The Dos And Don’ts Of DIY Marketing

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Doing your own marketing can be a great way to save money and stay completely in control of your brand’s voice. To ensure that your DIY marketing campaign is a success, here are a few important dos and don’ts to follow.  

Do have a strategy

You’re not going to get results by winging it. Effective marketing campaigns need to be planned out. This involves choosing the right time, targeting the right audience and using the right channels. Strategy should be applied to every element of your marketing from your social media posts to your promotional emails – by planning them out a week ahead, you can fine-tune them for maximum effectiveness.

Do have a budget

Whilst going DIY can save you a lot of money, there may still be times when you need to spend some cash to get results. It’s all too easy to overspend by boosting too many Facebook posts or pouring too much money into a trade fair stall. Set a monthly budget so that you’re not spending all of your money on marketing

Do know the limits of your knowledge

Whilst you may be able to self-teach yourself various marketing skills, it’s important to know when to let the pros take over. When it comes to practices like web design, SEO and video advertising, you’re usually better off hiring a digital marketing company. Learning to shoot and edit videos to a professional level or learning how to master SEO can take people years – trying to do these tasks yourself could result in something amateurish if you have no experience.

Don’t just market online

You can’t run a successful business nowadays without doing some online marketing – however offline marketing can be just as important. Never underestimate the power of networking and word of mouth. Printing off business cards and organizing marketing events could also help you to attract new customers.

Don’t get preoccupied chasing competition

A lot of companies feel that successful marketing is all about trying to outdo competitors. Whilst it is important to keep up with your competitors, you should obsess over trying to offer better deals or getting more Facebook followers. Instead, think about ways to stand out from your competitors. This can often have much better results by giving you your own USP.

Don’t forget about return customers

Marketing isn’t all about attracting new customers either. For many companies, return customers can be just as valuable. There are lots of marketing strategies aimed at return customers that you can try such as introducing loyalty schemes, creating a mailing list and keeping previous customers following on social media. 

Struggling To Make An Impact On Your Target Audience?

Struggling to make an impact on your target audience? It can definitely be an uphill battle. It might feel as if you’ll never be heard over the loud racket of your bigger competitors. However, we’re going to look at some ways in which your business could start to turn heads.

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Improve your digital marketing strategy.

One of the most important aspects of advertising a business in the modern world is digital marketing. You probably know this already, but you might be struggling to make an impact online. The traditional business world might have been competitive, but the online business world takes things to another level. What does it take to get people to notice you on the internet? Well, you need great content so your company’s website and social media pages rank well online. Perhaps you even have a YouTube page that you use to share videos of your goods and services. You might want to do some research to figure out how to rank YouTube videos on Google. That would definitely help your business to rank its videos highly on search result pages. SEO might seem overwhelming, but there are lots of online resources that can help you.

Encourage your customers to spread the word.

You also need to use your existing customer base if you want to make an impact on your target audience. You can only advertise your business so much. If potential clients don’t want to hear it, then it might be time for a new tactic. Instead of shoving adverts in the faces of consumers, you should present them with impressive reviews. But it’s not always easy to get your customers to spread the word. Even if they like your products and services, they might not want to spend their time leaving reviews for you online. After all, they’d be doing you a favour.

That’s why you need to give your clients an incentive to spread the word. They part with their money for the high-quality goods and services you provide. What are you going to provide if they tell their friends and family about your business? Perhaps you could start a referral scheme. If customers get discounts and freebies for referring your company to their friends and family members, then they’ll definitely be much more likely to do so. You could even consider running a competition; people could gain entry by sharing a post of yours on social media. That’d be a good way to spread the word. Sometimes, you just have to catch the attention of your existing customer base to get them to draw in other potential customers in the market.

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Research them.

If you want to make an impact on your target audience, then you need to research them. Market research is absolutely essential to understanding your demographic. This might sound like an obvious piece of advice, but it’s obviously a fact that some businesses take on board more than others. If you want your company to deliver a product which sets it apart from other brands in the marketplace, then you need to figure out what consumers are missing. What’s wrong with the industry? What could be improved? If you can answer those questions, then your company is going to stand out from the crowd.

