20 Jan 2020 Marketing Strategy for Small Business | Digital Marketing Strategy
Kick things up a notch in the New Year with my 2020 Digital Marketing Strategy. This is a complete guide for small business owners who are looking to gain more leads, more sales and more business in 2020.
See the end of the infographic for a transcript of the above video
- Starting Point: Your Website
- Test, Track and Measure
- Email Marketing: Your Newsletter
- Social Media: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn
- SEO: Always Seek to Improve Your Ranking Position
- Your Content Strategy: Plan Ahead
- Google Ads / Facebook Ads
Good morning, good afternoon, and perhaps I should even say good evening. Whatever time it is, wherever you are listening to this right now, thank you so much for coming to join me. My name is Paul Barrs from paulbarrs.com. Well, here we are. January, it’s the new year. Happy New Year, everyone.
I hope you’ve got some wonderful plans and some good things ready to happen. I’m going to help with that as best as I can. And in this month’s client training, what we’re going to look at is your overall strategy. Now, this video is going to be a little bit longer than most. There are seven different steps along the way. Each one which, as we go through them, will probably be somewhere around five, maybe six, seven minutes, but that will give you a chance to not just go through the video in one go should you choose, but also to come back and review step by step by step.
So let’s have a quick look at what those different steps will be. Number 1, we’re going to talk about your website and what critical elements must be in place to make everything else work. And then number 2, what to test, what to track, what to measure so we can compare our efforts with our results, with our goals.
Number 3, we’re going to look at effective email marketing. Number 4, your social media strategy. Number 5, your search engine, your SEO strategy. Number 6, your content strategy. And then number 7, Google and Facebook remarketing. So you’ve got your pen and paper handy, sitting back, comfortable, ready to go.
Starting Point: Your Website
This is your marketing strategy for the upcoming year. Let’s get started. The first thing we need to do is look at your website. Most importantly, this is so important, technically and secure and fast. Now, if you’re hooked up with Google Search Console, you can make sure that you’re meeting the Google standard on all of these things.
And when you do that, be sure to get yourself set for notifications. Part two of this is mobile responsive and mobile friendly. Again, Google Search Console will give you these answers. It’s a vital part of making sure that your site is technically ready for customers.
I’d also like you to make sure and do a review of your content. I want you to check, are you providing just sales information, or are you providing great content pages that answer questions, that fulfill customer queries, pages and information that is insightful, that is useful.
These things are incredibly important. And then finally, across the content scheme, I want you to ask yourself and look at your blogging strategy. Now, at minimum, we should be blogging once a month at minimum. Twice a month is better. Three if we can, or, as I like to say, as often as possible.
Now you’ll see as we go through this entire marketing strategy that when it comes to blogging and the content pages on your website, they fit in all over the place. These are not just one-time things. They serve not just one purpose. They serve many purposes.
So when it comes to your website, yes, it’s got to be fast, it’s got to be secure, it’s got to be mobile friendly. That’s the minimum. But you’ve also got to be providing incredible content, both through blogging and also authoritative information pages.
Test, Track and Measure
Number 2 on our list is testing, tracking, and measuring.
Oh boy, this is so important. This is one of the first things that you should be doing, along with making sure you’ve got a good content strategy. Before you do anything at all, anything further, any marketing of any kind on your website, you need to determine what your conversion points will be.
I mean, how are you going to measure success? If you’ve got an e-commerce site, well, it’s easy. It’s the sale. It’s the money in the bank. But most people don’t run an online shop. They’re looking for, you know, an inquiry. They’re looking for a phone call, something like that.
You need to decide what these will be and then set up a way, perhaps through Google Analytics, to test, track, and measure those results. You also need to implement multiple conversion points across your website, you know, call to action buttons, contact us, subscribe, and so on. Not just the form, but look at it.
If there’s a good information page and it states all the benefits of your product or service and you then ask them, a call to action, ask them to contact you, and they click that button, that’s a mini conversion. Then they go through to the contact form. If they submit it, that’s the ultimate conversion. But what if they click the button and don’t submit the form?
You need to know these by testing, by tracking their action throughout the site. Maybe you need to have the form on the bottom of the page maybe as well. That can be a comparative test between two different pages. You should, as I hinted beforehand, set up your goals in Google Analytics.
Now, when you set up your analytics or when we do this, of course for clients, that’s the very first thing we do. We set up the goals. We set up just those basics of, you know, time on site, page views to make sure people are actually looking at things along the way. But we also set up the more advanced ones, like I’ve just told you, event-based goals, action-based goals as I like to call them.
They took an action, and it triggers it as an event in your analytics. And then each month you sit down, you have a look at the numbers, and you review and you go, “Well, if we had, you know, 25 people look at this page for this product or service, we had 12 of them click the contact button, but only 2 actually contacted us or none.”
