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Our Marketing Bible

Basics

Choosing A Domain Name:

My First tip for choosing a domain name is keeping it short! I’ve experienced the annoyance of typing littleripplemarketing.com.au all the time (and It’s nowhere near as long as some domains I’ve come across).

My second tip is to try and include a keyword in your domain name, this will help anyone identify what you do, including Google and other search engines. For example, littleripplemarketing.com.au – I wonder what that company does? No brainer, right?

My third, which I feel is pretty obvious, is make it as close as possible to your business name. I suggest staying away from domains that are not .com, .com.au, or .org. If someone already has the .com version of your domain seriously consider another name and if someone in the same industry has a domain that is very close to yours (a letter or two different) consider changing it as well. The last thing you want to do is create some kick-ass marketing campaign only for your competitor to get the traffic because people think you’re the same brand. Also, where possible register both the .com.au and .com version so you can redirect traffic from one to the other.

Choosing A Hosting Provider:

This may seem like an extremely simple step in your business – and yes, it can be, but it also has the potential to be a huge headache if you don’t get it right. Changing hosting providers is one of the most exhausting experiences I have had to go through, and I own a digital marketing company! Get it right from the start and you will save yourself a lot of stress!

Where you can, try and use the same provider for your domain registration, web hosting, and email hosting. Do not go to the first 99 cent domain registration ad you see on Google. Make sure the provider you choose has 24/7 phone support and that your website will be backed up. Another crucial factor is that their server is in the same country as the majority of your target market, this will help with website speed.

Professional Email Address:

If you are still using a Gmail or Outlook email address for your business I suggest transferring across to a professional email address. If you already own a domain name this shouldn’t cost much and could even be free. Contact your hosting provider, if they’re decent they will help you set it up.
Do not go and register 10 email addresses when there is only one of you. Having [email protected][email protected][email protected], sounds professional, but beware it could triple the number of emails you need to keep track of. When does anyone take that much notice of the email address? You basically just check if it’s Gmail or professional, a name, or a generic email address and that’s about it. Once you have set up a professional email address invest a little time in creating a nice signature for the bottom of each email (there are plenty of free generators out there for this).

1300 Numbers:

While we are on the topic of professionalism I would suggest looking into a 1300 number. They are very cheap (as little as $15 a month) and can be redirected to your mobile or landline numbers, giving your business good mobility. They also give the impression that you’re bigger than a spare room out the back of your house (not that there is anything wrong with working from your spare room!).

Back Your Shit Up

Remember what your teachers told you about saving and backing up everything – well they really were right on that one. BACK EVERYTHING UP! Get this right from the start to avoid huge headaches. The amount of times I have lost an abundance of work which costs me hundreds of hours is embarrassing. Back your emails up, back your photos up, back your website up. Back all of your shit up! Especially your business stuff. There are so many free and cheap cloud-based storage systems these days that no one has any excuse not to back up. Dropbox gives up to 20gb free for referrals It is worth heading to fiver.com and seeing how someone can do this for you, for as little as $5 USD. Do not rely on anyone else to do this for you – your videographer, your photographer, I don’t care how long you’ve known them. Get a copy of the original files and store them in two different places (one preferably cloud-based).

Now you know some of the basics to starting your digital marketing revolution keep reading The Bible and become a disciple. Next up we have optimization where we lay out how to get your website running smoothly and point out some nifty hacks and design insights that we wsih we had of known at our first rodeo.

Optimize Your Website For Conversion – Part 1

Design For Conversion

This section applies to both those who are designing a website for the first time and those that have an existing website. The most common mistake people make is creating a website without thinking about the end goal: CONVERSION. What is your website built to do? Do you want sales? Do you want email leads? Do you want phone calls?

This is where it becomes vital to immerse yourself in the mindset of your customers. It is very easy to get caught up in adding flashing banners and digital fireworks on your page but think about what you’re actually selling. Is it fireworks and flashy banners? Or is it high-quality handmade children’s clothing? If it’s the latter, drop those flashy ad-ons. Your customer came to your page because they want to buy children’s clothing, not watch fancy graphics.

You have less than three seconds to sell before customers go buy from the website next door. For goodness sake, don’t let them spend those three precious seconds trying to locate the pause button on the embedded YouTube video on your website. If you opt to have a web-based disco on your website – it is as if your local coffee shop transformed into a nightclub the second you walk-in.

