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By Tanya Smythe
What’s your business’s reputation risk profile? How do prospective customers see your business? What’s the impact that that is having on sales and by default, your finances?
As a business owner, your skills and your reputation is what got you started and underpins your success. You will be actively managing many aspects of your business, but, have you stopped to think about your firm’s reputation and in particular, what’s posted online?
Research shows that more than 75% of consumers read online reviews about a company before making a purchasing decision. The bigger the ticket item, the more important this becomes. Research by the Spielgen Research Center, has shown that the impact of reviews on more expensive purchases, can increase conversions by up to 380%! That’s not a number readily ignored.
Click anywhere on the image to below to get your FREE online reputation score.
Watch our “Bite Sized” video, for the summarised version
In 2011, Google came up with a profound and brand-new idea to define customer behaviour online. Coined the “Absolutely No Crucial Moment”, the concept sought to explain a new standard of shopping tasks, where online research before an acquisition, plays an indispensable part of the customer’s trip. As profound concepts tend to go, as quickly as you hear it, you understand it to be true.
As local businesses and SME owners, if you didn’t have sufficient on your plate at the best of times, let alone in the current climate, this is one more aspect that is imperative to “get your head around”.
Reputation Marketing – at its core, is where track record advertising and marketing is making use of every one of the tools at one’s disposal, winning that vital “absolutely no decisive moment” online.
While the term, reputation marketing, may not be one with which you’re overly familiar, you probably are with the concept; an alternative way to consider it is the merging of reputation management and brand marketing. The internet has brought in a further dynamic.
Amid the situation, we’re all facing, whether as a business owner or consumer/client in 2020, one thing is for sure, as a business owner, you can’t afford to leave any stone unturned in your quest to be found and create trust, particularly, online. For a prospective purchaser, the first time your business is likely to be visible to them is when they are searching either for your product/service or company, which makes it arguably the most critical element to get right.
Many searches contain the term, “near me” or in a specific location, e.g., surveyors in Guildford, accountants near me, hair-dressers or spas in Bath, etc. The search engines rely on the correct geographical data to show highly relevant search results. In the present climate, with the negative impact on businesses of all shapes and sizes, with many closing, the buyers are still there; it’s imperative that your business details are correctly listed, and you show up when your company, product or service is sought.
Fail to be visible or convey the wrong impression, and your potential customers/clients are taking their business to your competitors.
If your contact information is incorrect or, worse, can’t be found online, you are ensuring that that sale goes to a competitor who has established that trust. You must take control of all of your internet listings, ensuring that they’re accurate. A simple “St.” on one listing and “Street” on another, is, shockingly, enough for them to be read by the robots as different addresses! Artificial Intelligence (AI) may be able to do some remarkable things, but, in some quarters, there’s room for improvement.
This isn’t just the preserve of the B2C market, B2B is as relevant. Every business has online buyers, whether for business purposes or in their own time. We’re each receiving vast swathes of information when digitally surfing, many times, sub-consciously.
You wouldn’t give out a business card with the incorrect contact number, would you? A listing is the same. Establishing the correct listing for an organisation online is critical; an incorrect one is like having a phone line that goes unanswered, but online, there are thousands of eyes witnessing the error. A small investment of your time to address these can be worth significantly more in terms of lost or secured sales.
What’s even more apparent, year on year, evaluations are trending towards a more significant influence with consumers; internet testimonials from real clients carry more and more weight in the buying process. As a result, getting and then showcasing them front and centre should be a top priority for every SME.
Buyers attribute a sizeable trust to feedback from faceless individuals on evaluation sites; regretfully, fraudsters capitalise on that misplaced trust in the system. One step some platforms have taken is to show if the purchase or equivalent is verified visibly – take a look at the reviews next time you’re on Amazon.
For the local business, it can feel challenging to enter the same pool as more substantial firms with teams of creatives constructing the next viral fad. This is where it’s essential to believe in your neighbourhood! Regional companies can utilise social media as that final push to bring potential clients to the door as well as into their office.
A company must appear present, approachable and friendly. Top Tip: get involved with people online and create a 2-way means to interact. You’re not just talking to the person themselves, but those following.
Customer reviews, good, bad or non-existent, are at the core of all track record marketing efforts because they profoundly affect a brand name’s credibility and purchasing decisions. Various methods can be employed to manage, build and market your business’s digital reputation. Some you can do yourself, starting today and others, you’re going to need to, “call a friend”.
The one thing of which you can be assured, whether you’ve none, positive and/or bad reviews online, this will be visible to prospective buyers.
It’s imperative that you know what’s said and you’re managing, building and marketing these reviews accordingly.
Unfortunately, people write testimonials when they’re angry, and one poor review could have a disproportionate impact on your business, especially if you’re not proactively soliciting responses. There are appropriate and inappropriate ways to react to a negative review; hint: ignoring or attacking the reviewer is very much in the latter. Fortunately, there is a multitude of approaches you can use, to obtain great reviews.
