Traditional to digital marketing

What You Need to Know When Switching From Traditional to Digital Marketing

The fact that you’re reading this means you are already aware of the potential advantages that await your business if you make the move to digital marketing. You’ve realised your present and future customers—and the competition—are or will also be online. As publications such as The Economic Times notes, good digital marketing will not only allow you to compete with other SMEs, it will also help you quickly build your brand and, ideally, the competitive edge you need to flourish.

Digital marketing opens up a much greater reach, and remains “out there” and viable much longer than traditional marketing media such as print ads and TV commercials. Since there are fewer middlemen between you and the final products, you are also getting better value for every marketing dollar you spend.

Sounds really enticing, yes? However, for those planning to fully switch from traditional to digital marketing (or at least put more focus on the latter), there are several things you must know first before making the move, such as the ones below.

Know Your Target Audience

The keystone of any marketing strategy is knowing your real customer base. Not only does this dictate where you will focus your marketing efforts, but also your approach and your brand. The tone and content you would present to tech-savvy millennials who spend 18 hours a day consuming media would be quite different from what you would provide to attract elderly retired people who may prefer simple email.

Employing a “shotgun approach” to marketing would not only be more expensive but less effective. Knowing your target audience allows you to hone in on the tactics that will most likely garner actual customers because, as Forbes puts it, you are addressing their needs and motivations.

Versatility Pays Off

When you examine the online content of brand giants, you will notice that they employ a combination of digital marketing types, which may include:

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – What content your business puts out there is only part of the equation. After all, what’s the use of good content if no one accesses it? SEO incorporates keywords and phrases in effective ratios so that your site pops up close to the top of internet search results and content becomes more visible online.
  • Social Media Marketing – There are a variety of social media platforms, from the biggest (Facebook) and photography-oriented (Instagram) to the quick and snappy (Twitter) and focused on professionals (LinkedIn). Which platforms you will focus your efforts on will largely depend on which ones your target audiences frequent. Social media marketing is all about engagement—starting conversations to increase brand awareness.
  • Content Marketing – The reality is most of us don’t want to be frequently bothered by sales talk both online and offline. So, a good tactic is not to look like you’re selling anything at all, but rather sharing useful knowledge, experience, and expertise through your content. Publishing blogs, fun and informative videos, and Q&As, for example, can position you as a thought leader in your field, improving your online brand reputation and creating buzz around your content.

Paid Is Not Necessarily Better

This may seem like one of the weirder digital marketing tips. Paid advertising—including pay-per-click—will always have a place in the digital marketplace, but the most successful brands know that it’s conversion that matters most. Exposure to your content doesn’t help you if people don’t take the step to buy your products or avail of your services.

What makes the types of digital marketing listed above so effective is the potential conversion rates they can bring. No one likes to be just a number, so if you make an effort to forge a relationship with people, they are more likely to engage and become loyal customers (as long as you deliver in terms of products or services, that is).

It’s an Ongoing Investment, Not a One-Off

Developing a website is not the end game but rather just the beginning. We know that technology is constantly evolving. An out-of-date platform may pose data security risks and scare customers off, negatively affecting how they perceive your brand. Aside from having a website, you should also explore channels, such as the ones we previously mentioned (content, social media, SEO).

Also make sure that your content is mobile-friendly. Remember that most people nowadays use mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Not having content that can be properly viewed using these devices will be a huge blow to your marketing efforts and leaves you vulnerable to being overtaken by the competition.

Having stale content results to bored and uninterested followers who will likely forget about or avoid your brand. You want people to continue tuning in. As such, refreshing or updating your content, email campaigns, and social media posts are important if you want to garner consistent digital marketing engagement and success.

It May Be Worth It to Go “Pro”

It’s tempting to go the self-taught route to save a few bucks, but it can be a good idea to look into professional digital marketing services as well—especially if you are less fluent in online practices and processes. You’re likely to spend more, but the learning curve will be less steep, you’ll be guided into the world of digital marketing, and you’ll have experts to assist you if you run into problems, helping make results come sooner rather than later.

The internet is a wide sea full of fish a.k.a. your competitors; the pros know how to help you find your target audience and how to speak their language. They also know the most effective options for reaching them through the different types of digital marketing options and the best channels for reaching those that matter most—your customers.

Digital is the future of marketing

Why Digital Is Truly The Future of Marketing

The face of marketing has changed dramatically in recent years, and we can expect even more changes in the future as technology evolves and new possibilities emerge.

Traditional marketing techniques such as direct mail, print ads, and television advertising are still around but are increasingly becoming less popular options, particularly for small- and medium-sized businesses with limited marketing budgets.

On the other hand, digital marketing revolves around the Internet, digital platforms and devices. It makes use of online channels to reach a wider audience and build brand recognition and is composed of several disciplines including:

  • Social media marketing – Communicating with customers and publishing content on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.
  • Content marketing – Creating or curating content such as videos and blogs that are not directly promotional, but drive customer interest and action.
  • SEO and SEM – Search engine optimisation (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) increases the visibility of websites in search engines leading to more visits.

Most businesses are now starting to realise the potential of digital marketing, but some still downplay or even downright belittle its role. This is certainly a short-sighted way of thinking. While traditional methods may still be effective currently, there’s mounting evidence that it won’t work quite as well in the near future for new generations of consumers. For example, research shows that Millennials are increasingly being turned off by old-style marketing, with 84% of them saying they don’t trust traditional advertising.

