By Clair Heaviside, co-founder of Manchester-based agency Serotonin
Digital marketing can seem complicated when you’ve got an enormous to-do list and a never ending flow of emails and zoom calls, but it’s worth SMEs getting to grips with it if they are to make the most of the many opportunities available.
Here, Clair Heaviside, co-founder of Manchester-based agency Serotonin discusses her top ten tips for maximising the potential of your digital marketing strategy.
- Knowing your customer in the first place
Get to know your existing customers inside out as this will inform virtually everything else you do. What are their habits and behaviours? What is their most common route to purchase? Why do they buy from you or use your services? Is it because of your excellent customer service or your unbeatable prices? Use these insights to identify potential new customers as well as drawing existing customers back in for repeat business. A good place to start is Google Analytics, particularly if you have a transactional website. Aim to activate this as soon as you launch a new website, but it’s never too late to switch it on.
- Diversify your channels
With so many channels to consider it can be confusing trying to figure out which ones to use, but a multi-channel strategy is advisable for most. As the old adage goes, it’s best not to put all your eggs in one basket. Most objectives tend to be diverse and so the channels should be too. They should be complementary, working together to provide maximum impact and clarity of message, as opposed to having channels working in silos as this can dilute the results. A joined-up approach will always come out on top.
- Platform capabilities
Each platform offers unique capabilities. Have a play around with them to get to grips with the various features on offer and to make the most of each one. The mainstream social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter regularly update their offering – being present on them is the best way to keep track of these. Through utilising these, you can communicate your key messages using lots of distinct, interesting and engaging formats. Remember that different demographics are present on different social media platforms, so appearing on the correct platform to help engage and connect with your target audience is important. Which platform you use will also depend on what you’re offering, and what your objectives are.
- Plan, measure and evaluate
Set goals and KPIs using the SMART method: Set, Measure, Achievable, Realistic and Timed. This will help you to see the bigger picture and also to carefully track your progress.
- Analyse and test
Analytics are your friend. Use the data to understand where elements of the campaign may be under-performing and make changes as applicable. Split testing, or A/B testing, is a great way to discover what works best and you can do this across landing pages, email subject lines, advert copy, etc, to help define your digital marketing strategy and tactics.
- Fresh relevant content
This one speaks for itself! Ensure you’re consistently putting out relevant, new and engaging content. How often you need to refresh content changes across organic and paid, where the learning periods are longer. But the last thing you want is your brand to become fatigued and tune people out.
- Be consistent in campaign design
Your audience will recognise your brand more quickly if you abide by the rules of consistent design. This doesn’t mean putting the exact same designs out over and over again, rather you should ensure each of your digital marketing campaigns are fluid in their style and tone. Use a set colour palette and theme to communicate effectively
- Make it easy for your customers to champion you
Create brand ambassadors and entice them to make referrals. Publish content they want to share or reward them for sharing and they’ll open up their audiences to you. Building a community of like-minded people is the most authentic route to rapid organic brand growth.
- Be trendy
It pays to stay on top of industry trends particularly when it comes to content creation. But don’t forget to monitor search trends too, as there you can identify shifts in public priorities or behaviours. See how this aligns with your campaigns or brand to enable you to be reactive and responsive.
- Be brave
You can undertake testing at a relatively low cost with digital channels, so why wouldn’t you have a go at mixing things up? Some things will work better than others, so double down on those, and analyse just as closely the ones that didn’t. There is always something new to learn.