What does that tell you? Well, it tells you that something isn’t quite right. What that would tell me, first of all, is let’s put the contact form on the bottom. A unique form that you can test, track, and measure. And let me just say this, folks. When it comes to a lot of you using WordPress-based websites, your contact forms, yes, you can set them up as an event, they click Submit.
But it’s much, much easier if you set up your goal as sort of a landing page goal. They click Submit. They go through to a thank you page. I personally like that as a consumer better. I know my form has been submitted. And on the thank you page, what do I have there? I have some options.
While you’re waiting for us to get back to you, please check out our latest blog post, or have a look at this video, or download this PDF fact sheet, whatever it might be. There are more opportunities to be able to reach out to your customers and convert them, but it all begins with testing, with tracking, and being able to measure your results.
Email Marketing: Your Newsletter
Here we have number 3 in our list is email marketing and your newsletter.
Now, if you’re on my customer list, you’ve received this as a client training video, and we do this for a lot of our clients. If we’re not yet doing it for you, please give me a call. We’ll get it into action. Make sure you’re getting things out there. But there’s a lot of people out there saying, “Hey, email, it’s dead.” Really?
Is that why all the big companies still use email to get in touch? And yes, I know the open rates aren’t anywhere near as good as they are, but you need to understand this quickly about email. If your open rates are not as good as they used to be, you’re going out and you’re getting a 10%, 15%, 20% open rate of your email, does that mean your email sucks?
No. It means your subject line sucks. So that’s what you need to work on. Then within the email, the body of the email, people need to take action. You need to have some way that you can track those actions, how long they spend reading, do they click a button to read more on the website, whatever it might be.
If they’re not doing that, then the body content of your email, well, it needs improvement. But there are some basics that you really should follow along the way. The very first of these is to be able to segment your customers. So let’s say we have a customer list. Here we go. This is our customer list. It’s this big.
And we send an email to all of our customers, even though it’s only relevant to some of them. No, you need to look at your products, you need to look at your services, and you need to find some way to segment that list so that when you send an update, it only goes to those relevant customers. Does that make sense?
Look at how you can segment to include both your customers and maybe different types of customers. But also maybe even different prospective customers you can do the same thing as well and then look to build relationships with them. And that’s the point of ongoing, updated, informative email. Build relationships with your prospective customers and continue it then with your customers.
So here we have at minimum two different lists. Prospects, these people are not yet customers. They’ve just come across you somewhere. You want them to subscribe to something, and then they will hopefully eventually become a customer. You move them from that list to this list, and some systems will do that automatically, some not.
But you move them from this list to that list so they get two different types of information. So here’s the question. How often should we mail to our customers? How often should we mail to prospects? I’m going to make this suggestion for the typical small business. This is not internet marketing.
This is not I want to flog my stuff to you. This is the typical, customer-focused small business. For prospective customers, at least once a month, minimum once a month. I like to have a system of follow-up, where let’s say they download some kind of a free report, and I follow up instantly, 24 hours. Hey, did you get your download link?
If not, here it is. No sales, no nothing, just in case you missed the previous email. Then two days after that message, I send them another one. And then three days after that message, I send them another one. And I’m starting to give them hints and tips and ideas. If they don’t get back in touch within a reasonable period of time, then we move straight to monthly until they say go away.
But when they become customers, it really depends on the cycle, the buying cycle of your product or service. I mail my customers once a month. But at minimum, it should be once every three months, at minimum. I give them hints.
I give them tips just like this. You can do the same.
Social Media: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn
Let’s look now at Section 4, social media. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, wherever it is that your customers are, that’s the key to good social media use. Now, you need to look at this in a strategic, step-by-step process, because everybody is screaming about social media at the moment.
And again, this is something that we do for many of our customers. The very first thing you should do is what? Pimp your profile. Make it look good. Look at each of the different platforms. Go to the settings up of the profile and make sure you’ve done absolutely everything, and that your graphics and that your images and that your branding is consistent from one place to the other, which should ideally be, of course, the same as your website, using your brand colors.
Once you’ve done that, I want you start posting if you’re not yet regularly. Use schedulers to automate some of this. I like to sit down at the beginning of each month, and I do this for myself, my own website. I do this for a couple of clients as well. And I will go through and I schedule an entire month worth of social media posts.
Now, these are the general posts. They are both my own content and other people’s content, or my client’s content and other people’s content as long as they’re not local competitors. Of course, I make sure that the content I post is informative, is interesting to their potential customers and their actual customers as well.
It has to serve the needs of both. But I do this at the beginning of every month. I go down to the local coffee shop. I sit down, have a couple of coffee, have some breakfast, and I’ll go through and just schedule them all. It takes me, I don’t know, maybe about 90 minutes at this point of time, 90 minutes to 2 hours to do myself and a couple of customers as well the whole month. Here’s a key.