As such, relying solely on traditional marketing methods is certainly not advised in this day and age of digital connectivity and interaction. So, why should you focus your efforts on digital marketing as we move towards the future?

It’s Simple—People are Spending More Time Online

The average Australian spends a whopping 10 hours every day using internet-connected devices including computers, smartphones, and tablets. Most of this time is spent on mobile devices, which have now overtaken desktops and laptops in terms of internet usage worldwide. This increased time online has had a knock-on effect on the activities that traditional marketing uses as advertising channels, with one in seven Australians watching no commercial television at all and magazine sales declining year on year.

This does not mean that marketing opportunities are decreasing, only that a shift in strategy is needed to take advantage of these changing habits. In fact, Australians are now watching more videos and TV show content than ever before, but choose on-demand and online content over traditional broadcasting.

It’s clear that small- and medium-sized businesses need to take advantage of this growing online screen time and place their advertisements where the most eyes are going to see it. Social media is one channel, in particular, you should pay attention to, with over half of Australia’s population checking in on social networking sites at least once a day.

Digital Marketing Offers Impressive Return On Investment (ROI)

In terms of return on investment, digital marketing is hard to beat. Print and television advertising are astronomically expensive compared to engaging in content marketing or maintaining an active social media profile, and in many sectors, digital methods have been able to offer a higher conversion rate.

If you own a small business, it’s likely that your marketing budget is limited. While bigger brands may be able to risk shelling out thousands or even millions of dollars for television advertising without a second thought, for smaller companies the result of wasting the majority of your marketing budget on an unsuccessful campaign could be devastating.

On the contrary, effective digital marketing campaigns can be set up with much smaller marketing budgets. For example, posting on social media is free, requiring only time commitment, and marketing emails can be sent out for just a few cents per recipient. Even if these campaigns are not as effective as hoped, much lesser is lost in terms of investment.

ROI will, of course, vary widely between different business sectors, audiences, and campaigns, but there is plenty of proof that digital marketing offers better returns overall.

Utilise Features such as Improved Personalisation and Segmentation

One of the limitations of traditional marketing methods is that it’s difficult to tailor and offer advertising only to a particular set of individuals or demographic. This is an area that digital marketing excels at, and it is now possible to segment and customise campaigns on a huge range of criteria including age, location, shopping habits, personal interests, and more.

Facebook ads are one example where this kind of highly targeted marketing can be very successful when done right. Users can be targeted by location, interests, and behaviour, and even be ‘retargeted’ by sending the same user an ad for a product they’ve already shown interest in.

Naturally, this results in a higher success rate, with targeted ads being twice as successful as untargeted advertising so next time you schedule your email campaign or implement ads, think about how you can segment your audience for better results.

Digital Marketing Offers Valuable, Real-time Results

Digital marketing campaigns have the ability to instantly track and measure success built right into the technology. You can start seeing open and click-through rates for marketing emails as soon as you send out the campaign, and it’s possible to view traffic on your website in detail, right down to tracking exactly where individual users click on your web pages.

Website analytics software such as Google Analytics make it easy to see how website visitors are finding your site (from search, social media, or links from other websites); this offers valuable insights on where you should concentrate your marketing efforts going forward. The results you gather from your real-time results can also help you in segmenting and personalising messages for your audience, something that would have been a challenge in traditional marketing where return on investment (ROI) is notoriously difficult to measure and attribute figures to marketing efforts.

Be Authentic, Show What Your Brand Stands For

As mentioned in the previous, young people are becoming increasingly distrusting of traditional advertising, mainly because they dislike being marketed at directly. The distrust toward traditional forms of marketing may be why digital marketing is gaining a stronghold when it comes to trust, with 64% of Australians saying they are more likely to trust a brand if it interacts positively with them on social media.

Yet, not all businesses are taking advantage of these changing attitudes towards brand trust, as only 47% of small- and medium-sized businesses have a social media presence, and only 26% advertise on social media. With very little to lose from setting up an account on one or more popular social media networks and communicating regularly with your target audience, this is an ‘easy win’ that every Small Business should target.

Authenticity is definitely the keyword here, and it’s important for brands to show their personality online. Informal language, behind-the-scenes peeks, and candid photos all work well for engaging your customers and building trust on your brand.

More IoT, More Digital Marketing Avenues

The ‘internet of things’, in which data-producing everyday objects including cars, wearable devices, and household appliances are connected to the internet, is still in its infancy. However, more and more of these smart devices are being produced which means this trend will only gather steam as we experience more digital innovations.

The rise of such devices opens up a host of new channels and marketing methods, including exciting possibilities for digital marketing. Some examples of how this technology is already being used for marketing and advertising include smartphone users being sent special offers from local shops and restaurants when they’re detected to be in a particular area; Amazon dash, which allows instant ordering of consumable products such as washing powder at the touch of a button; and ride-sharing apps such as Uber, which allow users to view nearby Uber cars in real-time and see when their driver has arrived.

There’s simply no doubt about it; digital marketing is not going anywhere. Small- and medium-sized businesses still relying solely on traditional offline marketing methods will need to change their strategies or risk being left behind by the competition.

