Digital marketing is the present and those who don’t jump on board and get with the times won’t see the future.
In the past, a online presence was an after thought. A quickly thrown up site or a url that led to a Facebook page where you could grab an address and/or phone number to locate a business in your area.
Those days are over.
With the domination of Amazon and other business quickly following suite (we see you Walmart), it’s time to make the shift and amplify your digital marketing efforts.
This post is going to be a little different. Instead of writing an essay (yes…these get a tad long), I am going to answer questions I am normally asked or have answered within Facebook Groups:
Q: Do I need a website for my small business? Is it possible to still have effective digital marketing without a website.
A: No. One of the key components of digital marketing is the Awareness stage of the buyer’s journey. When a potential lead is looking for answers, the first place that comes to mind for most is the internet. The average person will more likely do a quick google search or ask Alexa/Siri for an answer than utilize any other resource for references. As most search engine algorithms favor original/optimized content over social media platforms, the premium results will lead to a website – either landing the individual on a blog post or an internal article answering their inquiry.
Q: Is it true that social media is the most successful digital marketing channel?
A: To quickly reach the masses, yes. Social Media does not discriminate and unless barred by a country, is accessible to everyone. I can create a website and I am only limited to those who choose to land on my page (and that is if they find me amongst 4.45 billion results); however, if I engage on social media – I can reach potential leads all over the world using various hashtags, keywords, by visiting different groups, or following different influencers. I can contribute my insight, knowledge, and perspective to any social media that has been posted. The only limitations set are the moderator of a group or the terms and conditions of the platform.
Is this a contraction to my first answer about needing a website, no. Social Media requires consistent engagement and direct effort on your part. Content on a website, when optimized for search engines, is an evergreen machine for generating organic traffic.
Q: Do you believe the effort towards Video Marketing is increasing or decreasing?
A: I believe the reduction of long form video marketing is due to our diminishing attention span. We are a post Vine current Tik-Tok society so you have about 60 seconds before we are ready to move on. We are also a society of instant gratification with a splash of “wanting what we want when we want it how we want it.” It is easier for us to skim a page and get to the point than to be subjected to a 2-5 minute video. Add the increase in ads placed in Videos on Facebook and YouTube and how patience decreases significantly.
Q: Should small business invest in a CRM or is having an Email Marketing System (or just ending emails via your personal account) enough?
A: CRMs are critical when a company has begun to distinguish the importance of qualified leads versus unqualified leads and needs to implement a follow-up procedure.
For small businesses who are not trying to individually convert leads (they simply rely on an automated funnel), a regular EMS such as Aweber or Constant Contact will work.
For someone who needs to track their “touches” with a qualified lead, following the opportunity to a won or lost status, a CRM is necessary – especially if that potential lead may transition between multiple sales associates. You don’t want warm leads falling through the cracks, especially if the price point for the lead is significant.
For affordable CRMs, check out ActiveCampaign and Keap Lite. For more robust CRMs with high roller features (affiliate marketing, shopping carts, etc) – check out Keap Max/Keap Max Classic or Ontraport.
Q: When determining your small business budget, should you dedicate a lot of money to your SEO efforts?
A: Algorithms are constantly changing and unless a small business owner is ready to commit the latest one to memory (currently Google Core Web Vitals update for Google) and make all the necessary changes to be compliant, it is a never ending uphill battle. The ROI in SEO is unbalanced as well. The amount of time, money, and energy dedicated to optimizing a site only converts the effort into more potential traffic with no guarantee of that traffic converting to revenue. Due to the lack of guarantee in return, it causes small businesses to question the overall investment.
Q: Should I do my digital marketing myself or hire someone else to do it for me?
A: It is better to keep the responsibilities in-house. Unless a digital marketing company can dedicate one individual to a business, learning their voice, studying their target audience, incorporating their objectives and goals into their daily engagement and interactions, an agency is simply going down a list and checking off boxes. Keeping the responsibility in house, there is more of a personal investment in the efforts to grow the company’s digital marketing footprint. This does not mean doing it yourself. This simply means hiring your own Digital Marketing expert that will focus solely on your business versus you potentially being one additional client to a roster of 100+.
Q: What Digital Marketing Advice would you give for the upcoming year?
A: Don’t forget we are human. Companies are so used to automating their processes that they have a tendency to remove the human aspect from it. If we have questions, they are answered by a bot. If we make an inquiry, we fall into an automation and receive a templated email response. 2020/2021 reignited the need of a personal touch and human interaction. So no matter what you have in place in terms of social media engagement, video marketing, or website optimization – make sure to add an element of human touch and personalize the experience.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
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