Meet brand wizard, Brandon. AKA Brand.
He is just like you, he is a busy brand wizard. Specializing in making plans and agendas to do various things, and making plans for making the plans (and dreaming of all that he will accomplish)… but honestly, he never really gets around to doing too much.
Planning is good if put into action and executed. I was tempted to say “well-executed,” but in reality, it is often just better to get do it and then adjust, instead of repeated revisioning and waiting for something perfect to happen.
We’re here to help all the Brandon’s and busy brand wizards traverse the digital landscape.
We’ve created this quick and easy Q&A type checklist to assist in enhancing your online presence. Go through these questions and answers provided below, based on real conversations with busy brand wizards, to get an idea of where you can start making improvements to enhance the online presence of your brand this year.
I still don’t see the point in having a website.
One of the basic purposes of a website is to draw in visitors from around the world, whom you can slowly convert into your customers, members, etc.
78% of Internet users conduct product research online. – Hubspot
And if you’re are not online when your users are looking, then you risk losing your leads to your competitors.
How can I tell if my website is up to date?
Updating your website according to the latest web standards and algorithms released by search engines is crucial for a great user experience and high rankings on search result pages.
Since everything is digital nowadays, you can expect a majority of your website visitors to come from mobile users. Hence, you need to have a mobile-friendly site which they can easily access from their mobile devices.
My website doesn’t make visitors do anything besides leave!
Do you feel, or perhaps see the results, that your website entices visitors to complete an action such as leave (or make a purchase or sign up for a product demo, etc.)
If they’re not completing the intended actions, maybe you can make a few changes to your site. You could look into:
- Updating the design to direct traffic
- Including or A/B testing your call to action buttons to attract attention
- Including or A/B testing your landing pages to maximize conversions
2. Content Marketing:
I don’t know how often to update my website?
As often as possible and as often as necessary. Basically, if you have something remarkable to say, then say it, without just saying things for the sake of saying them!
38% of marketers publish content weekly or more often. (LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community)
Both users and search engines favour and appreciate the fresh content. You don’t want visitors to come to your site and get the feeling that you’re out of business because the last time you updated your site was 3 years ago. The same goes for search engines. They give priority to sites that give priority to their content.
What is all this about “compelling content” makes content so compelling?
There is nothing that sells better than content that is original and captivating. If your website has a constant flow of fresh, evergreen content then you will automatically get plenty of visitors.
Google pretty much says this!
Search engines only show those websites whose content is most relevant to what users are looking for. They would not rank sites whose content is of no help to their users.
What other formats of content should I try?
There are many different formats of marketing content. Have you tried using interactive blogs, attractive infographics, or product video demonstrations? These different content formats can help you grab the attention of your audience.
How can I use content to complement the buyer’s journey?
Check if your content helps make your customer’s buying decision easier by giving them the right type of information on what the product or service is and what it can do for them.
Hubspot shared some interesting tips to create content as per the buyer’s journey. You might want to check it out HERE.
What results should I be tracking?
Make a note every time a post or video gets lots of views and engagement online. This way you’ll know what kind of content to keep producing.
You should also make note of those that underperform, study why, and avoid doing that again in the future.
3. Email Marketing:
I heard email marketing is dead. Why do I need to beat a dead horse?
It’s not dead my friend!
According to Radicati’s 2016 Email Statistics Report, email will be used by 3 billion people by 2020.
Definitely be active on emails. Simply avoid being overly sales oriented. Try to connect the dots between what your users want to hear and what you are telling them.
Does it matter if the email doesn’t open properly on all devices?
YES! It matters. Please ensure emails open on all devices (smartphones, laptops, tablets, desktops, etc.)
From managers to executives, almost everyone checks their emails on their mobile phones these days. So if you are using an email marketing strategy, you best ensure that your entire email design can be easily readable on mobiles as well.
Can it be tracked?
Usually yes. (Unless you’re sending them from a basic email solution provider (A.K.A. Gmail)).
To check the overall effectiveness of your email marketing strategy, you need to have some sort of monitoring or tracking software to see how many of your contacts have viewed the email and how many have taken some action.
A few email solution providers include Hubspot and Constant Contact.
What am I going to do with these leads when I get them? How do I set up a nurturing plan?
Once you get leads from your email marketing activities, you need to have a plan to nurture these leads and convert them into your customers.
Ways you can nurture:
- Targeted content – on your website, social media
- Personalized email – drip campaigns
We previously covered this in depth, you can check out 3 Easy Ways How To Nurture Your Leads and the associated slide deck Demystifying Online Lead Generation.
4. Social Media Marketing:
I don’t know if social media marketing is for me?
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but pretty much every brand can benefit from social media marketing.
There are 2.3 billion active social media users. And their main content consumption online is through social platforms.
The key to having a good online presence is to interact with your fans or followers on various social media networks (where they’re already hanging out!)
What kind of posts should I share?
To get a high engagement level from social media, you need to start sharing interesting posts or even videos, gifs, etc. which people can comment on and share with others.
Have you tried?