Don’t let this happen by relying solely on traditional offline marketing methods, change your strategy to include digital moving forward.


This post was originally published on Smallville.com.au

Digital marketing tips for small businesses

SME Talk: How to Make Digital Marketing Work for You

Digital marketing is a great tool for businesses of all types and sizes. By harnessing the power of the internet you can gain additional leads, promote and market your products or services better, build brand awareness, and have a more awesome online presence.

Don’t believe anyone that says digital marketing is just for the big companies though—it can also be a key to success for SMEs. However, just because you have a website doesn’t mean you’re going to reap all its benefits. You’re going to need an online strategy and utilise digital tools to truly make digital marketing work for you. If you run a small business, we’ve come up with several key tips to help you get started.

But first, what is Digital Marketing?

In a nutshell, digital marketing is composed of all online marketing efforts made for a brand. It’s a term that includes different channels such as social media marketing, email, content marketing, and website building and design. Digital marketing can have different formats and be facilitated through these channels. Digital marketing’s main goal is to generate more leads and build or strengthen a business’ online presence.

Looking at the different areas and channels involved is a great way to better understand and leverage digital marketing.

Social Media Marketing

Social media is B-I-G, which means you shouldn’t ignore it. Fact is, Facebook has over two billion active monthly users, and many other social networks have hundreds of millions of users. As such, your current and prospective customers are most probably on social media as well. How can you use this channel to connect with them? While individuals aren’t necessarily thinking about purchasing something, social media marketing allows you to start a conversation based on interests, among other things.

Social media marketing helps your brand target and attract prospects based on their interests, location, demographics, and preferences. When you are able to target so granularly, you can cultivate interest in those that have a real need (or at least curiosity) for your product or service. PearlyWhites, an Australian company that sells in-home teeth whitening kits, grew more than 10,000-percent as a result of embracing social media to reach potential customers. Jake Munday, its Managing Director, says he uses Facebook to target certain demographics that might be interested in his product. He can keep track of their social media efforts and drop campaigns that are not working, improving efficiency and budget-planning.

One important thing to note is that you don’t have to be on all social media sites. Analyse what you offer and who your customers and target customers are (their habits, preferences, demographics), and choose the social media sites which best fit the results. For example, if you’re all about food and your target markets are enticed by gorgeous food shots, go to Instagram which is a widely known photo-based social network where food photography is very popular. For more in-depth advice, do check out our previous post on social media marketing.

Content Marketing

Content marketing primarily focuses on online content that educates, engages, and inspires. It’s not necessarily product- or service-focused. Instead, it delivers content (e.g. blogs, videos, photos) which offer something of value to readers/viewers (e.g. tips, trivia, news) which then tie back to your brand. The key here is generating online buzz around what your business offers. Content marketing is about putting the right message in the right place for your audience to see it.

One effective content marketing strategy is to create and deliver content that tells an engaging story. Remember that storytelling, when done right online or offline, is an almost intimate form of interaction between a brand and its audience. For your content marketing efforts to be successful, you should create buyer personas (to have a better idea of who you want to target), craft a distinct voice and tone, and determine the goals of your content. Once you have a foundation based on these factors, you should create a content calendar around specific keywords, campaigns, or objectives.

Be careful though and avoid delivering content that’s too promotional as they tend to lack authenticity. Also be sure to be consistent in creating and delivering content to fully utilise audience engagement. We recommend reading our recent blog on content marketing to answer your other content-related questions.

Website Design and User Experience

Websites are often one of the first key steps to building an online presence, and they must do more than look nice. It basically acts as your business’ online portal and HQ and is often viewed as the starting and ending points of many digital marketing campaigns. Your customers’ experience on your website has a lot to do with whether or not they come back (and convert).

However, you shouldn’t focus all your website efforts on the desktop; you should also make mobile devices a big part of your plan. Consider these statistics:

  • 52-percent of users say that bad mobile website experience made them less likely to engage with a brand.
  • Mobile users are five times more likely to abandon a purchase or task if the site doesn’t provide great mobile user experience.

Thus, it’s imperative that your site is easy to view and use both on desktop and mobile devices. You cannot ignore the latter as it is one of the key factors that dictate your audience’s level of satisfaction regarding your online efforts. As more and more of the population spend more time on devices such as smartphones and tablets, having a mobile-friendly digital marketing approach is now a priority rather than a mere option.

Email Marketing

Email isn’t dead, not even close. To put things in perspective, it actually still has the best ROI of any digital marketing channel. According to recent research, 18-percent of companies reported an ROI of over $94 for every $1.35 spent on email marketing. The importance of email marketing for SMEs is huge—it’s an opportunity to customise messaging and offers as well as target certain people or groups more accurately based on segmenting. It also allows you to continue the conversation (from social media or content interaction) and offer content.

To continue fostering engagement on this channel (often measured by the amount of opens and clicks), it’s important to offer something relevant and offers value. Understand the threshold for your users with regards to how often you send emails. Be straight to the point, creative, and interesting. Make sure to come up with interesting titles for your email campaigns as well to encourage more clicks. Here are a few more tips on how to make an effective content title.

