A Toolkit to Master Your Digital Marketing
Digital & Online Presence | Your guide to mastering digital marketing.
To grow your business, start with your audience. So, you’ve started a business. Perhaps you’re selling vintage jewelry online, providing your neighborhood with the best dining experience in town or inviting customers into your very own bed and breakfast. No matter what you do, your business has a distinct purpose. Guess what? Finding that purpose is the hardest—and the most important—part of running a business.
Define Your Audience
Did you know that Popular Woodworking has over 28,000 followers on Twitter? The world is full of people with unique hobbies and niche interests. That means no matter how specialized your product or service is, you have an audience waiting for your offerings. To pinpoint your audience, ask yourself a few key questions about your customer’s demographics, psychographics and behavior.
Reach Your Audience
Now that you know who your audience is, it’s time to reach them. One way to start is by creating Google Ads to help your audience find your offerings. First, come up with a list of common keywords for your brand. Then, follow Google’s guidelines to create text ads that include those keywords. Be sure to keep the language natural—otherwise your carefully crafted ads may end up ignored. Aside from Google Ads, it’s also important to include SEO keywords throughout your website. This should help customers find your content, while giving them helpful information about what sets your business apart from the rest.
Start the Conversation
Your audience is never just in one place. They’re on Google, but they’re also on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram. Find out which channels are best for your brand by identifying which your customers use most frequently. Then, create social profiles as well as regular, engaging content.
Your customers are nailing social media. Are you? In the modern world, everything and everybody is on social media. From Facebook to Twitter to YouTube, your customers are spending quality time connecting with friends and family—but they’re also connecting with brands. They’re learning about products and services, asking questions, giving feedback and identifying with brands that share like-values. Social media is an enormous opportunity to grow and nurture your audience. By picking the right channels, creating valuable content, scheduling posts ahead of time and studying analytics, you can benefit your audience and your brand. Ready?
Choose Your Channels
Unless you have a full marketing team, you probably shouldn’t dive head-first into Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Periscope. Chances are you’re already busy—so it’s important to only pick channels that you’ll be able to properly manage. You should post regularly to any channels you run, so make sure you’re not biting off more than you can chew. After all, it’s better to be absent on a channel than to abandon fans and followers who look to you for fresh, interesting content.
Think about which channels your audience spends the most time on. If you own a restaurant, you may want to go with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you specialize in craft supplies, add Pinterest Propel to the mix for promoted DIY content. Do you sell quirky t-shirts to millennials? Go for channels that appeal to younger audiences like Snapchat. Do you own an accounting firm? Reach out to professionals on LinkedIn. Prioritize the channels you’d like to run, then make sure finding them is easy. One way to do this is by including clickable social icons on your website to any channels you use.
Create attention-grabbing content for your brand. It’s not all about products and services, it’s about your content. Whether you own a yoga studio or a spa, you know that running a successful business means giving your customers great value. But value isn’t just what you can give your customers when they’re in your presence. While complimentary tea, relaxing music and free samples are all great additions to your services, you can benefit customers even more. How? By creating content that gives your customers a reason to stay loyal to your brand.
Begin with a Helpful Blog
According to a survey by Jadite Inc., small businesses that engage their customers through a blog get a whopping 126% more lead growth than non-blogging businesses. Not only are blogs valuable to you, they’re also valuable to your customers and potential customers. Let’s picture two businesses: a yoga studio with a blog, and a yoga studio without a blog. At first glance, these studios look very similar. They both see customers regularly, develop meaningful relationships and help customers better their lives through exercise and Zen mindsets. But the studio with a blog goes even further. It posts about breathing practices, where to find quality yoga gear, post- workout smoothie recipes and aromatherapy blends for relaxation. That means two things. First, potential customers who come across the blog will likely choose this studio over other options (i.e., the studio without a blog) because the studio has already given them value through helpful content.
Second, existing customers who are in-between sessions will be able to continue their journey through the studio’s blog—causing them to be even more loyal, while sharing these posts with friends and family. The blogging yoga studio will likely grow, while nurturing their customers and enticing potential customers. Give your customers something to look forward to Like blogs, we recommend using newsletters to give even more value to your customers. But wait, what’s the difference between blogs and newsletters? Well, while the two mediums are quite similar, there is one difference that should be considered. Blogs are written for customers and potential customers. Because of Not only are blogs valuable to you, they’re also valuable to your customers and potential customers.
Digital Marketing Platforms
Pick your marketing platform with confidence. Simplify your marketing needs with the right platform. As a business owner, there’s a lot on your shoulders. First, you have to source (or create) a valuable product or service. Second, you have to provide these products and services to your customers in a simple, timely manner. Third, you have to stay on top of transactions between you, your customers and your vendors. Between stocking up on necessary supplies, paying rent and hiring employees, your to-do list never quite comes to an end. So how do you pencil in tasks like creating and scheduling emails, posting social content and measuring performance? With the right marketing platform, you can save time and reap more rewards.
With Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud, you can build and manage email campaigns, reach your customers via mobile messaging, engage customers over social channels, manage ads online, create landing pages, track visitor behavior, deliver personalized web content and create cross-channel journeys for customers. Plus, you can access the platform through your computer or smart phone.
Let’s take a closer look at Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud email capabilities. With this platform, you can use drag-and-drop content tools to create custom emails for your audience. Through this tool, you can also create automatic messages for your customers for different stages throughout your email campaign. For added value, Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud also allows you to A/B test emails—or test two different email variations to see which will perform better—while tracking and optimizing your campaigns.
Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud social capabilities are also impressive. Through social listening tools, you can keep an eye on conversations about your brand, trending topics and more. As well, you can plan, publish and track social posts simply for full-circle campaigns. Another perk is the ability to respond to customers quickly by monitoring owned channels, organizing conversations and labeling posts.
We bet you’ve heard the name “MailChimp” before— and with good reason. Not only does MailChimp have an intuitive user experience for users of all skillsets, it can be used for Fortune 500 companies and is affordable for businesses of all sizes. What kind of marketing needs can you accomplish with MailChimp? MailChimp allows you to easily design or choose email templates, automate and track emails, monitor performance, create ads, target your audience, post social content across channels and more. Also, MailChimp connects seamlessly to your online store. Utilizing MailChimp’s ecommerce integrations, you can create targeted ad campaigns, automate follow-up messages and even notify your audience when items are back in stock. You can then see reports that show how much your customer base has grown and how close you are to reaching financial goals.
Constant Contact allows you to create and edit email templates, deliver and track emails, share emails via your social channels, run and track Facebook promotions, easily manage contact lists and set automatic emails for instances like customer birthdays. It also easily integrates with platforms like Facebook, LeadPages, PayPal and WordPress. One reason small businesses choose Constant Contact is because this platform comes with a myriad of resources to make the most of their services. From FAQs to video tutorials to webinars, Constant Contact allows you to grow your skills without leaving your home (or, more likely, your business space). On top of their helpful resources, Constant Contact is known for their superior customer service. Along with live chat support with Constant Contact representatives, you can take advantage of phone support for additional help. If you’re often overwhelmed by marketing tasks, this platform may be right for you.
Customer Service & Reputation Management
Meet your customers’ needs before they ask. Bring your great customer service online. As a business owner, you’re no stranger to customer service. You go above and beyond for your customers, whether you’re helping them choose the perfect product or searching for answers to unexpected questions. As you know, great service sets you aside from other businesses. It shows you’re trustworthy, personable and helpful. But what about your customer service online? From your social accounts to your website, there’s always an opportunity to share proactive service with your audience. Here’s how.
Start Where Your Customers Do: Your Website
Your website can make all the difference in a sale, and even in a customer relationship. Oftentimes, this is where your customers will begin their journey with your brand—whether you own a vegan juice bar or a second- hand boutique. So what happens when a customer has a question about food allergies or size conversions, but can’t figure out where to ask it? Take a moment to visit your website. Now, imagine you’re the customer in question. What do you do?
First, you’ll likely look for an FAQ or contact page. Are these pages easy to find? If not, it’s time to make an update or two. Your customers have limited time (and limited attention spans) when browsing your website. If your pages are buried, you might just miss out on a sale. If you’re unsure whether your website’s user experience is simple enough, ask someone who has never seen your site to complete a few tasks. These tasks could include answering basic questions through your FAQ page, sending you a message and connecting with you on social media. See how fast these tasks can be completed, and adjust your website accordingly.
What If You Don’t Have an FAQ Page?
An FAQ page can be a huge help to customers, and a remarkable time-saver for you. Think about what customers ask you most often. Then, answer them in straightforward language. This page should be prominent on your site, and updated regularly with new questions. An FAQ page is also a great place to show off your brand’s benefits. Do you strictly sell locally-made products? Include the question “Where are your products made?” with an explanation about why you believe in supporting local sellers. Does your tech store have impressive warranties? Ask “What happens if my laptop breaks?” Think about what you’d like customers to know about your brand, then frame those benefits into simple questions and answers.
If You Want to Keep Customers then Keep It Personal
Everyone wants to feel special, including your customers. It’s one of the reasons your regulars keep coming back—when they do, you treat them differently. You remember their orders, you have longer conversations, you might even call them by name. But how can you bring this personal service online, and share it with everyone? One simple way to do this is through your voice. It helps to sound natural, human and personal. It also helps to give your customers reminders that you care. When someone sends you a message on your “contact us” page, send them a message thanking them for reaching out along with a timeframe of how long it’ll take you to get back to them. This can be set up automatically through platforms like WordPress, so you can always send timely messages.
You can download the complete PDF version of this guide by clicking here.