There’s a reason large organisations concentrate on customer testimonials – they’re a quick as well as easy means of social proof. Additionally, they’re an excellent way to decrease reputational threat. Equally, SME and local businesses can take another leaf out of the bigger companies playbook, and that’s with soliciting the views of those who work for or with you; for example, you may have transformed the way you work, you’re more involved with you neighbourhood, etc. This has a two-fold benefit:
The take-away, the average customer’s voice, carries significant weight and readily outweighs the everyday marketing efforts.
There are a range of other steps you can and should take, to actively manage, build and market your digital reputation marketing.
Click anywhere in the image below, to be taken to obtain your FREE online reputation evaluation.
Contact the team at DMS to discuss how our reputation marketing services can help your business.
By Tanya Smythe
We asked one of the local Surrey business neighbourhood communities with which we’re a member, what was the most significant area of frustration they faced when it came to their online marketing. The questions and our accompanying recommendations formed the basis for this article and broadly fell into eight topics.
Whether your business has managed to maintain a level of sales or not during much of 2020; it’s fair to say, as a local business owner, you’ll be looking for ways to boost sales. How we do business is going to change, be this as a result of an increased digital presence through to revising your operation and fulfilment model. Innovation is vital.
Like most things, this doesn’t just happen on it’s own, an effective digital marketing strategy needs to be created and delivered. Whether you opt to do this yourself or engage a local digital agency to help doesn’t matter; what does, is to take appropriate action.
Furlogh payments and the Bounce Back loan are two critical steps the Govt’s taken to keep the economy going. A reduction in VAT, for some, from 20% to 5%, will, hopefully, help to kickstart those sectors that have also struggled. There are steps that you, as a business owner and entrepreneur, can also take to boost your business that you may have overlooked.
The following is a summary of our recommendations as going into depth would be information overload!
These are practical online marketing steps, you as a local business owner can take, to position your business to create more leads and sales as people get back out and about post the pandemic.
If you’re pressed for time, we’ve summarised the questions and our recommendations into a 2 minute video, here …
There are two options that you can and should consider together:
In one word, Control.
Whether it’s Facebook or any other 3rd party platform provided by someone else; if, however inadvertently, you transgress their T&Cs, you can have your page suspended and removed. Your page is likely to remain unavailable and invisible while you seek clarity and resolution. With your own site, you have full control, and you’re not subject to someone else’s whims that’ll impact your business!
It’s relatively inexpensive to set up and host your own site. The benefits far outweigh the cost.
GMB is a great resource, particularly for local businesses. To get the most out of it, ensure that it’s set up correctly and optimised. A couple of other benefits:
There are other benefits, but, if these two aren’t enough, it’s also free!
If you’ve not claimed your free Google listing, click “Google My Business” and you’ll be redirected to Google’s site. Follow the instructions from there.
Yes. As with the earlier aspects, it must be done properly. The key, listen to what’s said and the language used. Recognise also your audience is judging you and your business’s reputation’s at the same time; so, ensure you’re doing yourself justice.
Different platforms attract different audiences, and the behaviour / the way people act on and interact on them is subtly different. Misjudge it and, at best, you’re message is wasted, at worse, it’s misconstrued, and this negatively impacts your brand, product or service.
Social media is a great way to raise the profile of your brand, product or service and to engage with your market. People increasingly are looking for reviews of a business before they’ll buy; what’s said by others and how you respond will say more than the words used. Trust is both being built and destroyed during these interactions. Make sure you’re responding appropriately. A bad review, for example, can be turned around to the betterment of your business; if done correctly.
Narrowing this to 3 is a challenge in its own right! But, for simplicity, we recommend:
There are multiple options to go to, for new ideas. A couple of options include:
There is a multitude of avenues to consider, and it’s imperative to prioritise and plan. That being said, five areas to focus on are:
Outbound marketing is an area where it’s easy to come-a-cropper and caution’s needed! Be careful.
If you don’t know how the list was compiled, you could fall foul of spam laws, resulting in your domain being black-listed and or fines levied. Don’t therefore be tempted to buy a list of emails. There are ways to run Outbound Marketing campaigns without falling foul of the law.
It is possible to run cold email campaigns, but you must take several precautionary steps before starting.
Alternatively, run promotions or equivalent, whereby the user provides you with their email address; this is typically referred to as a “single opt-in”. Many mass email-marketing software providers require, as part of their T&Cs, that you have the end user’s permission (at least single opt-in) before you can send any mass-email campaigns on their systems. A more thorough approach, is to make use of the “double opt-in”, which is where you confirm back to the user that they’re happy to continue to receive content from your business.
We’ve only touched on a range of topics that you, as a local business owner, should consider when designing and executing your digital marketing strategy. This article is by no means exhaustive, and each area itself could easily be the focus of more significant discussion.