Digital Marketing Impacts Small Business

Adopting digital marketing initiatives creates digital engagement, which can lead to, well, more leads and conversions. More importantly, it helps you create an effective online presence which you can use to battle toe-to-toe with the bigger players of your industry via the internet. According to a recent report from Deloitte Access Economics, Australian SMEs that have mastered digital marketing are:

  • One-and-a-half times more likely to be increasing revenue
  • Eight times more likely to create jobs
  • 14 times more likely to be innovative

Every business wants to have these numbers, and executing effective digital marketing projects can be your ticket to getting them. Again, if you want your business to survive today and in the future, you should take on digital marketing—the numbers don’t lie.

Get Started on the Right Foot for your Digital Marketing Journey

While it is indeed beneficial and even crucial to a business’ success, digital marketing can still get rather confusing and intimidating for the uninitiated. That said, it’s wise to call on expert help if you want to get started on the right (digital) foot. Curate Bee offers different services—from social media management and website-building to content creation—to help you jumpstart your digital marketing journey and gain success along the way. Consult with us today and find out how we can be of service.

5 Trends That Are Currently Shaping the Digital Marketing Scene

Digital marketing is an ever-evolving practice. It includes many different platforms and channels, with each one experiencing their fair share of constant innovation. From social media marketing to website user experience (UX), digital marketing encompasses every part of a brand’s online presence. This is important because not having an optimised online profile means you’re definitely missing multiple opportunities—hey, everyone’s online nowadays, right?

Digital marketing’s role in the complete marketing mix will only grow. Global spending on digital marketing is expected to reach $335.48 billion by 2020. Whoa!

And with so many ways to apply digital marketing dollars, what’s the best way to allocate them? The answer is never simple and there’s no ‘one size fits all’ response. It depends greatly on your industry, audience, and business goals. There’s also opportunity to test and learn with new trends, which is why it’s a must to always be updated if you aim to use something as dynamic and innovative such as digital marketing.

As such, here are five trends that are worth considering and currently shaping the digital marketing scene.

Personalised Digital Experiences

Thanks to the internet and its various forms, many consumers have become very savvy and sophisticated online. They yearn for relevant experiences when they land on a website. If you have different kinds of audiences (which could be segmented by industry, buying stage, or other factors), it’s important to create a more personalised experience to increase the likelihood of conversion. This is a significant point since research has shown that 70-percent of online shoppers expect a more personalised experience when visiting online retailers.

Personalisation in your digital marketing efforts is certainly possible, even if you’re running a small- or medium-sized enterprise, thanks to various digital tools now available. You can execute this in several ways such as customised email marketing and retargeting ads that will remind users after they leave your website of why they should return.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing involves developing partnerships with those who have enough online influence or following to promote your product or brand. This could entail an influencer writing a guest blog post, creating a video showing the use of your product, or talking about your brand on social media to all their fans and followers. An influencer can be a social media icon, celebrity, or even an athlete who has significant pull on social media.

Influencers have the ability to affect the buying habits of their followers. However, you must identify the influencers who best align with your brand’s values and whose followers align with your target market. Aside from wooing more people to at least check out your products or services, having a partnership with a recognised influencer gives more credence and legitimacy to your brand.

Using Big Data to Develop Better Customer Relationships

Marketing and customer behaviour data can be used to help brands create better relationships with their customers. By using insights derived from analysing data, it’s possible to increase customer loyalty and improve on the customer lifetime return. It’s important to understand that the customer’s view of their decision-making lifecycle is different from how a brand develops initiatives centred on acquisition, on-boarding, retention, and loyalty. The value of data analytics actually increases as the relationship continues. This means that your strategies and efforts on collecting customer data shouldn’t end just because a conversion or purchase occurs.

By utilising analytics, digital marketers are able to extract the needed insights for creating improved, more targeted digital marketing campaigns. This allows them to take advantage of data relating to online customer behaviour and internet usage, painting a clearer picture of what online channels and strategies to use. This is the reason why more and more companies are turning to Big Data in the hopes of achieving more digital marketing success.

Social Media Customer Care

Customers are increasingly turning to social media channels to seek advice and/or to complain. In fact, one in three social media users prefer to seek customer service via social media compared to phone or email correspondence. Approximately 67-percent of consumers also use social networks to seek problem resolution. This shift means customer service is no longer an activity carried out only via voice calls or sending emails. If you want to provide improved customer care, you’re going to need dedicated online resources as well.

There’s always going to be negative feedback, but you have the opportunity to turn the situation around by being responsive and acknowledging the feedback. If you respond in a timely manner and resolve the issue via social media, the customer is more likely to stay loyal to your brand. This also improves how your clients view your business. Responsiveness and being accessible to your target market improves how they see your brand, increasing the chances of them giving positive feedback and saying good things to other people who are not your clients yet. This, ultimately, helps boost your digital marketing efforts.

User-generated Content

User-generated content are becoming a part of many brands’ content marketing plan. When brands engage with their customers and offer them a chance to become part of the community, it elevates the relationship. It can also create trust towards your brand since 85-percent of people view user-generated content as both trustworthy and reliable. Saying how great your brand is will never be as convincing as an actual user saying it.

