Digital Marketing is the secret to high-growth in business. They have learned the art of growth hacking, and now you can too.
Digital marketing – connecting the dots for marketers. How can I improve my strategy and speed up business growth online?
Digital marketing (data-driven marketing) is the practice of marketing a business online through the internet and other digital mediums that help deliver content.
So why does it seem like certain businesses are everywhere on the internet? They are growth hacking their way to success through digital marketing and now you can too. The growth hacking companies are all about scale and creating solutions to finding new clients and FAST.
We’ve come a long way since the internet started in 1983, and now with the boom and reliance of mobile phones, social media networks and messaging platforms that integrated into our everyday life – it’s now even more critical to ensure we are visible and a digital marketing strategy is part of our business. Not having a website, social media, or a digital presence is not okay if you want to be growing in 2017 and beyond.
Digital marketing can serve to help:
- Drive new leads and clients
- Retain current clients
- Build brand awareness
- Inform and educate
To understand the ROI of any campaign, we need to get crystal clear on a couple of questions:
1. What is the lifetime value of my client (LTCV)? For example, if we bring in a new client and we know the average duration they are on-board is 24 months or they come back three times to purchase again, what is that the real value of your client is worth. This is the lifetime value of the new client brought into the business and not the first purchase value. Digital marketing should be viewed as a long-term play and strategy looking at the life cycle of each customer.
2. What is my sales close rate? Of 10 leads that come through to my business, how many do I convert into actual customers? Working out this percentage will give us a good understanding of what a campaign will deliver and allow us to forecast so we can make great decisions efficiently.
3. Track and measure everything. We can’t work out the ROI unless we measure all touch points that drive contact. We get into more detail in this later.
Only then, with clear goals and an understanding of our clients and what they are worth to the business can we measure ROI properly.
But for some people, digital marketing can seem confusing with so many moving parts. Digital marketing itself is a vast beast, with specialist roles, services, and functions required to achieve digital marketing greatness. There can also be the question of how to tackle digital marketing and who you should work with.
1. Try and run it yourself. This can work if you have time and patience to commit to learning however this is not advised. You are in business for a reason, focus on what you are good at and outsource the digital marketing to a proven company with success. The management fee’s of the company should easily be covered in the efficiencies and gains they drive from managing it professionally.
2. Hire a professional agency to drive the best possible results. They have the specialists, the technology, the tools and the experience to get you the best possible results.
3. A combination of the two. You may have excellent content creation capabilities in-house. Working in conjunction with an agency and partnering might be your best bet. Focus on what you are good at and outsource everything else.
We’ve broken down the key areas of digital marketing below, and what you should think about when working on your digital marketing strategy.
Strategy – Growth hacker marketing
– All good digital marketing starts with a solid strategy.
– What are your goals, what are you trying to achieve?
– Know your customer intimately. You have to if you plan to succeed.
– What problems do I solve? How should I communicate this?
– What are my competitors doing?
– Know your business – why would people choose you over the competition.
– What is my one USP? What can people only get from my company?
– Can I create a lead magnet? (Offer value to bring the potential customer into a funnel) This could be through the way of an exclusive video, piece of content such as an eBook or whitepaper, promotional offer. By collecting an email, you then have the opportunity to continue along the funnel with remarketing across GDN, Social media and a series of emails that add value first and ask for the sale later building trust.
– Can I drive an immediate result – call to actions throughout the campaigns and content. Some people are ready to contact you and get started now, don’t make it hard for them! Guiding people to the next step is critical to success. If you value a phone call suggests “Give us a call for a no obligation discussion” etc.
Creating this strategy and spending the time will pay off in the long run, as you will find your digital marketing activities will now have alignment, purpose and will perform much better than a “spray and pray” approach we see businesses try.
SEO (SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION)
SEO is the process of driving traffic from “organic,” “free,” “natural” search results from search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
This is achieved by creating a highly relevant website and following SEO best practices to ensure search engines completely understand what your site is about, and trust your website as an authority. Many factors come into ranking a website, and these factors can be the difference between being at the bottom of the first page and position 1 of Google. They include Content, Architecture, HTML, Trust, Links, personal and social.
There are many ranking signals, and SEO is constantly changing as Google looks to improve their service to all users continuously. Cutting corners, and trying to trick Google won’t work and is not recommended. Good SEO can take between 4-12 months to see noticeable improvements, depending on the competitiveness of the industry, websites, and location in which you want to rank. Ranking a site on a .co.nz New Zealand search is a lot easier than listing a .com website globally for example. Consulting with an SEO professional before beginning any work is highly advised, as it can be pointless ranking for search terms with 10 or fewer searches per month, and therefore careful time and consideration needs to be made at the beginning with keyword research and competitor analysis undertaken before any work starts.
