If you’re not sure why you need a digital marketing strategy, then you’re in the right place!
Digital marketing can be a very tricky thing to navigate.
A digital marketing strategy is a plan that outlines how your business will achieve its marketing goals via online channels like search and social media.
Digital marketing covers many forms such as social media to email marketing, website SEO and strategy. In practice, any marketing which uses electronic devices is digital marketing.
Luckily, there are lots of tools and resources available to help small businesses get started with their digital marketing efforts.
In fact, many of them are free! Here are some reasons why we think every business should have a digital marketing strategy in place:
1. It lets you understand where your customers are online
A digital marketing strategy is essential to making sense of the world of online marketing. It lets you understand where your customers are online, how they interact with you and each other, as well as what kind of digital experience they want from you.
Currently, there are more social media platforms available than we can count on both hands, this means that you need to understand where your customers are to ensure that you are posting content on the right platform.
A good digital marketing strategy will help you see trends in customer behaviour and identify areas for improvement or innovation. This is especially useful if your product/service is a seasonal item which will naturally have peaks and troughs in engagement.
You can also use this information to develop a content strategy that matches your audience’s needs and interests.
2. It helps you to understand what your customers are looking for
A digital marketing strategy helps you to understand what your customers are looking for.
This can be achieved through customer research, customer feedback and insights.
Each step along the way will help you to better target your audience and create more relevant content that meets their needs.
Producing content for the sake of producing content is not a viable marketing strategy. If your audience is not interested in the content you are producing, then you are wasting valuable time and energy which could be better placed elsewhere.
3. It will help you to become more focused with your marketing activities
A digital marketing strategy is a plan that helps you to focus on the right activities. It also allows you to measure the success of your efforts so that you can improve them over time.
It’s important to focus on the right things because if you don’t, then you won’t be able to achieve your business goals or meet customer expectations and this could end up costing you money and customers!
Focusing on the wrong marketing activities, or not having a focus at all, can result in poor marketing performance overall. An example of this is keyword research.
Keyword research is vital for SEO efforts to ensure you are ranking for the correct keywords. If you do not focus on keyword research, you may rank for keywords which no one is searching for, or you may not SEO optimise your website at all.
4. You’ll be able to make improvements in real time
The beauty of digital marketing is that it’s so flexible. Unlike traditional marketing strategies, you can make changes on the fly based on feedback from your customers.
With digital marketing, you’re not committed to any one medium or channel—you can use paid advertising such as Facebook ads, or organic strategies like blogging and email marketing.
If something isn’t working for you, stop doing it!
After all, what’s the point of wasting money if it doesn’t work? This is why having a digital strategy helps so much: You’ll be able to see what works and what doesn’t by looking at your analytics and feedback from customers.
Plus, if something isn’t working well enough yet but could be improved upon with more resources (like more content creation), then you won’t need to invest in other channels until these efforts eventually bear fruit.
5. It helps create a consistent message across all of your channels
When you have a digital marketing strategy in place, it helps you create a consistent message across all of your channels. This is important because consistency builds trust with your audience and helps build your brand and authority.
Similarly, to using the same branding colours, logo and slogans across your channels, it is also important to use the same tone of voice in all of your writing to ensure your brand remains consistent.
A great way to ensure your content stays consistent across all of your digital marketing channels is to repurpose content. For example, if you create a blog post, you could then split that blog post into 5 social media posts!
In summary, you need a digital marketing strategy because it will help you to grow your business. The more focused and consistent your message is, the more likely people will be to engage with your company.
If you want a digital marketing strategy but need help to create and execute it successfully then get in touch with CREATIVE in TiME now to find out how we can help you.
I’ve been there, directing or managing a sales and marketing operation and needing marketing support to deliver. You don’t have dedicated marketing resources for what you need, or you do have marketing resources but there are aspects that you need more support with.
Then you get a warm referral from someone you know, you start talking needs and prices, and then you sign up with a marketing agency for support of some kind.
Maybe it’s putting articles out, or looking after your social media. Maybe it’s keeping your website updated with case studies. Or maybe it’s PR, or just maybe you go as far as wanting creative support and ideas.
Then, gradually, after several months, you find yourself wondering…
Is it all WORTH it?