If utilised properly, user-generated content elevates a company’s digital marketing plan’s effectiveness and gives the brand more authenticity. It also sends a positive message to a consumers that their insights are valued and that the company listens. This is why including it in marketing campaigns is a wise move if you want to reinforce brand loyalty or to communicate the idea that “we’re a brand you can trust.”

Digital marketing is the foundation of how your brand appears and is marketed online. However, due to the many channels, tools, and parts involved, it can be quite confusing, even intimidating especially for newer businesses and SMEs. If you seek guidance and help, we recommend consulting with experts in the field like the hardworking ‘bees’ at Curate Bee.

Persistent Myths About Digital Marketing, Debunked!

To have a full understanding of digital marketing and remove any misconceptions it must first be defined.

Digital marketing can mean a lot of things; it’s a bit of an umbrella term. Simply put, it’s the marketing of a product or service via digital technologies. That can mean online, through mobile devices, display advertising, or any other digital medium.

Although digital marketing isn’t new, it’s still not as utilised as you might think. Sure, you see lots of banner ads on websites and products in your social media feeds. But how many brands have fully adopted it? According to research, only 47% of brands have a digital marketing strategy. That doesn’t necessarily mean the other 53% are doing nothing; they just aren’t committed or convinced enough to go for digital marketing. And the worldwide spending on digital marketing and advertising isn’t slowing down—it’s even predicted to grow to a whopping $192 billion within the year!

But there are still many organisations that depend on traditional marketing schemes such as cold calling, direct mail, or other in-person opportunities. For these groups to get on board with the digital trend, they need to understand that their assumptions about digital marketing may be wrong.

By breaking down a few of the most common misconceptions, it will be easier to understand that digital marketing can be a great tool to find new markets, leads, and opportunities, either as your main or secondary marketing strategy.

1. Only certain industries will benefit from digital marketing

Retailers depend on digital marketing and advertising. However, if you own, say, a manufacturing company, you may think there’s not much reason for you to engage online. That’s an erroneous belief. First of all, individuals spend as many as eight hours a day using the internet. Don’t think your audience isn’t online looking for information and solutions. They are there, and you can connect with them with valuable content that interests them. A well-thought-out content marketing plan is often the backbone of digital marketing. Providing relevant, engaging content about specific topics will get you lots of views leading to more conversions.

In today’s day and age of digital communications and dependence, it’s more likely that a significant chunk of your target market uses digital platforms and devices, no matter what industry you’re in. Remember, technology and the internet are not limited to a specific audience or market in terms of adoption and attraction.

2. Digital marketing is only for the big brands

Not true by a long shot. Small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) can reap great rewards from digital marketing. It’s a low-cost option, especially when compared to traditional means such as print ads or TV/radio commercials. It’s also much easier to find out the return on investment related to digital marketing than traditional marketing given the numerous analytics tools you can use to track down important digital specifics such as views, reach, and social media shares.

Digital marketing opens up all kinds of opportunities for SMEs. With little investment or overhead, they can expose a bigger audience to their products and services, helping them develop an effective online brand presence. You could even argue that digital marketing and all its elements (e.g. social media, content) can help SMEs level the playing field with bigger businesses, to a certain extent, in terms of reaching a wider market.

3. Only the young ones are online

Younger people such as teens and Millennials do love the internet and their devices (how many of them do you see around holding a smartphone or a tablet each day? Plenty, we assume!). However, this is not to say that they are the only ones online and, thus, the only ones who can be effectively reached by digital marketing. In fact, the number of members from all age groups, including the older sets, who are being exposed to and are using social media and the internet continues to increase.

The number of people over 75 years old who are on Facebook has recently doubled. This means that digital and online marketing is not reserved for the young ones. As such, even if your business targets older people, you still shouldn’t ignore digital marketing, or risk being left behind by the competition.

4. Digital marketing is too expensive

This one is simply not true. There are many opportunities to test and try different channels without spending a lot. Try some Facebook ads for as little as $10 a day. Set up a Google AdWords campaign for $100. Or, you could start with a month of banner ads for a particular site that your audience is likely to visit. Start small and test out what works. Many forms of inbound marketing, such as blogging and SEO, are inexpensive yet will help to build sustainable traffic to your business’ website.

True, digital marketing still requires spending. However, there are plenty of digital tools, platforms, and options now available for your online marketing efforts that won’t require you to rob a bank. Getting your brand in front of more faces will benefit you immensely, and many companies have found success with even a small, focused digital marketing strategy. Take Simplilearn for example. This online education platform doubled its leads, increased reach by 50%, and decreased lead cost by 60% in just five months, thanks to Facebook ads!

5. You need to use all social media sites to be successful

Social media is indeed an important part of a well-rounded and effective digital marketing strategy. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to have a presence in many or all social media platforms. What’s more important is first knowing your audience and their digital habits in terms of social media use and the specialties and audiences of each social media site. From there you’ll know which platform you have to focus on. Facebook is a given since it’s used by basically everyone, what’s trickier is figuring out the others.

However, it’s not really about covering all bases; rather, it’s more about making the right choice. For example, if your business is into visuals or photography, Instagram is a great choice since it’s a community that’s all about sharing quality images. Remember, being efficient is key. You don’t want to spend all that time and effort creating a LinkedIn business page when your audience primarily involves teenagers or kids now, do you?

