2018 digital marketing strategy tips

Digital Strategy Starts With A Story

Something about the approaching end of year makes me and many other business owners think about planning for the new year. We’ve been getting a lot of questions about what to focus on in 2018 and thought we would distill our thoughts to help you plan your digital marketing strategy in 2018.

  1. Story Telling

Ever have someone ask you, “What does your business do?” They are asking you to tell them a story; about your business; about your purpose. Why do you exist? If you aren’t telling your story, you aren’t speaking in an easy to understand way, and you’ll lose your audience in a heartbeat. Gone are the days of “XYZ is a business that focuses on ABC”. Today is all about targeting your audience and understanding them, then speaking directly to them. After all, speak to everyone or speak to no-one, it’s the same thing.

Pro Tip

Figure out your unique selling proposition. What makes you special? Stories suck when you’ve heard them 100 times before. What’s going to make your story different than any other story you’ve ever heard? Think about that, and how you tell it. Then nail it down and make sure it sounds right in your emails, website, ad copy, display marketing, etc.

  1. SEO

I once had a client tell me that they thought SEO was witchcraft. It’s not real. It doesn’t exist. After 4 years and months of conversion optimization and search optimization and this company that thought they’d never have a lead over the internet is at about 60-70 leads a month through our SEO efforts. He no longer considers it black magic. He sings our praises. The first step is to identify the key terms that you hope/expect your audience will use to find you. Then, make sure that those terms are in the title, headings and content of your website. Sounds simple, but, it ain’t easy to get it right terms spread across all your page content, without duplicating content and keyword stuffing. It’s an art, and there’s a right way to do it.

Pro Tip

Use an enterprise tool to help you identify the terms you and your competitors target. Map each term to the page that will most engage your visitor for that term. Then update the title, description and headings of that page to include that term. I promise you… if you at least do that, you will increase your traffic for those terms. Hands down, that’s how it works. You want to take it a step further? Well.. let’s talk.

  1. Pay Per Click

Haven’t paid homage to the Google gods yet? I hope you have. Where do you go to find information you are looking for? Yup! So do I, and so does everyone else. Google makes it seem easy for you to drop a couple $K on a campaign and get clicks in front of your audience. AdWords provides you the opportunity to get in front of people that are looking for exactly what you do. You can sculpt ads around what they might be looking for and speak directly to your audience based on the keywords they put into the search engine. When done right, this gives you a ton of power.

Pro Tip

DO NOT focus on the clicks. Google organizes campaign performance around clicks and impressions. A click isn’t success. An impression means squat. Target conversions. Have an expert set up your Adwords campaign to focus on conversion metrics and goals, then manage the success of your keywords, campaigns and ad copy to those campaigns. Yes, that means your website design will play a part in the success of your campaigns. That’s reality. You don’t want to pay to get them to your website. You want to pay to get them to your inbox, phone, or confirmation page.

  1. Social Media (and Paid Social Media)

Social media advertising is the LOWEST cost it will ever be. Mark my words. It ain’t gettin’ any cheaper to advertise to your audience over social media. The tools are ahead of the curve, letting you spotlight your message to your target audience, by demographic, interest, location, age, you name it. Combine that with a good customer journey, delivering messages that match up to the buying cycle of your product or service, and you’ve got a home-run.

Pro Tip

The important piece of the puzzle there is what you are asking them to do. Don’t ask your social media audience to spend 10 minutes filling out a form. Ask them to watch a 20 second video introducing your business. Then re-target the audience that watched that ad with a specific ad around your story or your unique selling proposition. Then, further segment that audience into people that saw your USP or story and target them with an ad to convert into a customer. Now, you’ve got a high converting campaign.

  1. User Experience / Website Design

Ever get to a website and form an impression about the business immediately. Yeah. You did. Today. And, every day. It’s what we do. We see a website and we think, “Wow, this business is serious” or we think “Hmm. I’m not so sure this is someone I want to do business with”. That impression is based on what we call User Experience (UX). It starts with the immediate design impression, and continues through to the user experience around whether or not they found what they were looking for, were met with their expectations and ultimately… had a good experience on your website. Do they see you as trendy and cutting edge? Do they see you as professional and on-point? These key indicators can make or break what we call “conversion”. Conversion is the act of a visitor doing whatever it is that you want them to do on a website: fill out a form, buy a pair of shoes, sign up for your newsletter, submit a donation… you name it, the UX and Website design plays a huge part in whether or not it’s happening on your site.

Pro tip

Don’t pay your brother in law to design your website. Don’t try to do it yourself on Squarespace. Your business is worth more than to do that to yourself. Trust an expert and get it done right. They’ll guide you through the process to get to a design that targets your audience, tells your story and organizes your content into meaningful sections for your users to engage with you.

Focus On Goals That Get Results

At Creative, we focus on ALL 5 of these aspects when we think of a comprehensive digital strategy. Some budgets don’t call for all 5, and some clients need more attention in certain areas. We get that! Our goal is to start with your goals and back into a strategy that will work for your business, then deliver results for you and your business using the right digital marketing strategy for you and your business.