Top Reasons Why Your Site Needs to Have Live Chat

If you have a site then you will know how important it is for you to engage with your customers at every opportunity you get. You probably think that you do this already, whether it is by phone or by email, but the truth is that this is just not enough, but live chat could be the answer.

Your Audience

Did you know that on average, users spend 59 seconds on a website? That isn’t long enough for them to find your company phone number or even your email address. It is however, long enough for you to try and engage them through live chat, and this could work wonders for your conversion rate.

Customer Experience

Live chat has the highest satisfaction rate when compared to any other point of contact. 73% of customers prefer live chat when compared to speaking on the phone, so it’s safe to say that if your site is not utilising live chat, you are missing out.

It’s all About the Millennials

56% of Millennials prefer live chat to email, and the reason behind this could be because they grew up with the internet, which went on to power things like chat rooms, instant messaging and more. The younger generation of today are the ones who are going to be fuelling your business in the next decade, so it is super important that you take this into account when the time does come for you to reassess your priorities.

So it’s so important that your website has live chat. If you don’t have it then you won’t be providing your customers with the experience that they truly want, and this will harm your conversion rate, your customer satisfaction and even your business potential. With live chat being easier to implement now than ever before, there really is no excuse for you not to try it out for yourself. Also with systems like Messenger Bots, a process like booking an appointment can be handled by a Bot and you just get the information you need for the booking!

Let’s meet up, and show you just how effective that consistent approach to marketing can be!

Click here to book a meeting.

Are You Regular?

Nowadays, nearly every business has some sort of social media presence. The rise of social media has become impossible to ignore, and for that reason, most businesses make use of digital marketing in some way. However, what they aren’t doing is putting in the long-term effort necessary to achieve the best results. They’ll create profiles, post content regularly for perhaps a month or so at most, and then… nothing. That initial stream of content will trickle to a halt, and the profiles will lie dormant, aside from the odd post when the marketing team remember that they exist. Small-to-medium sized businesses tend to be the most guilty of this, since many of them simply won’t have the time to dedicate to large-scale social media campaigns. They assume that to get the most out of social media, they need to make a big splash with massive ideas and campaigns. But in reality, there’s one key factor that most businesses miss out on when it comes to social media, and marketing in general: consistency.

If you want to achieve anything in life, then you need to keep working at it. That’s true for so many things, from putting in time at the gym every day, to keeping your teeth clean and healthy by brushing them regularly. So, naturally, the same thing goes for your marketing. If you only go to the gym once a month, then all the effort in the world will go to waste- you aren’t being consistent enough to achieve real results. That’s true for marketing, too- your customers are much more likely to remember you if they hear from you regularly than if you only put out content once in a blue moon. Makes sense, right? So how come so few companies actually put this method into practice?

The reason is, most businesses think that when it comes to marketing, it’s intensity that counts the most. They believe that only huge marketing campaigns have any hope of success, and so that’s what they focus their time and resources on. Except there’s a problem here- most smaller businesses won’t have the money to keep this approach up for very long. Intensity does bring short-term results, but it’s an expensive attitude to take, and it simply doesn’t fit in with any long-term marketing strategies. Whether it’s social media marketing or other outlets, you need to ensure that there’s a method behind your marketing, and that’s only possible if you’re committed to being consistent.

Not only does consistency with your digital marketing deliver greater results and brand awareness over the long term, it also takes a lot of the pressure off you with creating content, too. Instead of feeling like you have to change the world with every single thing you post, you can take a gentler, more relaxed approach. For instance, one lengthy blog post might provide readers with a lot of information, but it leaves you in a bit of a rut with where to go next. What’s more, in today’s age of the smartphone, we have so many different options open to us that it can be difficult for the average reader to stay focused on something so long. So, not only does that intense, content-heavy post sap your creative juices and lead to a long period of radio silence, it’s also an extremely ineffective way to reach your target audience.

Let’s contrast that with a series of shorter articles that you post on social media over a long period of time. When added together, they may well contain the same amount of information as that longer piece in our last example. However, breaking it up into chunks makes the content a lot easier for your audience to digest, so they’ll come away from it feeling like they’ve learned something of value. They’ll also be hungry for more, and that’s where the other main advantage of consistency over intensity comes into place. Giving your audience regular updates and articles will gradually train them to expect this content from you, and they’ll turn into a loyal core audience who genuinely want to stay up-to-date with your content. The more engaged they are with you, then the more likely they will be to share your content to their own profiles- helping you to reach a larger audience, and saving you money on promoting your posts non-organically.

Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to digital marketing, since every company is different. However, when you’ve worked out what method best suits your business, then don’t make the same mistakes as everyone else. Remember that to keep hold of your audience, you have to keep offering them something, and ensure that you’re staying regular with your marketing. That’s not to say that you should compromise on quality and just put out any old rubbish so long as it’s to a schedule, but consistent content is the only way to get real results when it comes to digital marketing.

Of course, it can be tricky to keep coming up with high-quality content on a regular basis, especially if your day-to-day work takes up a lot of your time. That’s why it’s a smart idea to team up with a dedicated marketing team to take care of things for you- and luckily for you, we’re always happy to help new customers! I Want Fish And Chips are on hand to provide your business with the consistent, effective marketing materials and social media content that you need to thrive. We’ll work hard to come up with content that builds a real buzz around your business, and by sticking to a regular schedule, you’ll soon have that crucial loyal following hanging on your every post.

 

Let’s team up today, and show you just how effective that consistent approach to marketing can be!

Click here to book a meeting.

Building Your Brand on Social Media

It’s one of the most powerful marketing tools businesses today have at their disposal. It’s free to use and can help you reach thousands, if not millions, of potential new customers, fans and followers. It’s often also the marketing opportunity that businesses get wrong. If you think social media isn’t working for you at the moment, then changing your approach could make all the difference.

1. Regular Engagement

Consistency is vital on the web and that means having a firm brand identity and a plan for communicating with customers, fans and followers. Regular engagement is important if you want to keep your brand ‘alive’ and in the minds of those who follow you, whether it’s on sites such as Facebook or through the shortened communications of Twitter. It’s not just about throwing tonnes of content out there, however. Consistency in the quality is key.

While you should be looking to post frequent content, it needs to have the quality and the relevance that reflect your brand identity and the needs of your customers. This has to be consistent across different platforms as well, so that your messages stay uniform. Get this right and you will find that readers will engage better and know what to expect from your feeds. 

2. Reach and Authority

Respect is vital on social media and is another big part of building your brand. Creating authority is a difficult thing to achieve if you don’t have a strong brand identity. Know what you stand for and post content that reflects and you will instil a sense of authority for the people who read your posts.

That doesn’t mean you need to be dull when it comes to posting content. In order to attract more followers, you will need to project professionalism in your social media work. Of course, your content can be quirky and weird if it fits with your demographic and your brand. Unorthodox content can be highly popular with a wide range of people. But as you build your brand in social media, you should keep in mind that you should always respect your followers and other social media users. Not doing so can turn off a good part of your audience.

Reach and authority is a complex balancing act and you need to be clear about where you actually stand.

3. How to Be Responsive on Social Media

When getting involved in social media activities, it is important to keep in mind that your main goal should be engagement. Social media offers great opportunities in terms of connecting with readers and potential customers. You are not a static entity throwing out posts and hoping others will pass on your good news. Pretend that you are in a room full of people and your job is to network. That means you have to talk, you have to respond, you have to engage.

When your readers click on, recommend or share your content, your website benefits so it’s worth throwing out a thank you or at least reciprocating by sharing some of their content. And, if someone asks a question, answer them. Readers appreciate when you, as the website author, actively engage in conversation with them.

Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment. Watch what you competitors are up to and try different approaches and gauge how they work. Social media can deliver success for any business, it’s just a question of finding the right formula that boosts engagement and delivers your brand to your fans and followers.

Are you are looking to save time on your social media we have a great tool which is like Hootsuite and Buffer which can do this for you! Just CLICK HERE and save time on your social media!

The World is in the Palm of your hands….. And so is Your Phone

At the click of a button you can now be at the North Pole on google maps, become the owner of a magnificent 50 inch fully HD TV via Amazon or experience snorkelling in the great barrier reef through you-tube. All of this can happen whilst sitting in the comfort of your own home. In today’s growing app market, any business can create an app, not just the big brand names. Apps create a vital opportunity for a business to be no more than a minute away from consumers. Consequently if you don’t have an app you are at a disadvantage to your competitors.

