Digital Marketing Checklist

Digital Marketing Checklist

Emulous Creative's Digital Marketing Checklist

A Digital Marketing Checklist to digitize your business.

As a small business owner, I am feeling the effects of the global pandemic as well. As a marketer, the outlook isn’t as bleak as the news is making it sound. Taking your entire business into the virtual workspace is not only an achievable goal but one that can be accomplished quickly.

I have used this checklist to make sure my clients have always been digital-friendly. Ideally, you will want to consult with a professional about establishing and maintaining a digital media strategy for a few reasons, but during this time of crisis, I am pulling back the curtain to reveal some of the basics to help you get back on your feet.

Mobile-Friendly Website

Having a mobile website already assumes your business has a website established. If your company does not have a website already set up, this is the time to take the dive into cyberspace. On average, 80% of users visit your website on their mobile device.

Making sure your graphics fit on the screen, your text is legible and the site flows properly on a smartphone or tablet is critical to your website’s success.

Understanding how to implement a hierarchy of text will guide your audience down the page.

Having images and graphics created in web-safe formats can also reduce the load time on a mobile device.

If your site takes too long to load, the user will lose interest and leave.

Finally, if you have interactable elements on your site, like buttons, you want to make sure they are easy to use. Adjusting the layout of a button and increasing the size could be all that is holding back your customers from clicking.

SEO-Friendly Website

One of the largest struggles companies face when establishing a digital presence is how to be found organically. This is referring to the act of customers finding your digital storefront without having to use paid ads. Search Engine Optimization, SEO, is the answer.

While SEO strategies take time to effectively take hold, the process can help you create a better user experience on your site. Simple acts like improving your page speed, creating definitive meta descriptions and utilizing alt-text can have a positive impact on your site.

As I mentioned on the mobile-friendly website section, having a slow website can cause users to leave. Having a faster site will also help you reach a higher SEO score.

Next, creating a definitive meta description for each page will help you identify the key factors on that webpage. This will help you declutter your site, and make it easier for users to identify the sections they are interested in.

Utilizing alt-text for images helps in two ways. First, it helps the bots that scan your website to identify what your images are showing. Second, if there is a reason the image loads slowly, the alt-text can help the user identify what would normally fill the void.

There are more advanced SEO strategies you can look into like keyword research, URL structure, and making sure your pages on your website have proper titles and text/code ratios. These points are some I recommend hiring a professional for. It will save you the time it would take to become well versed to see results, and a professional will likely have some tools they use to help measure the success of all your strategies.

Create a Social Media Strategy

Social Media Marketing is a powerful avenue that gives out as much as you put in. But who has an unlimited amount of time to constantly watch every channel? Creating and following a strategy will help you maintain a strong social media presence and save you time as well. The idea behind your strategy should be to show what you have as a product/service, how you interact with your customers, the chance to build your brand and how you are involved with your community.

It may seem backward to start with your products/services instead of the community aspect of social media, but I do this for a specific reason. That income is what allows you to be a part of the community. I believe your sales should be at the core of your marketing.

The next logical step would be to show how you interact with customers. This can be your customer service, or just how you get involved with your regulars. Dealing with customers will help develop your brand.

Look at your brand as your company’s personality. How you talk, look and deal with different situations all make up your brand. You don’t need to have professional looking images that are custom created and branded on every post, you just need to show you care.

When you get involved with the community, be it through charitable acts or just doing your part to keep the area clean, you are giving back to the people who support your company.

I know it is a lot to try and put down and make a plan for, but it will safe you time and stress to do it sooner than later.

Optimize your Social Media for E-Commerce

If you are selling products, you may want to also provide customers with the opportunity to purchase on your social media platforms. If you already have an e-commerce shop established, chances are you have already added your shop’s catalog to your page’s shop. While your social media strategy should not focus solely on selling, there are a few ways to incorporate your shop’s listings into your content.

The simplest way is to share listings in posts. You can also create video content highlighting the product and discussing how it is relevant to prospective buyers.

You can also change your Facebook business page template to a shop template. This will allow you to showcase your shop on your page. You may elect to use a different template. At the end of the day, you will want to choose the best fit for your page.

Other ideas include adding links to product pages on your posts, sharing customer feedback, sharing updates about what is going on at the shop, and during COVID-19, simply sharing how you are still serving the community and/or customers.