You might find yourself feeling like marketing agencies are a waste of time if your experience is like many others! Feeling like you are either being pestered to provide all the content and ideas that you thought you were paying them for, or that you are chasing them to deliver what they said they were going to deliver!
You don’t have TIME to check up on these folks all the time to see if they are delivering what they promised. If you find you are being let down, you can find it is a bitter pill to swallow and it leaves you heavily biased against marketing agencies in the future!
What I Tell People Who Ask “Is a marketing agency worth it?”
Marketing is a widely misunderstood subject with a great many subcategories that are often even MORE misunderstood.
Marketing agencies are worth it if you find the right people to work with who understand your business AND have the skills to make a difference, PLUS have the time to do what they say.
If I tell people we focus on HELPING people with content marketing and organic SEO through blogs and web page updates, they mostly look at me as though I am talking in a foreign language.
When I tell people we are a marketing agency, they will often assume we make flyers and posters, or we do PR campaigns.
“If I have learnt anything through 20 years in Technology and Engineering companies, outsourcing is never easy.”
Whether that’s getting hundreds of engineers set up in a faraway country with an aim to save time and money on a multi-million-pound development (which is hit and miss), or trying to get people to understand you and your business so that they can market you, without you having to spoon-feed them constantly, it can be a thorny road.
I also know that employing people directly, trying to get as many competencies and skills in as few people as possible for the best price can be just as frustrating and challenging, not to mention how many people get comfy and a little lazy in their jobs past their probation period.
Determined to Be DIFFERENT…
So, having been down the road where so many companies find themselves, when my partner and I decided that we were going to launch a marketing agency and focus on helping people get found, I knew we were going to be DIFFERENT.
We were determined to be different.
With my background in industries like F1, Aerospace, H2 Fuel Cells, Rail, Electronics, IoT and Software through a career climbing from a project engineer to director overseeing sales & marketing operations, we knew what was MISSING from those I want to help.
How many marketing agencies have a chartered engineer and engineering fellow on hand to translate for you?
Add to that my partner, Andrea, who has 20 years of being a successful marketeer for her own business start-ups, running networking organisations, and has amazing communication skills which help her get over the line with businesses and allows her to easily translate technical terms in a simplistic way.
Let’s not forget about our marketing team who are highly motivated, always on top of the trends and full to the brim of innovative and inspiring ideas.
How many agencies have this kind of SUPPORT on hand?
Imagine a world where a techy oriented company can talk to a marketing agency, and for those marketing folks to GET what they do, really UNDERSTAND them, have TECHNICAL competence, and a passionate and motivated team focussed on getting you found?
Well, that’s what we’ve done with CREATIVE in TIME!
Working With Us
Does it sound too good to be true?
That’s because there aren’t many agencies like us. It works perfectly. Once you’ve explained your business and how you help your customers, we can delve into the technical depths of what you do. This ensures we can translate it into simple language for your customers to understand HOW you can help THEM, and WHY they would choose YOU!
I hate to say it but WHAT you do is of mostly no interest to your potential clients.
With over 20 years working around techy oriented companies, I always found myself being the bridge between the proper techies and the more financial and business’ type folks. I could understand both sides without being an expert in either.
I could explain the benefits of developing a bit of tech in a way a techie couldn’t, they will tell you all about what they need to do, I will tell you the benefits of what they need to do, and how much it will all cost.
So, we realised we would be the bridge for complex or techy companies that need marketing support, we have built a team of amazing marketing execs that get trained by us in what our customers do, how they help people and why they should work with them.
One Way We Are Different
There’s one more ingredient in our mix other than our techy know-how. Whilst we are extremely familiar with CORPORATE environments including CxO level folks, we are persuading those same types to allow a little more fun to be injected into their messaging and put a little less “corporate” out there.
People engage with FUN content, rather than the same old boring corporate messaging saying how amazing they are and how people should just buy their products over and over again.
So, if you want to engage with people in a fun (and not quite so corporate way), if you do techy things that are often hard to explain to people outside of your business, then you could do with some help from some honest, decent and hardworking marketing folks just like us! You’ll be glad you did!
Wouldn’t it be amazing to know you are getting customers from Google just by following a few steps? Who are we kidding, of course it would be!