Engaging with customers on a real level is important in order to gain trust and loyalty. Apps allow you to do this through time, location and other profiled information that customers wish to share. This will then allow you to strategize and target different demographic groups with different information, offers and products. If done right, when your business is at the forefront of a customer’s mind, it is now so simple to just click on the app compared to going to the store or finding the website. From this, if desire is created through the app, these engaged customers can then earn you revenue.

Be Creative and put the Customer First

Having an app gives you an opportunity to be creative, making the shopping experience fun that the customer may otherwise not feel instore. This new level of the business could be through social elements, quick facts or rewards and discounts whilst browsing. Having an app gives you the potential to reach a whole new audience. This means, for those who are unfamiliar with the brand; a good, enticing first impression will hopefully encourage first time purchases.

Customer service is also one of the most important factors of a business as it can give you an identifiable image as well as a competitive advantage. When customers are put first and feel prioritised, sales are likely to follow. Having an app will make communication between you and the customer much simpler for both parties. Live chats cut the need for customers to go through the torture of waiting on hold to call centres but also cuts the cost for the business by reducing its need for one. A customer service operator will also be able to deal with multiple issues at once, something that isn’t possible over the phone. This efficiency is likely to result in a better relationship with the business and client, allowing customer to feel more prioritised. As well as this, being able to deal with issues quickly and efficiently means less negative comments are likely to be posted on websites and social media furthermore securing that necessary quality of customer service.

Persuading Customers to download the app

Apple ‘gift’ is a service on Iphones that could help promote your business, a valuable tool to which no one knows too much about. From the app store, Apple allows you to send a paid app to a fellow iOS user for them to download for free. Mintel suggests that some 28% of mobile users agree that sending an app to a friend or relative is a good gift idea but just 5% have actually done so. If promoted on your app as a small holiday gift idea, it has the potential to improve the awareness of your company drastically. This can then go on for those participants who are stuck on ideas for presents to go on and use your products.

According to Mintel app store ratings are only the third most influential factor when downloading an app with only 12% of mobile users ranking as their number one influence. The most commonly used factor is recommendations from friends and family. These will be people that already own the app so it is imperative to make the right impression to get the recommendations. It is important to note criticism is just as easy to arise as recommendations and so it’s vital that these criticisms are dealt immediately to maintain customer satisfaction.

It’s easy. From big name brands to small start-up companies, all you need is creative thinking and smart planning to be on your way to having your own mobile app, and providing yourself with that vital competitive advantage.

If you need any help with your social media or online marketing please pop your details in our contact us  page and we will get in contact with you to help!

Also if you are looking to save time on your social media we have a great tool which is like Hootsuite and Buffer which can do this for you! JustCLICK HERE and save time on your social media!

Marketing Today: The Power Tools That Help SMEs Succeed

Go back just twenty or so years and you would need a sizeable budget to undertake any meaningful marketing initiative. Now, small and medium sized businesses, start-ups and large corporations can all develop strategies and use powerful marketing tools at a much lower cost. This access has a led to a rise in entrepreneurs with many of us having the confidence to go out there and think a little bigger when it comes to business development.

Website Development

At the heart of marketing for most businesses is the company website. These have become interactive multi-media sites with images, blog posts, video promotions and a whole host of engaging content that performs well on search engines and attracts visitors from areas such as social media. It’s one of the key areas that businesses have to get right and that means being up to date with keywords, tags, meta-descriptions, site maps and outbound/inbound linking to name just a few SEO friendly strategies. The good news is that websites are relatively easy and cheap to set up. Get it right and you have a central powerhouse from which to operate your business online.

Social Media

Love it or loathe it, social media has exploded in the last five to ten years. It’s one of the most potent tools in your marketing armoury and is cheap to use. The only important caveat is that you have to put in the hard yards to make it a success. That means strong marketing strategies that encourage fans and followers to engage. Social media can be used to reach new markets, attract visitors to your website and allows you to spread your net across the entire globe.