I also schedule to the 10th of the following month in case I don’t get straight to it when the new month comes in. So you need to do this, your content and other people’s content. Now, what did we talk about up early? We talked about blogging beautiful content. Blogging is a beautiful thing to be able to then share through social media. So when you do your blog posts on your website, make sure that you update your social meta as well so that a good image, the correct image, and a good heading and a good description shows up when customers share it also as well as yourself.
These things are important. And then as you plan your strategy — and I’ve got a whole series of videos coming up this entire year on this kind of strategy — look for hashtags, look for trends or daily features like, you know, #motivationalmonday, #what’sonwednesday, things like that that you can also use.
And that’s what takes a little bit more time, a little bit more thought, but you share content for people to read. Aside from that, make note of this. Don’t just share content. Don’t just share promotional. Share a little bit of both and then include a couple of furry cats in there as well, some funny stuff.
I’d say maybe 10%, 1 out of every 10, maybe 1 out of every 5 max funny stuff, you know, Friday funnies, for example. And then include your own content another, say, at least half and then other people’s content on top of that. But look at polls, look at questions, look at engagement. How can you engage your people on social media?
This is what you want — engagement. So that’s Section 4.
SEO: Always Seek to Improve Your Ranking Position
And this will lead on also to Section 5, SEO. Now, SEO is incredibly important. If you do it right, you’ll get the results.
You’ll get the results from the work that you’ve done. So let’s just have a quick look, a backtrack. What have we done so far? Well, we’re talking about good content and blogging on your website, which is great for sharing on social. Yes. What about SEO? Why not set the whole thing up all in one go?
Imagine that you’ve got great content pages and then imagine, just imagine if you’re not doing this already, you’re also blogging, you know, once, twice, maybe three times a month, and, as I said, we do this for our clients. If you don’t have time and you’re watching this right now and you’re not one of my clients, please give me a call. We can help you with this. But you’ve got great content, you’ve got great blogging.
They’re linking together. You have to make sure absolute minimum that you spend the time to update your meta tags on your homepage, on your primary content pages, and then, yes, also do that on-page optimization for your blog posts as well as you post them. If you’re doing the social meta, we mentioned that last time, then it should be the same thing, at least close to it.
And this makes a big difference to your SEO. But complete your on-page SEO across the board. Review all of your content, look at your analytics and go, “These are the pages people are looking at.These are the pages people are finding me on page two of Google, page three of Google.”
Spend some time to update those pages and make your meta title and meta description and other on-page SEO attractive, not just to Google, but to potential customers. That’s key. And then you begin to create some incredible internal links from your blog posts to your main pages.
I mean, that’s the point of blog posts, not just to attract new traffic, but once they get there, once they read it, to click through to a product, to click through to a service information page, to click through to an authority page, to learn more about what you do, to build trust, to build confidence, to increase sales. So you share your blog posts to social media.
They come through, they click through, and they convert. You write good blog posts, which others share, which also come up in Google search, which go out in your email newsletters. They come, they read, they click through, they convert. And then the last part of SEO, which needs to be an ongoing strategy, is external link building.
We’ve talked about internal link building. Now you need to be building links externally. So go and set up … I’ll give you just this one idea. Go and set up some joint venture partnerships with others, not just in your industry, but in related industries, where your type of customer might also be their type of customer. Quick example, let’s say I sell business to business web development, digital marketing, SEO, social media, ad marketing, and so on.
An accountant is going to have other business customers. Particularly one who specializes in, you know, small-to-medium enterprises, they’re going to have ideal customers for me. So I’ve set up some joint venture partnerships with one or two accountants, not in competing regions, but outside of each other.
And I now also write for them, and that builds a link back to me. And I write for magazines, and they build links back to me. And I create content that I actually have a team who look out for that for me and bring it in, and that creates links for me. I go add content.
It gets published elsewhere. It creates links, good quality, high quality links to relevant customers that also creates a link back to me. You can do that, or, of course, we can do it for you. And let me just say this, we do all of this for our customers. I mentioned that earlier. But when you think about it, there’s quite a bit to it. This was just the SEO strategy, just the basics of SEO.
Your Content Strategy: Plan Ahead
Let’s move on. And so moving on now, number 6, as we start to wrap things out, I want to talk about your content strategy. Now, we’ve talked about authority pages. We’ve talked about our blog and our content pages. We’ve talked about sharing these out and getting others to publish content as well as ourselves going to social and to other websites.
We’ve done all of that, but it sounds like a lot of work. Not really, not if you plan it. So I want you to start planning things, at minimum three months ahead. I want you to sit down, I want you to look at your primary products and/or service categories, the theme, the underlying topic that, you know, each of these fall into.