The bottom line of this idea is to make it easier for your audience to find and purchase your products.

Use Marketing Tools

There is no denying it, COVID-19 is forcing everyone to think differently about how they approach marketing. During these times, using a variety of marketing tools can help ease your burden. Utilizing videos, messaging apps, diving into analytics and insights, updating your Google My Business listing, email marketing, and landing pages are all great options to move your business into the digital landscape.

When making videos, you want to make sure your content is concise and to the point. Also, don’t forget to add your metadata. This includes a title, description, keywords/tags, and if possible closed captions.

Messaging apps can help bridge the communication gap between consumers and you. This can also open the door to maintaining multiple conversations at the same time, allowing your business to grow instead of stagnating.

Google Analytics and Google Search Console are two great tools to gain insight into what your target audience finds relevant on your website. Reviewing insights on your social media platforms allow you to gauge what your audience is interested in. These insights can give you the guidance you may need to help make productive and lucrative decisions.

Google My Business can help you establish yourself on the top ranking search engine giant. This is an amazing tool to help customers see if you are open, what is going on and what you have to offer.

Email marketing is an amazing way to remarket to previous customers. For service-based industries, you can use email marketing to keep your customers informed about deals and events. Email marketing is also an amazing tool to use to share news or alerts to your subscribers.

Landing pages are powerful tools for online marketing. They allow you to create a simple web page that focuses on a topic or event. Landing pages can also be already established pages on your website that you want to direct users directly to. The goal is to decrease the number of clicks the user has to make to reach the end goal.

Be Safe. Be Healthy. Flatten the Curve!

Above all, we hold a responsibility to do our part to minimize the outbreak. As a business owner, we are all walking a tightrope. Do you close temporarily and minimize costs, or do you stay open with special policies to continue your business? No matter what you think is the correct answer, we must make sure we are not encouraging people to do anything that increases the risk of spreading the virus in our communities.

Sharing tips provided by the CDC, ensuring your staff and customers are safe and operating within the ordinance of constantly shifting laws are a must. Luckily, technology helps us do all that while serving the public. Online and phone orders are letting businesses bring in sales to continue to pay employees. We can even coordinate curbside pickups and deliveries.

The most important fact to remember is this crisis will pass. Your goal is to do what you think is best to get to the other end of this pandemic.

What should you consult a professional about?

If you are worried about spending more time on marketing than running your business, consult a professional. If you are not sure if you are on the right path, consult a professional. There is a multitude of free courses on how to market yourself digitally or socially. If you finish them and still have questions, then you may be better off taking that new knowledge and using it to communicate with a professional.

I only skimmed the surface on many of the topics I wrote about earlier. This knowledge should act as a launchpad for you to learn more or reach out for assistance. Topics like SEO, SEM and ad buys are something I would advise consulting a professional about. On the surface, they are easy to accomplish, but with experience and knowledge, they can become very powerful assets.

Professionals can also help implement a content marketing strategy. This will give your brand a high-quality look. Creating videos, photos, graphics, and podcasts are all amazing examples of what a content marketing strategy can hold.

Just remember “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” A strategy may take a little time to take effect. Don’t bail out if you don’t see results immediately. Set goals and have a realistic timeline before making adjustments.

How can Emulous Creative help you establish and maintain a winning digital marketing presence?

Emulous Creative has been serving Mobile County, Baldwin County and the surrounding areas since 2012. By using a mixture of marketing tactics on various digital channels, we can help our clients find the success they are looking for.

We have the tools to create high-quality content, measure success and build brands. With services ranging from video production, photography, graphic design, to web design, SEO, social media, Emulous Creative has what you need to enhance your brand the right way.

Our goal is to make marketing easy for you. Giving you more time to focus on your business and your success. Our network consists of local professionals who are devoted to seeing our communities grow and businesses succeed. 

Use a Site Audit to Diagnose your website’s health and boost SEO like a pro!

Use a Site Audit to Diagnose your website’s health and boost SEO like a pro!

Diagnose your website’s health and boost SEO like a pro!

Creating a website can be very exciting for a new business owner. Services like WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify, allow anyone to create a beautiful website in a day. However, once you have finished designing your shop, how do you know it is optimized? The answer is simple, by using a site audit tool.

What are Site Audits?

