If I told you there were over 120 different social networks, what would you say? Or that email marketing is one of the best (and easiest) ways to get directly in front of your target audience? Or that you need to be using video, because it’s six times more effective than anything else?
I know what you’re thinking.
But Holly, I don’t have time to start making videos!
I don’t have a clue which social platforms I should be focusing on.
Where would I even start with managing an email list for my website?
You’re in luck, friend.
Something I love to do is help other people. Over the past few days, I’ve helped my brother apply for a job, my auntie unsubscribe from email notifications and today, I want to help you.
Recently, I got the chance to attend a seminar all about digital marketing, hosted by a business that the company I work for has strong connections with. I picked up some fantastic blogging, social media and website tips that I’m sharing with you right here in this blog post. So sit back and take note - this is how to get results with your marketing efforts for the rest of 2016.
WHY YOU NEED TO THINK ‘DIGITAL MARKETING’
It’s nothing new that we’re living in the online world. If anything, it’s just getting bigger and bigger everyday. Jobs are being created, websites are being introduced and lots of business promote and sell purely on the web.
You don’t want to be digitally directionless.
Without knowledge of the digital world, you can never be truly successful. You need to know how to use online platforms to best suit your brand so you can get in front of your target audience and build a readership or customer base.
You know how online influencers talk about consistency? Yeah - I bet you’ve read that somewhere in a blog post before. It’s so important, not just in how often you post content to your blog, but in all the platforms that you’re active one. You’ve got to be integrated with everything. Your website, your social channels, making sure your website is responsive - you want people to find one of your channels online and know they’ve found the right person.
Thinking in terms of digital marketing as a whole also makes it a lot easier for you to set strategic goals. Once everything is integrated, your goals can then reflect this. Want to increase your blog traffic? That’s a very vague goal. Want to increase your blog traffic through Pinterest? That’s a lot more achievable.
So that’s the why - let’s get onto the how. Starting with your little hub.
#1 | YOUR WEBSITE
I want you to stop whatever you’re doing right now (including reading this post) and head to Google Analytics.
You need to know the most popular pages on your website.
Head to behaviour >> site content >> all pages.
That right there tells you the most popular pages on your site.
These pages are popular for a reason. You need to utilise them.
Go back through and make that blog post even more epic. Add a content upgrade. Add some video. Is there a popular post you can create an email course around? Do something to give people even more of a reason to come back and visit that page on your site.
If you're thinking about creating an online course, my friend Bailey has an amazing Academy Program that's well worth checking out!
This was something that was mentioned throughout the seminar - you need to know what pages are visited most on your website. Critique them. Are they easy to find? If not, you need to make them easy to find.
WHAT ELSE WILL MAKE MY WEBSITE SUCCESSFUL?
It needs to look professional. When you can (and when your budget allows for it), get yourself a decent blog template. And if you want to take your blog full-time, start a shop, build a freelance business or something else, seriously think about hiring a designer or investing in a brand package. It makes such a difference in how people perceive you and your brand.
You need a call-to-action. Too many websites are all over the place. Visit my blog, check out my shop, download my eBook, connect with me on social media. Give visitors too many things to choose from and they won’t know what to do, so they’ll leave.
All those things are important to have on your website, but on your homepage, you need to give them one clear thing to do. What’s the one thing you want people to do when they visit your site for the first time? Read your blog? Visit your shop? Download your checklist? Or do they pick their own path based on some of the things you can offer? You could have three icons that say:
- I’m a newbie blogger and don’t know where to start
- I’ve been blogging for a while but I’ve lost my mojo
- I’m a blogging pro - but there’s nothing wrong with learning a few more tips!
That instantly splits your audience into three categories and gives them a direct route to explore.
Your call-to-action could be anything you want - it just has to be consistent and clear enough across your site.
You need to update your content. Including your old content, your new content and other pages like ‘about’ and ‘contact’. If you update your website regularly with content in all these areas, you won’t need to do any other fancy SEO work. You’ll progress up the rankings naturally.
