There are some problems that it seems everyone experiences at least once in the course of their digital marketing. There’s no point in wasting more time on mediocre digital marketing. From struggling with a small budget to floundering on social media, these are the four most common digital marketing problems — and the best solutions for each.
One of the biggest digital marketing concerns for businesses is how to stand out against bigger competitors without a commensurate digital marketing budget. This concern is commonly paired with the feeling that Google’s search algorithm is slightly biased towards brands — though Google says this isn’t the case. While we can’t speak to the veracity of that common perception, we do know that larger competitors can feel like they have an unfair advantage. The solutions that follow are some of the best ways to level the playing field.
With any small budget, a major part of success is stretching every dollar. When it comes to digital marketing, you can get the maximum marketing ROI by segmenting your audience. Breaking up your audience into segments can help you market more effectively to everyone you reach. The segment categories will depend almost entirely on what type of business you run, but common ways to segment your audience include by demographics, lifestyle, and behavior.
Again, whether a local marketing strategy will work for you depends on your business. Enhance your Google My Business page with advanced attributes and useful features like Q&A, chat, or posts. Make sure that you are listed or have claimed your business on other business directories as well — including local city-specific websites. Play up your local social presence — use location tagging in your social media posts and post about your local community. These efforts can help you rank in mobile search and improve your local digital marketing metrics.
If you’re struggling with a smaller marketing budget, you might need to pick your battles. Depending on the budget differential between your business and that of your competitor, you might not be able to compete on all social media channels. This isn’t a cause for consternation. Pick your best-performing channels and dominating them is an excellent way avoid the stress of managing and half a dozen or more social media profiles all at once.
Social media has been a consistently helpful way to engage with audiences and build a solid online presence without costing a cent. But if you want to make the most of your digital marketing budget, spend a portion on social media advertising. By choosing your most profitable social media channels and using strategic native advertising, you can transform just another social media page into a top lead generator.
Develop relationships with local and industry influencers. Advocacy/evangelism and referrals are one of the best ways to spread positive word of mouth
Healthy numbers of clicks combined with an anemic conversion rate is one of the most common digital marketing problems that businesses face. It can be extremely frustrating to see (and spend the money for) many clicks, but no commensurate lift in sales. Here are some of the best solutions for this classic and unfortunately timeless digital marketing problem.
If you are observing significant numbers of clicks but poor conversion rate, one of the likely causes is the audience itself. You may be spending the majority of your digital marketing in the poorly performing channels targeting the wrong audience.
It is possible that users want to visit your website, but have no intention of making a purchase. Your website design and copy may not be right for the audience that is being driven to your site, or they might be an audience not in the position to make a purchase. Often, for B2B businesses, the decision makers will have their secretaries, coordinators, and managers browsing the site to report back to them. Due to their lack of authority, they would not convert to a sale despite their website behaviors. The issue can also be that you are using the wrong channel to drive traffic. If, for example, your audience is mostly stay-at-home parents, Nextdoor and Pinterest might be better social media channels, while LinkedIn would not.
Another culprit for your low conversion headache could be your landing pages. An ineffective landing page can turn away even highly-interested potential customers. Imagine clicking an ad for half price ski lift tickets, only to be taken to a page that lists deals for all types of adventure sports, meaning you have to do your own searching again for inexpensive lift tickets inside the website. Many shoppers don’t bother with that second step — they’ll bounce and end up one of the wasted clicks.
Landing page design is a huge topic on its own, but very briefly, landing pages should be simple, and helpful, with a sophisticated design that keeps the user on the page. Landing pages should also be extremely fast. Customers have very little patience when it comes to website loading, and a landing page that doesn’t load a few short seconds after the ad was clicked will be abandoned.
The most effective digital marketing campaigns match landing pages to the messaging, offers, and style of the original point of content, wherever that might be. Like we mentioned with our lift ticket example, if the landing page does not match the content a shopper expected to see, chances are that they won’t convert. Sending shoppers to a page that doesn’t address their needs immediately encourages a bounce.
The SEO competition can be daunting. Depending on your location and industry, you could have thousands of competitors all vying for the same few spots on Google’s front page. To make it worse, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of moving parts to SEO and trying to figure out how to stand out against tough competition can be overwhelming. Thankfully, there are few proven ways to compete when it comes to page ranking.
Sometimes the best way to compete is to try something a little different. In SEO, this can mean not competing on popular but short phrases. Short-tail keywords/phrases are often sources of high clicks but low conversion rates. For example, our “Inexpensive Adventure Sports” company might not want to try competing for a keyword like “adventure sports,” or “adventure activities,” but more budget-related keywords for specific activities like “cheap summer kayaking trips” or “whitewater rafting deals.” These longtail keywords offer higher conversion rates and less competition for first-page spots. Longtail keywords are better for accessing shoppers lower down the sales funnel who are seriously considering a purchase.
If resource or budget limitations are making ranking well impossible, it isn’t necessarily the end of the SEO line. Instead of trying to rank on the first page of Google, try the first page of Google-owned YouTube. YouTube is still bigger than all of Google’s US competitor search engines combined, with over 1 billion visitors and 6 billion hours of content watched per month. If video marketing could showcase your business services or product particularly well, consider an emphasis on YouTube. You’ll also rank in the “videos” part of Google search results as well.
It is difficult to overstate the importance of excellent website customer experience. Customer experience includes user experience (all the technical functions that allow a smooth online experience) as well as all the copy, content, style, and business practices that feed into your total website experience. Google’s search result algorithm is built to return the most relevant sources for any query. If your website prioritizes customer experience, Google’s algorithm will take note that users enjoy your site, and will reward you in turn with higher ranking.
Social media has a reputation for being quick, easy, and free engagement with your audience, but in practice, it can be a difficult medium to get right. Many businesses don’t approach social media with the sophistication needed to see success.
The frequency of your posts depends on your business type and the social media channel. Posting once a month means you’ll probably be forgotten quickly. Generally, one post per day on Facebook and LinkedIn is the best bet for high engagement. This does not mean that more posts are better. Consumers do not appreciate being spammed by posts — particularly on platforms that aren’t built for ephemeral content. Returns on investment on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn decline after about 5 posts a week. For platforms like Twitter or Snapchat, your posting frequency can be much higher, but it should still be useful and valuable content.
All social media posts should offer something of real value to the viewer. Even if the offer is something as simple as a quick statistic or a funny GIF, it should be something that is interesting to the audience. Every post should have a reason for engaging the shopper — a good reason.
Social media is just that — social. The best performing social media campaigns involve communicating with customers on that platform. Whether the social action is responding to customer reviews, engaging in LinkedIn discussions, replying to comments on Facebook, or re-tweeting customer-generated content, actually connecting with shoppers can increase social media success metrics across the board. This does come with the professionalism caveat: only interact with your audience in a manner that is appropriate for the social media platform, company style, and audience.
Building word of mouth with digital marketing can be challenging, but social media can help businesses do this. Capitalize on your refreshed social media by recruiting satisfied customers to follow or subscribe to your business on social media. You can even consider asking or incentivizing them to write a positive review or tag your product in a post.
Do you use a different solution for one of these problems? Got a digital marketing problem that’s not on this list that you need help with? Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.