Growth is the collective obsession of all business owners. We all want to see our companies thrive, to see our customer base expand, to build our team, develop our services and product lines, to see our reach, influence, and reputation soar. And of course, to watch our profits skyrocket.
The technological revolution and rise of online marketing has given all of us more opportunities than ever before, yet that world of digital possibilities comes at a price: today’s marketing landscape is increasingly competitive.
Enter digital marketing, the techie solution to a constantly evolving business sphere.
Yet with so much scope and so many digital possibilities, it’s difficult for business owners to know which strategies will actually lead to that all-important growth. You need to know your investments are going to produce real-world results. That they will effectively generate greater exposure for your brand, not just putting you in front of people, but the right people, and achieve your marketing goals without wasting your time and resources.
With at 93% of consumers beginning the buying journey with online research, implementing effective digital strategies is not only vital for growth, it’s something modern businesses can’t afford to neglect.
From blogging to email marketing, social media and inbound efforts, there are so many options it can be difficult to know what will actually work. Here are all the best digital marketing practices to help you achieve epic business growth…
Create Highly Shareable, Valuable Content…
Top of the list here is always going to be content marketing, purely because almost every other strategy on this list is impossible without it, and the rest will be far more effective with it. Most companies are aware of the need for content creation. The issue the majority of business owners have is that, while they understand the importance of content marketing, it’s very easy to get it wrong.
Your brand’s content can make or break your business.
Great, high-quality, high-value, consistent content will create a platform to launch your business to the highest levels, and bring the perfect clients directly to you. No more chasing after leads. Just a prosperous and infinitely scalable business. Your brand’s reputation will soar and with it your revenue.
On the flip side, poor, low-quality, low-value, inconsistent content will have the opposite effect: rather than attracting customers, it will repel them.
Getting your content wrong will damage your brand’s reputation and tank your revenue streams.
The best digital marketing practices where content marketing is concerned hinge on ensuring everything you put out there adds value, supports your goals, and positively develops your relationship with your prospects. Underpinning all of this is incorporating strategies that ensure you generate a high return on the substantial investment required to produce a genuinely beneficial content strategy.
The Key To Shareability…
While content strategies can be infinitely complex, the true key to making them effective lies in ensuring every piece of content is as high-value and shareable as possible.
Quality leads to shareability.
The more your content is shared, the wider your reach and influence, the higher your levels of traffic, and the more leads you generate.
More leads means more new busines, higher revenue, and that all-important growth.
Here are a few best practices to ensure maximum value and sharability:
- Create content that taps into the emotions of your audience – people share feelings far more readily than information.
- Check out your competition and their most-shared content – you’re not looking to rip off their ideas, but simply to gauge what your target audience are most likely to find value in and share. You can then work on crafting your own content that taps into to same areas.
- Make your content useful, actionable, and as practical as possible – not only does your audience need to find it helpful, they’re more likely to share it if they know it will be helpful to others.
- Tell stories – over and above everything else crafting an effective brand story, weaving it through all your content, and ensuring every piece of content has a story of its own to tell.
Get Serious About Your SEO…
Amazing search engine optimisation goes hand in hand with effective SEO. Getting your content found is essential, and nothing is more effective at generating organic traffic than SEO.
But SEO is a tricky business and for most companies, something they never truly invest enough in to really reap the rewards. There are a few reasons for this, but the main one is that SEO is a long-game – you need patience, and when you’re hungry for new business this isn’t easily achieved.
Effective SEO, like content marketing, hinges on consistent, high-value, regular content creation. Your website needs frequent updates, not only in the form of blogs, but also static content, and both on-site and off-site strategies. Long-form content is most effective for SEO, and the need to create high-level content in the quantity required to maintain your efforts long enough to generate results is more than a lot of business owners can stomach.
One of the most frustrating parts of offering SEO services is having to explain that the hundreds, if not thousands of pounds a month you’re pouring into your content will pay off, but hasn’t been running long enough to generate that ROI yet.
Too many companies put in a few months and then give up, because they’re not seeing results, and understandably don’t like being told they need to keep at it for another six months before they do.
That’s taking a lot of faith.
We get it, really, we do. I know all of this and still found myself snagging Hazel and asking why we weren’t seeing more leads coming in despite the fact her new SEO strategy had been up and running for two months.
