I recently attended three different marketing seminars focused around online marketing. The first was sponsored by Constant Contact, which was a good overview of e-mail, and social media marketing. There was a special guest at Faststart Studio; Benny Luo from NextShark who shared his Facebook marketing tips and at a recent OCMA Luncheon, Scott Rogers from Mercantile Mobile Marketing focused on text messaging.
Here are my notes as a conglomeration of these seminars. I hope you find them useful in your marketing.
First thing, what is your goal with digital marketing? Is it to drive traffic to your website, to boost online sales? Each of us has a different purpose for marketing online. What is your goal in digital marketing? The good news is that everything is measurable, so you can define what works and capitalize on its structure. The bad news is, everything is measurable and you can become overwhelmed by the data.
I suggest you focus on driving traffic to your own site. Algorithms can change on social sites and such where you don’t own or have any control over the content or structure. However, sites such as Facebook are weary of the links going away from their site, and therefore have changed the viewing of blatant external links.
So let’s start with your website.
Google Analytics. Obtain a Google Adwords account. You may not use Adwords, but without the account you cannot find the most common keywords people are using when searching for your product, service or site. If you have a website which is subscription based, such as an online magazine, consider a Google Adsense account and allow Google to place ads on your site which you get referral money.
Before I get into the social media or e-mail channels we should talk a bit about content.
- Use intriguing shots or behind the scenes photos.
- Be dramatic! Emphasize a key element in the image.
- Review the image for contrast and clarity. Make it really small, like the size of a postage stamp to see if the image is clear as a thumbnail.
- Include a person in the photo. Happy, smiling people get more click throughs.
Copy – The words or verbiage.
- What’s your story? Why are you unique? Inspiring? Problem Solving?
- Use outrageous titles in your posts, however, be sure to back up the outrageous claim in the content.
- Know this, most people will gloss-over the copy and not read it all. Make it understandable in the gloss-over. Bullet Points, bold sub-titles, like the stuff I am doing here.
- Write about what people want to read. Who is everyone talking about? Who should they be talking about? Etc.
- Start a controversy. Pit two opposing ideas against each other. The purpose is to start a conversation. This allows people a way to share the content.
- “What’s In It For Me?” Tell them. Give them ideas to take home and use.
- Define your small group that you can empower to share the content.
From Boomers to Millennials E-mail is still the most trusted platform for messaging.
- Use a reputable e-mail service provider when sending mass e-mails.
- Obey the CAN-SPAM Act and send ONLY to opt-in subscribers.
- Include a call to action and repeat it. Join, Share, Visit…
- Don’t give too many options to the reader Make it easy.
- Structure as a conversation. Use conversational tone in the copy.
- Save a list of readers (people who have clicked on your e-mail links) as a separate contact list to send targeted calls to action. This is your main tribe to empower to share.
- Check Auto Response notes and Welcome E-Mail for conversational tone.
The use of mobile devices has grown exponentially in the past couple of years. More and more people are using mobile devices INSTEAD OF desktop to access the web.
- Make sure your website is “Responsive” where it is optimized for viewing on smart phones, tablets and desktop systems.
- SMS reaches every phone with text up to 160 characters uses text
- MMS unlimited text and 40 sec. video uses phone number
- OTT (Over The Top) App Based Messaging.
- Must get written permission to market by text. “Text JOIN to 1234 is allowed by the TCPA or enter text on a website. The call to action must disclose why they are getting your info.
- Add a way to cancel. STOP, END, QUIT, CANCEL, UNSUBSCRIBE are 5 words to unsubscribe.
- Message every 7-10 days is 6-8 times more effective than more frequent messaging.
Social Media Marketing
The landscape for social media is always changing and the rules, which the sites use to showcase your content also change as mentioned earlier. Optimize your brand messaging with these tips.
- Customize your page with consistent branding with your website. Cover photo can have a call to action.
- Make sure your profile picture is clear at the smallest of sizes.
- Customize the App bar at the top to show the most important three apps such as Events or E-mail Sign-up.
- Include your web link in the top part of the About info so it can be seen without clicking on it.
- Photo Album posts get more engagement, almost twice as many as a simple word post.
- Boost Key Posts – use Facebook Ads to help stimulate traffic.
- Post a photo, THEN add your external link in either the description or in a comment.
The only note I have on Twitter is to use the # option to search for conversations your audience may be interested in. For example, if you are looking for conversations in Autocross. Type #autocross and find the dialog and interests in the media.
83% of LinkedIn users are B2B Marketers. If you are looking to communicate directly to other businesses, this is the platform for you.
Company Pages have changed where they are retiring the Products and Services tabs on April 14th. LinkedIn suggests you use either the Company Updates or Showcase Pages for promoting your Products and Services.
- Company Updates appear on your Company Pages AND in followers’ feeds in every device.
- Showcase Pages were built specifically to highlight a particular brand or product line. They make it easy to build a dedicated community for ongoing conversation, and followers know to expect news about the product or services.
There are a couple of suggestions for managing these social media networks. Hootsuite and Tweetdeck, are a couple of programs for scheduling and managing your posts. Be strategic about the scheduling. Look at when your audience is online in the various platforms.
Nutshell Mail is a Social Media Monitor that sends the updates to your e-mail inbox in one, scheduled send.
There are many ways to market your company’s product or services online and if they sound easy, they are however they are also time consuming. Don’t think that marketing online is free. There is an expense in time, resources. As you can see with the example on Facebook, the free lunch is over, you will need to “boost” or “enhance” your post with pay-per-click advertising.
If you would like some more detail on navigating through this overwhelming landscape give me a call, I’d be happy to help you out.
— Tony Colombini, Creative Director, Blacktop Media Network, 949-584-5669 TonyC@BlacktopMedia.net