Digital Marketing Surrey‘s a digital media agency, based in the borough of Kingston upon Thames, Surrey. We work with local businesses just like yours, across London and the Home Counties. We’re a local business too and know full well the issues you’re facing.
If you’re struggling with your digital marketing or need to devise a strategy and need help, get in touch with us today. We’ll set up an initial exploratory, no obligation, discussion to dig a little deeper and outline if and what we can do, to help you and your business.
By Tanya Smythe
To discuss how we can help your business, click “Contact Us“
If 2020’s been torrid for your business and you’re questioning how best to position your business to benefit from the easing of lockdown, read our Digital Marketing & Operations 7 Point Checklist; many of the activities are free! Normally provided as part of a 4-figure arrangment.
There’s no doubting it, the first half of 2020 has been tough for many people and many local businesses. Even the large organisations haven’t been immune. Some companies have been able to continue operating, albeit, under slightly different operational terms to the start of the year.
If you’re a small or medium-sized business, chances are, recent events have negatively impacted you. If you’ve been able to re-purpose your products or services, hopefully, that’ll provide you with a continued and additional revenue stream as we move forward. However, if you’ve been treading water, waiting for the general opening up, we’re almost there. As we move through into July and beyond, different sectors of our economy can re-open. With the easing of the lockdown, is your business ready?
Timing, as always, is going to be critical. Take action, within the next 3 to 4 months, maximum, to set yourself up to benefit from what’s coming. Make sure you have a plan. Sit on the sidelines and watch and, you’ll be looking back on this period and regretting not having taken the right action.
How ready are you and is your business, to embrace the re-opening? Other than stabilising the finances over the last few months, were you able to review your business, your marketing, taken a closer look at what was and wasn’t working, and, for the latter, identify remedial action? If you’re struggling with what you can do and experience, “analysis paralysis”, i.e. lots of options, but you just not sure where to focus your time and resource, read on.
Whether you did or did not, it doesn’t matter. This article talks to a series of 7 measure you can take to ready your digital marketing and business moving forward. Take the checklist to compare what you have done and if you’ve gaps, plug accordingly. Alternatively, if you’re looking at a nearly blank sheet of paper, you’ll certainly want to read on.
Thankfully, while activity in the non-essential areas may have been quiet and, as a general statement, people are still being paid, there’s a likely pent up demand. Just look at the queues from early in the morning for those stores that opened on mid-June.
Resources are scarce at the best of times, let alone over a period of 3 to 4 months inactivity, where few people are out and about making purchasing decisions. Are your digital marketing activities and operational processes in a good place to make the most of the easing of the lockdown?
A summarised version can be viewed in the video below.
Click on the image below, to be taken to download a fuller copy of our FREE Digital Marketing & Operation 7 Point Checklist.
This cheatsheet sets out in a simple framework, across 7 areas, steps that you can take, right away, to put your business in a great place. Some of the items are free; others are actions that you can take right away and leverage existing material. A summary of the seven topics:
Timing. There’s a somewhat unique opportunity as we collectively move forward with the easing of the restrictions that have been in place for much of the year, Now’s a good time to reset and, if you’re serious about your business, position yourself for success.
Unfortunately, there will be some that don’t make it through the next few months, that’s a harsh commercial reality. Their customers, however, are still seeking solutions to their challenges. Set your business up to capitalise on this period, and you will see substantial returns over the next 12 to 18 months. This opportunity is not going to be around for too long, 3 to 6 months, at best. It’s imperative to take action now.
If you’re serious about your business and would like a copy of our FREE Digital Marketing & Operations 7 Point Checklist. Click here >> Get Me My Copy << to download the fuller checklist.
All are steps that you and your business can take starting today. Some are FREE and require knowledge and detail you already know; others, are more specific and you’ll most likely need to speak to a local digital media team. If you’d prefer to discuss further or engage the DMS team directly, to help ready your digital marketing and operations to capitalise on this period, don’t delay, Contact Us today.
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By Tanya Smythe
Contact Us Today To Get Your Social Media Strategy on The Right Path
Creating and executing an effective social media marketing plan is vital for all local businesses, regardless of sector, product or service. It should feature as part of your overall marketing plan. Not having a plan in place will be detrimental to your company and ensures, your customers are buying from your competitors who have an active social media marketing campaign.
Social media has emerged as a capable marketing platform for all kinds of businesses. A good number of firms use the different social media platforms for differing commercial reasons, and a well-crafted plan will take advantage of the increasing number of users on and across each of these social media apps. In the UK alone, there are approximately 42 million active users from teenagers through to retirees on the leading platforms. By anyone’s estimation, that’s enough of a market for any local business.
The internet’s awash with social media strategies, some simple and others, more complicated. Whether you’ve drafted and delivered the plan yourself or you’ve engaged a social media marketing agency or digital agency, the following will help. The approach recognises the challenges local business face and is designed accordingly.
