If you have been trying to use digital marketing as means to boost your revenue, how have the results been? If they are positive then we congratulate you, however, if you have thus far been frustrated by the lack of positive results, then please do not be too upset. In truth, according to Slinky SEO Agency you are one of many business owners who have found digital marketing has not provided you will the ROI you were expecting…yet!
The ‘yet’, is all-important because one of the great features of digital marketing is no matter how far from hitting the goals set for it a campaign might seem, there are plenty of ways to turn it around. To achieve that, one of the first things you must do is assess the current status of your digital marketing and in particular identify what reasons it may not yet be firing on all cylinders.
For many business owners, this can be an awkward process as many of the failings may point directly at them. We ask you to go through this process with an open mind and not be reticent about admitting you have gone wrong. Better to identify where the problems are, fix them, and look forward to improved results, than to bury one’s head in the sand. Here are 10 reasons your digital marketing might need a revamp.
Any small business which is not using email marketing as part of its overall sales and marketing strategy is missing out on a hugely effective means of communicating with its prospects and customers. More than that, it is highly likely that their completion is using email marketing and thus gaining a considerable advantage over them.
What makes this scenario even more regrettable is that email marketing is not difficult and is made easy due to the number of excellent email marketing tools, software and services that are available. These allow you to create and manage email marketing campaigns all within one interface, and most of them can be automated for maximum effect and efficiency. Here are 7 of them, that can all provide a huge return on investment given their low cost.
As one of the oldest and most popular email marketing tools available Aweber has been responsible for helping businesses generate billions of dollars in sales via email marketing. It is one of the easiest email tools to get started with and has several ways to help small businesses create and implement a successful email marketing campaign. List management, email templates, autoresponders, segmentation, A/B testing and tracking are just a few of its many features.
This is another extremely popular and well-established email service that makes email marketing for any small business as simple a process as there can be. It has plenty of email automation tools which include a drag and drop campaign builder, autoresponder, list management and list segmentation so that you can send a precisely targeted email to specific subscribers. GetResponse can also integrate with other services and tools including SalesForce, Zen Desk and Google Docs.
Whether you personally carry out your business website’s SEO, it is done by someone else in-house, or you employ the services of an external SEO consultant, in all three scenarios, it is Google’s rules that you are playing by. If their rules have a preference for something, it should be done, if there is something that they don’t like, it needs to be avoided where ever possible.
One such area to be aware of is in relation to what Google considers spam. In particular, Google has a spam filter, whose main purpose is to weed out spam content and activities, and the websites who are creating it. At this point it is important to make the distinction between poor content and spam content or tactics.
Poor content is simply content that is written badly, difficult to consume or which simply does not give any visitor a positive experience. This may create some issues in relation to ranking with specific metrics like the time visitors stay on your website being noted by Google as being poor. They may push down your websites ranking on the SERPs, but you would not be flagged as having used spam.
Social media activity continues to grow at an astonishing rate, with billions of tweets and mentions a day. This is no indicator that email activity is declining, in fact in the over 55 age group, email usage is actually increasing.
Yet there are examples of companies stopping email marketing altogether in favour of only using social media to communicate with their customers. In our recent round table we discussed whether email marketing was going to be replaced by social media.
People’s interaction with email is ever-changing, whereas once there was a ‘right’ time or day to send an email marketing campaign, it isn’t that simple anymore. People read emails multiple times, they triage them and decide to read them in more depth later, they read long emails on their smartphones during their commute, they read business emails on the weekend. All of these behaviours have occurred in the last few years, and break all the pre-existing ‘rules’ of email marketing.
fad –noun: a temporary fashion, notion, manner of conduct, etc, especially one followed enthusiastically by a group.
trend –noun: the general course or prevailing tendency; style; vogue.
game changer –colloquialism: an innovation that changes or redefines business.