Website audits show you what issues your website may have, as well as a health score to let you know what your website’s health is. Audits are a great way to measure your SEO, by revealing broken links, duplicate content, mobile device issues, and other SEO issues that are holding you back.

A site audit can also be used for SEO analysis, keyword research and help to build links. Together this can help you narrow down what customers are looking for and what search engines are looking for.

Can site audits increase traffic to your website?

You may have sought out a website audit because you are trying to boost the incoming traffic to your website. While the site audit itself will not generate more website traffic, it can help identify issues that may be affecting your search engine optimization (SEO).

Another way to identify issues with traffic is to use Google Analytics (GA) and Google Search Console (GSC). GA will let you know the number of users your site receives and depending on how in-depth you have set up your analytics, you can also learn about your audience. GSC will help you see what the search engine sees, as well as identify keywords that are bringing traffic to your site.

By combining all three tools, your audit report, google analytics and google search console, you can really comb through your site and improve your technical SEO.

How can you boost your SEO?

While the answer to this question will change depending on the nature of your organization, there are simple tasks you can perform to ensure the google bots see your site. While it is important to understand how search engines work, you need to keep the focus on the readers. At the end of the day, Google isn’t going to send you money because they liked the format of your page or blog post.

Meta

Having unique meta descriptions on the pages on your site is a great start. This can help you set the mood for what will appear on the screen, and even help you determine the number of webpages needed. By planning out your pages to have a specified topic, you help build a better user experience and stronger page SEO.

Title Tags

Your title tags should also be used appropriately. H1 tags not only stand out to identify the topic but also create a guide for search engines. H2 tags should support the H1 title, and so on. Title tags should create a hierarchy for your content to guide your audience through the content, enhancing the user experience on your site.

Internal Links

As you can guess, internal links are used to guide your audience from page to page on your site. You can have these links in the navigation menu at the top of your pages, or work them into the content to create a fluid flow from topic to topic.

Technical SEO

Your sitemap, robots.txt, follow and index rules all make up your technical SEO. These rules tell the search engines what you want them to see, and therefore what you want them to report on.

Think about the walls in your house, you paint them and hang art or photographs to take a plain looking space and make it appealing. Technical SEO would be the wood framing inside the wall that holds it up. While you do not see it, it is still very important.

Link Building

Think of link building like a spider’s web. The larger your web and the more strands of silk you have, the better the chance to catch a fly. In this case, your target audience would be your fly. You want to find sites that either align with your niche or your location.

Where can you get a site audit?

Now for the million-dollar question, where can you find a trustworthy tool to give you a site audit? We provide a simple site audit below. By filling out the form, you can get a basic audit for free, and there are no strings attached. After you have received your audit, one of our professionals will contact you to make sure you have no questions about the report.

Updating your site for SEO

Now that you have access to a free site audit, google analytics, and google search console, you can update your website. If you are unsure of how to update your site, we strongly encourage you to reach out to a professional (like us) to help.

We strongly believe it takes a community to make a business work, which is why we take the time to create these blogs. If you spend all your time learning how to be a website and SEO guru, who is running your business? The reason we offer a free site audit is that we want to see your business succeed!

Should you hire a local advertising agency?

Should you hire a local advertising agency?

Should you hire a local advertising agency?

Finding the right person or team to help your business is a delicate process. You are probably looking for someone who is knowledgeable, will work with you and your team, and most importantly someone who is budget-friendly. While it may be tough to find that perfect balance, one of the best places to start is in your own community.

There is no shortage of marketing agencies in most cities. Even one-man bands have the tools to take your business to the next level. Most importantly, they are local.

Local agencies have a few distinct advantages that they bring to your business.

  1. They know how to connect with the community
  2. They can help position your business as a local authority in your market
  3. They can be more responsive than an out of town agency

But before we get into these points, let’s discuss what local marketing is.

Local Marketing

Local marketing is the practice of creating ads for potential customers in your community. You want to optimize your ads so search engines will direct your target audience back to your desired location. By establishing standing in your area, search engines will start to prioritize your business over the outside competition. This can be as simple as setting up your “google my business” account, getting involved in local events, and even participating in local fundraisers.

Why shop local?

Local agencies know the issues the community faces because they face them as well. They know how to connect to your potential customers. Most importantly, they know what kind of ads will have an adverse effect on your brand.