Pay Per Click Marketing

Another marketing channel that has evolved over the years and has become a lot more nuanced is pay per click advertising on social media and search engines. These can now reach a highly specific demographic through the use of simple to use filters that can sort for age, gender, location, interest and other parameters. Businesses can tailor their budget to produce measurable and impactful campaigns which actually work.

Marketing Measurement

Without knowing what the results of any marketing campaign mean, you won’t learn from your mistakes or be able to replicate success. Businesses can now get high quality metrics at the touch of a button which measure, for instance, how well a particular social media message works, whether a landing page is performing to expectations or which of your blog posts attracts the most attention. Metrics give businesses the opportunity to develop their marketing strategy and change the things that don’t work while focusing more on the ones that do. Not only is this measurement of performance available at the touch of a button, it is updated in real-time which means you always have up to date statistics.

It’s all very well having these tools at our fingertips. It’s an entirely different matter getting the best out them. Businesses often don’t make the most of platforms such as social media simply because they don’t how they work or, more specifically, how it can be leveraged better. The other major issue is how you integrate all the different tools so that they work together and send the same brand message.

You need to have a marketing strategy that works for your business in today’s competitive world, with a clear insight on how all these helpful building blocks come together to make a coherent whole. Get it right and you can expect your business to grow as customers engage, spread the word and buy more.

If you need any help with your social media or online marketing please pop your details in our contact us  page and we will get in contact with you to help!

Also if you are looking to save time on your social media we have a great tool which is like Hootsuite and Buffer which can do this for you! JustCLICK HERE and save time on your social media!

The Importance of an Online Presence

So, why has an online presence suddenly become vital for the success of a business?

Mintel suggests that the social network market is approaching market saturation which in itself has many threats but for us creates many opportunities. With more people than ever on social media, the penetration of the social network market has reached over 80% of the UK population. According to Mintel, this helped Facebook more than triple its daily active users from 327million in 2010 to over a billion in 2015. Therefore online usage is at its peak allowing greater exposer for online marketing campaigns and more importantly your business.

With more and more people active on social media more channels are available for you to use to connect with your customers and potential customers. Only recently Snapchat jumped ahead of Twitter for number of daily users.

5 opportunities for being active on social media includes:

  • The ability to target different demographic groups to show a greater accessibility towards branded content.
  • Creates second-degree exposure through re-posts and online reactions to offline ads.
  • Improved customer service and the ability to solve issues through the medium of social networks which produces shorter response times and query-handling costs.
  • The ability to deal with issues by instant message which decreases the likely hood of complaints being posted publicly leading to a better and more personal brand image.
  • Integrate with your offline marketing campaign to amplify your message.

Managing online accounts is a daily routine for businesses but there often isn’t enough time to do it effectively. This is where we come in. We work with a range of clients from estate agents, franchise business brokers and retail outlets to name a few, I Want Fish and Chips is changing the way businesses are using digital marketing to communicate effectively with a variety of customers. With over 113880 hours experience in marketing, we strive to create the perfect online marketing strategy that is unique to each client’s needs. This ranges from managing social media accounts, graphic design and developing websites. All of these are key to communicating with modern day consumers and keep at the forefront of minds.

If you need any help with your social media or online marketing please pop your details in our contact us  page and we will get in contact with you to help! Also if you are looking to save time on your social media we have a great tool which is like Hootsuite and Buffer which can do this for you! Just CLICK HERE and save time on your social media!

How to Engage on Social Media

Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, engaging on social media is more than just posting details of your latest product and hoping people will visit your site. The businesses that succeed on social media are the ones who engage at a much deeper level.

Imagine being at a party. If you are continually talking about yourself, by the end of the evening you’re likely to be Billy no mates sat in the corner on your own. Conversations usually work both ways. And the same goes for social media. It’s about engagement and community. It’s not all about selling, although that is the main objective.

The Only Tool You Need is a Smartphone

It’s so much easier to engage with social media if you have the right tool to do it. The smartphone is perfectly designed for this kind of thing. Download your chosen social media app and check it regularly, while you’re in the office or on the move. You can even access it while on holiday abroad. A quick update here and there as you go through your day means your social media account remains alive and kicking.

Commit to Your Social Media Platform

When you set up your business on a social media platform you need to commit to it. That means growing your presence and attracting fans and followers. The two main ones that businesses generally go for are Twitter and Facebook. The trick is not to overstretch yourself with too many choices and commit to the platform or platforms you have chosen 100%.

