Digital marketing strategies that every SME needs
In today’s saturated digital landscape, it can sometimes be difficult to know which marketing strategies to use. If you follow industry publications like Marketing Week, it can feel like there’s a new marketing strategy, platform, or channel you just have to be on top of a few times a month.
Since I founded Move Digital in 2012, I’ve worked with countless SMEs and helped them find the new customers they need to meet their goals. In that time, I’ve tried out almost every marketing tool going, and I’ve got a pretty solid grasp on what will work for almost every SME. Using this knowledge, I have assembled a list of the digital marketing strategies every SME should be using.
This list is not restricted to hot new trends. In fact, more than one of these tactics have been around for over a decade. They’re tried and tested, and most importantly they’re cost effective. Read on to find out more about the strategies
Don’t neglect SEO
I’ve been earning a living as an SEO for well over a decade, and during that time it’s always been a reliable way of driving new business. Over the years I’ve met so many business owners who don’t have an SEO strategy at all, often because they don’t have anyone in their web or marketing team who has the skills or understanding to do it. If that sounds like your business, it’s time to get SEO savvy. There’s no better way to get your product in front of people than to be high up in the Google rankings when they are literally searching for it. With a decent, well-executed SEO strategy, you’d be surprised how many new customers you can get.
Also, next time you go to a marketing conference, you’ll probably come across a speaker trying to make a splash by declaring that ‘SEO is dead’. As I have addressed before, that’s bullshit. It is certainly true that good search rankings are harder to attain than ever before. However, across the board keyword volumes are going up – which basically means more people are using search engines than ever before.
Getting to the top of Google may be harder, but it’s never been a more worthwhile or effective way of reaching new customers.
Set up a podcast
I’ve written about this a lot but podcasting is an unbelievably effective way of getting in front of decision makers. The best thing about podcasts is how niche and targeted they are, attracting a specific audience who is knowledgeable and/or passionate about a specific topic. If your podcast is about the sector your business is in, you will attract listeners who are the decision makers at the kinds of companies you want to be working with. I would recommend promoting your podcasts on social media, so that these decision makers can easily get in touch with you, because trust me – if you build up a following they will want to get in touch with you.
In my experience, what’s even more effective is to get these potential customers or influencers on your podcast as guests. Then, they’re not just a fan of your podcast, you’ve also started to build up a face to face relationship with them. And I don’t need to tell you that any good business relationship is built on building a rapport face to face.
Now, you may be thinking that your industry is too dry or niche to gain a podcast following, but that’s just not true. We have recently completed a podcast series for London & Capital – a wealth management company. The podcast is hosted by one of the members of staff at London & Capital, and every week they have senior thought leaders within the financial services industry as guests. To those outside the finance sector this may not sound very interesting, but the series has proved popular among finance professionals. Not only does it offer unbelievable value for the listeners as they get to hear the opinions of senior thought leaders, it elevates London & Capital as there go to firm for high-wealth US citizens living in the UK.
Use the Facebook Pixel
Chances are you already use Facebook in some capacity for your Business. I certainly don’t need to tell you about the sheer size of the social media platform’s user base. I probably don’t need to tell you that Facebook Advertising is a great way of reaching a highly targeted audience either. However, I meet digitally savvy businesses all the time who aren’t using Facebook’s most potent tool; the Pixel.
The Facebook Pixel is – quite simply – a bit of code that you place on your website. This code collects data on the people who enter your site via Facebook. I promise you, this data is like gold dust. It’s some of the most accurate data you’ll find about the people who use your site, and you can use this data in numerous ways to boost your conversion rate, and ultimately maximise your gains from the money you spend on Facebook Ads.
The Pixel allows you to create Lookalike audiences – one of the most effective ways to target people on Facebook – track conversions, retarget to people who have visited your site, check whether your customers buy your products on mobile or desktop, and many, many other uses.
Use Linkedin for organic social
If you’re using Facebook organic to promote your business, I’d recommend shifting your focus over to LinkedIn. It’s not that I think Facebook is a terrible platform for SMEs, quite the opposite. It’s just that these days, it’s more of an advertising platform that you’ll struggle to get the most out of unless you enter your company card details. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is a platform you’ll be able to get a lot out of organically.
It’s a bit like Facebook before the algorithm update that slashed organic reach and gave priority to paid content rolled out in 2014. If you were marketing using Facebook back then, you’ll know exactly what I mean. If you weren’t, it means that you have a pretty good chance of getting your content in front of all your LinkedIn connections, as long as the content is high quality.
So how do you do this? Demonstrate your expertise in your specific niche by regularly posting great content with relevant hashtags. Keep in mind that videos have much higher engagement than text posts, and try to fill the box with text when writing posts. LinkedIn’s algorithm loves this. Finally, make use of the in-built blogging function; these posts often get strong engagement.
If you want to read some more detailed tips about how to up your LinkedIn game, you can read my thoughts on that here.
Instagram Stories has a mind-bending 500 million daily users. It is also completely free to use, and a great way of getting yourself in front of potential new customers. In my opinion, the best part about this feature of Instagram is in the name; it’s a great way of telling stories. Users flick through stories really quickly, so by posting a series of stories that tell a coherent narrative, you can get your brand messages in front of decision makers.
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I post a lot of Stories. There’s a reason for this; you’d be surprised how many people get in touch with me via Instagram who go on to become clients. I use Stories so much because many regular posts on Instagram don’t get the organic reach they probably should. Like Facebook, algorithms are in place that prioritise paid and hide you from certain users’ feeds. Stories is the best way to stay visible on the platform to all of your followers. Also, top tip; the more a person watches your story, the more frequently you’ll come up in their story roll. So post often, get people watching your content, and get those new business contacts rolling in.
Thanks for reading
Geraint @ Move