklist should help you get started in the right direction, generate leads and traction for your business.
Be inventive while optimizing, Happy marketing!