Connecting with the community

One great way to take root in your community is to mix in local imagery in your marketing content. Whether you are executing your traditional marketing, digital marketing, and most importantly your social media marketing, you want to show that you are involved with the area. Showing well-known landmarks and iconic buildings is a great way to make a connection with your audience. It shows you are not just based in the area, but you are part of the community.

Positioning your business in your area

Being a local authority in your market is important. Search engines will prioritize your business to potential customers in the area. Using their knowledge local agencies can optimize your digital marketing to be delivered to your ads to the target audience. This will allow you to see more results without spending more money.

Social media can also be tricky to navigate for someone who is not accustomed to the area. Having an overly formal or using hard-sell tactics cans isolate your brand from your consumers. According to Hootsuite, 28% of Americans would rather engage with a brand/organization on social media vs. in person.

Being more responsive

The last major benefit from a local agency is how swiftly they can respond to your need for content. A local agency does not have to plan a detailed trip to get everything in one visit. This can allow your business to see minimal interruptions to your daily activities, so you can focus on what matters, the customers. Most importantly the agency can help you maintain your reputation in the community.

A study from the pew research center suggests that 82% of U.S. adults say they at least sometimes read online customer ratings or reviews before purchasing items. A local agency can step in and help your business maintain positive reviews/ratings as well as know methods to encourage customers to submit more reviews to keep your reputation positive.

Local advertising agencies are here for you!

To put it briefly, local agencies are here to support your business. They are invested in their community and want to see businesses grow. So before you contact that large firm out of town, look a little closer to home.

Emulous Creative proudly serves the areas of Mobile County, Baldwin County and Escambia County in both Alabama and Florida. We offer Advertising, Branding, Graphic Design, Photography and Videography, Social Media Services, and Web Services for small to large companies. 

Emulous Creative’s 7-Year Anniversary

Emulous Creative’s 7-Year Anniversary

Emulous Creative is celebrating our 7-year anniversary!

To honor Emulous Creative’s seventh anniversary, I want to address a common question I get when first describing the company.

What does emulous mean?

Emulous (pronounced em-yə-ləs) is an adjective meaning
1. Inspired by or deriving from a desire to emulate
2. Ambitious or eager to emulate

Our Beginning

The simplest way to define ‘emulous’ is to use the synonym ‘aspiring’. When I was originally looking for a name to start the company, I was drawn to ‘Aspiring Productions.’ In the process of filling out the paperwork, I learned that name was not available. When looking through synonyms for aspiring, I found ‘emulous’. A word that reflected my desire to create videos that were more than just moving pictures, but moments that would reflect the emotions that the subject felt during the time. The word ‘emulous’ also held the idea of emulating a person or object while also holding the desire to surpass it. To me, this was the perfect way to describe my ideology in making creative for clients. This is how I began my journey with Emulous Productions & Multimedia, LLC in 2012.

Where we are now

Fast-forward seven years: Emulous Productions & Multimedia, LLC is doing business as Emulous Creative. The new name was created in 2016 to reflect the change in our breadth of services. While we still offer professional videography, Emulous Creative now brings photography; graphic design; web design/development; social media management; social media marketing solutions; digital media solutions; traditional media solutions; and, assistance with brand management. We believe that for any organization to effectively capitalize on their marketing efforts, a unified message needs to be constructed. This is not to say all ads should look the same; however, just emphasizing on a consistent message that is custom tailored for the marketing platform is paramount. This is a concept that we personally oversee for every client we work with at Emulous Creative. 

What is new?

Our name and business model is not the only thing that is new, though. Today, we have launched a newly-designed site, and we also published our first podcast. The Marketer’s Field Guide is a podcast created by both Josh Dunn and Chase Webster. In it, we look to discuss some basic ideas and concepts behind marketing to help businesses gain knowledge to communicate better with their marketing team and give guidance so they can make better-informed decisions for marketing. We also want the podcast to be instructional for small businesses looking to work on their own marketing. The Marketer’s Field Guide has been very exciting to create, and we look forward to continuing to work on these podcasts in the future.

Thank you for your support!

We cannot say it enough! Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this journey. These past seven years have held a lot of ups and downs, but I would not trade them for anything. The lessons learned over the past seven years are irreplaceable. We are proud to continue to grow with Emulous Creative. Everyone at Emulous Creative is eagerly looking forward to what the future holds.