Below is a simple three-step social media plan, specifically with small and medium-sized local businesses in mind. It will give you a solid footing on which to build your customer base and generate leads through the social media channels.
Before making any solid decision on how to handle your social media strategy, analyse your current position. Determine where you are, your business and social media goals, who and how you will manage your social marketing activities. Prioritise your focus. This is important as it will demonstrate those aspects on which you or your social media marketing team need to work on and those that are already up to scratch. If you’re starting anew, you’re in a good place. If you’ve been active, the following are key points to review.
Elements to consider are:
It’s fundamental to model your ideal customer. Diving into the vast consumer pool with no idea of who it is you’re targeting is a bad thing and will lead to waste of resources – time, effort and money. It is vital to be as precise as possible when identifying your ideal customer; there are many free examples online to help. As a minimum, identify:
Fail to do this or get it wrong, and you’ll spend your scarce resources with little to no meaningful return. Even seasoned marketers fail when they market to the wrong people! Now you know what to do, you can position your resource accordingly.
With a clear understanding of what social marketing is and your existing social media position, you’re now in a good place to write or update your plan. Six factors to address:
Track your social media activity; it can be cumbersome, but it’s key. Consider investing in a social media management tool to help you keep track of the key metrics. There are resources available online, some free or low cost for an entry package.
It’s vital to keep tabs on what’s working and what’s not. Knowing what’s generating a positive return can be scaled, while those that aren’t either tweaked or stopped.
Running a social media campaign in isolation and which is not part of your overall business marketing plan, is asking for trouble. You need to have a social media strategy that’s integrated and aligned with your business’ objectives.
To discuss how we can help you, contact the team at Digital Marketing Surrey today
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By Tanya Smythe
To discuss how social media marketing can help your local business grow, click on Contact Us today, or email: email@example.com
As we collectively ease forward following the recent constraints, all businesses need to employ every tool available to restock the order book. Social network marketing is one such feature, readily available to all. Overlook or ignore it, and you’re missing a relatively inexpensive tool to help your business grow.
Social media marketing needs both technique and creativity. While it might seem frustrating, its significance within your marketing strategy and commercial benefit, cannot be overstated. Research has shown that a significant majority of marketing professionals are utilising social media apps, and the majority of salespeople outsell their peers by using social media sites for their company. Realising sales is vital, yet social media’s advantages expand far beyond enhancing sales.
It’s estimated that some 50% of small organisations, even now, aren’t using social media to promote their company. That’s a disconcerting number. A lot more worrying is that an additional c. 25% do not plan to make use of social media sites in the future! That’s akin to actively choosing to ignore someone who wants to buy your product/service; which, unless there’s a good reason, is not a recommended business strategy! There’s a sizeable difference between those seeing the benefits of social media sites and those battling to get started.
As you’re reading this article, we’re going to assume that you’re considering creating a social media marketing campaign and looking for some inspiration over how to use social media for your business or you’ve dipped your toe into it, but not seen any real benefit. We offer affordable social media management. To discuss further, contact us today: email: firstname.lastname@example.org
At its simplest, the benefits of social network marketing are:
Both Facebook and Twitter enable you to review the reach as well as provide an Insight of all your posts. To review Insights:
Whether your researching how to make social media work for your business or you’re working with a social media marketing agency, the following is a list of 7 steps to take …
A robust financial investment in your customer solution can build purposeful partnerships between your business and your consumers. Social media provides a quick and accessible route for your clients to reflect on their experience (good and bad) with your business. Regrettably, people are more likely to post about negative experiences than positive, of which there are many examples. Social media enables instant interaction. If you’re on the receiving end of negative comments, don’t shy away from it; acknowledge the post and seek a means to resolve.
The steps listed above are, in the main, equally applicable for B2B and B2C businesses. There will be some variations on the strategy designed and executed.
DMS is a digital agency, based in Surrey, working with local business like yours, in London and the Home Counties, providing social media outsourcing for small business. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you improve your financial return through the use of social media marketing.
#whatissocialmediausedfor #importanceofsocialmedia #socialmediaexamples #socialmediaadvantages #socialmediaapps #socialmediadisadvantages #typesofsocialmedia
By Tanya Smythe
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The perennial question most SME owners will have, or you’re asking yourself right now, is how to create consistent content? Unfortunately, that’s only part of the equation. This simple question has to be expanded, such that you’re clear how you will create content not just consistently, but that is also informative, engaging and provides your audience with value.
In addition to creating this consistent and informative material, you’ve to maintain your business and, if you’re not a writer or not too happy putting the proverbial digital pen to paper, to create engaging digital content, this task can appear even more daunting. We’re willing to bet that you’re not one of the lucky ones for whom writing comes easy. If this sounds familiar, read on, we’ve some tips n tricks that will help.