With some guidance, using Google My Business is a simple and effective way to reach potential customers and show off the best parts of your business. Brick and mortar businesses and online businesses can both benefit from the effects of Google My Business.
Below we have collated our top 5 steps to help you grow using Google My Business.
1. Share images and videos of your business
PEOPLE buy PEOPLE (cliché but true), not businesses or corporations. Prospective customers love behind-the-scenes shots of what’s going on at your business. Humans are nosey people!
Make the most of your images by choosing the right size to fit its purpose:
Profile picture: Your profile picture is what your customers will recognise your company by on Google. Ensure it is memorable, recognisable and high quality. For a profile picture, your image should be 250×250 pixels.
Cover photo: Your cover photo is also set as your listings preferred image to show first, ideally this is where you can showcase your companies personality, this is not a guarantee that it will show first however. An image of 1080×608 pixels should be used.
Other images: Customers like images, it gives an insight into your business and the people who work there. Use images in Google My Business posts to improve your posts and increase chances of a purchase or booking. Use an image of 720×540 pixels for any additional images.
Videos are rapidly increasing in popularity and effectiveness. With the amount of choice available to consumers, people are doing a quick internet search to find the best product to fit their needs. Videos are exemplary at giving people an up-close in depth look at what you are offering.
Did you know that 81 % of businesses are now using video for marketing?
A video can improve trust in your product and encourage people to make a purchase. After all, 90% of consumers claim a video will help them make a purchasing decision.
2. Share your products
A great feature on Google My Business is the ability to add products to your listing. If you have a retail business, adding your best-selling products to your Google listing can boost sales and shows prospective customers your products without even going to your website.
Use this feature to add best sellers and products that you want to push. Use eye catching pictures to draw attention, ensure your product description is succinct but includes enough information about your product to entice a purchase and make sure yourprice is correct!
No one likes going to checkout and noticing a price has gone up unexpectedly, if anything changes regarding your products promptly update your Google listing for it, your customers will appreciate it.
3. Generate reviews
Don’t underestimate the power of online reviews, 93% of consumers say that online reviews have influenced their purchase decisions!
Google My Business reviews are a gold mine for new customers. Don’t be shy to ask for reviews from former and current customers, when prompted most customers are happy to leave a review.
Did you know that Facebook reviews also show up on Google My Business? Now you do!
Online reviews allow for your customers to share their experiences with your business and can bring credibility to your product or service. Negative reviews can have a bad effect on your business, but Google My Business reviews are interactable which means if someone did, hypothetically, leave a bad review you could respond and resolve the issue.
You should RESPOND to all reviews whether they are good or bad by using personalised responses and customer names. Show care and appreciation towards customers as consumers will also be looking for this.
4. Share your events
Whether it is a sale, workshop, price reduction or open house, you should share it! Posting events to your Google My Business page will make it known to more people and can allow for more attendance/engagement. Present your event in a fun and engaging manner, no one wants to sign up for an event that sounds boring or uninformative.
When posting an event, include a link for people to sign up for said event or a link to a product page if there is a sale. Make it simple for customers to get involved, the less steps they need to take the more likely they are to participate.
5. Monitor your analytics
Google My Business insights is a great tool to see how people interact with your listing. If you are implementing our previous tips then you need to monitor their analytics too.
You can view how many people have viewed your photos, how often your business is searched and what actions your customers take such as going to your website amongst many other visibility and engagement statistics.
Keeping track of your analytics can show you what to continue doing and what needs to be improved. If you notice certain Google My Business posts get significant interaction whilst others do not then be FLEXIBLE and consider changing your plan accordingly. As humans we don’t always like change but it is necessary to improve and thrive.
Google My Business is a tool that all businesses should be using, whether small or large, to engage with customers and promote their business.
We hope these tips can allow you to revamp your listing and set your business on the trajectory to success. If you need help getting your marketing on track, just get in touch! Marketing is where we shine.
When running your own business, having marketing tools to help with your business can save you lots of precious time and often are free or inexpensive!
As a small business owner, your time is valuable and time spent on your marketing needs to produce results. We understand this and have created a comprehensive list of our top 10 marketing tools for your business to streamline and improve your marketing strategy. Trust us, we’re a marketing business, this is what we do!
Social media has come to the forefront of most businesses marketing. Whether you focus on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or something else, using a social media scheduling tool like Later will make posting to social media easier.
