The Beginners Digital Marketing Checklist For SMEs

Getting into digital marketing is not easy feat, especially if you are a small business that doesn’t have enough resources to dedicate to it. However, digital marketing doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact there are a few simple tasks that you can complete to give your business that online boost it needs. That’s why we’ve put together the beginners digital marketing checklist for SMEs.

Keywords

Keywords should be the first item on top of any aspiring digital marketeers checklist. There are many different ways you can implement keywords into your digital marketing strategy. However because this is a beginner’s checklist, we’re just going to run through the basics. First of all, you need to think like a potential customer. What are the sorts of words and phrases potential customers would type into search engines to find your business? If you’re not sure ask a friend or family member who isn’t directly involved in your business to help. You’ll find that people who are not working within your industry will often use words you wouldn’t. Once you have a list of words go to Google’s keyword planner. Here you’ll be able to type in your keywords and see how often they are searched for monthly as well as how hard they are to rank highly for. The aim of the game here is to get your website to rank high in search engine results. So make sure you pick and use keywords that have a decent search volume but aren’t swamped with competition.

Content

This is where you can put that long list of keywords you got from above to work. To rank high in search engines for your chosen keywords, search engines must be able to see that your page is helpful and relevant when it comes to said keywords and the topics they imply. To do this you need to sprinkle your keywords throughout your page content in visible copy. However, you cannot just spam one or two pages with all the keywords. The keyword must fit in with your content organically, make sense and be laid out in a user friendly way with the use of paragraphs, headings and subheadings. Make sure every page of your website contains some valuable content that contains the keywords you want to rank for.

Another good way for you to use your keywords through content is by adding a blog section to your website. Writing blog articles will allow you to focus on one keyword at a time whilst continuously updating your website. This is extra helpful as search engines not only like to see keywords scattered throughout your website, they also like it when the website is frequently updated. The more frequently you update your blog, the more time-relevant your website will be to search engine, which in turn will help boost your search rankings.

Social media

Whilst social media isn’t really a direct lead generating tool, it is ideal for brand awareness. If you’re a complete beginner to the digital marketing game then social media is a great place to start to improve this amongst your potential customers. It’s more than likely that you already have your own personal social media accounts. So without even realising it, you’re already doing your own social media marketing for yourself.  The only difference is you now have to do it for your business.

Creating a social presence for your SME is a little more complicated then running your own social media accounts. First of all you have to think about which social platform is best for your business. After all, it’s always better to focus and be successful on one social platform than to spread yourself too thin and do all of them badly. Once you’ve decided on that you need to come up with some creative content that your audience will love and engage with.

Links

Links can get complicated, however we’re going to break it down into easy and informative chunks. So, the goal here is to get as many reputable and relevant websites to link back to your website as possible. But why? Well, when search engines can see your website being linked to by other trustworthy businesses online it makes your business seem trustworthy too. Think of links as the digital equivalent of somebody recommending your business to their friends and family. The more links you get, the more trustworthy, helpful and legitimate your business seems.

However, don’t just try and get links on any old website and never pay for links. The whole point of links is that they string together relevant websites that are within the same niche, or are at least talking about one another for some reason. Posting your link everywhere and anywhere will only result in search engines recognising your link and website as spam. Think of spam as somebody really shady bugging you about a kind of dodgy service they are offering. Not cool.

So that’s our beginners digital marketing checklist specifically for SMEs. However, of course, remember that these are just general tips and that how you should utilise and market your business is very dependent on what industry you are in as well as your target audience.

As always, if you need any further assistance with any social media marketing projects then please don’t hesitate to contact us either here or on LinkedIn or Twitter. Until then, happy marketing!

Why You Need A New Website This Year

With the “new year, new you” finally off everyone’s radar, we think it’s time to discuss “new year, new website”. While it doesn’t need to be the new year for you to start thinking about a new website, it’s a pretty good reason to explore more possibilities for your business. When we say “new website” it doesn’t necessarily have to be completely new – it could just be re-designed. There are many different reasons as to why you should re-design your website but below, we’re just going to list a few of the most beneficial ones.

