Just how digitally savvy would you say your business is?
Very? Kinda? Not a lot?
The digital world is moving on — with or without you — at an incredible pace:
- 61% of content marketers meet with their team daily or weekly to create the most effective content marketing strategies [source: CMI]
- Mobile now captures two out of every three digital media minutes in the US [source: comScore]
- Search: Google’s algorithms may now show results based on what part of the funnel you’re in [source: SearchEngine Land]
- 80% of marketing automation users saw their number of leads increase, and 77% saw the number of conversions increase [source: VB Insight]
So exactly how can you keep up?
Start with these 12 ways you can become more digitally savvy …
12 Ways To Boost Business With Digitally Savvy Marketing
1) Audience Development
Please do yourself a big ‘ole favor and start here!
I can’t tell you how many companies just start marketing with no real audience in mind — which is not only a waste of time but can be a HUGE waste of money.
And that means moving beyond the buyer persona.
For better Audience Development, focus on:
- Brand advocates: Or the top percentage of people who share your online content; the ones who engage, ask questions and leave comments.
- Industry influencers: Use social signals to find like-minded people who are important to your industry and your business; research and join these tribes. These groups are made up of high-potential content consumers and sharers, which gives your company a boost to the right audiences.
- Paid amplification: While you can build a solid foundation with demographics, psychographics — interests, opinions, beliefs, values — can help you better create timely and relevant ads to attract the right audience.
Tools & Resources
Use these tools and/or resources to help you better define your audience and create content that adds leads to your pipeline:
- Discovery by Affinio – Discovery by Affinio gives you insight into your own personal brand and your tribes on Twitter, including what who people are and what they are interested in, so you can better manage your brand.
- Additionally, Affinio teamed up with Mark Schaefer to share this free ebook, How to Identify, Understand and Grow Your Ideal Content Audience
- Facebook Graph Search – Use this powerful tool as a Facebook Page Owner (or admin) to learn about favorite interests and hobbies of fans, identify employees of a business who have liked a business’s Facebook Page, identify interests of competitors’ fans, research hashtags, and more.
2) Content Marketing
Once you know who you want to market to, you’ll want to create content to pull them to your website or landing page.
There’s plenty out there about content marketing, so here are the most digitally savvy tips for creating content:
- Content creation is needed, but more important is the promotion of that content (aka: content distribution)
- Storytelling — or telling your compelling and personal story with your unique tone and voice — is essential to cutting through the noise and getting your content to stand out
- More than 66% of all social media posts are or includes images — visuals are an important part of content these days
3) Metrics That Matter Most
Metrics will be different for each campaign, company and client since they heavily depend on the goals you’re trying to achieve.
Focus on these fundamentals:
- Overall business goals and KPIs (key performance indicators)
- Channel effectiveness (includes email, social, ads, search, etc.)
- Content effectiveness
And don’t forget about these often overlooked marketing metrics!
This one is really simple: ALWAYS. BE. TESTING.
Document your processes and workflows and keep the iterations fresh and updated as you work out which system delivers the best and most efficient results.
5) Email Marketing
No, email marketing is not dead. Sheesh.
- 72% of US customers want communications to come from companies in the form of email [source: MarketingSherpa]
- Most of your competitors are using email marketing
- Email marketing produces an ROI for 60% of those using it [source: MarketingSherpa]
- It’s nearly-automatically mobile friendly; more than 50% of email is opened on a mobile device [source: Litmus]
So, if you don’t have a list, build it.
And if you’ve got one, nurture it (segmenting and delivering micro content for each tribe/segment is a good way to do this).
6) Marketing Automation
Wikipedia defines marketing automation as:
“Marketing automation refers to software platforms and technologies designed for marketing departments and organizations to more effectively market on multiple channels online (such as email, social media, websites, etc.) and automate repetitive tasks.”
Used wisely, marketing automation can help you become digitally savvy by saving you time on those repetitive tasks (which should also save you money).
