Are You Wearing Too Many Hats? A Guide to Digital Marketing
When building your digital marketing strategy, there are several moving pieces that need to come together to achieve your goals. All must work as seamlessly as possible. We know how little time you have and want to make your digital marketing efforts as easy as possible, while gaining the best results. This guide will give you an idea of what to keep at the top of your list for the best digital experience for your potential customers. Within each section, you’ll find that you can dive deeper to gain more information for your efforts.
Your website is the place where your potential customers will learn the most about you, and your home page is your first impression. It’s important to know how your visitors are getting to your website as well as what their goals are once they’re there. Mapping your buyer’s journey is a great first step toward making sure your information and calls-to-action are in appropriate places throughout their experience.
The end goal is a conversion—so as you lead your prospects through your pages, remember they need to be convinced that you’re the right decision for them. They’re not thinking about how they want to convert, but weighing options to make the best decisions for their needs. It’s key to show them that you’re the solution.
As a key part of your digital marketing strategy, your website has to meet the expectations of your users and be up-to-date—otherwise, you’ll lose engagement and leads.
Developing content—through blogs, photos, and videos—gives your prospects reasons to believe in what you have to offer. Your content provides value and resources; and builds trust between the searchers and your brand. When you create content for your website, it should cover topics that your customers are interested in as well as areas your business has expertise. The people who come to your website don’t want to see content that can’t be backed up by your value propositions.
All content should fit within your brand, and it’s best to plan ahead. Create a content calendar to take your content ideas and plug them into a timeline that makes sense for your audience. Think about future events, promotions, or activities that would inspire good topics for content pieces. It’s best to be consistent with how often you’re producing content.
Social media is a great place to start engaging with your audience. You can use your social media accounts as extensions of your brand to interact with people in a more casual setting. In the social space, there are several pieces to take into consideration. When creating your pages, you want the look and feel of your brand to be consistent across all channels. On top of that, you only want to use channels that your potential customers are using. There’s no reason to be on Instagram if you won’t meet your audience there. Do your research before jumping into social account creation.
Your social strategy should revolve around engaging with your audience. All actions should be with the intention of getting your audience to do something that gets them one step closer to converting. That can be anything from hosting an event, to sharing an offer, to posting images that emphasize your property’s benefits and culture—all to build trust in your business. Using social to share content you’ve posted to your website is a great way to get the content out there and meet your audience where they’ll read it. A mix of information about your business, culture images, and story sharing is a great starting point for your social media strategy.
Tracking the success of your digital marketing efforts isn’t just looking at numbers and making guesses. It’s taking those numbers and analyzing them to find out what is performing best and what needs to go. The data will show you how to move your digital strategy forward, with the right content delivered in the right channels—and show you marketing activities that are no longer helpful.
Analyzing your data means looking into your analytics and seeing how the traffic has changed based on efforts you’ve made, where is that traffic coming from, and how many people are leaving your website once they land on a certain page (bounce rate). Once you start gaining that information, you can make marketing decisions based on where people go, what they like to engage with, and how long they’re sticking around.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The world of SEO can be a challenging one to navigate: Not just because there are many different layers to how your strategy comes together, but also because the necessary pieces are constantly changing. It’s crucial to stay up-to-date with the latest SEO trends and Google’s changes (typically, more than 500 algorithm changes a year). There are, however, a few simple steps you can take to get the basics of your SEO in place.
Optimizing your title tags is a great way to gain keyword traction and get yourself off to a good start. Each title tag should be specific to the page you’re optimizing. Ideally, all pages have title tags; but if your time is limited, start with the most important pages (and the pages you want ranked). Additionally, make sure your website and all of its pages are up-to-date with the latest Google requirements. These include site speed, proper use of HTML, user experience, and mobile responsiveness. And finally, don’t just create content to create content. Search engines will know what you’re up to. Useful, relevant, and audience-specific content is the way to get search engines on your side and rank higher in the results.
With everything else you have going on and little time on your hands, digital marketing efforts can seem like an overwhelming task to take on. The key is to break each piece into bite-sized pieces and take them one step at a time.