And I want you to create a monthly or maybe a quarterly theme and then focus on that. This month I’m focusing on your overall strategy, but there are, in this video, seven different parts. Yes? Well, I’ll take the different sections of this video, and they’ll be released as videos on their own.
I’ll also take that and get a transcript and do something with that also. Create the blog posts, send out the newsletter. I will create some graphics around this topic, marketing, planning your marketing strategy. And I’ll share them to social and on my blog as well and through newsletters and so on. So my theme for this month is the marketing strategy for the new year. But I’m going to follow that through next month with the content strategy for the new year.
Then I’m going to follow that on with how to apply that content to social strategy for the new year. There’s my three months planned. And I sit down and I do this all on paper, and I just stick it up on the board behind me in the office. When I sit down at the beginning of the month and I schedule my posts, not just my blog posts, but also other content, I make them stick to the theme that I’ve chosen.
So I’m going to be looking for other content this month to share on social about planning a year’s strategy, because that’s the theme for this month. What could your theme be? What could you do in your business? Could you sit down and go, “Well, we sell this, and it’s related to that.Let’s talk about that and plan our content around it.”
And just remember when you’re doing that, when you’re creating your plan, always factor in holidays. Always factor in special events. Look for opportunities and dates and relevant hashtags that you can use. Look for trends around sort of content themes that you can use to engage people with because that’s what it’s all about, folks, engagement.
If you can get the new customer to engage with you, it’s going to make such a big difference. So if you haven’t yet, plan your content, or what, sit down with me, give me a call, and we’ll plan it out together. I know I can help you with this, or you can just wait till next month’s video. Yeah?
Google Ads / Facebook Ads
All right. Grab your pen and paper, if you haven’t already, taking notes, let’s finish this off with number 7. Here we go. This is how we wrap the whole thing up. Google ads, Facebook ads, remarketing, retargeting, whatever you want to call it, it’s about getting back in touch with people who’ve already looked at you, but just haven’t quite made the grade.
They haven’t contacted you. They haven’t converted. They haven’t something. So what do we do? Well, let’s just quickly wrap up. What have we done so far? We’ve got good content pages.
That’s the first review. How fast it takes. Our site is technically correct. It’s fast. It’s loading well on mobile. It’s easy to read. We’ve got content.
We’ve got blogging. We’re sharing to social media. We’ve got a good strategy. It’s going out by email. But some people look at it and still don’t contact us. So what do we do? Well, at minimum, at minimum we run Facebook remarketing and retargeting through both Facebook and Google ads.
We set it so that anyone who has looked at our site, who’s actually come from out there, all these different places, they come in, they come to our site, but then they leave again, and we hit them up with another ad. We ask them to come and look at a specific page. I think we should also, you know, change our ads regularly, monthly, so that maybe your new blog post becomes your featured ad for the month.
Or maybe you’re running some specials, and that’s the feature for the month. But whatever it is, wherever they’ve come to your site from, you now retarget them with an ad through Facebook and through Google, both so that they see you, so that they get a chance to come back.
And there are so many different things that you can do. This is just the minimum, the absolute minimum that you should do. And if you’re struggling, give me a call. We’ll do this for you. But I want you to look at this overall system. Let’s just think about that for a moment. Good content, blogging, email, social, fast loading website, and remarketing and retargeting ads to get people back.
Making sure that across the board you are testing, you are tracking, you are measuring so you know what works, so you know what doesn’t, and you can improve on it next month. Now I know it sounds like a whole bunch of work, and yes, it is.
It’s about 15 to 20 hours work a month. It is 15 to 20 hours work a month. So if you’ve got staff, they can do it for you, or we can help. But that’s the plan. That’s the strategy. That’s what I believe you should be doing in your business this coming year. Get that set up, spend a month or three to get it set up, and then it just runs like clockwork.
Let me just finish off with this. What do we do once all of this system is set up? What do we do? Well, once a month, you sit down and you create some new content. For example, I use this video, but you create content around whatever your topic is and then you publish it. Around that new content, you’re using your remarketing to get people back because they see it.
Maybe they haven’t seen it, so you ask them to come back and take a look, and that’s it. That’s literally it. You create some content, and you send it out through social, through email. It gets picked up by search and also retargeting. That’s it. And as long as everything is in place, oh boy, it’s beautiful. It’s beautiful.
And that’s what you need to set your sights on for the coming year. All right, my name is Paul Barrs from paulbarrs.com. Sunshine Coast based, lots of clients around Southeast Queensland. Thank you so much for joining with me to watch this video. I hope you got something from it. I hope you took some notes. I’ll see you again next month for our upcoming video, which will be on content strategy, how to plan everything out.
Have a great day, have a great week. All the best for the new year. And I’ll talk to you again soon. Bye-bye.