Grow Your Following

Part of the key to a successful social media account is growing your following. Try to do this holistically and with a good deal of thought. Don’t follow people en masse in the hope of getting impressive numbers. Join social media groups related to your business and chat to people there who are interested in the same thing. One interested and engaged person is worth a hundred randomly chosen followers who won’t even notice your posts.

Be Less Automated

It’s tempting with all the other things that you have going on in your business to go for a little automation. This can work on occasion and many businesses do it. When someone follows them they send out an automatic message thanking them, for example. If you can send a personal message so much the better.

Post Interesting Stuff

When it comes to posting on your timeline, make it interesting for your followers. Businesses that constantly push their own products and nothing else rarely achieve success. If there are news items that will be of interest to your fans and followers, then let them know. Social media also works well in combination with informative blog posts. Include an image to attract more attention.

Reply to Queries

If someone contacts you on social media, then reply in person. It sounds simple but it’s one mistake that businesses often make. People don’t really like to be ignored, so you’ll be making them feel good by replying. If you can provide a great answer to their query all the better.

Retweet/Share More Interesting Stuff

Don’t be afraid of retweeting other people’s posts. Many businesses think it takes focus away from them but it is a great way of building relationships online. If you retweet or share, people are much more likely to reciprocate when you post something yourself. That can give you a much wider reach beyond your own followers.

Like most marketing tools, social media is largely about finding what works for you. Discover the right strategy that gets your brand out there and it can be a powerful way of engaging with customers and attracting new ones. It can enhance your reputation and set you up as leader in your field or industry. Yes, that takes a lot of work. But the dividends are worth it in the end.

If you need any help with your social media please pop your details in our contact us  page and we will get in contact with you to help! Also if you are looking to save time on your social media we have a great tool which is like Hootsuite and Buffer which can do this for you! Just CLICK HERE and save time on your social media!

Change your Approach to online marketing!

We speak to and deal with lots of small businesses over the course of a twelve month period and one thing that has become clear is the lack of a coherent and cohesive strategy.

This is often not the fault of the small business owner as they have their own businesses to run and rarely have the resource to look at their marketing and particular online marketing in a holistic way.

The other problem is the industry itself with new platforms, software, products and services appearing every day all promising untold wealth and success.  As small business owners we are often looking for “quick wins” and can very easily become distracted by something “shiny”.  This means that small business marketing becomes an endless trail of bolt ons, cobbled together products and services without one big plan.

My challenge has always been how do we get this message across to a busy small business owner?  If they are working with us or a company like us the problem becomes less (although often still a challenge) because we see it as our job to look holistically and identify products that will work within a small business owners budget and market environment.

What became clear during this session is that the views of the people there were as follows:

Web Site – need a web site because our competitors have one and to act as a brochure for our business and products

Google – need to get to the top of Google in order to find new customers

Social Media – new fad but need it because clients expect it and competitors have it (didn’t really have a view as to how to generate leads and sales from it)

Video – expensive luxury

Article Marketing – time consuming and non productive for lead generation

Blog – most couldn’t see the benefit

Email Marketing – only did this occasionally when they had the time

Most of the companies we speak with build their web site and only ever make changes when forced too i.e. new product needs adding, old product out of date, price changes etc..  The most sophisticated had some kind of streaming news feeds because they were aware that content needs to be updated for SEO.

This lead me to the conclusion that we are missing the point.  We need to change our approach to Online Marketing in two fundamental ways.  I would also like to compare this to the “Old Offline World” we are familiar with.

Online Collateral or Building Blocks

If we see our Web Site, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, You Tube, Blog, Linked In as advertising platforms.  The comparison for this in the Offline World would be National Newspaper, Billboard at Euston Station, Radio, Regional Press, Exhibitions, Seminars etc..

Therefore the first thing you need to do is make sure you have all these things, and ensure they are branded and portray your business in the best light and you get them in the best places you can for your budget.

Marketing Message

Once you have your building blocks in place decide every day or every week what marketing message you want to send and use all these platforms to deliver it.  Some weeks your message might be delivered better vis Social Media, other weeks it might be email, other weeks it might be your web site or in fact a combination of all of them.

