With a new business year upon us now is a good time to review your company’s online presence and start planning your digital marketing for 2019. Firstly, have a think about how things have gone over the last 12 months. If you’re not happy with your current online presence, you’ll need to make some changes. My tips can help you do just that.
It all starts with a digital marketing plan
Proper planning is key to the success of any digital marketing strategy (or any other strategy for that matter). So, take the time to sit down and map out what you want to achieve in 2019 and how you’re going to make it happen. That means setting out the different activities you intend to carry out – blogging, email marketing, SEO, social media and so on – and when you’re going to do them.
Next, have a think about budgets. Unless you have the time and skills to do everything yourself, you’ll need to outsource some services. Get in touch with people who can help, such as digital marketing consultants and source some quotes.
1. Review your website
Your website is the hub of all your online marketing strategies. The ultimate goal of all your other activities is to get people to click through to your site, find out more about your business and (hopefully), get in touch and/or buy from you. Your website is essentially the ‘shop window’ for your business – literally so if you’re in the e-commerce game – so it’s imperative that it makes a great first impression and gives out the right messages.
When you’re working in your business day in, day out, it can be hard to see the wood for the trees when you’re reviewing your own website. That’s why it often makes sense to get someone else to do it, so they can provide objective feedback on what’s working well and what needs improving. Of course, you can carry out your own website review if you prefer, in which case areas to consider include:
- First impressions – can people see at a glance what you do and quickly understand the products or services you provide?
- Design – does the look and feel of the site reflect the nature of your business? Is it modern and up to date or looking a bit tired?
- Interactivity – how easy is it for people to interact with your site, e.g. by watching a video about your business, requesting a quote or sending an enquiry?
- Content – is this clear, concise and well-written? Are your key search terms included in your website content? Is there too little content, too much or just enough?
- Navigation – how easy is it for people to move between different pages and find what they’re looking for?
- Speed – how quickly do your pages load?
- Mobile-friendliness – can people viewing your site on a smart phone or tablet get the same experience as those using a PC?
- The competition – are your competitors doing things on their website that you should be doing, or vice versa?
- Is your website GDPR compliant?
Answering these questions honestly will help you work out what needs to change in 2019 to improve your site, so it offers the best possible visitor experience.
2. Don’t have a website yet?
Well, you’re not alone as quite a few smaller businesses are in the same boat. But it really is important to have one if you want your company to succeed. You can work away on every other digital marketing activity under the sun, but without a website you’re unlikely to see good results.
We’ve established that you need a decent website. But even the best site in the world won’t get you any business if no one can find it. So, have a think about how you can get your business found online. If you can afford it, maybe a Pay Per Click campaign should be considered?
3. There are however lots of other things you can do without breaking the bank to improve your online presence in 2019
- Researching the right keywords and weaving them into your content. What words and phrases might a potential customer enter into a search engine when they’re looking for your type of business? If you’re not sure, there are plenty of keyword research tools that can help you find search terms that resonate with your target audience.
- Improving your page titles and meta data. Update your page titles to include your key search terms, preferably at the beginning of the title. Also review the meta data – tags, page descriptions and so on – in the back end of your website (i.e. Content Management System) to make sure these are keyword-rich.
- Keeping your site up to date with interesting, relevant and content optimised for search results. You’ll already have audited your existing content as part of your website review, so you’ll know what needs to be changed or updated. But the process doesn’t end there. Put a content calendar in place for reviewing and updating your main page content (especially products and services) and uploading good quality blog posts. And don’t neglect other kinds of content. Videos, animation, infographics etc. will all help engage your audience and improve your SEO rankings.
- Linking to your site regularly from your social media pages and encouraging your followers to like and share your content.
- Listing your business on Google My Business and other business directories and keeping your details up to date.
4. Social media Marketing
Consider the platforms you currently use and if these are right for your business. Are there other social media channels that could work well for you? For example, if your company is product-based, it makes sense to post images of your products on visual sites like Instagram.
Your customers’ demographics are important, too. Social media trends are constantly changing, and your target audiences could change with them. So, research the platforms your potential customers are using the most.
Once you’ve determined the right social media platforms, put a plan in place for the kind of content you’ll be posting and how often – and stick to it. And remember to make whatever you post interesting and relevant to your target customer base.
5. Explore email marketing
Email marketing is a good way to engage with your existing customers and acquire new ones. Tools like MailChimp are easy to set up and use – and they’re free, up to a set number of contacts and daily emails, making them perfect for smaller businesses.
To get started with email marketing, you’ll need a GDPR-compliant mailing list. Once your contacts are in place, design your email template (or hire someone like me to do it for you) and you’re ready to go.
Of course, content is key for all kinds of customer communications and emails are no exception. So, make sure your email shots are interesting, readable and helpful. And don’t forget to add links to your website. A good tactic is to summarise your latest couple of blog articles and then link through to the full post using a ‘teaser’ so the customer wants to know more. Try and include special or exclusive offers too.
In terms of frequency, one or two emails a month is usually enough as you don’t want to overdo it. But whatever frequency you choose, make sure you commit to it, so you can maximise audience engagement and achieve the best results.
6. Review your activities regularly
To get the most from your digital marketing activities, you’ll need to analyse them regularly to identify what’s working well and what could be improved. Tools such as Google Analytics and social media insights can be very helpful in this respect. Your email marketing platform should have a reporting function, too, so you know how many people have opened your messages and clicked on links.
By monitoring how your digital marketing is performing, you can make those all-important tweaks throughout the year to give yourself the best chance of success.
Not sure where to start? Imagine Digital Marketing can help
Work with me and you’ll get a fully-costed digital marketing plan that delivers the results you want. From helping out with strategy to providing a complete, outsourced marketing services package, there are lots of ways working with me could benefit your business.
To find out more, why not book a FREE one hour consultation today? Give me a call on 01636 922 747 or contact me online, and let’s get your digital marketing plans in place for 2019.
Chartered Marketer and CIM Fellow offering a personal and tailored web consultancy service to UK business owners and self-employed professionals. I formed Imagine Digital Marketing in December 2016 and I really enjoy helping my clients make the most of online opportunities.