Pro Tip: Check out your website health here www.woorank.com and run a free SEO audit on your homepage to see what you can do to improve the visibility of your site.
GOOGLE ADWORDS (PPC)
Google AdWords, also knows as (PPC or pay-per-click), (SEM or search-engine-marketing), SEA (search-engine-advertising) is a service on Google, where businesses can pay to be visible across selected keywords and search phrases. Just as the above suggests, advertisers will only pay every time a potential customer clicks on the ad and goes through to their website.
Factors of success for Google AdWords includes relevancy’s of keyword selection to the landing page and website.
How well structured and built the AdWords campaign is created to ensure quality and relevancy looking at the keywords, ads, site, and content improving the quality score.
Bidding strategies and deciding where to sit in the auction (should I place my ad at the top of Google in position 1, or should I bid less aggressively and drive more traffic with my budget in position 3).
There are many features in Google AdWords that we can use in our campaigns, creating more robust ads that add value to the audience. These extensions could include “click to call,” location, site links, snippets, text (click-to-message), reviews, price extensions and more. There are also ways we can pull through extra information including consumer ratings, seller ratings into your ads too.
With Google shopping just launched, we are now able to list a product with image, price, and description on a Google search. This has created frictionless shopping and has shown to increase performance in conversions for e-commerce website by 40% compared to standard Google AdWords campaigns.
Constant testing, measuring, and iterations are required in Google AdWords to see substantial results. If you don’t have time and you are looking to “set-and-forget” your campaign, Google AdWords is not recommended. Engage with a professional who can manage your campaign for you, dedicating the time and skill required to ensure your spend across Google AdWords is an investment and not a cost.
Pro Tip: Google Keyword Planner is a great way to see the search demand for your product or service. Before beginning a Google AdWords campaign, spend some time on google keyword planner to see which keywords have high search volume and what the overall demand looks like. This can also be highly effective for new markets, products or solutions in determining whether a search strategy will be an efficient way to growth hack your way to success.
Display marketing, display advertising or also knows as “image ads” is the process of delivering this promotional content to third party sites or search engines. Display ads are placed on the internet and drive traffic through to websites or landing pages.
Display advertising is like billboard advertising on the internet, and its primary use is to drive targeted brand awareness.
There are two ways to drive display marketing.
1. Through display advertising campaigns. We can target by keywords, placement targeting, interest categories, topic targeting, as well as being able to focus geographically and exclude certain websites and keywords.
2. Through re-marketing. We can retarget customers who have engaged or left our site and try and bring them back with a special offer, or stay top of mind while the consumer is making a decision.
Remarketing can be a beneficial way to drive further conversions and is highly recommended to be paired with a Google AdWords campaign. A remarketing campaign can be a highly cost-effective way to drive traffic back, especially if you’re paying $$$ to bring the visitor to your website in the first place.
Pro Tip: Investing time into a great design is essential for display marketing. Finding a graphic designer that can create compelling visuals in line with your brand will capture the attention of the internet. Using moving display ads (GIFs) are another way to grab the attention of your audience with the same ad.
VIDEO ADVERTISING (YOUTUBE)
YouTube is one of the first places people go to when consuming video content. Did you know there are over 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute! That’s a lot of content…
You can now advertise a video on YouTube. Video ads can be uploaded to YouTube in the format of an advertisement, either playing at the beginning of the YouTube video (pre-roll) or beside other videos.
Just like Google AdWords, you only pay when someone engages in the video. If they skip your video ad before 30 seconds, you won’t pay a cent.
You can target your audience through the way of age, gender, location, interests and more.
Pro Tip: Keep your video ads super punchy. Try and capture their attention is a compelling way in the first 5 seconds before the user can skip your ad. Being controversial or over the top is a good idea to keep a user on the video staying and engaging throughout all content.
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Social media has blown up, and it’s not surprising with the number of smartphones in use. Our attention is now on the phone, and social media plugs directly into this usage – assisting us with connecting and communicating with our friends and family. Social media has recently also been a critical tool for businesses growth.
The number of mobile phone users in the world is expected to pass the five billion mark by 2019, and there is officially more mobile devices than people in the world.
Core Platforms: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest.