Do not fall into the trap of building these things and then leaving them to gather dust.  You wouldn’t pay for space in a National Newspaper and not place an advert, you wouldn’t pay for Billboard advertising and not put up a message or leave the same message their for years getting tattier and tattier.

Use your online collateral today to increase leads, increase sales and develop your brand!

If you need any help with your social media or online marketing please pop your details in our contact us  page and we will get in contact with you to help! Also if you are looking to save time on your social media we have a great tool which is like Hootsuite and Buffer which can do this for you! Just CLICK HERE and save time on your social media!

Social Media Marketing

There are many social media sites, including the ones you likely already know about:

Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Before you start creating content for your content marketing strategy to syndicate across social media channels, you should identify which social media channels will be most appropriate for your product or service.

For example, consider Pinterest, on which the demographics are mostly women. Half of them are mums. If your business is in tailor-made suits and sports jackets, Pinterest probably doesn’t contain the right demographic for you. Sure, there’s always a way to make it work, if you plan your strategy just right. Women might fall all over your amazing threads and order for their husbands, sons, dads, brothers and friends. But you’d probably have to get lucky for that to happen. A better option might be to find a social network that fits your demographic. Did you know there’s a site very similar to Pinterest that is growing quickly? It’s called Gentlemint, and this one caters to men. This might be a much better social network on which to focus your image content marketing efforts.

So, start by selecting a few appropriate social media sites. Almost all businesses should have a Facebook and Twitter account, but don’t forget about Google+, Youtube, Pinterest, and LinkedIn (especially if you’re a B2B business). Grow and develop those first, then you can start including others. Don’t overdo it, either; you should have the resources in place to manage the accounts. Social profiles for your business that aren’t fully set up, don’t interact and engage, or just sit idly can reflect poorly on your business. If you truly don’t have the time or budget for some solid demographic research, then at least try to get feedback from your current customers as to which social media sites they often use.

A Look at Genders on Major Social Sites:

Obviously, if your product/service caters to women, then Pinterest should be on your radar. If it’s more geared towards men, then maybe Reddit or Quora are better suited for you (The last ones on the list are more towards computer and internet themes). What about demographics by age? Is there a certain age group that would be more interested in what you have to offer?

A Look at Age Groups on Major Social Sites:

There are many more sites that can be grouped by income, education, how likely they are to share video, and much more. Take your time and use this information to select the most appropriate ones to begin with.

Setting Up Social Media Sites & Integrating Them

After you’ve chosen which sites you’re going to use, you need to create accounts on them. One of the first things you should do is go to Knowem.com and input a username you’d like to use on your social profiles. Ideally, this should be your brand or company name. Knowem will then search over 500 different social sites, checking if that username is available on each one. Why is this important? Well, you don’t want to become known as StevesAutoRepair on several sites, only to have to use AutoRepairBySteve on others. A consistent username helps you achieve brand consistency, so that you’re easily recognisable and findable.

Get Social on Your Website

The goal should be for your readers, fans and customers to be able to easily share your content, and interact with you in social media. To achieve this, include social “follow us” icons to allow your visitors to easily connect with your brand. Ideally, these icons should be displayed on every page of your website, and they are commonly found in the upper right sidebar or header.

Additionally, include “share” buttons on your blog posts to allow readers to easily and instantly share your content with others.

 

Industry Research

Before interacting in social media, do your homework. What do I mean by that? Find some authority figures in your industry on the social sites you’re going to use. Who are the influencers in your industry? Who has the most reach? Who are the thought leaders?

Here are a few free tools to help you figure out the answers to these questions:

WeFollow.com – Allows you to search for industry influencers by keyword

TweetReach – Enter a Twitter name, URL or hashtag and get information about their reach on Twitter

SocialMention – Get regular updates when a person, company or topic is mentioned

Ok, so why are you gathering this information? Using tools like the ones above can help you get off the ground with your strategy. By monitoring what they do, when they do it, and what gets the most response or attention, you’ll be able to model some of your social media action plan after their example. Obviously what they’re doing is working!

Inbound links from social media marketing

Social media marketing does result in inbound links, and yes, many of those are included in the ‘social signals’ we covered. For example, every time a tweet contains a link to your website, that’s an inbound link and also a social signal. Similarly, when someone shares one of your blog posts on Facebook with a link back to the post, that’s an inbound link and a social signal.