Let’s be clear from the outset, while the frequency of publication is essential – Google et al. are always seeking new content and it’s one of the elements of their search algorithms – quality outweighs frequency, hands-down. There’s little to no point churning out several poor-quality articles a week or month, to maintain a regular rate of publication. From the start, set the expectation with your audience, your team and yourself, to produce excellent content, that adds value to your audience.
Contact us today to discuss how our marketing services can help you and your business.
If all this is too much and you know, despite all your best intentions, that you’re not really going to do this, don’t beat yourself up. Far better to recognise this early on and take the appropriate steps – if you’re a small business, this will typically be by engaging an external party and if you’re a medium-sized firm, hiring in or expanding your digital marketing team or working with an online marketing agency. One word of caution, while you can readily outsource the creation of content, you are the expert. It’s your knowledge that’s central to your business. A by-product of creating quality material is to establish or reinforce you as an authority in your market with your target audience. Thinking that you can delegate the creation of quality, value-adding content to someone who does not have your level of expertise is doing your audience and your business a disservice.
Whether your business is London or the Home Counties based, the team at DMS work with many local businesses like yours. We’re data-driven and strive to deliver digital marketing solutions that have a strong ROI for your business.
Get in touch today. Visit us at https://www.digitalmarketingsurrey.co.uk/contact-us or email: email@example.com
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By Tanya Smythe
Is your business the same as the majority of others, or, better placed, with the minority?
Click Contact Us today to discuss our how content marketing service can help your business.
According to a recent study from the Content Advertising And Marketing Institute (CMI), as well as MarketingProfs, some 63% of companies do not have a documented online content advertising and marketing strategy. It’s not surprising then, that those businesses who DO have an approach, are achieving results. If your business falls into the 63%, read on. If you’re one of the 37%, that’s great to hear. Read on as there may be some useful reminders …
In essence, there are two primary goals:
These should not be looked at in isolation but as part of a wider and interconnected activity. Whether you’re writing your content or have someone in your team who’s managing your online presence or have engaged an external search marketing company, it’s important to ensure your integrate your web activity. Ultimately, from a commercial perspective, all activities must be contributing to securing a solid Return On Investment (ROI) and by default, improving profits. If the ROIs low or negative, appropriate decisions can be taken to address and resolve. Remember to monitor the changes.
This does, of course, require the availability of the underlying metrics, also referred to as KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Therefore it’s vital you as an SME owner, know your numbers!
Remember, your website isn’t about you; it should not be a vanity project! Your website, your digital assets should demonstrate how your product or service addresses or resolves your client’s/customer’s primary need. The challenge will vary depending on whether the item to be purchased is essential or a nice to have. A burst water pipe requires an immediate fix, whereas a new item of clothing is more discretionary. Consequently, the nature of the copy used and its presentation within your content marketing will differ.
Google, Yahoo et al. are all moving further into better understanding our intent and the language used. Content and context are and will be increasingly important for all content shared online.
We’re a web agency marketing company, specialised in working with small and medium-sized local businesses, across the Home Counties and London, to help with website marketing. Our goal is to take the strain away from you, at least on the digital marketing front, giving you your time back to focus on your business and do those things you want to do.
Contact us today to talk further about developing or implementing an effective integrated online content marketing strategy for your business.
To discuss further, contact us on: firstname.lastname@example.org
By Tanya Smythe
Content Marketing Strategy – Bite Sized, For the Time Poor, Local SME Business
Contact Us today to discuss further. Click on the image, “Yes, I Want Help, Click Here”
All business’ face unprecedented challenges to their current operations and in some cases, their future existence. Whether your business is in the latter camp or not, you’ll expect a solid ROI on every expenditure. With that in mind, when was the last time you reviewed your digital marketing and in particular, your business’ content marketing strategy? How many leads or brand awareness is it generating?
As an SME business, every penny counts; budgets need careful allocation, and most importantly, your money needs to be working hard for you and your business.
In the worse case, you don’t know! In which case, as a first step, you need to take a closer look at the KPIs. A better position, it could be improved, and you’re looking for ways to make it more cost-effective.
One of the best approaches to improve cost-effectiveness is to identify what existing material can be re-purposed and curated. If you’re not re-purposing and curating your existing content, is there a reason? Would you benefit from assistance?
At the best of times, an effective content marketing plan will help you grow your brand’s recognition, bring in new clients and drive revenue, while helping to reinforce brand commitment, conversions and growth.
According to a research study compiled by Coschedule: Companies that release 16+ blog site posts a month get as much as 3.5 X website traffic as those that release 0-4 messages a month. Content advertising generates 3X much more leads per pound invested. Digital content advertising and marketing:
Ensure your objectives are clear and realistic; this will assist you as well as your group in making vital choices as you further refine your marketing material. The wrong message, to the wrong audience at the wrong time, only results in wasted spend.
