The Need To Knows of Digital Marketing

To succeed in marketing you need to connect with real people.

There, I said it. You know my secret.

Every business out there needs to market their brand, and many are attempting to do so in some way. There is, however, a difference between effectively spending budget and time, and wasting it.

Digital marketing is a big deal to your business. But you don’t need me to tell you that, do you?

Covering the key pillars of a typical digital marketing strategy, I want to show you the ‘need to knows’ of each process. There is a lot to know and consider when marketing your brand, but this blog will help you to focus on the right things and align your approach.

First need to know: make your website easy to explore

First need to know - website usability

It’s easy to get carried away with your website’s look; you may want to add cool features that really make the design pop. Your top priority, however, is making the website accessible and usable.

When it comes to designing and developing a new website, the initial planning is essential. Before you’ve written any content or designed any assets for the new site, you need to define the structure and journey of your website.

Sitemap – pages on the website

The first stage of creating a website is determining what pages are needed.

If you were to look at the sitemap of our website, you will see something along the lines of:

  • Home
  • About: How It Works, FAQs
  • Services: SEO, PPC, Social, Web Content, Copywriting, Editing, Web Design & Branding
  • Portfolio
  • Blog: lots of blogs
  • Contact

Each page is standalone. But they also function as part of the many potential customer journeys  a user can make. There is a method, and an objective with each page.

For example, Home is an introduction to TJ Creative, but most importantly, how TJ Creative can help your business through marketing.

Whereas, SEO is a page dedicated to a user who wants to find out more about SEO. The user may want to find a new SEO professional to work with, or someone who is looking for digital marketing support; and one of their requirements is SEO.

Each page has its own objective. You need to ensure that any journey a user takes on your website is worthwhile and relevant to them.

Website messaging

Once you have a definitive list of pages, you can then begin writing the messaging across them.

Spoiler alert, the next “need to know” is around your web copy… but your website content needs to be easy for the user to read and digest.

I see it all too often where people write A LOT of content on their main site pages. I can see why – you want to provide your potential customers with as much information as possible. Sometimes, saying less is more.

Be concise with your website messaging – allow your customers to put the pieces together and come to the conclusion that your business rocks and absolutely owns the industry.

Design

Your website doesn’t need to look fancy, flash, complex or techie. Your website needs to be easy to browse and in line with your business’s brand and values.

You want your potential customers to land on your website and stay. To achieve that, your website must be simple, clear and concise. You need your potential customers to buy into your brand; the best way to do so is to create a website that will make an impact and encourage them to get in touch.

You don’t need a fancy looking website to impress your customers. You need a website that is easy to browse and inviting to explore. The best designers will tell you the same.

Second need to know: write your website content for your customers

Second need to know - website content

Do you find it irritating when someone speaks about themselves constantly? Well, it’s the same for your website content.

Your website is not about you.

You might gladly point out that it’s YOUR company website, but actually, your website is for your customers.

IF you choose to have an ‘about’ page, then sure, that page is about your business, brand and values. But every other page should present your expertise, but more importantly, show your customers exactly why they need to work with you.

Whether a user lands on your website from organic or paid search, you can presume that they’re looking for a solution. Whatever their need, issue or problem, they’re looking for help. Your website content needs to demonstrate that you can help them; with a service, product or with insightful thought-leadership copy.

For any business owner writing website content, imagine that your customer is sitting in front of you. Then, just write as if you’re chatting with them.

Third need to know: there’s more to SEO than rankings

Third need to know - SEO

SEO, Search Engine Optimisation, Search Marketing – whatever you want to call it – it’s more than ranking on page 1 of Google for a keyword.

Your website could rank page 1 within a day for many keywords. But ask yourself:

  • Are the keywords relevant to your business?
  • Are people searching for that keyword?
  • Will the search term bring you the right people?
  • And most importantly, is it valuable to your customers?

There are technical methods to making your website rank, but that’s not all search marketing is. Strip back the complexities, the most important consideration with all SEO decisions is whether it’s what your customers want or need.

The driving force of effective SEO – connecting with real life people

It’s giving your potential clients what they need. People who land on your website are looking for something – they have a need, question or problem that needs to be solved.

You need to provide that solution.

You might be wondering how to show you’re the solution. And there’s many ways to do so; with the help of the content you’re producing. Website content, landing pages, insightful blogs, articles, videos, graphics – the list goes on.

As long as the content you’ve produced is insightful, beneficial and useful, you can expect it to do well in not only helping your site to rank, but to convert any user on your website into a client.

The topic of SEO is one of my favourites. I’ve written about it many times. If you’d like to know more about a typical SEO process, check out this blog.

Fourth need to know: lay off the self promotion on social media

Fourth need to know - social media

Social media marketing is tough. You’ve got to grab the attention of your customers among a sea of other businesses.

It’s pretty basic, but to succeed you need to stand out. Oh, and also to stop banging on about yourself.

It comes back to what I said about your website content; there’s a time and place to promote how great you are as a business. But most of the time, your potential customers just want to know how you can help them.

Obviously, don’t let that stop you promoting company culture and what you and your team have been up to. But don’t do what other businesses do and repeatedly promote your services, products and yourself constantly. That’s the way to turn off your customers and lose your following.

To succeed on social, be different. Reason with your customers, appeal to them. Show that you’re someone they can trust and work with.

Never be afraid to try different approaches to engage with customers.

Fifth need to know: put your customers first in everything you do

Fifth need to know - customer first

Have you noticed the theme with all these “need to knows”?

Your customers are the people you need to impress.

In every word you write, every social post, every blog, every ad, every decision; ask yourself, does it benefit your existing and potential customers?

When you speak with marketers, I bet you feel a little overwhelmed when they throw jargon at you. For you as a business owner, your priority is appealing to the right people in every little detail of the marketing.

Put the techie-SEO-marketingy jargon aside and focus on your customers. That’s how you will succeed with your marketing.

If you’ve got any questions for me, drop me an email to tom@tjcreative.co.uk, or connect on LinkedIn.

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