To keep up with fast and responsive design

First of all, you need a responsive website if you want to rank in search engines. Also, even if you do have a responsive website at the moment, it may not be tailored to the latest responsive design technology. Not only does responsive design allow your website to fit perfectly onto different screen sizes and types, it also can help improve page speed. Both functionalities of which, Google has made major ranking factors. Therefore if your website it responsive but still rather slow, or fast and not responsive, Google is going to rank you well below the first page.

To boost your SEO

This links into the above point. Re-designing your website can help boost your SEO efforts in a multitude of ways. For starters, if your website is currently not built on a CMS that caters for easy SEO implementation then you could use this as an opportunity to move to a CMS that does. For example, WordPress is a great CMS for those who want to improve their SEO, as many plug-ins and tutorials are available to help you execute basic SEO tasks. Furthermore, re-designing your website in terms of layout could also boost your website’s rankings. By focusing on adding in H1 tags, paragraphs with your chosen keywords and relevant images with alt tags, you could see your business appear higher up in search engines.

To use it as an opportunity to re-brand

If you’ve had the same brand colours and logos for a while they can become quite uninspiring. So why not use 2019 to re-design your entire brand image. This is a great way to put your business back in the spotlight but also a great chance to re-evaluate your business’ messaging and goals. For example, you may have started your freelance business many years ago with the intention of just selling one service – however now you sell many services. Therefore you probably want to re-brand as more of a consultancy service who can cater to different clients’ needs. So you need to change your branding to communicate this more effectively to prospective customers.

To improve user experience

We all know that user experience is paramount when designing any website. How a user clicks through your website and how they get to their final goal is important if you are measuring your online stats and leads. But as time goes on a website that was ideal for users may no longer be so. This is due to changes in trends, user behaviour and ultimately user expectations. Unfortunately for businesses, user’s expectations are changing all the time therefore we must make sure our website’s always change to fulfil their expectations.

So those are the most beneficial reasons why you need a new website this year. However, of course, remember that these are just general tips and that how you should utilise and market your business is very dependent on what industry you are in as well as your target audience.

As always, if you need any further assistance with any social media marketing projects then please don’t hesitate to contact us either here or on LinkedIn or Twitter. Until then, happy marketing!

 

Five Digital Marketing Trends For 2019

With 2019 now in full swing, it’s time to start pushing that wonderful digital marketing strategy you’ve been thinking about. Oh, wait? You haven’t got one yet? Or you have too many strategies? Then you’ve come to the right place. To celebrate the new year we have put together the top five digital marketing trends for 2019 in one handy listicle.

Smartbots

You’ve all seen those bots on Facebook pages that pop up and ask you if you’re interested in any of the products their page is promoting. Well this year we’re going to see more of them. The only difference is that they’re getting smarter. Talking to a chatbot in 2019 will be more like messaging your mate on WhatsApp rather than a predictable, emotionless robot. Programmers are making chatbots speak more like actual humans now, not only to provide a better customer experience, but also to make us feel like we’re getting a more authentic interaction. After all, many customer service surveys this year have shown that consumers want a more personalised experience when buying a product or service online. The only down side to this trend is you’re either going to have to teach yourself some coding or if you’re already know some it’s still going to take you a while to craft an entire chatbot. It’s a fun concept though, right?

Going Live!

Last year we saw the rise of the “live” video. Vloggers were all over the internet filming the most bizarre things they could in real time. This is going to be no different in 2019. Live videos will still be a great way to grab active social media users attention. All you have to do is ensure whatever your filming is entertaining enough. The important thing to remember here is that users can drop in and out of viewing live videos at any time. Therefore every single second has to be note-worthy by either making the audience feel something or learn something. So if you’re thinking about your business being the next vlog sensation make sure you save you “live” videos for the most entertaining or insightful moments.

Augemented and Virtual Reality (still!)

Last year, both virtual and augmented reality were taking the marketing world by storm and the obvious news is that they still are. Big players in the tech and marketing industry like Apple, Snapchat and Facebook have hopped on this trend. In the last few years this kind of technology has been made readily available to the public through smart phones, headsets, PCs and gaming consoles. Again, while this trend is a fun one to think about, it’s pretty hard to integrate it in your business. You’ll either have an extremely steep and long learning curve or have to pay a significant amount of capital to reap the benefits of virtual reality marketing.