It also carries with it these benefits:
- The #1 benefit of marketing automation according to B2B marketers is the ability to generate more and better quality leads [source: Pepper Global]
- 63% of companies that are outgrowing their competitors use marketing automation [source: Salesforce]
- Marketing automation drives a 14.5% increase in sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead [source: Nucleus Research]
Tools & Resources
Use these tools and/or resources to help your team implement easy automation:
- Sprout Social — For scheduling and managing your outgoing social messages (and bulk messaging). And they’ve got a free 30-day trial!
- ConvertKit — For automating your email broadcasts and nurture or drip sequences. Affordable and EASY!
- IFTTT — For automating and simplifying tasks for ANYONE. Seriously, even stuff around the house. Oh yes, and marketing too!
7) Mobile Marketing
Last year, only 20% of Internet Retailer’s top 500 mobile retailers had adopted responsive design websites.
It’s time to catch up!
Use these two Google tools to see if your site meets mobile-friendly requirements:
According to Google:
“Starting April 21, 2015, Google Search will be expanding its use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in Google Search results. Users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results optimized for their devices.”
If you don’t want to get “dinged” by the search giant, be sure you’re digitally savvy with a mobile-friendly site!
8) Social Media Marketing
Here’s a look at how companies are using social media:
While there are many ways to be digitally savvy by using social media, let’s focus on the two biggest issues companies are still having with social.
- Learn how to manage your social media insights for each platform. If you can’t effectively measure success, my advice is to skip using that channel until you do.
- There are big tools and little tools, free and cheap ones to really pricey ones. You need to be the Goldilocks of social media marketing tools, test tools most suitable for your needs until you find one that’s juuuuust right.
9) Digital Advertising
There are a myriad of places you can create successful online ads — even with a small budget.
But before you set a budget, you should get these 5 things straight first:
- Do your keyword research
- Test which types of ads work best for your industry or product/service (i.e. banner ads, social ads, sponsored content)
- Set up goal completions and tracking in Google Analytics
- Have a strong CTA (call-to-action)
- Use A/B testing to see where the best conversions are
Tools & Resources
Use these tools and/or resources to plan your ads:
- Google Keyword Planner — for keyword research
- Not sure how to word your CTA? Check out our post with 40 ideas
10) Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Semantic search is a game changer for SEO.
With Google’s Hummingbird Algorithm, conversational search is leading the way (woo hoo for #ThinkConversation!).
What that means for you:
“Semantic search seeks to improve search accuracy by understanding searcher intent and the contextual meaning of terms as they appear in the searchable dataspace, whether on the Web or within a closed system, to generate more relevant results. Semantic search systems consider various points including context of search, location, intent, variation of words, synonyms, generalized and specialized queries, concept matching and natural language queries to provide relevant search results. Major web search engines like Google and Bing incorporate some elements of semantic search.”
My best advice for SEO is this:
- Focus on quality (not quantity)
- Tell a story — get personal (no one can plagiarize your unique story)
- Write with your Alpha Audience or tribe in mind
- Be a person first and a company second by focusing on real-time conversations and engagement
11) Video Marketing
Livestreaming and video marketing are all the rage right now.
With content shock and the time crunch users are feeling when it comes to consuming content, it’s no wonder we’d rather watch a short video than engage with longer forms of information.
Want to be digitally savvy when it comes to video, too? Try these tips:
- Keep it short and sweet
- Storytelling and infotainment (information + entertainment = infotainment) are crucial
- Don’t forget your CTA
- Remember, peeps LOVE a good how-to
- Optimize for SEO
- Share on social
With all of those channels to focus on, it’s easy to lose sight of home base … your website.
To ensure it remains as digitally savvy as your other channels, keep these checkpoints in mind:
- Don’t be afraid of white space
- Be visual
- Tell your unique story
- Be responsive
- Incorporate video
- Edit (and then edit again)
- Give your blog a facelift
We gave our blog a facelift this year and the results have been fantastic!
Putting It All Together
Being digitally savvy in these 12 areas is no easy task.
Perhaps this handy dandy infographic will help you remember where to spend your time innovating this year:
What are you doing to be more digitally savvy this year? Let us know in the comments section below!
This article was written by Brooke B. Sellas from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.