And you’ll find the answers to those questions from research. Researching the competition is a good start; it’ll highlight what is or isn’t working for other businesses in the industry. But the goal isn’t to copy other successful corporations in your particular marketplace. If you follow in the footsteps of others, then you’ll struggle to differentiate your company from your rivals. You need to get to know your target audience better than your competitors know them. Talk to existing and potential customers. Invite feedback online. Ask them what changes they desire. That’s how you’ll start to spot issues which exist in the industry. In turn, you’ll be able to develop solutions which fill gaps in the market. And that’s when the target audience will start to notice you. That’s when you’ll start to make an impact on them.

Invest in yourself.

You also need to invest in yourself if you want to make an impact on your target audience. It’s a competitive marketplace, as we’ve discussed throughout this article. If your competitors are constantly growing, then you need to do the same. This is crucial if you want to ensure that you keep appealing to the target market. Otherwise, they’ll lose interest and flock to your rivals. Just make sure you invest well. Cut down wasteful spending, firstly. You could move from paper to digital means to save money, for example. Additionally, you need to make your investments count. If you want to increase productivity, then outsource instead of constantly hiring new workers. It’ll save you time and money.

9 Things Every Website Needs To Succeed

Photo by Domenico Loia on Unsplash

Whether you’re thinking about setting up a website for your business or you want to update your existing one, there are a number of things you need to consider when it comes to creating something that is going to be successful. Whilst you may be able to bring in customers with a simple website that lists your products or services, there are several things you can do to ensure your website is bringing in more than enough business. Whether it’s focussing on SEO driven content or using stunning imagery, your website gives potential customers their first impression of your business. With that in mind, here are 9 things every website needs to succeed:

  • An Easy To Remember Domain Name

One of the first things you need for your website is an easy to remember domain name and URL. Whilst this isn’t essential, having a web address that is easy to remember will allow people to easily visit your site without having to search for you. They can simply type your address in a bar – whether they’ve seen it on a flyer or someone has told them in person – and they will be on your site in seconds. Keep it short, relevant to your business and ensure it is on brand. For a guide to setting your domain name, you can visit this site here.

  • Strong Branding Throughout

Another important thing to consider is the branding on your website. As a business owner, you will have brand guidelines that you adhere to on a daily a basis, all of which should apply to your website too. Whether it means you use your business logo, you use the same fonts or your website uses your brand’s colours – ensuring people see the same branding wherever they look is important as it will make it easier for them to remember you. If you’re struggling with your branding and think you will benefit from some extra help, you may want to work with a marketing agency. For more information, you can visit NetSearch Digital Marketing.

  • A Clear Message That Is Easy To Understand

Not only do you need to have strong branding, but you also need to ensure your brand's message is easy to understand and is clear when you visit your site. Whether it’s showing the products that you offer or presenting your values to your customers, this should be clear to people when they visit your site. Often this is the hardest thing to do, so having people test your website and write down what they think your message is can really help. Not only will you get customer feedback, but you will see how well people have understood your website and your brand.

  • Incredible Imagery That Resonates With Your Brand

Often when it comes to setting up a website it is the imagery that lets it down. Although text is important when it comes to ranking in Google, people often skim the text and look at the images on a site. Whilst you may not be able to afford a professional photographer for each and every photo on your site, it’s definitely worth investing in if you want to create a site that is visually pleasing to your customers. For a guide to working with a photographer as a business, you can visit this site here.

  • Attractive Videos That Showcase Your Product Or Service

If you want to take the previous point a step further, having attractive videos that showcase your main products and services is a great way to attract attention. Not only can these be reused on your social media channels, but they’re a great way to show that you’re forward-thinking and professional when it comes to business. Again, they’re expensive to create but they are well worth it when it comes to return on investment.

  • An Easy-To-Use Navigation System

Having an easy-to-use navigation system will ensure that visitors to your site have absolutely no issues when it comes to finding the information they need. Whilst a lot of pages run off one main standalone page, those that have a range of products may need to have a number of different categories and pages. If this is the case, make sure you make it as easy as it can possibly be for people to find the products or services they are looking for. The longer someone has to spend looking for something, the more likely they are to go looking somewhere else.