Two whole months!
She just looked at me scornfully until I shut up, and didn’t give me the ‘we need to keep at it for at least six months, probably a year, before we start seeing it pay off’, speech, because she knew that I knew.
I was just frustrated.
SEO is a permanent exercise in frustration for a long while before you start seeing results. But if you get serious about it, really serious, and stick it out, all that frustration and faith will pay off. Take a look at the results Hazel’s strategy generated for a ghostwriting client after six months of consistent effort:
Those first months saw little jumps in progress, after three months there was a jump, but it wasn’t until the six month mark that it really kicked in.
Realistically, you should expect to put out a weekly blog post (ideally of c.2500 words) every week, consistently, for at least six months before you start seeing exactly what SEO can do for you.
Focus On Your Organic Social Media…
With around 70% of clients preferring to use social media as a platform for customer support, and 33% choosing social interactions even over personal phone calls, your social accounts are incredibly important.
Effective social media marketing is usually fairly high on the list of marketing priorities, yet an alarming number of businesses aren’t really getting it right. If you care about remaining competitive and fostering great customer relationships, you need a strong social presence.
If prospects search for you on social sites (and they will) but can’t find you, or discover a lackluster profile, it creates a terrible first impression. Not only that, if they don’t see you as being active and responsive they’re unlikely to take the time to find another means of contacting you, and will instead seek out your competition.
Most businesses make the mistake of viewing social media as a means of promotion, and nothing else. The rise of paid advertising on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube has done nothing to dispel this misconception. Even Pinterest has shifted to a system of rich pins and promotion, and organic social reach is being dismissed as less important.
Worse, the difficulties of achieving great reach organically on social sites has led to many business owners abandoning the pursuit of organic succeeds. Facebook, for example, has seen its organic engagement tank in the last year or two.
Yet organic reach is still achievable with the right tactics, and will create long-term business stability, as well as increasing trust among your social followers. Not only that, effective organic reach will boost the returns you see on any paid marketing you do on the platform. It also gives you access to a wider network. As your followers like and share your content, it will put it in front of their own friends, family, and business contacts.
Though it’s easy to dismiss organic social media as a pipe dream, or a vanity metric, it can still be highly effective when done right. Not only that, with your competitors feeling the same way and ignoring their own organic reach, you have a chance to gain a competitive edge.
Leverage the Power of Social Proof…
A related priority where crucial online marketing practices are concerned is the power of social proof. When it comes to winning the trust of your audience and transforming them into loyal clients nothing can beat social proof. Organic social media efforts go a long way towards this.
People don’t like to invest their money until they’re certain they’re going to get what the want and need. It’s easy for a company to tout the benefits of its own products and services, and these gushing endorsements are quickly quashed. Positive reviews and testimonials are a different kettle of fish.
There’s a reason the likes of Amazon push so hard to generate reviews; buyers are influenced by the actions and opinions of other buyers. Not only does a positive review or testimonial give new prospects confidence in what you’re offering, there is a ‘sheep mentality’ that drives the majority of people to want what they see others already have.
Invest some time in generating and collecting as much social proof as possible, across all your platforms and in multiple forms (text, images, video), and incorporate every one into your content marketing efforts.
Build a Targeted Email List
If you ask any digital marketing expert the what their biggest tip for new businesses is, they will tell you to build an email list right from the very beginning. That’s because the sooner you start doing this, the more potential your company has for growth. That is as true of established businesses as fledgling organisations. Not only does your list allow you to nurture your client relationships, it enables you to directly contact your leads.
No other form of marketing (digital or otherwise) can allow you to market to prospects as directly.
You don’t own your contacts on social media. Unless they subscribe to your list visitors to your site driven by SEO are unlikely to return.
A list gives you a channel you can trust to repeatedly drive sales and build relationships. Even more powerful than social media, your list is forty times more effective at generating customers than Facebook and Twitter (the two giants of the social sphere) combined.
Focus on leveraging your email marketing to stay connected and deliver massive value to your prospects so they turn into happy customers, repeat business, and willing brand ambassadors.
Host Webinars Packed With Value…
Webinars are the digital version of in-person seminars, and can consists of a presentation, Q&A session, demonstration or discussion (among other things). They’re incredibly powerful marketing tools and running them regularly should be part of your ongoing strategy. This doesn’t have to mean frequently – a few high-value and well-promoted webinars a year will get you a lot of mileage – but frequent webinars will serve you better, provided they’re just as high-quality.