- Live streaming
- Video updates
- Another something suggestion?
Are people interacting with me? Am I generating regular and consistent levels of engagement?
You get what you give.
Raise your hand if you’re guilty of withholding comments, likes, and shares (#regrams, retweets, etc.) for whatever reason:
- Because you’re busy right now
- Because it’s not the right time
- Because you’re going to do it later
- Because you forgot to do it later
- Because you didn’t know what to say
- Because you didn’t know it was important
You should spend at least 10 minutes a day engaging with others, their ideas, on their profiles. It isn’t just about talking, sharing, and focusing on YOUR mission and content. To generate proper engagement, and expand your reach to new audiences you need to get out there and engage!
I have considered buying likes. What do you think?
DON’T! Just don’t do it. There is way more to likes than just the number. Here we go with the old adage, quality over quantity.
Facebook feels quite strongly against fake likes too. Read HERE
What’s more, real fans can often sense when the fan to engagement ratio is off, potentially damaging your credibility. Something smells fishy with 10 K fans and only 10 likes per post!
5. Search Engine Marketing:
Should my website or brand appear in local search results?
If you have a local business and are also targeting local customers in your area, then you should focus on developing your website to get rankings for local search queries.
Listing yourself on Google My Business is a great way to appear in local search results. (And it’s Free!)
What kind of rankings am I getting with my current strategy?
The best way to check whether your search engine marketing strategy is working is to see if you are getting good rankings on search engine results pages.
What can I do regularly to improve my ranking?
Do you keep your pages updated with great content on a regular basis? Well, this is definitely recommended as a website that has old and outdated content can quickly fall in rankings. You can also focus on generating positive reviews online and participating in social media.
6. Paid Advertising:
I have thought about using paid advertising but I am not sure if I should?
Paid advertising is best when used to create an impact. If you have an event coming up, just launched a product, have an already successful article or ebook and would like to really ramp up the action, you could try a paid approach. You can also use it to retarget existing customers.
For more information, please feel free to check out Are Paid Ads Really Better Than Organic Search Results?
However, if you’re just looking to get rich quick and be #1 on Google you can this approach to achieve that as well, but it’s not a proper, long-term sustainable strategy.
Should I advertise on search engines or social media?
Answer this for us first: Have you checked where you get most of your website audience from?
Probably one of the following: either search queries or social channels.
A look at the Google Analytics could you help you see where are you getting most of your visits from. Putting money in that platform is most likely to give you better ROI.
When & why should I use PPC advertising?
PPC or Pay Per Click advertising ensures that your website is always on top of searches as it will appear on the organic search results.
PPC works best for direct-response marketing (marketing that sends its messages directly to consumers) and for creating brand awareness. So if your immediate goals are either to urge your users to take some action (Buy, subscribe, register) or you have launched a service or product and want to create a buzz for it, then definitely try PPC.
When & why should I use Social Media Ads?
Advertising on social networks is a great way to enhance your online presence especially on one of the most popular social media networks.
Social ads are best when you want to build a community of a very specific audience, which are truly interested in what you have to offer. This guarantees a return on investment for a longer duration.
Also if you are quite skeptical about spending money on online ads, then social media ads are the best place to test and try, as they require very minimum budget (but awesome content) to work.
What is affiliate marketing and why should I care?
The next best form of online marketing and getting your brand noticed is by using affiliates. If you partner with other businesses in your industry, then you can get their help to market your company and grow your presence online.
I am not currently tracking any of my digital marketing or online analytics. Should I?
A BIG YESSS. Analytics is an important pillar of a strategy. If you are not looking into what is working and what’s not then your efforts won’t give a return in a longer run.
That is why almost every digital channel currently provides extensive analytics, so businesses can reach out to their audience faster.
What are some of the best analytic tools I can use?
If you want to know how well your website is doing online, then you need to have analytics software to help you track its performance. They seem more sophisticated than they really are. Some of our favourites include:
- Google Analytics – Free tools to measure data to gain customer insights
- Bitly – Free tool to measure link effectiveness and data
What kind of business intelligence, data or information can I get from my online presence?
If you are already, way to go! You can still review the following for a refresher or some nuggets of information.
But if not, you should be! This should help you get started.
How can I use the analytics data in the right way?
The data you get from your analytics software will not be of any help for your company unless you put it to good use. Once you do, not only will you get more visibility but also more potential customers.
What are some of the things I should look at?
Looking at and understanding analytics can help you to understand where to focus your time. Such as:
- Users: The number of visitors that have frequented your site
- Page views: Which pages are the most popular?
- Acquisition / Traffic sources: Which channels are referring you the most traffic? Direct, Organic, Referral or Social?
- Average duration / Bounce Rate: Where do visitors spend the most time? The least time?
- Are they visiting from mobile devices? (Mobile referral)
When you develop a great online presence, people will really start to notice your brand and be more likely to visit your website. These visitors will slowly be nurtured into valuable leads and then all you need to do is convert them into your buyers.
Do you have any more points that you think can go on the checklist? Then please share them with us here in the comments section.