5 Ways to Kickstart Your Digital Marketing Strategy this 2017

Christmas and the New Year celebrations are but a distant memory so now it’s time to get down to business. We all know that in digital marketing, the game changes constantly. What worked for you last year may not work at all in 2017. So keep right up to date with our top tips on how to update your digital marketing strategy for the year ahead:

Start with the basics – Set some GOALS.
Not having goals for the year could spell disaster for your digital marketing strategy. If your campaign doesn’t have clear-set goals for the year, you may find it difficult to write your content, plan your emails and set your social media strategy. Goals can be as simple as “getting more people in my geographical location interested in my product” or “go global.” With defined goals, your content will become more cohesive and appealing for all audiences.

Pick the right communication channels.
In addition to your goals, you should determine which channels or platforms work best for your company. If a popular company is doing so well in a particular marketing channel, it does not mean that it will work for you too. Don’t just try to recreate another company’s actions as their target audiences and goals may be different. Do some social listening, know which platforms your audience participates in, and build your campaign around them.

Learn to talk back – digitally, that is.
One common mistake that companies often make is to simply post a lot of content and then forget about it. Try to use social media the way it was intended – for communication and personalisation. Respond to tweets, comment on your audiences’ posts, and find other ways to communicate with your followers. If you do this right, your company will become a part of their lives and your brand will be seen by their circle of friends.

2017 is the year when marketing gets more personal so it is best to start talking back digitally to your audience.

Go Live.
In one of our previous blog posts we mentioned that Facebook Live is a game changer for social media marketing. This still holds true this year, along with other platforms such as Instagram Stories, Snapchat and Periscope. In fact, digital marketing this year is about closing the communication gap to as close to zero as possible. The digital marketing landscape is drowning with content and with so many options on what to watch and digest, going “live” helps capture the audience. Knowing that if they don’t watch you right away, the moment will be gone can bring an immediacy to your message. The idea that something that may “disappear” in a short while could help them to focus and watch your live stream now.

The Google mobile-first policy for website ranking.
The Internet was abuzz when Google announced their mobile-first indexing policy. If you are starting your digital marketing strategy without considering the mobile-first indexing, then you are setting up your company for failure. The majority of internet users consume content on their mobile phones these days, so in 2017 make sure that you are targeting your mobile audience.

If you would like an informal chat with us about how we could help you with your 2017 digital marketing then please call us on 015242 37774 or email hello@dalexander.co.uk

Why Blogging is Still Important in 2017 and Beyond

You might have read recently that blogging is old school and hasn’t been useful as an online marketing strategy for a long time. With the proliferation of social media sites that allow you to blog or post down your thoughts, why waste time blogging in a WordPress site, right?

While social media sites offer convenience and a readily available audience, think about this: would you ever build your castle in someone else’s land? I guess not. Building your audience on somebody else’s platform is only as good as the platform’s existence.

For a business, blogging, along with your own social media presence, is of utmost importance now, in 2017 and beyond. Here are our top reasons why:

Blogging drives more traffic to your website. Your blog is a great way to give your audience relevant, up to date content. If your content is useful, interesting and valuable to them, they might decide to share it with their online community. Obviously this would give you free additional traffic! On the technical note, search engines love fresh content. Regular blogging gives search engines new content to index, and can help to improve organic visibility across multiple keywords (that is, if you plug in those keywords wisely).

Blogging helps you to rank for those long-tail search queries and keywords. A regular website without a blog may find it difficult to rank this way. Your business website might rank for your industry-specific keywords (e.g. ‘IT Company in Lancaster’), but without more specific blogs might struggle to rank for longer terms such as ‘How to Recover Accidentally Deleted Files’. While long tail search queries are less common, they are generally considered to be get higher conversion rates.

Blogging helps to position you and your business as experts in your industry. A good business blog answers questions your consumers may have. If you create content that gives value to your audience, they will see you as a go-to resource and this can establish you as an industry authority.

Blogging humanises your brand and business. An ‘About Us’ page on your website is no match for a regular blog in terms of showing your personality and ideas. Blogging gives readers a better insight into your company, values, employees, ideas, and much more. A blog is a place where you get to share your voice and personality, building up trust and in the long run, increases the likability quotient of your brand or business.

Blogging supports and reinforces your social media presence. You cannot maintain a consistent social media presence without good, high-quality content. While it is good to share the content of others, you are just directing more traffic to their site. At some point, you’d want a share of that traffic, too. If you have a blog and share it on your social media platforms, you drive more people to your site. You also win clicks, leads, and visitors when your posts are shared.