A common goal is to get people to visit your website or blog site and, as a minimum, sign up to an offer in exchange for their email address; this may be with an introductory discount or e-book. Once you have their email and they’ve agreed to receive further material from you, you’re able to start to build a relationship with those who’ve shown a level of interest with your products/services.
The idea is that a consumer, when aware of a brand name, mission or goal, finds it attractive enough, to complete a purchase. An effective content advertising and marketing strategy have two things in mind: your brand’s voice and the target market. If, for example, you’re attempting to reach younger customers, one method is through the social media sites they’re on and using punchy language.
As an example, Harry’s, a firm that offers razors; generates a digital publication that includes topics such as fathering and design, as well as much more. Tools like Google Analytics assist in identifying which material is most popular with your audience, who’s reviewing what, where and when.
Blog sites like Harry’s self-styled magazine and email newsletters are commonly the core of any content advertising strategy. But ingenious brand names have gone a lot further, tapping right into influencers on Instagram, use of Facebook Messenger, running podcasts, publishing physical publications, generating video clip collections and so on.
An essential exercise at the start of launching your web content strategy is to focus on a couple of the leading networks and branch off later.
Fast forward a month; you’ve created and finalised your content marketing strategy, you’ve great content in the pipeline, you’ve started to blog, at least 3 times a week, have plans to create a bi-monthly newsletter and have an idea for a series of video clips.
Exactly how do you make certain individuals see your web content? You can produce great web content; however, like the typical tree that drops its seeds in the forest, if no one reviews it, does it matter? An email e-newsletter is a great way to distribute the material and seek feedback. Pose questions and challenge or encourage your readers to respond.
While you develop your email list, you can advertise on social media sites (paid), as well as adding additional, evergreen content, that anchors the content of your business web site.
Remember to do effective keyword research and capitalise on search engine optimisation (SEO) to ensure your web content promotes itself. Don’t keyword stuff, keep things proportional. There are free tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner that give an insight to the sort of terms others are using; however, recognise this is only giving you part of the picture, it isn’t giving you any of the really informative information, such as, which terms are really driving your target market, those with buying intent or the level of potential conversion. It’s easy to spend money, make sure it’s on those elements that will deliver an ROI. Are you confident that you know which terms are bringing customers to your site and more importantly, your competitors? Digital Marketing Surrey is data-driven, we can show you, those terms that have buyers intent and are more likely to bring conversions.
When you initially begin, ensure that the material you’re committed to generating is something you and also your group can take care of and maintain. Whether it’s one blog post a week or more posts each month or merely one durable email e-newsletter each quarter, ensure you carry out regularly on schedule.
Digital Marketing Surrey (DMS) is a west London digital marketing agency, based in the borough of Kingston Upon Thames, SY, specialising in providing digital solutions for small and medium sized local businesses.
To discuss how the DMS team can help you with your b2b or b2c content martketing in digital marketing, contact us today:
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By Tanya Smythe
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Struggling with whether or how to continue your digital marketing in the current climate? The following 9 top tips will help you.
The phrase, “May you live in interesting times”, often attributed to being an interpretation of a traditional Chinese curse, but believed to be from an analysis of a speech in the late-19th-century, by Joseph Chamberlain, couldn’t be more true today. We’re unquestionably living in uncertain and unprecedented times, at least in modern memory, where there are challenges to both our personal and business lives. However, this shouldn’t mean that things have to stop, instead, for now at least, we need to do things differently. The way we conduct our business, how we communicate with our teams, our customers, our family and friends needs to be adjusted. It’s not business as usual. There will be a new norm.
Whether your company has briefly stopped all business, has chosen or been encouraged to work remotely, how you approach your digital marketing presence will have changed in reaction to this present health crisis.
Whether you’re managing your own online marketing activity or you’ve engaged a digital marketing company, the following’s a list of 9 tips, for how SME business owners across London and the Home Counties can continue to market their products or services.
That’s the short version! Now to expand on each of the items above:
Now more than ever, it’s vital to recognise that it’s not BAU for anyone.
Many organisations, small and large alike, are seeking financial assistance to assist with covering payroll, costs, and pay debts. There are many who’ve been required to close, have lost a substantial percentage of customers, have decreased to skeleton teams and/or a 100% remote workforce. And if you’re like me, while working from home, we’re now also homeschooling the kids.
In unprecedented times like these, it’s vital to recognise that it’s OKAY to strike the pause button on advertising non-urgent matters. Think about moving your focus to ways in which your service can assist current customers amid this health crisis. Regardless of a cutback in businesses that can remain open right now, it is encouraging to see lots of substantial firms advertise their items while recognising the effect that COVID-19 is triggering on our everyday lives.
If you’ve not done so already, devise a top-level strategy, with realistic goals and KPIs to measure effectiveness. Adjust as necessary as this will also help to maintain momentum.