Push notifications

This is definitely one of the easier trends to apply to your marketing strategy this year. Push notifications are a simple widget you can plug in to your CMS that can notify people when your website has a new blog post, has a sale on or has launched a new service. All your customers need to do is enable the notifications when the little notice pops up on their desktop. The beauty of this trend is that you’re only sending notifications out to people who want them. Therefore they are more likely to read the notifications and follow through with an action, like visiting your website and buying a product.

Engagement based marketing

Another easy to follow trend that is taking digital marketing back to basics. Engagement based marketing is all about giving people what they want when it comes to your business. Use data from marketing campaigns to find out who was the most engaged in your content (many social media platforms and marketing software packages can show you how to do this). Once you know who those engaged users are, send them another campaign, this time make it more personal. For example if you have an outdoors wear store and you send out an email advertising your different products, look at how many people clicked on the walking boots category. Then send out an email to these people a few days later but only about walking boots.

So those are just a few digital marketing trends to kick start your 2019. However, of course, remember that these are just general tips and that how you should utilise and market your business is very dependent on what industry you are in as well as your target audience.

As always, if you need any further assistance with any online marketing then please don’t hesitate to contact us either here or on LinkedIn or Twitter. Until then, happy marketing!

Five Free Digital Marketing Channels For SMEs

There’s no denying the benefits that can be reaped by SMEs when they execute a successful digital marketing strategy. However many SMEs find that a lot of these strategies outlined on blogs or talked about by experts usually require some investment. But don’t fear you don’t have to spend any money to make a difference to your online footprint. In fact there are many free digital marketing channels for SMEs to use.

Use social media

Creating a social media account or page for your business is a very easy and completely free way to market online. Of course, there may be some features you have to pay for like advertising but nothing can stop you from posting for free. Social media marketing is a great way to expose your business to alot of people all at once. Through interactions and engagements, it also makes it easy to see whether or not people are enjoying your content. That way you can analyse and adapt your content to consistently send out messages your audience will love.

Write some blog posts

If you don’t want to set up anything on social media (we get it – it’s not for everyone) you can always write some content for your own blog. Blogs are widely searched for online and are some of the most visited websites on the internet. So why can’t yours be? Make sure you find your niche. What are the messages you want to send out about your SME? Whatever your subject matter, we think the best way to reach more people is to add in content that somehow helps readers. If you can help solve a common problem that people in your industry may be having you’ll be surprise how many people will come back when they next run into a issue.

Work with other complimentary SMEs

We’ve spoken about how you can work with complimentary SMEs and influencers before. However we didn’t explain how you can do it exclusively through digital channels. There are many ways you could do this but we thought we’d just mention a few of our favourites. Firstly you could set up some sort of online contest together, where both businesses contribute to the giveaway prize (it doesn’t have to be of a monetary value). Then you both share the content with your followers and gain exposure to double the amount of people you usually would. Some other ideas are: joint webinars, podcasts, sweepstakes and polls.

Send out email campaigns

If you already have a GDPR compliant database then why not try your hand at email marketing? A lot of email marketing platforms like MailChimp allow you to send out emails for free if you have a smaller audience. Whilst you can’t have a huge amount of contacts through the free version, you can still use a lot of the more advanced marketing features. For example on the free version of MailChimp you can send out automated messages, personalise content and collect statistics on your campaigns.

Brush up on your SEO

While you need a bit of SEO knowledge to do this, if you’re willing to spend some time learning the tricks of the trade then you can really make a difference to your online marketing. Optimise your website by ensuring that it’s responsive and fast. You can also tweak metadata, image tags and other on page content to encourage more organic traffic to your website.

So those are our a few free digital marketing channels SMEs can use to make a difference to their business. However, of course, remember that these are just general tips and that how you should utilise and market your business is very dependent on what industry you are in as well as your target audience.

As always, if you need any further assistance with any social media marketing projects then please don’t hesitate to contact us either here or on LinkedIn or Twitter. Until then, happy marketing!

