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.
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.
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.