However this pandemic is impacting your business or industry, in general, be sure to share announcements with your clients. This keeps you agile and maintains momentum. One of the benefits small and medium-sized companies have to offer to their clients, over the larger organisations, is their agility and ability to adjust quickly to changing demands.
A simple email or social media post will advise clients that you have their backs and that your company values a lot more than just its bottom line.
Ask your customers how they are, what assistance you might be able to offer.
Have you changed what you do or when? There have been several examples given by the News statations, of companies re-purposing their operation to focus on the production of PPE equipment and clothing. This wasn’t something that they’d produced previously. Still, the material they have enables the creation of these items. As a result, their business is open, working all their regular hours and some extended times.
Equally, if your hours of operation have changed, let your customers know that you’re still open, how and when they can contact you. In addition, to letting people know when they contact your business, you’re able to update your description to offer more information regarding any additional safety measures you are taking or if there are changes in services. Update your Google My Business profile to reflect the changes in hours and/or description.
There are multiple methods to inform your customers of these changes; you could pin a banner to your website, send an email, or put a post on social media platforms. Consider engaging a local marketing agency who offers social media services. Alerting consumers of your business’ existing tweaks of processes will relieve any anxiety they may have, and inform them of any limitations in services before them getting on the phone and making an enquiry.
A handy tip: if you are providing items that are flying off the proverbial shelf, make sure you have sufficient stock to meet demand. To stop this, you can temporarily exclude these items from your shopping campaigns; that way, you are not at threat of showing an ad for an item that you no longer have. For brick-and-mortar services, adjusting your strategy might imply minimal spending plans or pausing particular campaigns. This was a strategy recently adopted by the supermarkets to bring a level of control to matters.
The goal here is to help you adjust your messaging accordingly so you can continue purposeful, quality interaction with your audience and stand firm with your customers. As always, but particularly now, communication should be kept clear, concise and accurate.
During the current climate, buyers, whether as consumers or on behalf of their business, are being more cautious. That’s probably unlikely to end one the current challenges have passed.
This will make it harder for some business to secure sales. However, it does create an opportunity. Think about those things, that to you, might seem to be very obvious or not particularly important, but which, to someone else, actually is a great insight or something that they do could do themselves.
In the current climate, differentiate which of your products/services are fundamental essentials and which are more discretionary. It’s more vital than ever to understand the distinction and align your marketing messages accordingly. You don’t want to be the only service of your sector trying to sell when everyone else is providing support.
An excellent example is when major supermarkets limited items, prioritising delivery slots and setting aside particular opening hours for the elderly and keyworkers. This is a less convincing, but more subtle method of selling your services or product.
Alternatively, think about creating and telling a story and building relationships with both existing and potential clients. Do this deliberately. Aim to create content about your products or services, set the story so that it engages the reader, or viewer (if using video) and they become vested in your business. This will help when they’re choosing from whom to buy. Building trust is critical.
Thankfully, the power of the internet and technology has helped to put the word out and share one’s story. Mix things up a little in how you communicate, try to do things differently, bring in humour, the goal is to stand apart from your competitors, even when allowing for social distancing.
This pandemic is a good pointer that it’s much simpler and less expensive to market to existing clients versus getting new customers. The critical question here is, “What else can you do to help your existing clients?”
Individuals want to feel like you’re treating them with respect, offering solutions that help address their challenges will enhance client loyalty. No one is going to ignore COVID-19 in a hurry. It will be talked about for years to come and individuals will have stories to outline brand names, experiences, and possibly your customer support – make sure it’s for positive reasons!
Let’s by no means overlook what’s going on, on the homefront, whether that’s trying to work from home, at the same time as homeschooling the kids and all the other usual more mundane home activities. Striking that balance between home and work can be tough at the best of times and particularly so, now. That’s the bad news! The excellent news is that this is also a distinct chance that comes perhaps once in a lifetime. Consider it as an opportunity to buy Google or Facebook ads when others are cutting their advertising budgets or, maybe, to raise the profile of your business and associated products or services.
Now is the time to start of increase, not reduce your marketing efforts. Focus resource on either essential services/products or building brand awareness. This is how you can gain a competitive advantage in the months and years to come. Trade conventions are not a choice with the current constraints; however, there are multiple tools readily accessible to us all, even on our phones, to raise awareness of our business and brand.
It is essential to remain on top of how shifting markets may impact your paid search and paid social accounts, from altering click and impression volumes to changing expenses. Paid ads reflect the market, it’s not the market itself. If someone’s promoting expensive watches and the search trends for these items have dramatically reduced, leads and sales are likely to follow suit. Know your numbers, be this number of visitors, price per click, per impression, per lead, per conversion, etc. Your budget and associated costs will change accordingly. It’s vital to stay on top of your CTRs (click-through rates) and any/ all CTAs (call to actions). If you’re working with a web marketing agency, speak to the team managing your account to obtain a current report as to your PPC services.