If you need any help with your social media or online marketing please pop your details in our contact us  page and we will get in contact with you to help! Also if you are looking to save time on your social media we have a great tool which is like Hootsuite and Buffer which can do this for you! Just CLICK HERE and save time on your social media!

8 Steps to digital success

Integrated marketing has become a business buzzword, taking in advertising, public relations, direct marketing, digital and social media marketing – all as a unified force, making it a cost-effective and consistent promotional strategy.

Market research has shown time and time again that customers check out products and services online before making a purchase. Having an online presence not only increases trust in your brand – vital for small businesses without a big marketing budget – but also reaches a wider, cross-generational audience. Research by BT revealed that many young Britons don’t own a TV but rely on the web to watch TV through catch-up services and download films, music, games and videos, bypassing high-street stores.

So here are eight steps to create an effective digital marketing campaign from scratch and boost your ranking in the process.

Step 1: Create a keyword strategy

Any internet search starts with typing a few words in an engine, so the trick is to find which keywords can best describe your products or services. Google AdWords’ Keyword Planner can list the most popular searches at local and global level – all you have to do is pick the high-ranking words that suit your business.

Step 2: Optimise your website

To optimise your website, once you have identified your keywords use them in your website’s source (i.e. where the html code is) and sparingly in your website’s copy as keyword stuffing is penalised by search engines. Use your keywords judiciously in body copy, headings and picture captions.

Step 3: Create a blog and other content

A national digital marketing conference recently proclaimed that “content is king”, meaning that quality copy, pictures, videos and infographics all contribute to making your website rise in search engine rankings – the top-five currently being Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask and AOL Search. Your website should be worded with your customer in mind and allow for the short-span attention and time-poor behaviour of internet users. It should be brief, to the point and allow easy navigation – if potential customers cannot find the information they require, they will click away. More in-depth information can be conveyed through a blog, ebooks, videos and podcasts.

An Infograph by Chris Heiler

8 Steps to online marketing success

Step 4: Promote your content with social media

Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Pinterest are the main social media platforms. More specialised platforms include YouTube for videos, Digg and Stumbleupon for web links, and Instagram and Flicker for photos. As a rule of thumb, Twitter and LinkedIn are mostly used for B2B interaction, while Facebook is more B2C. However digital divides often blur, with companies using all platforms and most getting onto Pinterest’s bandwagon – a picture (or infographic) is indeed worth a thousand words. There is plenty of free information online to keep you up to date with social media trends – Mashable and Search Engine Watch offer excellent e-newsletters.

Step 5: Convert your website’s traffic into leads

Your website is ranking well, you have plenty of visitors, your blog is well received, but how can you turn your followers into customers? Don’t spread yourself too thinly, keep up with social media platforms and engage with your customers by giving away free advice, samples, consultations – whatever it’s suitable for your business to offer as an incentive to close the deal.

Step 6: Nurture your leads with email marketing

Email marketing is the 21st century answer to junk mail – but not as we know it. Customer engagement is key – your registered users want to hear from you and are keen to receive your e-newsletters via email. Focus on their problems and offer solutions – a pull rather than push strategy involving building a relationship and earning trust. For instance, if you sell gardening products, potential customers could get emails with gardening tips, short tutorials for easy makeovers and seasonal advice to showcase how your products can enhance their lifestyle.

Step 7: Be mobile friendly

Portable internet and wifi mean that some of your customers might be surfing the net from a mobile phone, so check with your designer that your website displays well on mobile devices. Google Analytics can give you a helping hand by indicating how mobile impacts your business – you can get free reports showing how your visitors are accessing your website, whether from a smart or a basic phone.

Step 8: Analyse and refine your marketing strategies

Many businesses still think that once their optimised website is up and running and they have one social media campaign under their belt, they are there… Yes they are, but not for long. In the fast-changing digital world, new platforms are constantly created and trends come and go at the speed of lightning. Your competitors won’t be standing still either. Small businesses should review their website at regular intervals. Refresh your content, keep up with social media, regularly monitor your visitors with Google Analytics and use all the free tools and information available to improve or maintain your ranking