The New Year is here again, a time for New Year’s resolutions, of reflecting, of aiming to make the world a better place, blah blah blah…
Or: New Year’s resolutions – the spurious plans we’ve dreamed up over the Christmas holidays, sprawled in an armchair, inspired by a roaring log burner and significant quantities of mulled wine.
No one should pretend they will deliver on New Year’s resolutions anymore…
Why? Probably because if you can’t yet run a marathon in under 3 hours, you probably never will. Because, if you really wanted to be a trapeze artist then you would have run away with the circus. And if you really wanted to save the rain-forests you wouldn’t have laid that Honduran mahogany floor in the living room. Sorry, but it had to be said.
Anyway, while we’re on the subject, you can change your life any month of the year. Who says you have to start in the middle of winter? It’s just not sensible. If you want to start a health regime, just wait for summer when you can enjoy a salad and a walk around the park. Save yourself £300 on thermal Lycra and the embarrassing realisation that you actually run slower than you can walk.
Obviously, we’re not going to admit any of this though. Thankfully, now you can now just tell everyone that you’ve been much too busy. Doing what?
Takings steps to refresh your digital output!
Oh, and if anyone asks what you were thinking and how you did it, we’ve provided a crib sheet below – because this one we’re actually going to do – right?
So where to start?
1. Assess your understanding of digital marketing
Remember that digital marketing is just, well – marketing.
We’ve all seen the blogs by social media experts who used to be accountants. The ones that imply that it’s best not to worry about the hard yards of producing a marketing strategy – and just dive into social media.
Best to just execute a quick swerve around the finer details of the marketing mix, and flood those channels with messaging. Quantity is the key not quality they imply. Just get busy, send stuff out and send it now. Focus on image, focus on trivia – that’s what people want.
But we’ve discussed this before, haven’t we? To use digital tools effectively, understand that number of followers might not equate to selling more products and services.
Engagement is not the end game, selling more stuff is.
Beautiful images of people laughing at life in their skinny jeans might look great, alongside famous ‘wise’ quotes. But will it sell more? Probably not. Customers want great product, delivery on service, not an Instagram bubble. They will wonder what Gandhi or Churchill has got to do with your product. They want some useful product information, not quotes about fighting on beaches.
So, in order to refresh your digital output, first understand your marketing methods. Social media is part of your marketing strategy, a marketing tool within the marketing mix. Use it thoughtfully and strategically, while maintaining quality at all times.
No, we realise it’s not easy, but good product rarely is.
If you want to dig further into Harnessing the Power of Digital, have a look at our previous blog here.
2. Refresh your online brand
Modern life is busy, there’s no denying it. So even after ditching our pointless New Year’s resolutions, it’s still easy to get tied up with product delivery and stray from your original definitions and ideals.
Your brand image and business personality will have changed as you have developed and grown, but these changes may not be apparent on your website or through your digital presence.
On your journey , you’ll need to have an honest look at your brand image to see if it still reflects what you want to project.
Does your web design communicate your brand image and personality? Are you selling a fun, vibrant brand image, or a serious, professional image? Consider your colour scheme, fonts and layout – all of which combine to present your desired image.
3. Assess your web strategy
Apart from your webdesign, you will also need to consider your web strategy from within your overall digital marketing strategy.
If your website was built in line with a branding exercise, has it kept pace with changes to your business? On the other hand, if it was designed to drive lead generation and customer contact forms, then you’ll need to assess if that strategy is relevant and working.
A lack of leads may simply point back to a lack of content. A lack of content will drop you down the search rankings and result in fewer potential customers viewing your site.
4. Refresh your content
It’s a theme we’ve reminded you of many a time. Common sense tells you that the content of your website needs to be of the highest quality. The content reflects your brand just as much as design, fonts and colour schemes.
Content is the one thing that customers want – it’s how they learn about you and your products and services. Content brings your customers back for more. So, it stands to reason that if your content is outdated and neglected, this will reflect back on you. Make sure your calls to action are relevant and current. Nothing worse than emailing someone who left the company a year ago…
Another big reason is Google! Google rates content, so to drive your SEO ranking you need to generate content that will be searched an indexed by that famous Google algorithm. Don’t annoy it, just feed it, with new and refreshing content.
5. Analyse your digital performance
Our last item on the ‘refresh your digital output’ quest is analytics. Google analytics to be precise. If you just tackle one platform this year, then this should be the one.
Google analytics can help you measure the effectiveness of your website and provide information that will help you direct traffic to your site and convert them into customers.
An out of date website may lack the necessary tools to help measure how effective your online personality is. There are numerous reports than can help you, but your site should at least be set up for the 4 reports highlighted below:
Audience reports will help you understand who exactly is visiting your website.
Acquisition reports will tell you how customers arrive at your website.
Behaviour reports will help you understand what customers do when they get to your website.
Conversions will make it clear whether customers do what you want them to (ie buy stuff!).
We’ve discussed analytics before, so if you’d like to investigate further then have a read of our Google analytics blog here.
If we’ve inspired you to think about how to refresh your digital output but you’d like a hand getting started, @Business_Wales offer FREE digital marketing and social media training aimed at harnessing the power of digital marketing. Have a look here and book now!
If you need further assistance on integrating digital tools into an overall digital marketing strategy, then get in touch with us – we would love to hear from you!