  • Corresponding Social Media Channels

Alongside your website, you may also want to consider setting up social media channels that can be used to attract people to your site. Using social media to gain traffic can be incredibly difficult if you don’t have a following, so the sooner you get these set up and start building an engaged following the better. If you’re struggling for things to post, start by considering what your target audience may want to engage with.

  • Regular Content That People Want To Share

As well as using social media to attract people to your site, regular blog content is a fantastic tool. Using well thought out blog posts, you can your target audience directly to your site. Whilst this may take some practice and a lot of work, regular content is also great when it comes to improving your rankings in search engines. For a guide to producing regular content for your website, you can visit this site here.

  • An On Call Support Team

Finally, you may want to consider having a team of people on call that can help you if you experience any issues. Whilst you may never need them, you never know what could happen when it comes to the internet. Whether it’s an issue with payment or your whole site suddenly goes down, the sooner a professional can fix it, the better.

Are you looking to build a website for your business? What do you need to ensure it has in order to be successful? Let me know in the comments section below.

How to Reach Domination in Your Local Market

How to Reach Domination in Your Local Market

Dominating your local market is probably a top aim for your small business. It’s something that all companies want to do as they grow and take those first steps towards, hopefully, much bigger things. However, before we get ahead of ourselves, we need to focus on the challenge of beating the competition and dominating in the local market because it’s much easier said than done.

Dominating your local market is probably a top aim for your small business. It’s something that all companies want to do as they grow and take those first steps towards, hopefully, much bigger things. However, before we get ahead of ourselves, we need to focus on the challenge of beating the competition and dominating in the local market because it’s much easier said than done.

Luckily, there are lots of steps you can take and things you can do to ensure your business has the best possible chance of dominating in your area. If you’re stuck for ideas or simply don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place because we’ve got plenty of tips and ideas that’ll put you ahead of the competition and have you leading the pack in your local market in no time at all.

Create an Unbeatable Customer Experience

The first thing you can do to ensure you dominate and win over more customers is to ensure the customer experience is as strong as it can be. Customer service is as important as ever. And it’s even more important if you run a business that works closely with clients.

An unbeatable experience is something that people remember and really value. You can pull ahead of the competition and really draw in more customers if you offer a customer experience that can’t be beaten by any of your local competitors.

Use PPC Ads to Target Local Results

PPC ads are important for any business’s online advertising strategy. And they’re equally important as you look to dominate your local market. You can target searches that are specific to the local area because these will help you find new customers in the local area.

If you don’t know much about PPC advertising and don’t know where to start with all this, you can get help from a professional advertising agency that understands how to organise a winning local advertising campaign online. The results will be very positive for your brand.

Become More Active in the Community

Having an active presence in your local community is an important step to take. It’s about making sure that people know your brand and see the positive impact it’s having on the local community. It’ll give your company a connection to the local people who you want to turn into customers.

You could link up with local charities and do things that will genuinely help people in the area. This will obviously reflect well on your brand and ensure it’s grounded in the community. That’s something that people will notice and appreciate.

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Encourage Online Reviews

If you want local people to have a positive view of your business and see it as a viable option, you should harness the power of your existing customers. To do that, you should encourage them to write online reviews after they buy from you and use your services.

You could also set up some sort of referral scheme if you want your happy customers to help you find new customers. It would work by them telling their friends and family and getting a reward, such as a discount, for doing so.

Understand the Importance of SEO

SEO is massively important when you’re looking to find local customers. You need to have a local approach to SEO so you can ensure local people find it easy to find your website. Companies like SEOExplode can help you with that kind of thing.

Never underestimate the importance of SEO because it does more than you might realise to drive traffic to your website on a daily basis. And with the right approach, this can make a big difference on the local level as well, which is what you need if you want to be dominant locally.

Make Your Staff Feel Valued and Invested in the Business’s Success

Making your staff feel valued and invested in the success of the business is useful because they’ll work harder to achieve the things you’re working towards. And that also counts for your local domination efforts. You need everyone on board and pulling in the same direction in order to succeed.