Social Media Metrics: How Do You Know If Your Social Media Marketing Is Working?

Social media marketing is something that every business says they do. And they may well be on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. But the question to ask is – is their social media marketing working? However before you can even answer that you need to know what to look for in order to determine success. Hello KPIs, or as we like to call they key performance indicators.

Key performance indicators are a series of metrics that help you determine whether or not your social media marketing has been successful. Before you get too deep into the numbers game though, you have to decide what is your goal with social media marketing? What do you want people to do when they see your posts? Once you’ve figured this out it’s pretty easy to gage which of the key performance indicators below are the key to success.

Impressions and reach

Impressions and reach are one of the first social media metrics that you come across when you dive into analytics dashboards. But what exactly do these metrics measure and when should you use them to determine success? Firstly,  impressions and reach can mean different things. Impressions usually mean the amount of times a piece of content has been seen. Whereas reach usually means how many users have seen a piece of content. These are great metrics if you want to push brand awareness and ensure that your business slowly gets more exposure. So if people don’t know your brand yet this is a great way to start measuring your social media campaigns.

Likes, comments and shares

These social metrics are pretty self-explanatory and indicate how many people are reacting to your content. It’s a good idea to measure any engagement metrics like this if you want to judge the quality of your content. Engagement statistics are also a good indicator as to whether or not your target audience is resonating with and enjoying your messages.

Website traffic

This social media metric is a little bit harder to track however it is especially useful if you are focusing your social media messaging around content marketing. To set up a way in which you can view social media metrics like this you need to set up a Google Analytics account. Once you’ve done that all you need to do is put a tracking code on your website – if you’re unsure about this just employ the help of a marketing metrics nerd. After that you’ll be able to see all of your website traffic coming from social media. You can even drill down to which social media network and even which post if you try your hand at tracking individual links.

Conversions

Conversions are what majority of businesses want to track. However before you can track them you need to decide what it is you want to track. With Google Analytics you can track what people coming from social media do on your website. Of course you cannot track absolutely anything. You are unfortunately limited to the following: contact form submissions, link clicks, video playbacks, destination pages, RSS subscriptions and user-generated actions such as comments or product ratings. You should track metrics like this when you want to know if people have taken action after seeing your social posts.

So that’s how you can determine success with social media metrics. However, of course, remember that these are just general tips and that how you should utilise and market your business is very dependent on what industry you are in as well as your target audience.

As always, if you need any further assistance with any social media marketing projects then please don’t hesitate to contact us either here or on LinkedIn or Twitter. Until then, happy marketing!

Why Having 10k Followers Can Be Better Than Having 100k

We’ve been talking about social media alot on our blog lately – especially about growing an audience and writing content that they’ll love. However, one thing we cannot stress enough when trying to grow an audience is that numbers aren’t everything. Sometimes it’s actually better to have 10k followers than 100k. We know that may sound a bit backwards, but we’re going to break it down for you.

The rise of the micro-influencer

First of all, we have one buzzword for you – micro-influencers. Normally we aren’t fans of throwing buzzwords around but trust us when we say you’re going to like this one. Basically micro-influencers are typically brands or individuals that a have a smaller following but with higher engagement rates. The larger amount of interactions can be because of many reasons: helpful content, relatable stories or similar values.

Interactions over followers

Like we said micro-influencers usually have higher engagement rates than macro-influencers. This is because they have a smaller audience therefore can really target their content towards them, get to know them and publish posts that really resonate with them. Typically this makes them more successful on social media than their macro-influencer counter-parts.

More influence with less followers

Although interactions are great the best thing about having 10k engaged followers rather than 100k slightly interested ones is that your audience actually care about what you’re saying.  And because they are already engaged with your content, they are more than likely going to buy into your products or services that you’re selling.

So that’s why having less followers can be better than you first think. However, of course, remember that these are just general tips and that how you should utilise and market your business is very dependent on what industry you are in as well as your target audience.

As always, if you need any further assistance with any social media marketing projects then please don’t hesitate to contact us either here or on LinkedIn or Twitter. Until then, happy marketing!