See? Digital marketing isn’t so scary after all, and it’s definitely not a fad! So, if you don’t want to be left behind, we recommend you put more focus on your business’ digital marketing strategy if you haven’t already; you won’t regret doing so!

 

This post was originally published on Smallville.com.au

We Answer 6 of the Most Common Content Marketing Questions!

There’s no denying it: Content marketing is here to stay. For SMEs without the marketing budgets of large corporations, it’s one of the most effective ways to grow your business and build a solid presence online.

But what is it, exactly?

Content marketing relates to the information you share with your audience online. This includes blog posts, social media content, video marketing, and webinars. If you’re new to content marketing, it can be overwhelming—but we’re here to help!

Here are six of the most common content marketing questions (and the answers to each one!) to get you started on your journey of bringing effective and engaging content to your target audience:

1. How will content marketing benefit my business?

According to the 2016 Digital Australia report, the average person spends over 10 hours each day on their devices. Each time they go online, they’re consuming content—making it the easiest way to reach your target market online.

Ultimately, the goal of content marketing is the same with any other marketing activity: To increase your bottom line.

When it’s done right, content marketing will increase your revenue and help you achieve your wider business goals, but there’s more to it than that.

Some of the key benefits include:

  • Helping your business climb the search engine rankings, resulting to more visits to your website
  • Increasing your reach and visibility on social media
  • Increasing trust within your audience and establishing your business as a thought leader.

2. How long will it take for me to get results?

There’s no magic number when it comes to getting results from content marketing. Some established SMEs might notice an increase in traffic straight away. For others, especially those building their online presence from scratch, it may take a little longer.

Content marketing is a long-term strategy. To get the best results, it’s important to develop a consistent approach. With a consistent approach, most businesses can expect to see some results (e.g. increased site traffic, social media followers, business leads) within six months from implementing their content marketing strategy.

3. What type of content should we be creating?

Content marketing is often split into two main categories: on-site content and off-site content. It’s a good idea to create both, as they will benefit your business in different ways.

On-site content relates to the content you share on your own website. This includes things such as blog posts, downloadable ebooks, and on-site videos.

Off-site content is the content you share elsewhere on the Internet, including guest blogging and social media posts.

It’s usually a good idea to include different content types in your online marketing plan, and experiment a little to find what works best with your audience.

You should also aim to include a mix of topical content covering the latest industry news, trending topics, and events, and evergreen content which will continue to stay relevant long after you hit “publish.”

4. How much content do we need?

Again, there’s no magic number when it comes to how much content you should be creating. As a general rule, the quality of the content is much more important than the quantity of the content you produce. It’s a better idea to create high quality content that adds value, rather than trying to rush content through just for the sake of getting more out there.

Search engines and social media algorithms prefer high quality content as well. Taking longer to produce quality content may seem counterintuitive, but it will increase your reach and engagement, making it more worthwhile in the long run.

That said, it’s important to stay consistent. How much content can you create on a regular basis? If you’re short on time or can’t afford to outsource your content marketing efforts, set yourself a target that feels manageable. From there, you’ll be able to manage your content schedule better, and see how much content you need to create to actually get results.

5. How do we know it’s working?

When it comes to content marketing, metrics are very important. Yet keeping track of the results is something many small business owners seem to overlook.

To avoid this, make sure you have tools such as Google Analytics set up properly for your website. This will help you keep track of the results, and determine which content is the most popular with your audience. You’ll also be able to tell where your traffic comes from, which can help you measure social media growth and search engine optimisation (SEO).

Over time, you should see your website conversions increase, too, as your readers become your customers.

6. What’s a brand voice, and how do we get one?

Your brand voice is like your business’ personality online. When you have a clearly defined brand voice, you ensure consistency in the content you produce, and a way to set yourself apart from other brands.

When creating your brand voice, consider how you would like your audience to see you. If you’re going for friendly and approachable, using stiff, formal language in your content isn’t going to cut it. Similarly, if you’re a business that requires a certain level of formality and professionalism, using lots of slang and colloquialisms probably isn’t the best choice of language to convey your brand image.

To determine your brand voice, spend some time thinking about your business’ core values and how you plan to demonstrate them online. From there, you can create a framework for your content writers to follow.

Ready to get started with content marketing, but need more support?

Getting started with content marketing can be tricky and even intimidating for the uninitiated. This is exactly why, especially for SMEs, employing the help of experts is a great way to get started. Here at Curate Bee, we specialise in helping brands enhance their presence online through our digital marketing tools and expertise. Feel free to get in touch with us to learn more about our services, or take a look at more content marketing advice from our blogs.

Introducing, the New and Improved (But Still Super Awesome)
Lite Social!

We’re pretty sure you’ve already heard of the saying “death and taxes are the only sure things in life,” or something to that effect. Allow us to add one more thing to the list: Innovation.

We’re not exactly trying to give a more positive twist to the aforementioned adage. Rather, we’d like to highlight that point by introducing you to the new and improved Lite Social!

Lite…what?

For the uninitiated, Lite Social is Curate Bee’s social media marketing service which helps clients gain a strong online presence via the social media. Perfect for individuals and SMEs which are just starting out with their social media efforts, it’s a great way to boost customer engagement and build brand awareness online. We’ll research the kinds of articles that fit your expertise, niche, or preferences and, using Lite Social, curate and share them via your social media profiles, from Facebook and Twitter to LinkedIn and even Instagram. And because we want to make sure you also have control over what gets to be curated and shared, Lite Social also allows you to manage all suggested articles as well as personalise your posts.

