A new year is a great time for evaluation of current strategies and practices in many areas of our lives. If you’re part of a small business or organization, take some time over the next few weeks to think about your marketing strategy goals to ensure that you’re ready to start the new year.
Today, as always, the primary role of marketing is to attract visitors, convert them into potential leads, assist sales personnel in closing them as clients, and keep them coming back. But in our current landscape, customers are moving away from consuming traditional media and are depending more on the digital world. And so, we must ensure that we’re utilizing the most impactful online marketing technology to reach our customers where it really matters. While there are many tools in the digital marketing landscape, we’ve narrowed it down to 7 fundamental ones for your 2019 marketing strategy.
Take a hard look at your website. Is it stuck in the 2000s? The foundation of your business’s online presence and your digital marketing strategy is your website.
Website development begins with defining the essence of the organization and identifying your “brand.” Deciding what to put on a website requires knowing your competitive advantage. The next step is to develop a plan to ensure that the information posted on your website aligns with your organization’s “why” and that your message is consistent across all branding and marketing materials. For more information, see blog post, “Websites: You Get What You Pay For.”
How does having a website help your marketing?
Your website is the face and foundation of your digital brand. It’s where your customers learn about who you are, what you can offer, and how to contact you for their needs. An effective website strings all your digital marketing efforts together and supplies your business with leads, conversions and a loyal audience.
Once you’ve developed a website for your business, you need to create paths which lead your customers to your online base. Check out our recommendations below that will direct traffic to your website and your business.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization, also known as SEO, is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine. Many factors determine why a certain site appears higher than others on a search results page, including: use of relevant key words, quality of website content, how often content is updated, and more.
How does SEO direct customers to your website?
SEO serves as an organic path for your customers to follow to your website. By being well-ranked on both common and uncommon searched terms, your potential customers see your website every time they’re looking for anything related to your business.
Digital Listings Management
Digital Listings Management ensures your business information is up to date across all the platforms where it has a presence. An estimated 40% or more of businesses have at least one incorrect online listing. This service identifies listing opportunities for your specific business or organization and completes any previously missing information clients may be searching for.
How will Digital Listings Management attract customers?
Inaccurate information online costs your business sales. Streamlined, accurate, and custom communications are essential to improving customer's ability to find your business when searching for it on internet. By maintaining consistent, correct and up-to-date information across multiple 3rd party sites, you’re making your business easy to find, credible and optimized for search engines.
Paid Advertising Management
Google processes 40,000 search queries per second! Help potential customers find you by creating a Google Ads campaign. Paid search ads, also known as Pay Per Click (PPC) ads, act as online billboards for your business which live within search engines and other partner websites. With paid advertising, you can also target specific locations, times of day, and more to ensure your target audience sees your ads. Learn more about why Google Ads are an essential part of your marketing strategy.
How will paid search bring your website visitors?
Paid search is an aggressive way for your business to target driven customers who are interested in your product or company. With the help of PPC ads, your business is put in front of countless relevant customers who may be ready to buy.
Your online content consists of everything in blog articles, social media posts and other digital assets. Quality content answers questions your customers have and establishes your brand as a unique resource on your topic and an industry thought leader.
How does content impact your website?
Content is the heart of the overall marketing engine. If content is not updated regularly to be timely and relevant, current and potential customers will cease to be engaged. Fresh content increases authority potential, gives more opportunities to highlight keywords, and leads to more frequent indexing by search engines.
Social Media Management
Social media is more than just a platform for people to connect and interact socially. It’s also a powerful business tool which helps you be discovered and actively engage with your audience. For B2C businesses, we recommend utilizing Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. On the other hand, we recommend utilizing LinkedIn, Facebook, Google My Business and Twitter for B2B businesses.
How does social media help with your digital marketing?
Social media increases traffic to your website, improves search engine rankings, and provides a way to engage with current and potential customers. Like paid search ads, it also gives you a platform for advertising your brand to a relevant audience. For more information on the importance of social media and choosing the best platforms for your small business or organization, see blog post “Which Social Media Platforms are Right for YOUR Business.” Also check out the Social Media Cheat Sheet for #Marketing for a great overview of the top platforms.
Reputation management consists of observing and acquiring feedback from your customers across social networks, search engines and review platforms. More specific tasks include sentiment analysis across online platforms, engaging with negative reviews and encouraging positive reviews.
How can reputation management help with your Digital Marketing?
Customers are your most important source of feedback. Their ratings and reviews impact how search engines and other customers make decisions about your brand every day. Reputation Management generates authentic, first-party reviews directly from your customers, which may help you stand out in today's new search experiences. By knowing when new reviews are posted about your business – positive or negative - you can build customer loyalty or address opportunities for improvement. In other words, “Put the best version of your business on the map.” (https://impactgroupmarketing.com/Services/Digital-Marketing/Reputation-Management )
Next steps in 2019. Now it’s time to consider whether you want to tackle these marketing components internally or seek outside help. For small businesses with limited time and resources, doing a few things great might be better than trying to stretch yourself too thin and end up doing everything poorly. Remember that you don’t have to be an expert in everything and it’s okay to ask for help in areas you’re not an expert in. Evolve Impact Group is ready and willing to help with any or all of these. “Technology is the [new] interface of marketing.” Contact us today for more information about any of our services.
Boyarsky K. The beginner’s guide to small business marketing online. HubSpot [online]. Updated 4 Apr 2018 [accessed 9 Dec 2018]. https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/small-business-marketing-guide
Eastlack S. 5 Fundamentals of small business marketing. Surefire local [online]. [accessed 9 Dec 2018]. https://www.surefirelocal.com/blog/2015/04/5-fundamentals-of-small-business-marketing/
HubSpot. Essential tools for business growth [online]. [accessed 10 Dec 2018]. https://www.hubspot.com/growth-stack/essential-tools