It’s difficult to browse the media today and not read about a new technology, product or application in this ever-advancing online world. Whether it’s a new “i” this or a new “smart” that, it can be a bit daunting to try to make sense of each new development and how it might impact our business (or not).
The goal of this blog is to highlight new technologies, products and applications and discuss their potential impact on the way we do business, always asking the question: Is this just a passing fad, a new trend or will it change the game as we know it? Hopefully as a result, we can spark some great conversations.
So let’s begin with Apple’s recently announced iCloud. First of all, what’s a cloud or, as it’s more commonly referred to, cloud computing? Simply put, it’s a secure, online environment where you can access your applications and data from any network-connected device, such as a computer, smart phone or tablet. In other words, rather than storing files on your devices, you store them in the cloud for better accessibility and security.
More and more web users are browsing online from the mobile devices, hence the need for responsive web design. More than ever before, websites are being viewed from devices with screens as small as eight centimetres in width, resulting in frustrating experiences for many users when a website will simply not display as a functional document.
Smartphones in particular have gained in popularity in the past few years, and these small screened but highly capable devices are now the central internet browsing choice for millions of users. In fact, many people no longer use a computer to go online, but complete all of their business and pleasure activities solely on their smartphones.
The challenge then for web designers and website developers is to create a website that caters to both traditional computer users as well as those who are browsing from mobile devices like smartphones and iPads. When mobile devices first started attracting the attention of developers, many selected to simply create two versions of a website: one for computer users, another for mobile users. However, this resulted in duplicate content, of which more than ever before is now frowned upon excessively by the search engines. Additionally, running what is essentially two separate websites is simply not feasible or logical, particularly for larger sites, which is why responsive web design makes sense.
There are many business owners who have a sound knowledge of online marketing or have marketing staff that do, and often that includes Google Ads. For this reason, they will embark on a Google Ads campaign, and despite their best efforts, it does not bring the expected results. We won’t go into all the reasons why that might be, but instead, make some comparisons between using an in-house team to manage Google ads, and a digital agency, which is likely to shed more light on the failures.
The first benefit of a digital agency that manages Google Ads campaigns every day, is that they will be fully aware of the changes that are happening within Google. Trying to keep up with Google is almost a full-time job itself, and unless you can keep tabs on new developments in relation to Google Ads you will be left behind.
Not only do Google change some of the rules from time to time, but they periodically add and remove elements of Google Ads. Some of these are short-term trials, and others are more comprehensive. Examples include local search ads on maps, demographics for search and right-hand ads being removed, to name but three. With Google Ads continually evolving, a PPC management company will keep you ahead of your competition who are relying on their in-house team.
Social Media is a hot topic in marketing, almost every conversation I have about digital turns into a social media discussion these days. I also find that while a large number of companies have started social media marketing, many companies don’t know where to start. I’ve had many discussions in the last few months where senior executives admit they know they need to do something but they don’t know what.
I firmly believe that social media is what the web will become and in most ways what the web was designed to be. The web is still in it’s infancy and the how we connect online with the real world will continue to develop. Companies need an integrated digital strategy that includes social media as a central component to ensure they meet the developing needs and behaviours of the modern customer.
The various discussions about social media have led me to outline the key items every company should consider when defining their social media strategy.
1. Set your objectives
The biggest mistake organisations make is not knowing what they are trying to achieve with social media. They do it because they see other companies doing it or because they want to be the first in their sector or niche to use social media. Social Media can be used for a multitude of reasons including positioning, lead generation, sales, customer service and marketing (in the fullest sense), amongst others. But if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there. Make sure your social media objectives align with your business objectives before you set off on your exciting new journey.
2. Define what success looks like
I can’t overstate the importance of defining success, it’s the only way to understand whether you are achieving your desired objectives. You must set targets for each of your business objectives and then set the metrics that you will use to measure these targets. A customer service cost reduction objective may have metrics such as the volume of queries resolved through social media, the reduction in queries offline and net cost reduction. All of which will show whether you are moving towards your overall target.