Businesses live and die by their marketing campaigns. If enough time is spent and resources are allotted to really push a product across multiple media, the customers tend to follow. But if a marketing campaign is lazy, sloppy, thoughtless and uninspired, your customers will be the first to smell it out. No matter how good your product is, if your customers don’t know about it, it’s a flop.
Over the past few decades, many small to medium-sized businesses have unlocked the marketing potential of radio and television, but those media are the old guard of the marketing world. To truly compete in a world that is globalizing quickly, small to medium-sized have to push forward, out of the old tried-and-true methods of advertising. Arguably, digital marketing is still in its infancy, and if your company doesn’t get a promising start, it will be extremely difficult to catch up later.
With that said, there are three simple ways to take your digital marketing campaign to the next level, and while none of them will break the bank, spending time and money to use them properly can make a huge difference for your digital marketing footprint.
Learn to Use Google AdWords
Any small business with a computer nerd on staff probably thinks that it has Google AdWords figured out. After all, the product seems pretty simple: you pay to appear in the search results for certain keywords. Simple, right? Well… yes, but there’s a lot more to it than just buying all the keywords related to your industry.
If you don’t already know, Google AdWords can be geo-targeted for your specific area. If you’re a small business, this tool is indispensable. If your a company that needs people to actually walk into your brick and mortar storefront — a coffee shop, perhaps — advertising to everyone is a total waste of time. You don’t need to waste your money showing advertisements to people who are far outside of your local area. Instead, geo-target your audience using the Google AdWords tools.
For Google AdWords, timing is perhaps more important than location. Certain products do really well during certain times of the year. Pumpkins, for example, do great around Halloween; everyone is looking for the closest patch so that they can go pick their own pumpkin, so if you own a pumpkin patch, running a Google AdWords campaign to sell pumpkins in October isn’t a bad strategy — heavy-handed? Perhaps. But not bad. For other products, it’s not just the time of the year that tells you when to market: it’s can even be as specific for the time of day. Going back to my coffee shop example, if you’re looking to make the breakfast crowd a bit larger, run your ads early in the morning and turn them off before noon.
Google AdWords is a great tool because it is so versatile, and if you work with your team to come up with marketing strategies that make sense for your product, Google AdWords can be a very cost-efficient way to speak to your target market.
Work on Your Company’s App
We can all agree that there’s nothing worse than a useless app, but if your company offers some sort of product or service that can be complimented or somehow improved with an app, hire a team of developers to build an app for your business or build it yourself!
A well-designed app can have a huge impact for your bottom line. Apps can serve up services (think Uber), reviews (TripAdviser) or media files (Netflix, Spotify), so they lend themselves easily to companies that specialize in these areas. But don’t underestimate what a good app can do in the right hands.
Apple, for example, hit a home run with their Apple Store app last year. Before the Apple Watch was widely available, Apple added a feature to its Apple Store app that allowed people to get an idea of what an Apple Watch would look like on their arm. A sort of digital try-on, if you will. All you had to do was pick the Apple Watch you wanted, and a digital image of the watch appeared on your screen. From there, you just put the iPhone on your wrist, and you could see exactly how big the Apple Watch was. This was a great digital marketing concept from one of the best in the business.
Your business might not be Apple or Uber, but try to think outside of the box and find way to incorporate a useful app into your digital marketing strategy.
Coordinate Your Platforms
Finally, coordinating your platforms. Few things are more annoying than posting a status update on Facebook, then running to Twitter to tweet virtually the same thing. Then, you’re running to Instagram to take the picture image that somehow encompasses whatever you just said on Facebook and Twitter. But you don’t want to forget Google+ (even though nobody’s on it yet, but you know it’s time is coming).
What I’m trying to say is that it’s tough and simply annoying to try coordinating to all these different platforms. That’s why most do-it-yourself marketers give up on all but one or two social media platforms and just focus on the one they like. The problem with that is that you’re missing out on a lot of great marketing opportunities.
Get your platforms in shape with an easy-to-use client. There are a number of them out there, and some people swear by some, while other like to experiment with different ones. If you’re looking for one to start, try DOZ. DOZ is a great platform that gives you unparalleled oversight over your digital marketing campaigns; the client comes with Google Drive, Dropbox and Box integration, so the files you’re storing on the cloud can be easily utilized in DOZ.
Try out a few clients before settling on one. Find one that fits your style and your team best.
Coordinating your platforms is a great way to stay on top of all that’s happening in social media, and it’ll help you be everywhere your clients want you to be. Whether it’s in their pockets or on their desks, a compressive social media marketing campaign is a powerful tool that can now reach virtually anyone with an internet connection.
Digital marketing truly is the future, but it’s nothing to be afraid of. With the right tools and team behind you, your business can thrive in digital marketing. Your time and financial investment now can help you get heads and shoulders ahead of your competition who is still waiting by the digital marketing sidelines, so to speak.