I’m sure you know that keeping on top of your social media posting is vital to promote your business and gain new customers, but it can be time consuming and tedious to post individually on multiple platforms.
Later allows you to create posts for multiple social media accounts at once and schedule them to come out when you need them. This means instead of posting every day, you can bulk schedule your social media posts which frees up your time to do more important things.
Ubersuggest is a free to use tool which assists in keyword idea generation and aids in search engine optimisation (SEO). You can also pay for it which unlocks more useful analytics and allows you to search for keywords without a limit.
You can use ubersuggest to analyse your competitors and see what keywords they rank for. This allows you to see what is working for them so that you can adopt your strategy accordingly.
A useful feature of ubersuggest is the ability to analyse your websites SEO as it can tell you any SEO issues which need fixing such as headings and meta descriptions.
Do you ever want to create a blog post but don’t know what to write about? Or not know what questions people REALLY want the answers to?
AnswerThePublic is a free online tool where you input a keyword and it will tell you the most common questions searched in relation to this keyword.
This is useful to understand your audience and create content that will appeal to them, no one wants to waste time creating a blog that no one wants to see.
Images can make or break your social media. Customers are automatically drawn to eye catching and visually appealing posts.
Canva is a tool which allows you to create stunning posts simply and quickly, even if you don’t have a creative eye!
By using their premade templates all you need to do is add in your own text and images. Consider picking a select few colours to tie your marketing together and use these in your images.
Get creative and try new fonts, make your own templates and enjoy the new cohesive look on your feed. Canva is free to use but can be paid for to unlock ‘pro’ templates and other upgrades.
If you have a small business, organising tasks may feel overwhelming and can often leave people sat twiddling their thumbs if they don’t know what to do next.
Trello allows you to make “boards” and add lists to them. In these lists you can include projects and tasks and ‘add’ people so that everyone knows who is assigned to a task. You can also set due dates, attach files and set reminders for tasks.
Using an organisational tool like Trello will boost productivity, streamline your work schedule and avoid confusion between colleagues over what needs doing.
If you haven’t seen adverts for Grammarly I’ll be shocked.
Grammarly is (you guessed it) a grammar tool which can help you with emails, blogs, social media posts, and more by checking your spelling and grammar. It is a free tool which can be installed in your browser to automatically scan your writing and show suggestions to make it better.
This is a great tool for people who struggle with writing as it can provide them with confidence and allow for independence when creating work whilst giving you peace of mind that all work is up to scratch.
We couldn’t write this list without mentioning good old Google.
Google Analytics can give you a deep insight into your business and your website. You can use it to see how many people have visited your website, what pages they are looking at, and how long they are spending on each page amongst several other things.
You can even see it in real time! See how many people are on your page at this exact moment.
Google analytics is useful to see how well you marketing is working, if you record and keep track of your analytics you should be able to see a trend and hopefully notice it rise. If you notice your analytics going down, then you may need to investigate why that is.
Email marketing is still alive and kicking, don’t underestimate the reach of an email campaign.
Mailerlite is an easy email marketing tool which features drag and drop email editing and is very simple to use so don’t be scared! You can upload contact information from your computer and even separate it into groups for different campaigns. This is useful if your business is trying to market to demographics and doesn’t want to include everyone in the same campaign.
If your business is wanting to make the most out of texts then Textmagic is the tool for you.
Textmagic is a messaging tool which allows you to send messages from your computer to your customers. It is useful if you are intending on sending reminder messages, promotional texts or for ease of contact with your customers.
Messaging customers can benefit and your customers as it allows for conversation from both parties with ease.
Whether you have a team or you are working alone, keeping track of your time is vital to understand what you are spending the most time on, it might shock you!
Toggl is a time tracking tool which allows you to track your activities and record them. This is useful for you to see what aspects of your business is taking the most of your time, and it is also interesting to have your employees record their daily activities.
Seeing what your employees spend their time on can allow you to pick up on any issues and streamline long processes. Recording activities is simple on Toggl and does not eat into your working day.
These are our top 10 marketing tools for your business that can be added to your marketing strategy and improve your business.
If you like the sound of these tools but are unsure of how to use them and want someone else to help with your marketing, book a discovery call with us now to see how our marketing business can help you.