We get very excited by all things digital, as you would expect. Building websites is fun, as are email marketing, ecommerce, blogging, social media – the list goes on.
However, one thing we have learned from experience is to not let the excitement get the better of you when planning a digital strategy and implementing an action plan . It’s easy to go in all guns blazing and blow the budget and schedule on a particular project which looks like it’s going to be the next big thing. When that big thing doesn’t deliver as you’d hoped it would then you’ve got nowhere to go, as you’ve spent all your money.
In our experience it’s better to have a few irons in the fire. You can always put more money into opportunities that look like they’re heating up. If things start to deliver some return on your investment it should mean you’re getting some extra revenue, and that can be used to reinvest back into whatever’s working.
That goes for time as well as money. It’s easy to get sucked into social media, or tinker with a web page to get it just right, but you should use data and metrics to decide what really work in terms of customer engagement, and allocate resources accordingly. It’s also importunate to have some targets or benchmarks so you can measure time and money spent against return on investment.
So spread your bets, keep the stakes small and you should increase the chances of backing a winner in the digital sweepstake.
Social media is something that can’t be ignored nowadays. It can be a fantastic way to stay in with friends, or be a part of a group or community you’re not otherwise close to, for location or logistical reasons. It can help you uncover new leads, find fresh ideas, and let you talk directly to new and existing customers.
But it can be also be a major timestealer, for both your personal and professional time. When you’ve got that job you just keep putting off, a few more minutes catching up with your follows and likes can seem much more interesting.
So, when I’m saying that you shouldn’t waste your time on social media, I’m not saying don’t use it. I’m just saying, make sure you use it wisely. All your friends might be on Facebook, but that doesn’t mean your customers are. Twitter can be exciting when you’re in a real time conversation with followers, but it can be a distraction from other equally important (and perhaps less fun) jobs.
So set aside some time for social media and try not to be tempted or distracted by it when you have other priorities. Maybe set some goals, and try to stick to them.
Try not to get too wedded to one particular platform either. It’s no use having a beautiful Instagram page, that you post to several times a day, if your customers are in LinkedIn. Spread your bets, and be prepared to pivot and change direction, depending on what works and what doesn’t.
If there’s was just one thing about digital marketing that I’d want any customer of mine to take away, it’s that you need to think about things from your customer’s perspective.
It’s all too easy to look at things from your own perspective, and be looking outwards, thinking about things from the back to the front.
Instead I’d recommend trying to look at your business from the point of view of your customers. Think about what they are looking for. What will they put into Google if they were looking for the sort of things you do? If they’re looking for you out of working hours, how do they get in touch easily? Can they make a booking or purchase via your web site?
From these questions you can start to work backwards and make sure you’re matching your business objectives with your customer’s needs. So rather than having a back-to-front attitude to digital, your’re working from the front to the back.
Sometimes it can help to imagine you could talk to you customers face to face. If they asked you want you did for work what would you say? You’d probably be able to easily answer. If you can’t then maybe you need to think about that first of all. If you’re running a small business then you should always be ready to tell potential customers what you offer.
It’s the same with digital marketing, but rather than talking to customers face to face, your online presence needs answer your customers’ questions for you. So you need to make sure your business is easy to find online, and you can provide the sort of information that they they’re looking for.
We can help you think about your customers and give them the information they are after; from customer personas, search terms, web analytics, conversion rate optimisation. The better you understand your existing and new customers the more chance you’ll have of them visiting your web site, signing up to your newsletter, attending your events and buying your goods and services.