In Part Three of our “Changing Your Business Model to Survive” series, we will discuss the best digital marketing practices for the optimizing reach and success.
A website provides you the most control over your content and message than any other communication medium. The final visual appeal of your website has plenty to do with how effective and interactive your site will be with your current and future customers. Take your website to the next level by implementing these best practices:
- User Experience: To ensure that your audience can reach you anytime and anywhere, your website must be mobile friendly, and responsive across all screen sizes. Additionally, your website should be easy to navigate, incorporating notable headers, clear calls to action (CTAs), and a visible menu on every page.
- Page Loading Speed: Although content is key for a unique online experience, page loading speed is just as critical. Customers want instant gratification and information; if your website page loading speed is more than 3 seconds, you run the risk of losing online customers. Some common factors for a slow loading website include large media files and coding issues.
- Subscribe Now Form: A great way to continue the conversation with consumers that are interacting with your website is by creating a subscribe now form to capture information on potential and current customers. Consider asking for their name, email address, zip code, and if applicable, birthday and gender. This information will give you the ability to send customizable email marketing campaigns based on their demographics.
A defined social media strategy can help your business create and retain loyal customers, improve website visits and leads, and increase brand awareness. To create a successful social media marketing plan, you must first distinguish which social platform is most used by your customers and target audience. Second, determine which platform best suits your brand; knowing where your customers spend them their time from a digital perspective is keen to maximizing reach and creating an effective plan tailored to your customer’s needs, wants, and behaviors. An effective combination of organic and paid social media can help optimize customer engagement, brand awareness, and return on investment.
To enhance your current organic social media strategy for your organization, considering implementing some these best practices:
- Know Your Audience: Learn how your consumers interact with your brand; understand their wants, needs, and behaviors—and the types of posts to which they react and share.
- Optimize Your Posts: When posting on social media, take into consideration the times and days when your audience is most active to optimize reach and engagement. Utilize hashtags to expand your reach beyond your subscribed followers, and be sure not to overpopulate your newsfeed.
- Establish a Relationship with Your Customers: Use your social media platforms to create a dialog with your audience; the communication should be a two-way street. Respond to and like their comments, and reply in a timely manner to direct messages. Doing this can nurture relationships and build trust.
Once you understand who is interacting with your brand online, you can create a more focused social media strategy which includes paid social media. To create an optimized paid social media strategy, develop an action plan that aligns with your business objectives:
- Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals: Establish your objective and goals, whether it is to increase brand awareness, drive leads and sales, or retain customers. S.M.A.R.T. goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
- Diversify Your Ad Mix: Each platform and post format offers a solution for meeting specific goals and reaching select audiences:
- Facebook look-a-like and targeted ads can strategically expand your reach, re-engage your audience, and increase brand awareness by targeting consumer similar to those who already follow/engage with your brand.
- Instagram videos and images—via promoted and story ads—effectively communicate your brand’s core messages and evoke emotion to inspire action. They also tend to hold an attention span longer than static ads.
- Twitter ads and tweet promoted ads help promote specific tweets or product, services, or promotions. Paid social initiatives on Twitter can be used to increase brand awareness among your current and target audiences, increase website visits, and increase tweet engagement.
- If your business relies heavily on B2B, LinkedIn ads allow you to target based on keywords and audience considerations such as job title, skills, and experience.
- Assess Your Performance: Throughout the duration of your campaign, assess and evaluate the performance, reach, engagement, and conversions of your ads. Monitoring your ads throughout the campaign allows you to adjust and make recommendations to optimize performance.
Effective pay-per-click campaigns (PPC) can provide leads, traffic, and customer engagement almost instantly. Looking to enhance your paid search efforts? Implement these best practices to optimize your success:
- Create a Persona: Know and learn your audience, including their demographics, hobbies, interests, media habits, characteristics, needs, and goals. This assessment will give you a breakdown of who your audience is and assess potential room for growth.
- Create a Google AdWords Account: Google AdWords is the platform used to create PPC campaigns within Google; it enables you to segment your ads by high-level ideas that can then be finely tuned and themed by audience groups and keywords. Through your Google AdWords account, upload your current email database to create a more segmented targeted marketing strategy.
- Research and Set Up Keywords: A helpful tip to selecting keywords is assessing your business/product, competitors, and your key findings from your persona assessment. Ask yourself: Are these words being searched by my audience? Will this create an action? What is my audience searching for?
- Track Your Campaigns: Tracking ad performance helps you meet your goals. You can track your campaigns by analyzing your Google AdWords and Google Analytics accounts. These platforms will provide you with a multitude of information ranging from who is engaging to who is purchasing to who filled out an inquiry.
No matter how much you participate in social media or similar platforms, nothing replaces the personal touch of email communication. Email remains one of the favored communication methods for keeping customers informed and ready to purchase. To create a successful email marketing campaign, start with the following:
- Define the Goal of the Email: What is the singular action you want your audience to take? A simplified, strategic email communication with a clear, prominent, clickable CTA is most effective.
- Create a Targeted List: Segment your email list to align with your email subject matter based on interests/needs, buying habits/past purchases, or the customer’s buying journey. Doing this will allow you to speak directly to your audience with relevant information.
- Create a Compelling & Relevant Subject Line: A few things to avoid in a subject line are excessive punctuation, lengthy subjects, and special characters—these can send your email straight to spam. Keep your subject line under 50 characters, be clear and informative, and never mislead.
- Optimize Deployment: Determine best days and times to send emails based on your target audience, their location, and how they spend their time.
- Evaluate Metrics: As you analyze the results of your email campaign, evaluate your conversions by tracking click thru rates, website visits, clicks, and open rate. Don’t be afraid to re-deploy to non-openers and A/B test content and subject lines to increase conversions.
All you need to get started is an email platform like MailChimp, Constant Contact, or Campaign Monitor. Any of these email platforms will help you digest conversions, including engagement, open rate, click-thru-rate, and more!
It’s All About the Data
Your digital ecosystem is a living, breathing thing; it should be treated as such. The ability to measure and optimize tactics in real time makes digital a leading component of any integrated marketing strategy, but only if consistently reviewed, analyzed, and modified. It’s important to understand the KPIs associated with each medium you employ to ensure appropriate evaluation for maximizing ROI. From there, properly tracking, optimizing, and iterating are inherent to revealing new opportunities for your organization or fostering meaningful relationships with your audience.
We hope our series on “Changing Your Business Model to Survive” shed light on strategies that will enhance your digital marketing practices.
Missed an earlier part of this series? Read Part One here and Part Two here.