All these work towards the goal of establishing you or your brand as a thought leader in your field through the power of social media.

We did say something about innovation, right? We want to serve you guys better so we decided to innovate and make Lite Social even more awesome than it already is!

What’s new with Lite Social?

In many ways, the new Lite Social is an entirely different beast compared to the old one. For example, there’s a new login page (and a new login URL). To make things easier for you, we’ll keep your registered email address and send you a temporary password which you can then change to the one you prefer. You’ll still be able to connect your preferred social media profiles to the new Lite Social. Don’t worry—just like before, you won’t have to share with us any of your login credentials to protect your privacy.

Then there’s the new Dashboard where you can tinker with your all-important Lite Social settings. You can also view posts and tweets shared and your audience’s comments on them via the Inbox, which also allows you to reply, repost, or retweet without the need to login to your individual social media accounts.

Through the Outbox, you’ll able to manage your content, from scheduling posts to approving articles for social media sharing. You can also create and share promotional posts, events, photos, and customised messages by clicking the Compose button—a new feature that we’re sure you will love! You could also view your reports through the Measure tab to give you a better idea of the effectiveness of your Lite Social campaigns. How’s that for convenience?

These features come together to give you a well-managed, streamlined, and more convenient way of building and strengthening your brand presence minus the hassle and stress—we’ll handle that for you!

Last but definitely not the least, for our existing clients, we left something quite important unchanged: the monthly subscription fee. All these super features for the same price! How’s that for a good deal?

Here at Curate Bee, we value innovation especially if it means being able to provide you [our clients] with better and more effective services to boost your digital marketing efforts. This is why we decided to implement these changes. In this case, change is definitely good!

Of course, this blog is basically just an overview of the new Lite Social. So, if you want to get down to the specifics, we highly recommend clicking the links below.

About Lite Social
What’s New in Lite Social?

Need more information? Shoot us an email at wecare@curatebee.com!

Need More Business Leads? Social Media to the Rescue!

Need More Business Leads? Social Media to the Rescue!

As we all know, one of the keys to business success is increasing the number of leads you’re generating. Many business owners don’t instantly think of social media as a tool for lead generation. However, when utilised strategically and correctly, it could increase the revenue of your business by as much as…

We know we have your attention now so read on to see how!

But First, What is Social Media?

We are all aware of social media, and most of us use it. It is any app, digital platform, or website that allows users to connect with other people and interact with the content other users share online. This is generally known as ‘social networking’.

Aside from being used to connect with friends, social media is increasingly being used by businesses to generate and increase audience engagement and brand awareness, as well as cultivate new leads and sell products. After all, 2.34 billion people worldwide now have at least one social media profile. That’s an audience worth tapping into, but if you want to use social media successfully to grow your business, you have to know how to do it right.

Key Advice for using Social Media to Gain More Business Leads

1. Know your target audience

Many digital marketers make the mistake of sharing the same content across a variety of social networks and online audiences. This is a mistake because each social media platform attracts a different demographic, and they interact very differently with the platforms they choose. If you want to get the most out of your social media marketing, you have to know whom you’re hoping to target and use the appropriate platforms.

Here are a few details which can help you out:

  • Facebook is the most popular social network overall, with 83% of online women and 75% of online men having Facebook profiles. The ages of Facebook users typically range from teenagers to those over 70, so it’s good for attracting a wide demographic.
  • Instagram is the fastest growing social network. It appeals more to younger people, 90% of its users are aged under 35.
  • LinkedIn is mostly used by professionals who have more spending power than those who use other social networks. As it is more about business connections rather than personal ones, it’s a primary choice for digital B2B marketing.

There’s no reason why your business shouldn’t use a variety of social media platforms, but you should make sure you research the audiences of each one first and adjust your content accordingly for maximum appeal and reach. Doing so also gives you a better idea of which social media platforms fit your marketing targets and ideals and those that don’t.

2. Post interesting and relevant content

It’s not enough just to have profiles on various social media platforms; you should also be able to build brand awareness through them. This means attracting more followers. This will start to happen organically if you share content that people are interested in – the more people ‘like’ and ‘share’ your content, the more chances their contacts become aware of your brand and be interested in it themselves. 92% of buyers trust products and services that are recommended by their friends and family. Social media works in a similar way. If someone’s friends are talking about your business, he or she is more likely to follow your brand wanting, at the very least, to know what the fuss is all about.

3. Interact with your followers

One of the main advantages of social media is that it allows your audience to engage you and your business without having to be present physically. This can work for you if you also exert effort to interact with them, doing things like taking part in discussions in the comment section of your blogs or social media pages and replying to direct messages frequently. This will make your business seem approachable, relatable, and friendly, and will make your audience feel more involved with what you do.

If you’re consistent, they’ll be more encouraged to interact with your brand on social media, increasing your chances of promoting your brand further, resulting in more leads, knowing what they like or dislike about your business (insights which you can use to improve your products, services or business processes), or even making a sale.