In addition, if you have a regular newsletter, your blog posts can come in handy. Part of your email newsletter content can be the top blog posts for the month. Incorporating your blog posts in your social media and email marketing campaigns can bring great results to your business.

So with all these benefits, blogging remains a key aspect in your overall marketing strategy.

Facebook Live: Game Changer for Social Media Marketing

The dynamics of social media marketing are quickly evolving, as more and more customers crave social connectivity with the brands and businesses they like and support. 2016 has seen more businesses become more intimate and transparent with their followers through livestreaming and with Facebook Live, it changed the game altogether.

If you are not yet utilising this amazing feature in Facebook, you are potentially losing out. Here’s why Facebook Live made a dent in the social media stratosphere in 2016:

Facebook Live Grabs Attention… Instantly
You don’t need to worry about being lost in your follower’s newsfeed. Facebook Live commands your followers’ attention immediately because once you go live, their phone lights up to notify them that you are live.

Instant Engagement with Your Audience
Your audience is already on Facebook and the moment you go Live, notifications are sent and they can just tune in and watch. Facebook Live eliminates any third party app or a link you have to click and download to view the video. Everything is just there – plain and simple.
While your audience is watching you live, they can send you comments and ask questions and you can answer them in real time. In a world where everything is instant, this is instant, real-time engagement in the social media world.

Facebook Live Allows You to Repurpose Your Video
One good thing about Facebook Live is that the videos stay on your page. In case your audience missed your live broadcast, they can view it again on your page. Comments are not removed either. In addition, there is an embed feature in the video, allowing you to repurpose your broadcast to your website or blog. To push your marketing further, you could now start your own video blog or vlog – same video, different audience, and different reach. How amazing is that?

A catchy title is very important!
When using Facebook Live, there’s an important marketing tip to remember: Create a catchy title for your live broadcast. Why? When people get a notification that you are or were live, the only thing that they see in their notifications is the title. A compelling title is the perfect bait for them to click on your video.

Have fun!

NEW Instagram – Tips & Tricks 2016

Instagram received a huge face lift and we dive into the new features and interface as well as help you with tips & tricks!

How to Organically Grow Instagram

Digital Marketing tips on growing your Instagram account organically.

So you have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, Google+ seems to have died a bit of a death, so what about embarking on your Instagram journey. Useful video that explains how to grow your following, and how to run your Instagram campaign.

5 Common Social Media Myths

So if you haven’t taken the plunge yet and started using Social Media in your business maybe this post will help you take that leap forward. There are plenty of myths out there surrounding social media in relation to your business and website. With this in mind I thought I would put some of the most popular untruths to rest.

Myth 1
None of my customers / clients use social media so why should I bother?

What a load of rubbish! The latest stats out show that Facebook now has over 1 billion users, 50% of whom use it on a daily basis. Twitter has 170 million and Google + 100 million users each, never mind LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube. In fact Youtube is the 3rd most popular website in the UK after Google and Facebook.

Your customers most definitely are using social media as are many of your competitors for that matter.

Myth 2
It’s only worth following someone if they will become a customer.

It is true that ‘quality’ followers are important but don’t underestimate the power of having ‘quantity’ and as such a wider social reach. Even if they are unlikely to become a customer, they will expose you to their followers and they can improve your SEO by sharing your content.

Myth 3
Social Media is only for younger people

Take a look at these stats on social mediai users and maybe you’ll change your mind:

40% of Facebook’s active users are over age 35.
52% of 55-64 year old internet users have joined a social network.

Myth 4
I don’t have enough content or anything interesting to say

Social Media moves pretty fast so you can revisit content every few weeks if you think it is information that your customers will continue to find useful. Try planning out your posts so you follow a broad strategy and you will find it a lot easier to think of things to post. Also follow an 80 / 20 rule on sales. Don’t just ram your sales message down your followers throats every time you say something. They will soon tire of it and move on.

Myth 5
Social Media is a FREE marketing tool

Strictly speaking it is but don’t forget it will take up someone’s time and this is where the cost is. To make it work for your business you will need to invest time or hire someone in to help you to work it on your behalf. That said research has shown it to be a below average marketing cost per sale generated compared to other, more traditional forms of marketing.

Introduction to Twitter

New to Twitter? Here’s a really useful short vid to quickly outline why you should be using it market your business online.

Don’t be one of those businesses that doesn’t use Twitter because you ‘don’t get it’!