Digital Marketing is everything your company is doing online to save time and build revenue. From Google search to Facebook ads to whole website redesigns, companies are constantly working to build their platform to reach more people. Here are our Top 10 Digital Marketing Tips for your Business:
1. Tell your story
Storytelling is a huge trend. Companies like StoryBrand have built thriving businesses out of training others to market through the lens of story. In fact, at Soulheart we work largely with nonprofits across the country. These nonprofits have great vision and some of the easiest stories to tell. SEO company Kissmetrics says, “People’s brains are hardwired to respond to storytelling.” In a study they conducted, results found stories can improve engagement and even activate the part of the brain that controls your senses. Storytelling is your company’s way to establish an emotional connection with your audience building deeper trust which leads to more engagement.
2. Hang out where your people hang out
Every day I answer questions from people about which social network they should be on. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or SnapChat? My answer is always the same: hang out where your people hang out. Every audience is different, and they spend time in different places. Find out who your target audience is and develop a presence for your company in that place. If you are a dentist office, you might want to be on Facebook only. If you are a photographer, you have to, at a minimum, adopt Instagram. Don’t spend all your time worrying about which network to try – dive in with both feet and spend time in the place where your ideal customers are. Social networking is here to stay and everyone is always figuring it out as they go.
3. Collect good data
Data collection is the key to developing digital marketing strategies that work. We work with companies all over the country and every single one has had someone manage their digital marketing with no understanding of what data to capture or how to capture it.
Numbers help you make strategic decisions about where to invest your time and dollars and will help you gauge how well your company is performing in the digital world. The best part is that most of this collection is completely free. Make sure you invest in the right person or agency for the job. They will help you align your efforts with your company goals and will have proven data integrity to back up their strategy. Strengthen your resolve by collecting great data and quality metrics.
4. Watch the trends
We hear rumors of new products on the market every day. Don’t be afraid to test these out and throw them away if they don’t work. Just because you buy a brand new vehicle doesn’t mean it won’t need fine tuning down the road. Spend time watching the trends of your industry and realize it’s okay to mimic what others are doing. Many companies pay thousands of dollars a month to set trends online. You can borrow these ideas without plagiarizing their content and start to put their dollars to work for you. Follow the trending subjects on Twitter and Instagram hashtags or read magazines and journals focused on your industry that share insights into the latest ways to reach your customers.
5. Experiment with all the drugs
In the digital world, everything is an experiment. There’s a razor-thin line between success and failure, genius and stupid. The bottom line is don’t be afraid to test and experiment with everything. Try new copy. New Design. New visions. But always stay true to your mission — the core of who you are as a brand.
6. Write, Speak, Record
Producing mountains of quality content inside your web, email, and social networks is the key to achieving success. Find a strategy and then work super hard to make sure it’s implemented correctly. One of the easiest ways I find to produce quality content is to practice writing, speaking and recording every single week. I write my thoughts and topics down that I think my users will like. Then I speak these thoughts often out loud throughout the day — either to others on my team and in my network, or on a voice memo on my phone. I’m watching for quality sound bytes I can use later on my website, in our emails, or on a graphic for social media. If I really like the subject matter OR if I get stuck in a writing rut, I record. Video or audio recordings are great ways to deliver high-value content in record time. It has taken me 20-30 minutes to write this article, but if you and I were discussing these topics I could speak all of this in 5 minutes or less.
7. Stay educated
This goes along with the trends, but is a bit more personal. Don’t get pigeon-holed in the way you lead a company, manage employees, or build a brand. Always seek learning opportunities. Read books, listen to podcasts, and walk alongside people smarter than you. Continuous education is often a differentiator between a good idea, product, service, etc. and a GREAT one.
8. Refresh & Revise
When Steve Jobs was fired from Apple in the late 80s, the world thought he would never amount to anything. Apple spent more than a decade fumbling through their lineup without ever achieving the kind of success they originally had with Jobs at the helm. In fact, Windows95 came on the scene in the mid-90s and took the world by storm. Apple lost nearly all market share and was on the brink of bankruptcy. That’s when they turned back to Jobs. He came into the room and immediately scrapped 90% of their product line and re-focused all their energies back on their core principles of design and simplicity. The rest is history. Apple is now the most profitable company on earth and Jobs is credited with not only the personal computing revolution but the mobile revolution as well.
Moral of the story? Don’t be afraid to refresh and revise your strategy in the digital world. Companies do this all the time and some of their biggest successes come from a renewed outlook.
9. Keep it Short & Simple
Write concisely. Speak concisely. Breathe concisely. Okay, that last one is a bit far stretched. But it shows how important it is to KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) everything digital. The best part is nearly everything is editable in the digital world. Constantly evaluate and shorten your copy to be as clear as possible. Donald Miller, CEO of StoryBrand, says your marketing should pass the grunt test. In other words, can someone grunt out the main point you are trying to get across in 5 words or less? Check out his article, Need to Spring Clean Your Marketing? These 10 Ideas Will Help.
10. Multiply your efforts
When building a business or a company, you often rely on the power of word-of-mouth to market. The same applies to your digital marketing efforts. The key in this equation is multiplication. When you communicate clearly to people and you have a great product, service, idea, etc. then people will tell others about your company. This is step one of multiplying your efforts – getting your customers to talk about you. This is why businesses that rely on Yelp for referrals are always asking you to leave a review. But multiplying doesn’t end there.
You also need to automate your marketing. Use free and simple tools such as Zapier to connect your email and e-commerce products together to automate your marketing messages to the right audiences. Create calls-to-action, run ads, and drive everything through a centralized location that will help you accomplish a lot of work with minimal effort. The more you can automate your business, the more you will multiply your efforts.
We hope this has been a great resource for you to help shape your thoughts around digital marketing for your business. Good luck on your journey and feel free to reach out to me, @joshbrown on Twitter. Share your own tips as together we work to create dynamic and successful companies making a positive impact in the lives of others.