Content is king - that’s one thing that isn’t changing anytime soon. If you want to be successful and reach your goals online, your content needs to be the best it can be.
Keywords in your content still mean a hell of a lot. Google will know if you try to cheat the system. So here’s where you want to include your keyword:
- Throughout content on page
You need to know what people are doing on your site. Where are people visiting your website from? Where are they dropping off? What pages are they spending the longest amount of time from? Are they signing up to your newsletter? Are they commenting on your latest blog posts? Google Analytics can tell you all this information and it’s definitely worth knowing.
#2 | EMAIL MARKETING
The biggest thing about email marketing (and the reason why it doesn’t work for many businesses) is this:
You need an incentive for people to sign up.
If you just ask people to sign up to your community, you won’t see the results you want. We’re selfish online - if we’re giving our email address over to someone, we’re going to want something pretty amazing in return.
So that’s what you need to remember when you’re setting up a newsletter. The incentive to join my community? You get access to a free eBook immediately and you get a free digital magazine once a month that’s delivered straight to your inbox.
Check out these other incentives for inspiration.
Krista Rae offers you a free email course when you sign up, and she’s got a Facebook group.
Kory has an email course too, and offers a unique perspective with her weekly letters.
There are endless possibilities. A checklist, a list of tools, your favourite blogs - have a think and note down some ideas.
Oh - and I think there’s something else you should know about emailing marketing.
Did you know that 77% of people prefer receiving promotional content through email?
That means if you send an email to your community promoting the latest item in your shop, 77% of them are going to be interested. 77% of them are likely to make a decision about whether to purchase this or note.
Pretty good reason to send out a promotional email every so often, right? 😉
But there’s always one problem - what the hell do I send to the people on my list?
Here were some of the ideas I took from the seminar:
- Promote your products
- Client/reader testimonials or case studies
- Answer a question
- Deals and promotions
- Examples of your recent work
These are some other email marketing tips I picked up:
- Personalise your emails - try and include their name somewhere
- Try to make your email headline no more than 15 words
- Don’t send anything out at the weekend - always Monday to Friday
- Make signing up easy to find. You don’t want visitors to have to search to find your sign up form!
#3 | SOCIAL MEDIA
So you know at the start of this post how I said there were over 120 different social networks?
Yeah. I was as shocked as you.
But I think you’ll agree with me on the big five:
With platforms like Periscope and Snapchat closely on their heels.
Here’s the thing: social media is great. I mean, you know how much I love it.
But even I know these platforms aren’t going to last forever. They’re either going to disappear or they’re going to completely change, develop and adapt with the times.
Likes and followers aren’t enough for a long-term business model. What you need to be focusing on is directing people to your website through your Facebook posts, tweets, Instagram posts pins and videos.
Because by directing them to your website, you’re directing them to your call-to-action (ideally being signing up to your community) - and that means you’re getting that all important email address.
There’s a couple of things I think people find difficult when it comes to social media: setting goals and being different.
When it comes to setting goals, this is fairly straightforward. You want to base them around your business needs.
You need to direct people to your shop if you want to sell your products, right? So your social media goals need to align with directing people to your website.
And when it comes to being different my advice is simple - just be you.
But the biggest thing when it comes to social media?
#4 | VIDEO
People digest any kind of video content, which makes YouTube the second biggest search engine for a reason.
Did you know that 73% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase after watching a video?
What if you did a video promoting your latest product?
What if your about page was a video instead of text? Do you think that would make more people read your content?
A FINAL NOTE
I realise this is a lot of information to take in. Don’t get overwhelmed. Don’t think you have to focus on these things all at once. You need to pick the one that’s most relevant and most important to you and take it from there.
For me? Video is something I don’t have in my digital marketing strategy at all right now so for me, that’s a clear area I need to focus on.
So next, I’ll start thinking of some ways I can incorporate video into my online brand and take it from there.
That’s the key thing to remember - you just need to pick somewhere and start.
Which one of these points do you find the most interesting? Let me know in the comments what you're going to be working on for the rest of 2016!