5 Digital Strategies Any Business Can Use To Reach Their Goals
Updated: Mar 28, 2018
The rise of social and digital media has made it easier than ever for small to medium-sized businesses to increase their online presence and engage with customers. But navigating the constantly evolving digital landscape can be difficult for companies trying to decide where to invest their resources.
Let’s say you own a medium-sized business, have paid a professional to design your website, but don’t have the budget to retain an agency or place large ad buys. Maybe you or one of your employees spends a few hours each week managing your social media or updating your website. That’s great – seriously – you’re probably already ahead of many others.
Here are 5 easy ways to leverage your digital assets into profits without breaking the bank.
1. Mobile. Mobile. Mobile.
Mobile devices now account for about 55% of all web traffic. Is your website optimized for mobile devices? It should be, because slow and clunky mobile sites are a serious turn-off for users. Here are some key takeaways from our friends at Kissmetrics Blog:
47% of consumers expect a page to load in 2 seconds or less.
40% of consumers abandon a site that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
The Result: A one second delay in page response can lower your conversion rate by 7%.
Take a half an hour and check every page (and form) on your website to make sure they render quickly and properly on mobile. If you have a slow load time, try using smaller images that load quicker.
Tip: Chrome’s developer tools lets you view a site as if you’re using a variety of mobile devices. View>Developer>Developer Tools then click on the little phone/tablet icon on the dashboard that appears.
2. S.E.O (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO can be downright boring, but it’s absolutely critical to your web presence. If your site isn’t on the first page of Google results, it’s in a “No Man’s Land” and you’ll have to spend money on ads to get in front of your customers.
With continual updates to page rank algorithms, SEO is a bit of a niche channel that can be expensive to outsource. If you’re not on the first page of Google, this is one area where you might want to consider at least paying for a professional SEO audit.
If you just want to make sure your web developer followed the basic best practices, download an SEO analysis tool like Screaming Frog and check out Moz’s SEO blog. After a couple hours of research, you should be able to give your developer a list items that need to be updated in the code.
There are a variety of other SEO strategies including content marketing, which we’ll get to later. It’s important to note that SEO is a long-term process. You won’t see results until at least 4-10 months, so be patient.
3. Content Marketing
Content Marketing is a great strategy in general, particularly if you’ve got more time than money to spend on ads. In short, Content Marketing is material (blogs, white papers, etc.) related to your industry or customers’ interests that doesn’t have a sales pitch or Call to Action. It keeps your brand fresh in consumers’ minds and should provide them value.
Believe it or not, John Deere’s “The Furrow” magazine is widely considered the oldest and best example of Content Marketing. Check out this video about the publication and note how the “passive” nature established loyalty and credibility among farmers.
As we mentioned earlier, Content Marketing can help improve your SEO as well. Using social media or e-mail to drive users to your website that you’ve populated with original content containing relevant keywords establishes credibility with search engines’ algorithms. Asking a third party such as an industry blog to link to your content can create a win-win. You’ve just given them quality content for their blog, and their “backlinking” to your site improves your SEO even further.
4. Know Thy Audience (and where they consume your content)
We could write pages about empathy maps and audience insights, but let’s focus on making the most of your time and investment. If you’re in B2B sales, do you really need to spend time maintaining a Facebook page? Or if you’re B2C, is LinkedIn the place to promote your new line of consumer goods? The answer to both is likely “no,” because people go to Facebook and Linked In for different reasons. The purchasing manager is probably flipping through Facebook to get away from work, and the consumer is browsing Linked In for professional purposes.
The bottom line is that given limited resources, you should choose one or two social networks to be very active on. In the B2B scenario, optimize your Linked In business page and post all the great content we discussed in the previous section. Do the same with your personal Linked In (this goes for your employees too), connecting with industry counterparts and potential clients.
The confluence of relevant connections and quality content is where the term “thought leader” arises. Over time, you’ll establish credibility within your network, converting a connection to a lead and possibly a new client.
5. E-mail Strategy
By now, you’ve got your mobile website optimized, cleaned up your SEO strategy, you're cranking out blog posts, and OWNING Linked In. Now let’s put the strategy back into “e-mail strategy.”
E-mail is where some of the most common pitfalls occur, and we’re not just talking about broken links or typos. Here are some best practices to make your e-mail campaigns more effective.
Only send to addresses that have opted-in to receive your e-mails. In other words, don’t try to import all of your contacts from Outlook into your e-mail platform. You might get away with it, but it’s not worth the risk of getting your account suspended.
Don’t wear out your subscribers by sending a newsletter just for the sake of it. Only send when you have something relevant and newsworthy to say. The last thing you want is for someone to miss a big announcement or promotion because they unsubscribed from a “Happy Easter!” e-mail.
Use A/B Testing to try out various subject lines and messages. MailChimp offers a helpful rundown on how it works.
Subject lines are the most important factor in whether an e-mail gets opened, so put some thought into them. Try using a “hook” like a question (“Have you?”) or an open-ended statement (“Before you go…”) that will make the recipient wonder what’s inside.
Take the time to maintain clean segments such as “existing customers” and “prospective customers” so that you can tailor messages to the proper recipients.