You could link their bonuses to targets relating to your efforts to dominate the local market. That gives your staff members an incentive to push on and go the extra mile for the business, making success far more likely.

Try to Clinch Local Government Contracts if Applicable

One way to help you succeed in the local area is to see if you can win some local government contracts. Of course, this won’t be a realistic possibility for all businesses because it’ll depend on what kind of business you run and things like that.

If you do run a business that provides services that local authorities might need, try to make contact with them and see if there are any contract bidding opportunities upcoming. Winning contracts will cement you in the local area and open up new opportunities going forward.

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Track Local Trends

You also need to stay on top of all of the local government trends. This will help you to understand the direction in which local demand is heading. You can then stay up to date and in touch with what your target customers are looking for.

You have to be able to meet the needs of your customers and clients if you’re going to have any chance of succeeding long-term. You can, of course, try to set your own trends rather than following existing trends but it still pays off to know what customers are looking for.

Improve Your Marketing Efforts

Every business needs to get its approach to marketing right because, without that, you won’t reach the right people or target them with the right messages. This is just as important at a local level as it is for bigger businesses with national or international reaches.

So, now could be a good time for you to work on your marketing. Ensure that you’re choosing a marketing approach that works for the local market and helps produce the kinds of results required. 

Keep an Eye on What Your Rivals Are Doing

If you want to dominate the local market, you do need to have some sort of idea about what your local rivals are doing. That way, you can make sure you’re always one step ahead and doing things that they aren’t or can’t.

It’s a fine line you’ll need to tread because you won’t want to get so wrapped up in what other companies are doing that you stop focusing on your own business. Remember that your own actions always matter more than what your rivals are doing.

Embrace Change

In order to keep hold of the local market and stay dominant, you need to be willing to embrace change and break new ground. There are lots of companies out there that lose customers because they don’t move with the times effectively enough.

Try to put your business out there and do what you can to innovate because these things keep your business fresh and interesting in the minds of your target customers. And if you stick too closely to old ideas, you’ll soon get left behind.

Dominating your local market is not easy, but it certainly can be done if you put in the work. Coasting along won’t make it happen; you need to take concerted steps to pull ahead of the competition and the steps and tips above will help you to do that, so what are you waiting for?

Luckily, there are lots of steps you can take and things you can do to ensure your business has the best possible chance of dominating in your area. If you’re stuck for ideas or simply don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place because we’ve got plenty of tips and ideas that’ll put you ahead of the competition and have you leading the pack in your local market in no time at all.

Create an Unbeatable Customer Experience

The first thing you can do to ensure you dominate and win over more customers is to ensure the customer experience is as strong as it can be. Customer service is as important as ever. And it’s even more important if you run a business that works closely with clients.

An unbeatable experience is something that people remember and really value. You can pull ahead of the competition and really draw in more customers if you offer a customer experience that can’t be beaten by any of your local competitors.

Use PPC Ads to Target Local Results

PPC ads are important for any business’s online advertising strategy. And they’re equally important as you look to dominate your local market. You can target searches that are specific to the local area because these will help you find new customers in the local area.

If you don’t know much about PPC advertising and don’t know where to start with all this, you can get help from a professional advertising agency that understands how to organise a winning local advertising campaign online. The results will be very positive for your brand.

Become More Active in the Community

Having an active presence in your local community is an important step to take. It’s about making sure that people know your brand and see the positive impact it’s having on the local community. It’ll give your company a connection to the local people who you want to turn into customers.

You could link up with local charities and do things that will genuinely help people in the area. This will obviously reflect well on your brand and ensure it’s grounded in the community. That’s something that people will notice and appreciate.

Image Source

Encourage Online Reviews

If you want local people to have a positive view of your business and see it as a viable option, you should harness the power of your existing customers. To do that, you should encourage them to write online reviews after they buy from you and use your services.

You could also set up some sort of referral scheme if you want your happy customers to help you find new customers. It would work by them telling their friends and family and getting a reward, such as a discount, for doing so.