4. Optimise and share for mobile

There are currently 1.65 billion active mobile social media accounts, and this number is growing by a staggering 1 million per day. As such, it’s important that all your content is optimised for mobile devices. This also offers opportunities if you tend to generate a lot of local business. As your audience will be accessing their social media accounts while they’re out and about through their phones or tablets, offering special local promotions or discount codes, for example, will attract them to your business.

Sharing content that’s both mobile and desktop friendly on social media also increases your brand’s visibility, ensuring that what you put out there will be seen or heard by more people. Ignoring mobile in your social media and content efforts, however, is a big no-no. For example, a visual, ad, or graphic that renders badly on mobile will reflect negatively on your brand’s reputation, especially if it happens frequently.

5. Use video

Video is essential as part of your social media marketing strategy. It is expected to account for over 80% of all consumer internet traffic by 2020. Also, videos are shared much more than other types of content. Video gives you the opportunity to create narratives around your brand, engaging your audience by involving them in a story that evokes emotion, without being too promotional.

A couple of facts to convince you that video should be an integral part of your social media efforts:

  • Social media sites like Facebook give more prominence to video compared to other types of content.
  • YouTube reaches more viewers aged 18 to 49 than television, with two million videos viewed every minute!

6. Consider paid advertising

Most social media platforms now offer paid advertising, with a range of options to suit your marketing budget. Social media algorithms favour paid advertising over organic content, so your posts will be seen by a lot more people if you shell out a bit of cash. In fact, almost 60% of social media marketers believe that paid social media advertising is more effective than just having organic posts.

An Australian Social Media Success Story

The success of Pearly Whites, a popular Australian home teeth whitening brand, is attributed directly to its social media marketing strategy. 27-year-old managing director Jake Munday grew the business by 10,000% in just over a year by attracting more than three million followers on social media. He now earns around $40,000 per month.

Jake is not alone in having harnessed the huge potential of social media to make a success of his business. Social media works, and it should be an essential part of your marketing strategy if you’re serious about generating more leads and growing your business.

This post was originally published on Smallville.com.au

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Evergreen Content

“Evergreen content” is a popular buzzword in the online marketing industry. But what is it, really? Put simply, evergreen content is content that still holds its value even after months or even years have passed since it was published. It is not beholden to current trends or topical content; rather, it provides information that will continue to be of interest to readers over time.

Due to their nature, evergreen posts hold great potential in attracting hits from search engines and in generating consistent traffic to your business’ website or blog. However, many businesses, especially those which are digital in nature, are still belittling what evergreen content can bring them in terms of online marketing rewards.

Of course, that shouldn’t be the case—and here are the reasons why you need to include this type of content in your business’ digital marketing arsenal:

Stay at the Top of Search Engine Rankings

Although each search engine’s ranking algorithm is slightly different from the others, one thing that they all have in common is that they love evergreen content. This type of content tends to get more backlinks from other sites and blogs, making it more valuable to the search engines which, in turn, results to them sitting at the top or near the top of many search results. These posts also generate a lot of traffic over time, which also speaks positively to the search engines.

Having a strong search engine ranking is crucial to gaining readers and potential new leads from your online content. Most readers do not go past the first page of search results when looking for information, so you want your site’s content to be right there at the top. This leads to more site visits which, in time, can result to more conversions.

Encourage Social Sharing

Evergreen posts are more likely to be shared on social media, even well after they have been published. While topical posts usually only receive significant amounts of shares in the time immediately after posting, evergreen posts continue to be shared over the long-term. What this means for your business is that your post will have a better chances of reaching new audiences with every share, no matter how long it has been since you published it. This is value that cannot be ignored for your digital marketing efforts.

Boost Site Traffic within Your Blog

On your company’s blog page, you likely have a widget or section in the sidebar that lists your most popular posts (if you don’t, you really should have one). This tool encourages your readers to stay on your site longer and read more of your content, thus solidifying your brand in their brains. Because evergreen content brings in a lot of search traffic, these posts will usually be your most popular. They’ll gain even more traffic by being visible alongside your other content.

Most people only stay on a particular site for a few minutes before navigating to another site. The longer you can keep readers on your site, the better your chances are of turning them into customers. As they have already invested a larger chunk of time reading your material, they will be more inclined to choose your business over your competitors.

Establish Your Authority

Evergreen content provides a great opportunity for your organisation to provide your readers with the background information they need to understand your other content and what your business does or offers, in general. Much of evergreen content is geared towards beginners to a topic, so you have a unique chance here to set your business up in your readers’ minds as an authority in your particular industry. This way, they’ll have confidence that the information you provide is solid and valuable for them.

Topical content is great and often has a chance to go viral, which can be a great boon for your business. However, it does not complete the whole picture. You need evergreen content as well to form the foundation of your business’ content marketing. Without it, you’ll likely only receive large amounts of traffic to your post in the period immediately after you hit the publish button. No new posts equals no new traffic. With evergreen content, on the other hand, you’ll generate consistent traffic as your online readers search for the information you provide.

Get Expert Help with Your Content and Digital Marketing Strategy

If you’re looking for ways to strengthen your online marketing strategy, don’t hesitate to seek the guidance of digital marketing agencies. We at Curate Bee have the digital tools and expertise to jumpstart your content marketing efforts and help you gain a truly effective online presence for your business.