Research Your Brand Idols

A ‘brand idol’ is a company that has created a brand that you love, they do not have to be in your industry. Take time to really research your ‘brand idols’ and notice what they have in common, do not copy their content or ideas but do use it for inspiration. Ask yourself, Why are you attracted to them? What are their websites like? Are they clean and easy to read? Did you find what they want you to? How do they interact with their customers?
My biggest brand idle is Apple. Their marketing is genius. They have the cleanest website that is pleasing to the eye and user-friendly. Their website mirrors its products. They have absolutely nailed making tech products something people desire for their aesthetics.

Research your competitors

Once you have researched your brand idols and identified what you love about them and why start researching your competitors. This is a vital step, not only in the development stage but throughout the life of your business. Compare customer service, products, prices, websites, etc. Compare their entire funnel! Sign-up for their emails, even buy their product if you have to. Similarly, you need to think deeply your competitors, like how you researched your brand idols, learn what your competitors are doing. There will always be techniques they picked up specific to the industry that you missed, these opportunities to learn and apply are invaluable.

Call To Action (CTA)

The point of a website is to educate your customer and convince them to do business with you. Once they have made a decision to move forward(which could be at any point) you need to make it as easy as possible for them. Your call to action (CTA) is the next step and it needs to be readily available throughout your site.

A call to action is exactly what it says. It is a button or a link that allows the user to take a specific action. The most common example is the button that says, ‘Buy Now’. There are many CTA’s that are related to purchasing but not all are. Maybe the intention of a page is to get in contact with the business. In this case, the CTA may be a link to send an inquiry. The point of a CTA is to convince and allow the user to take action.

The first CTA on your site needs to be seen immediately and its purpose made obvious instantly (particularly for people that already know they want to do business with you). The remainder of CTAs needs to be visible on each page. While there are hundreds of different ways of having these CTAs displayed, just a small banner at the bottom of each page works well. You can also tailor this to be specific to each page, yet consistent with the style on the rest of your site. It is important that you work out what your CTA is early (before starting the design process if possible). You may have several different CTAs throughout your website.

Optimizing Your Website For Conversion – Part 2

Service Explanation

This should be a brief description of your product or service. It should include your point of difference from your competitors while outlining the unique traits of your brand. The best way to come up with this is to imagine – that you must sell your product to someone over the phone and you are only allowed to use one short sentence to seal the deal.

This sounds simple but can often be very hard for business owners – as we are too close to our brand. If this is you, I suggest creating a questionnaire for your previous customers (give them a small incentive to fill it out or run a competition) and ask them to describe your business/brand/product in one sentence. If you do not get the final answer from this at least you will gain some inspiration. You will be surprised at how much you learn from other people’s perception of your business. You will notice that big brands have been doing this for years with campaigns like – ‘create our new flavour chips and win a lifetime supply!’.

Prime Real Estate

The prime real estate on your website is where your eye naturally falls when you open the page. This is the first chance you get to win your customer over. The biggest mistake people make is using this section for a banner or image that has no service explanation or CTA. For example, if you fill your prime real estate with a stock image that is loosely related to your brand without a CTA you are wasting this precious space. It’s not Instagram, it’s your website, and you need to be thinking about conversion before pretty pictures.

If your home page is quite long, do not have the entire screen covered by a single image (especially if that first image has no CTAs or service explanation). People need to know that there is something else below, or they most likely will not scroll down any further. A solution for this is to install ‘Lucky Orange’ and create a scroll map for your page.

One of our pet hates is when someone has the perfect service explanation, nail their background image, have brilliant CTAs and then boom! – you can’t see any of it because it is layered over a background image and the background image is super noisy. A quick fix for this is to have a layer of color, like black or white, over the top of your image and adjust the transparency of that layer to 40-70% depending on the brightness of the original picture. Then make any text that is going over contrasted against the color you have used for the transparent layer.

Contact Information

Unless you are a dodgy retailer who gets swamped with complaints, there is no reason to hide your contact information. In fact, it is a big CTA that every business needs. If someone is inquiring about your product or service, they are a hot lead. All too often websites overlook the importance of having easily available contact information. Make sure your email address and phone numbers are links (there is nothing more annoying than having to clumsily try to copy and paste someone’s phone number or email address to make contact).