Understand the Importance of SEO

SEO is massively important when you’re looking to find local customers. You need to have a local approach to SEO so you can ensure local people find it easy to find your website. Companies like SEOExplode can help you with that kind of thing.

Never underestimate the importance of SEO because it does more than you might realise to drive traffic to your website on a daily basis. And with the right approach, this can make a big difference on the local level as well, which is what you need if you want to be dominant locally.

Make Your Staff Feel Valued and Invested in the Business’s Success

Making your staff feel valued and invested in the success of the business is useful because they’ll work harder to achieve the things you’re working towards. And that also counts for your local domination efforts. You need everyone on board and pulling in the same direction in order to succeed.

You could link their bonuses to targets relating to your efforts to dominate the local market. That gives your staff members an incentive to push on and go the extra mile for the business, making success far more likely.

Try to Clinch Local Government Contracts if Applicable

One way to help you succeed in the local area is to see if you can win some local government contracts. Of course, this won’t be a realistic possibility for all businesses because it’ll depend on what kind of business you run and things like that.

If you do run a business that provides services that local authorities might need, try to make contact with them and see if there are any contract bidding opportunities upcoming. Winning contracts will cement you in the local area and open up new opportunities going forward.

Image Source

Track Local Trends

You also need to stay on top of all of the local government trends. This will help you to understand the direction in which local demand is heading. You can then stay up to date and in touch with what your target customers are looking for.

You have to be able to meet the needs of your customers and clients if you’re going to have any chance of succeeding long-term. You can, of course, try to set your own trends rather than following existing trends but it still pays off to know what customers are looking for.

Improve Your Marketing Efforts

Every business needs to get its approach to marketing right because, without that, you won’t reach the right people or target them with the right messages. This is just as important at a local level as it is for bigger businesses with national or international reaches.

So, now could be a good time for you to work on your marketing. Ensure that you’re choosing a marketing approach that works for the local market and helps produce the kinds of results required.

Keep an Eye on What Your Rivals Are Doing

If you want to dominate the local market, you do need to have some sort of idea about what your local rivals are doing. That way, you can make sure you’re always one step ahead and doing things that they aren’t or can’t.

It’s a fine line you’ll need to tread because you won’t want to get so wrapped up in what other companies are doing that you stop focusing on your own business. Remember that your own actions always matter more than what your rivals are doing.

Embrace Change

In order to keep hold of the local market and stay dominant, you need to be willing to embrace change and break new ground. There are lots of companies out there that lose customers because they don’t move with the times effectively enough.

Try to put your business out there and do what you can to innovate because these things keep your business fresh and interesting in the minds of your target customers. And if you stick too closely to old ideas, you’ll soon get left behind.

Dominating your local market is not easy, but it certainly can be done if you put in the work. Coasting along won’t make it happen; you need to take concerted steps to pull ahead of the competition and the steps and tips above will help you to do that, so what are you waiting for?

Why Digital Marketers Are So Hopelessly Obsessed With Data

Why Digital Marketers Are So Hopelessly Obsessed With Data

We’re living through something of a data explosion. The digital world generates double the quantity of data every two years.

Digital marketers have become a little obsessed with data recently. The idea is that if you can harness the power of data, then you can better target customers, optimize SEO and boost your overall online appeal. To many, it seems like a magic bullet.

But why are digital marketers so obsessed with data? And is it a good thing? Let’s take a look.

Data Allows Them To Continually Monitor Results

Wikimedia Commons

The inventors of the industrial era knew that if they couldn’t measure something, they couldn’t improve it. For instance, if you were designing a steam engine, if you couldn’t measure the power output, then you would have no idea whether one design was better than another.

The same principle applies to digital marketing: if you can’t measure what works, you can’t make improvements.

Data Allows Them To Measure Performance

Digital marketers rely on metrics. Metrics and KPIs tell them whether their actions are moving them towards their targets or not.

The KPIs that a firm chooses to target depends very much on what that particular organization wants to achieve. For firms just starting, the objective is usually to get as many brand impressions as possible. Users need to know that the company exists before they will start buying its products. For other companies – typically those that are more established – the focus in on conversions. Which marketing strategies lead the most people to buy a product for a given advertising spend?