Other platforms of interest: Google plus, Reddit
SOCIAL MEDIA ADVERTISING
A social media ad is any paid content on a social media platform or network. Social media ads are different from organic content and are designed with a specific goal in mind at creation. Examples of ads would be to:
– Drive visits to a landing page or website from social media
– Collect email information to add to a conversion funnel.
– Send through contact details such as “call now,” “address information” “direct messaging through FB messenger” etc
– Voucher codes distributed
– “Lead page ads” capturing contact information on FB.
Pro tip: There are many ways to advertise on social media platforms. Careful consideration needs to be made to ensure your message reaches the right target market and that the messaging speaks to this audience in the right way. That’s where customer persona work can come in handy. To make a customer persona we recommend using this tool by Hubspot makemypersona.com
Traditional ads that go to everyone are inefficient, and we are literally “hoping for the best.” One of the critical reasons social media ads are so compelling is the ability to target your audience. Demographic targeting includes drilling down on age, gender, location, job title, interests to only name a few. Keep in mind that your ad will need to be optimized for mobile as over 80% of social media users are on their phone!
Pro Tip: When using video content in your ads, make sure you include subtitles. Over 70% of all visitors will watch a video on their phone with the sound off!
Social media ads generally will drive stronger immediate ROI than a content strategy; HOWEVER – content is so essential to build trust, credibility, distribute key information and content and create a community around your brand.
SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT
Creating and delivering content is an efficient way to build a loyal client base. Social media is a great way to update customers with key information including open and close dates, phone numbers, address, etc. But really, social media is more than that. A content strategy should add value to your audience in a non-sales way. This may include:
– Educating or inspiring your audience
– Sharing insights into your team and business culture “behind the scenes.”
– Updating with new products/services in the industry in a non-sales way
– Video content on how to’s
– Seasonal updates on events
– & More
An active social media content strategy will use a variety of different content including text, image, video and should follow a structure that adds value. We recommend creating a social media calendar which outlines what type of content should be established throughout the months.
Pro tip: We also recommend “documenting” your day-to-day then re-purposing the information on social media. You don’t always need to create content from scratch but instead can document experiences and situations that happen on a day to day basis that might be standard practice to you, but adds a lot of value to your audience!
Ads drive stronger ROI over content.
CONTENT MARKETING (SM, EMAIL MARKETING, BLOGGING, ETC)
Just like this blog, content marketing is an efficient way to educate your audience and become an authoritative figure. As mentioned before, content should always add value to the reader with no expectation of the sale (jab, jab, jab, right hook)
Email marketing is a great way to share information with your list. Content can help build your email list by asking for an email address to download or view specific content you have created. This can be placed on a landing page, on your website, etc. You can also look to drive emails with competitions on social media, at events, etc.
Blogging is also another way to share content on your website. It can be used to share ideas, stories and educate your audience like the post I’ve written today for you. Blogs can be repurposed and sent out as “click bait” in emails, Facebook posts, and ads.
Pro tip: Content creates Content. Once you create one piece of content, you can repurpose it and break it down into mini versions of content. For example, this blog I’ve written is currently being turned into an E-book with illustrations. We are also going to be breaking down the different sections and sharing them over a series of posts on social media. I’ve done the work once, and it pays off over and over again.
TEST AND MEASURE
It’s essential to have a complete alignment for your marketing campaigns, but it’s just as important to have transparency around the results you have measured. This means you will need to set up the following:
– Google analytics and goal conversion tracking for your website for all channels. This will allow you to see what different traffic is doing on your site and what campaigns are converting best. Only then can we make effective decisions with budget and focus our attention on what is working best.
– Call tracking. We highly recommend utilising call tracking on your website so that you can track and measure off-line events such as actual phone calls. Linking phone calls, as well as goal conversions to a summary report, will give the full picture and for service businesses, up to 70% of your leads will be phone based, so it’s even more critical for you.
– Heat mapping. This allows us to see optimize your website to increase conversions, showing us what elements on your site are working and what is not. By making small, incremental changes and measuring the results, rather than increase the traffic or people to your website, we can still improve the leads generated by making the site a conversion machine. This is commonly known as CRO (conversion rate optimization)
– Social media measurement. Using tools like Sproutsocial, HootSuite and others will give you an extra level of visibility across all of your social media channels.
And there you have it, Covering some of the critical areas of digital marketing and “growth hacking.” A practical full digital solution will work together to drive strong results. Different campaigns and platforms will require different skill sets and experience. We recommend reaching out to a professional agency who can facilitate all of these services and become an extension of your business to drive the best result possible.
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