The rise of the digital era has opened boundless opportunities for businesses of all sizes, giving entrepreneurs the tools to positively impact their success through internet marketing.
Today, business owners can expertly leverage innovative digital marketing tactics and techniques to improve the growth of their organisation, by reaching new customer audiences, promoting their products more successfully, influencing their market reputation, and much more. The flexibility and manageable costs of these digital activities make them particularly attractive for startups to investigate and invest in.
But what are the best practices to follow?
Digital Marketing Tips
To help your business optimise its digital marketing efforts, we've compiled a list of valuable suggestions that will maximise your online efforts in 2020 and beyond.
1. Don’t Neglect Email Marketing
Though many disruptive digital techniques can develop your business, email marketing should remain a significant pillar of your online marketing strategy. Extremely effective at maintaining consistent communication with customers – with an astounding ROI of 3,800%, according to HubSpot – all small businesses will benefit from maintaining and improving this practice.
Be sure to build an accurate email database and distribute a variety of engaging content to these consumer contacts. This should include general brand awareness, details around your product offering, periodic promotions, and exclusive offers. Don’t forget to include calls to action on each communication, too, redirecting readers to your website, eStore, or blog. Finally, be sure to keep on top of the latest trends in email marketing, as this can affect your strategy moving forward.
2. Utilise Influencers
A more innovative technique compared to email marketing, working with digital influencers can help your business stand out from the crowd – especially if it is done well. This form of marketing involves collaborating with social media personalities, who can promote your products or services to their unique and targeted online following.
This method of indirect promotion allows small businesses, in particular, to appear more credible, reputable and attractive to new consumers, and is, therefore, a technique that many startups invest in heavily. It is also a great way to begin your journey into generational marketing.
To know if influencer marketing is the right approach for your business, investigate your target consumers and determine if they are impacted by the digital influencers they follow, either at a macro or micro level. Be sure to thoroughly research any potential influencers that you plan to work with, too.
3. Maintain Your SEO Strategy
Guiding consumer traffic to your website is of the utmost importance in expanding the digital awareness around your brand, especially if it is still up-and-coming. Improving the search engine optimisation (SEO) of your business website is a great way to do this.
Most buyers tend to search for what they are looking for, rather than being influenced directly by ad bombardments. For this reason, being at the top of the results of a Google search gives any business the boost it needs to attract the most attention. In fact, the chances of a user clicking on the first result of a Google search is generally estimated to be around 33%, totalling a third of this potential traffic.
Boost your SEO strategy by creating unique, high-quality content on a regular basis. This keeps your website relevant and will encourage visitors to return frequently. Blogging is an excellent way to do this, consistently refreshing the content available for your readers to consume. Be sure also to use keywords throughout your online content, selecting words that visitors would be likely to search for on each page.
You should also look into the speed with which your website loads – a factor that is recognised by Google’s search algorithm and which significantly impacts your search ranking. Slow sites with high abandonment rates quickly lose popularity. Many website speed and performance optimisation tools are available online, offering business owners site analysis and advice on how to improve their response rates. Making your website mobile-friendly is another way to significantly improve your search engine ranking, capitalising on the substantial amount of inbound traffic from mobile devices.
4. Automate Where Possible
For any budding business, getting weighed down with marketing tasks is not only undesirable; it can also take valuable time away from your team. This is where marketing automation comes in. By adopting software that automates specific, frequently repeated activities, you can post content to social media pages, launch new campaigns, execute email marketing, and track consumer actions taken on your website.
With many pieces of software available, business owners should explore which best suits their unique needs, and complements the capacity and focus areas of their existing team.
5. Balance Organic and Paid Promotion
While the quality of your digital campaign content is incredibly important, your strategy in promoting that content to online audiences is also key. Striking a balance between organic and paid promotion is sure to provide the best outcome, reaching both existing and new consumers, to drive positive brand association and sales.
Techniques for organic promotion, also known as inbound marketing, include social media posting, blogging, customer advocacy activities, search engine marketing, and the production of video content. These practices help build awareness and trust among consumers, at little or no cost. It can prove, however, to yield slow progress, and be challenging to adequately monitor.
Paid promotion, meanwhile, allows business owners to drive awareness and generate demand to a much wider audience, in a shorter time. This can include boosted social media posts, paid social media advertising, banner ads, ad retargeting, and influencer marketing. Its advantages include increased traffic and sales, as well as transparent monitoring and analysis of results – all in exchange for varying costs.
6. Utilise Data
Businesses collect a plethora of data throughout the execution of their digital marketing activities. From website analytics to campaign performance, call to action engagement rates, product sales figures and more, these valuable pieces of information should be used to guide further marketing decisions.
Startups should begin by setting and monitoring relevant marketing KPIs. Accurately capturing the key performance indicators will allow entrepreneurs to evaluate the success of their activities and understand if they are on the way to achieving pre-defined goals, as well as where strategy modifications are required.
In addition to data around KPIs, past sales information and predictive analytics should also be examined thoroughly, to determine further decisions regarding online marketing techniques, budgets, and more.
7. Target Customer Retention
It is well known that the cost of acquiring new consumers is far higher than that of retaining existing buyers. For this reason, focusing on customer retention is vital.
An excellent starting point for influencing consumer loyalty is to ensure a positive customer service experience. Ensure that buyers are offered methods to contact your support team online, for fast and convenient responses to their queries and issues. Use buyer feedback forms to ascertain the quality of your customer service, and listen to your consumers’ opinions on where you need to improve.
You should also focus on maintaining consistent, engaging communication with existing customers. Follow a pre-defined communication plan, leveraging email, push notifications, social media and events to perpetuate your relationship. Ensure that the content of these communications is exciting and adds value to your brand, drawing buyers in for further interactions with – and purchases from – your business.
8. Personalise, Personalise, Personalise
Personalised marketing allows businesses to tailor their marketing and advertising content and delivery to consumers, based on data collected regarding their personal details and preferences. This can be as simple as using consumers’ names in the emails they receive, or a sophisticated as pushing retargeting ad banners to buyers, promoting the products in their abandoned carts.
Typically executed via marketing automation software, personalised marketing secures high customer engagement rates, improving consumers’ experience with your brand, influencing positive brand association and therefore also impacting customer retention.
Be sure to exercise caution when planning your personalisation, however. Consumers increasingly perceive excessive personalised advertising and marketing to be inappropriate, feeling as though they are being monitored too closely for their liking.
Innovative digital marketing practices can help boost the performance of any small business. With industry trends continually shifting, and consumer behaviours persistently developing, entrepreneurs are sure to benefit from adopting new internet marketing tips and tricks in the new year.
Be sure to focus on bolstering various aspects of your strategy, by introducing customer retention techniques, added marketing personalisation, adopting automation and thoroughly utilising available data, to see your business attain the pinnacle of success in 2020!
What other key digital marketing tips would you suggest this year? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!