Data Means That They Can Appeal To Their Customers

If an SEO agency wasn’t able to measure its performance, would customers keep on coming back for more? It’s unlikely. Firms want to be able to see that their rank and page authority is improving, and they trust digital marketers to do this. If people weren’t aware that organic search was one of the best ways to generate leads online per dollar spent, then it’s unlikely that SEO would be the industry that it is today. Measurement is an indication of success.

The Problem With Focusing Solely On Data

Of course, digital marketers can take things too far,   only on the data and ignoring human qualities like prudence, insight, creativity, and imagination. There’s a risk that digital marketing will become a big, soulless optimization problem and that companies will cease coming up with creative marketing ideas.

The best way to think of data for digital marketing is as a tool which enables companies to enhance their marketing materials. Data can help them better target niche customers, appeal to their needs in real time, and get a sense of the kind of content they prefer. But what data cannot do is come up with anything original itself. It can’t for instance, tell you what colors you should choose for your brand, what story you should tell customers about your company, or what tone you should take. That’s all a matter of human intuition.

How Your Web Design Can Help You To Sell More

How Your Web Design Can Help You To Sell More

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When it comes to starting a website, there are so many different things that you need to be able to keep in mind. And if you’re a complete novice, you may not realize some of the things that can impact on your future success. For a lot of people, the launch of a website is all about selling something. Even if it's not about selling anything at first, it will be in the future. And this is why it’s so important for your web design to make the sales process as seamless and smooth as possible. In order to do this, you may feel as if you need to hire an expert web designer – but you don’t. While that may help, you may also be able to utilize some creative web design skills yourself.

These days, it’s much easier than ever before for you to be able to build a website yourself. However, just because you can do it, it doesn’t mean that you should rush it or do it half-heartedly. Instead, you’ll want to approach this as strategically as you can. And you’ll want to make sure that you’re bringing in all of the right elements that will make your website as strong as it can be, to help you land more sales. So let’s take a look at how you can do just that.

Being On Brand

First of all, it’s essential that you can brand your website correctly. If you want to look professional and make as many sales as possible, then you need branding in place. If you are working with a web designer, they should be able to do this for you. If not, you may want to hire a graphic designer to create some branding for you, so that you can keep it consistent throughout your site.

Using CTAs

Then, one of the best ways for you to utilize your web design and ensure that your sales benefit as a result, is to have the right calls to action on site. If you want your audience to buy from you, or to click a link, or sign up for something, you really need to encourage them to do that. It’s not enough to just hope that they will. Instead, you need to really make it obvious and ask for them to do what you want, with your web design.

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Collecting Data

And then, you my also want to make sure that you’re able to get to know your audience and serve them better. This can be quite to do without the right technical setup. It may be that you need to use software, such as Techfino, to get you to do this. Either way, when you’re collecting the data you need, it’s much easier to optimize your website going forward.

Keeping Users On Site

And then the next thing, is that you need to be able to keep the users on your website too. You can definitely use your web design to do this. Sure, some visitors may naturally want to take a look around, but some will read what they came to read and leave. And so, it’s handy to have a style of web design that keeps your users on the site, keeps them interested in what you have to say, and encourages them to make a purchase.

Providing Enough Information

Another thing that your web design can do to help you to make more sales, is to be informative. It’s important for you to think about what you should be putting out there into the world and what your audience may need to know – then ensure that your website design is as informative as it is pretty.

Connecting With Your Audience

You may also find that you can harness the power of web design to connect with your audience more too. Not only should you be able to serve them with information, but you may also want to think about how you can meet their needs with services like live chat or  even asking for their feedback in a survey.

Building Trust

Finally, if you’re looking to make more sales in the future, it’s really important for you to also get your audience to trust you. And this can seem hard or feel as if it’s going to take time. And in some ways, it will. But, at the same time, you can do this with your website and via the web design that you use. It’s important for you to think about the content that you’re using, how you hook the attention of your users, and encourage them to click ‘buy’ with trust.