At this point, if you do have to lower your budget, consider briefly suspending non-essential campaigns and focus ad spend on branded terms due to the higher quality traffic they naturally receive. For those SMEs that have tight yearly spending plans, the reallocation of ad invest towards more effective marketing campaigns could be vital to their success
In addition to updating your profile, it is worthwhile to update your advertisement copy and extensions to show any modifications. This is specifically crucial if you have any callout extensions mentioning your company hours. There has been a lot that has taken place as a direct or indirect outcome of COVID-19.
The tone of your copy is critical. Misjudge it, and you could, unintentionally, come across as unaware or ignorant.
The present crisis has affected people on an individual level and globally, so the risk of unintentionally coming off as insensitive and even exploitative is higher than ever today. With social networks communication at a peak, one little error could have far-reaching and long-term negative consequences for your business.
With that in mind, change unimportant propositions like “more dog walks” or “more diners in your premises” to something more neutral, like “more leads,” or more prompts, like “more web based orders.” Reword inappropraite CTAs, like “join now” for facilities that are closed.
Use words to reinforce the security of your audience, such as:
Don’t forget to examine your automated emails or set up posts for importance and appropriateness.
Everybody is having to make adjustments right now and settling into new rhythms. You won’t (and should not) make the above changes to all of your copy unilaterally. Start with top-trafficked content and brand-new content moving forward. Develop a spreadsheet of the changes you make so you can monitor what to change back when things begin to settle.
Things will go back to regular sooner or later. A new normal, however a normal nonetheless. This virus may be a brand-new era, and your messaging and deals may change, but your copywriting standards need to be the same. You are still supplying information, including worth, and communicating to your audience that you are in tune with their requirements.
Some will have, opt of choice or necessity, paused or decreased online marketing with PPC, be this Google, Facebook Ads or other and moved that spending over to SEO. With this method, they can make enhancements to their organic rankings that will help them surpass their rivals when the pandemic is over. If you have turned off ads and you can manage to continue to buy marketing, then I’d highly advise reallocating that spending plan to enhancing your search rankings. A competent digital agency will be able to provide you with SEO services.
Some enhancements can be made to both on and off-page aspects of your website. Now is a great time to review these, to assess how well they’re working. Unlike PPC, the changes made to your website, or other digital platforms will remain long after they’re made – and as long as they’re relevant. They don’t end when the paid campaign stops. Ensuring your site has been optimised will help with organic traffic and your presence on the search results page.
If you have a brick-and-mortar organisation where you’re no longer able to see customers/patients in-person, then see if you’re able to generate revenue or generate leads or set consultations through other methods. For instance, can you change your delivery techniques during this pandemic: Lawyers/Accountants can use virtual meetings instead of in-person consultations and the same goes for financial consultants, as well as other professionals and specialists.
A business that typically offer in-person services, should consider promoting products rather than their services, considering that they can’t see individuals in-person; one such example is spas. Other organisations might be able to provide discounts for payment up-front. For example, could your business provide a “bond” where consumers can pay £75 to get £100 worth of your product/service in the future when the activity resumes?
The beauty of social media during this pandemic is its ability to develop sociability through digital platforms. A change in regular, work settings and social distancing has been difficult for lots of people. We can and will continue to interact with each other with the aid of the internet.
With more of us spending considerably more time online and the various digital platforms, your business must be able to engage and interact accordingly. Ensure that you’re speaking with one voice, giving a clear message across each of these “touchpoints” with your company.
Selling does not always mean aggressive emails. Being active on your social networks platforms will subconsciously remind individuals of your brand and let them know you exist if they need your business. Likewise, it’s easier to promote your service naturally as you aren’t straight out asking people to buy from you. If, for example, they see your product and services on Twitter, it’s their choice whether to get in touch.
Your website may be the best thing since sliced bread, but, some visitors will simply come and go, with little to no engagement. Track the bounce rate, where they arrive and exit. Find a means by which to engage these visitors, either when on your website (chat-bots are a good example) or offer a free, useful e-book, which is available when they share their email. You can then start to build up a relationship.
It can be a challenge to determine what exactly is going on when people visit your site. With the appropriate data, you’ll be able to make informed decisions about your key metrics. Without the data, it’s very much speculation; you won’t know where to focus resources and scale to get the best ROI.
It’s all well and good to recognise and be aware of your customers’ challenges, but what about your business? Don’t overlook it!
It’s easy to get caught up in the current melee, but you must keep in mind that your customers will still exist beyond the current challenges: how you treat them in the meantime will really make a difference. This ties into the peak-end rule theory the idea that we only keep in mind the most extreme feelings we experienced in a particular scenario rather than all the pleasant and negative emotions in between.
Identify where you need help and reach out to those who can help. People respond to requests for support.
This pandemic will pass, business will continue, albeit, probably in a new normal. We all need to ensure that we’re engaging with and providing value to our existing and potential clients.
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By Tanya Smythe
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