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Trish O'Loughlin
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Word concubine since 1989.
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The Dos and Don’ts of Digital Marketing for Dummies

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There’s no denying that digital marketing can be a precarious path to tread. With algorithms constantly shifting, new trends erupting and consumers’ attention wavering, it takes a toolbox of refined skills to employ an effective digital marketing campaign.

Inasmuch, it’s best to leave it up to the experts to reap the benefits of your marketing efforts. However, if you’re keen to get into the trenches and find your own ways to showcase your business, then the following list of dos and don’ts could be your holy grail.

DON’T: Assume your products will sell themselves

That’s right, we’re kicking off with a biggie. Just because you have an impeccable product doesn’t mean that consumers are going to come flocking to your figurative doors. When you’re in business, it’s your job to show people why you are well worth their time. At the crux of it, customers buy progress over a product; in other words, they want something that can improve their lives. You need to demonstrate just how you can achieve that.

DO: Understand your customers on a deep level

In order to illustrate that your business can help improve your customers’ lives in some way, you need to start by forging a good understanding of your customers. You need to understand who they are, what core demographics they belong to, what they like and dislike, what they yearn for. Creating and disseminating content with no real intended target audience in mind is like sending a paper plane spinning into nowhere. This is where creating customer avatars can be crucial, helping you to pinpoint your likely customers and from there, employing the right language and marketing platforms to get your message heard.

 

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DON’T: Build your website on any old content management system (CMS)

A content management system can be the make-or-break of your digital marketing efforts. Choosing the first CMS that comes your way is a big no-no, and can seriously halt your business potential. Undertake thorough research and find the right platform to suit your needs now and well into the future.

DO: Invest in a CMS that will help you grow your business

You want a platform that has all the traits you need to expand your business. This includes the ability to easily add new pages to your website; crawlability for Google’s search bots to help you rank higher; customisation for future-proofing; and the creation of thorough reports to help you track customer demographics and ascertain sales statistics. Find out more about how website CMSs can impact the growth of your business here.

DON’T: Assume your marketing is working because you’re getting more clicks or more followers

Sure, an increase in followers or an abundance of clicks can be a positive thing, but don’t fall under the impression that this directly translates to more sales. You might be making a name for yourself, but is that converting into strong leads?

DO: Acknowledge the importance of analytics

Breaking down data is essential to the art of digital marketing. A good understanding of Google Analytics will help you outline your goals and maintain tabs on them, thereby gifting your business with precious insight. Simply put, when you can track and analyse the ROI on every portion of your investment, you can set fertile goals for the future.

 

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DON’T: Regard social media platforms as an afterthought

This is a common modern-day stickler for businesses striving to thrive in the digital age. The reality is, 90% of marketers credit their social media efforts for generating more exposure for their business. However, despite the magical powers of social media and its ability to catapult businesses towards starry-eyed success, these platforms remain a low priority for plenty of organisations.

DO: Apply a well-crafted strategy to your social media

Acknowledging the importance of platforms like Instagram and Facebook in a smartphone-savvy world is only the first step. To really capitalise on the marketing opportunities offered by social media, businesses need to set aside the time to draw up a comprehensive strategy. From choosing the right colour themes to reflect your brand, to establishing your brand voice and creating a content calendar, there are a whole bunch of elements to consider. Furthermore, if you’re ready to fork out for social media advertising, you’ll need to determine what kind of budget you can delegate towards Boosted Posts and the like.

 

Learn how to create a winning content marketing strategy with our free e-book

 

DON’T: Only cater for desktop audiences

Yahoo’s Know Your Data report released earlier this year demonstrated that not only are our digital daily habits on the rise, they are on the rise on mobile devices in particular. The report explicitly states that “smartphone is now used for more daily activities than desktop”, with consumers swiftly migrating away from clunky computers.

DO: Ensure you are ‘mobile-friendly’

Failing to render your website compatible for smartphone and tablet screens can be hugely detrimental to your business. As Mobilegeddon continues to sweep the globe, the number of users bouncing from non-mobile-friendly websites is on the exponential increase. Google itself has taken this into account, now rewarding pages that are optimised for mobile (aka AMPs) by ranking them higher than those that are not. Oh, and if that’s not enough to convince you to go mobile, consider this: smartphone usage is up 56 per cent for online shopping.

DON’T: Wing it

One of the worst things businesses can do is to simply ‘wing’ their marketing. A vague idea will not give endurance to a business; rather, it will likely end up flopping, with all that precious time wasted down the drain.

DO: Formulate a proper plan

A good marketing campaign can transform a business, thereby it’s critical that you pour your attention into it. Consider how much time you can realistically devote to your marketing, and work around that. Conduct as much research into digital marketing as possible (if you’re reading this blog, then bravo – you’re clearly on the right track), and diagnose which tools will aid your business. What works for an e-commerce store varies greatly from what works for a small brick-and-mortar shop. Once you’ve established a solid marketing strategy to start off with (for instance, basic SEO and a Facebook Business Page), you can gradually build upon it as your business grows.

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By Trish O'Loughlin


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