A webinar is an incredibly engaging way of interacting with your audience. They creative a high level of interactivity, and have a scarcity factor that makes them very appealing. If you’re smart about them, you can also make them evergreen by recording them and automating them so they’re accessible to people on an ongoing basis. This is amazingly beneficial for list growth and establishing yourself as a thought-leader.
They’re an under-utilised marketing practice that effectively and efficiently achieve several things:
- Create a real-time connection with your audience.
- Answer your prospects’ questions while demonstrating your expertise, and positioning your brand as the go-to authority in your niche.
- Deliver real value your audience will love.
- Make highly targeted sales without resorting to the hard pitch.
- Qualify you’re leads while building strong relationships with them.
- Generate high-quality leads that are perfectly targeted and convert at a high rate.
- Enhance and improve your sales process to create a higher ROI.
Whatever kind of products or services you offer, running webinars will raise their visibility, generate more leads and boost your bottom line.
Optimise For Both Desktop And Mobile Marketing…
A lot of business owners struggle to see the importance of distinguishing between desktop and mobile marketing, beyond an awareness for needing to make their website responsive.
Given that your website is the hub of all your digital marketing efforts, one vital practice your should instigate and review on a regular basis is how your audience are interacting with your site across different platforms.
How people engage with your brand is incredibly important. The way we use websites on desktop is different to how we use them on mobile, which means our experience and view of your business changes from device to device.
Focus on giving your audience a great user experience and they will stay longer, and are more likely to take the action you’re hoping for. The easier your site is to use, the more engaged and connected your audience are.
Monitor how people use your site, which posts and pages are most popular, where and how they take action. The better you understand this – and consider it separately for both desktop and mobile – the more effectively you can optimise and improve your results.
Web Design That’s Conversion-Focused…
While we’re on the subject of websites, it’s vital the design of your website is conversion-focused. It’s easy to get caught in the trap of thinking your conversions come from your ads, or your email marketing, or your social media profiles, but it’s your website that actually does the heavy lifting in the conversion process.
All that other stuff?
It’s designed to drive people to your site.
The majority of your conversions will happen there. It’s where all your fabulous content is hosted, where your sales pages are, where your products are sold, and where everyone finding you through SEO will end up.
There’s a lot that goes into a perfect website, from effective SEO optimisation to a spectacular web developer. But the simplest definition of an amazingly powerful business website is one designed to maximise your conversions.
While the aesthetics of your site are important, the best looking site ever created will do you no good if it doesn’t convert customers. To do that, the design of your site needs to do certain things:
- Include multiple calls to action and points where people have the opportunity to convert – that might mean subscribing to your email list, booking a free consultation, filling in a form, or making a purchase. Including a mix is a good idea, but the most effective long-term strategy is to max out on ‘soft’ conversions that don’t require people to actually buy, but get them on your list so you can nurture the relationship over time without being ‘salesy’.
- Shoot for a design that’s simple, easy to navigate, and doesn’t overwhelm your visitors. A cluttered design will lead to a higher bounce rate and fewer conversions.
- Don’t discount the power of your branding. From images that speak to your ideal clients to the colours used throughout your brand, it all affects your conversion rate. You want colours that are easy on the eyes, even when viewed on mobile devices, and imagery that’s clear, emotive, and responsive. Fonts need to be interesting, legible, and represent the personality of your brand.
Put Our Best Digital Marketing Practices Into Action…
If you’re chomping at the bit to put all of these powerful practices into action, or feel like your existing efforts in these areas aren’t hitting the mark, get in touch. Acrylic specialise in offering effective digital marketing strategies to businesses in Northwich, Cheshire, and throughout the north west. We incorporate all the best digital marketing practices into our plans, and offer a free consultation to all new clients. You’ll get a one-to-one chat to discuss your goals and the possibilities for growth in your business, and a bespoke action plan to make that transformation happen. All free of charge and without obligation. Book below right now…
Acrylic Digital’s co-founder and director Nick Simpson is a marketing magician and the brains behind the business development side of our team. Keeping our customers happy and making sure we deliver maximum ROI to each and every one is a bit of an obsession of his.
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