Have a specific contact page with a paragraph about how you appreciate customer inquiries and how they can reach you by email, phone, social media or by submitting a contact form. Also, have your contact information in your footer just in case someone decides they want to ask a question midway through reading a page.

Email Sign Up

You will establish throughout this book that having an email sign-up form on your website is pretty useful, even if you don’t intend on using email marketing right at the moment. How you implement this form however, is what’s important. Ensure that if you’re using a pop-up and it doesn’t offer a discount immediately, you do not have it pop-up straight away when someone lands on your website. People don’t even know what you are at that point, you have not convinced them that you are worthy of minutes of their time let alone gained enough trust for them to give you their email address – which is a big thing to many people – thanks to the gazillions of promo emails we receive each day. One step worse than the instant pop-up is the instant pop-up that you can’t get rid of. Oh my god – this is a digital marketing SIN. If your ‘x’ button to close the pop-up is too small or transparent and I can’t close it, I will leave your site and never return. Just remember that while getting a customer’s email address is important it is not anywhere near as important as closing the sale.

Have your email sign-up in the footer or somewhere you can see throughout the website and also have it on your checkout form when people submit an order. Make sure every social media icon, phone number, email address and physical address link to what they are.

Below are some handy HTML codes:

Optimizing Your Website For Conversion Email Sign Up

Optimizing Your Website For Conversion – Part 3

Your Website Should Be Responsive

This one is huge! Over 50% of browsing is conducted on a mobile device. You need to make sure your website is also optimized for those consumers. If not you are cutting your potential customer data base in half!

Optimize your Images for Web

Unless you want your website to run like a tortoise, make sure to optimize your images for the web. This means making sure they are a small enough file size, a safe zone would be to stay under 100kb. Do not upload them straight from your SLR! People will just give up! I usually re-size product images to about 1000px wide, this limits the size while keeping quality.

Watermark Your Images

Watermark all your product images! I have had clients who have had their entire eBay listings mimicked by a con-artist who then just stole their customer’s money and my client got the blame! Watermarks will not necessarily stop this, but it will make it much harder for your work or your potential new customers to be blatantly ripped off.

I use Visual Watermark to re-size and watermark images instantly, there are several similar programs that let you watermark, rename and resize hundreds of images at once. You will also need a white copy of your logo in PNG format to get the most common looking watermark.

Page Speed

Page speed is a factor of both SEO and customer usability, if your page doesn’t load within a few seconds you lose a large percent of your audience. It is vital that you optimize your site so that it loads quickly, in 2018 it doesn’t cut it having a slow page.

Test Everything

Test everything on your website. Submit your own contact forms, order your own products, and issue yourself an invoice. Pay the invoice (a cheap one, because you won’t get your bank fees back). Then go onto every type of device and every type of browser out there and repeat this. I also recommend doing this testing even if you’ve outsourced your web design.

The Mum Test

Once you have designed your new baby and tested it yourself I suggest having your mum (or anyone over the age of 50) try and use it. If they can’t purchase your item or see and use your CTA buttons etc., reconsider the design. Obviously, this could be because of the technical level of the person you have chosen to test so I recommend having five to ten people test it, the more diverse their level of tech know-how the better. Choose only people who you believe will give you honest feedback. There are some really cool websites out there that offer this service, critcue.com is a great example.

What’s it Worth Without Tracking

What’s it Worth Without Tracking

You need to, as much as possible, monitor every dollar and minute of your time spent on your business. Your website is an investment, whether you slave away for weeks learning how to build it, or pay someone else to, it is most likely going to be one of the biggest digital marketing investments you will make. What is the point of it if you don’t understand what it’s doing? You need to start measuring the success of it!

Return on Investment

Alongside that, once you start pouring money into campaigns, you also need to monitor their Return On Investment (ROI). As this is the first time we have mention ROI in The Bible it’s important to define. ROI is a performance measure, used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or compare the efficiency of a number of different investments. Basically, it lets you know how worthwhile differing strategies are based on cost vs results. Listed below are a range of essential tools to assist you, I highly recommend installing and familiarising yourself with them before you get started.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics (GA) is completely free and it allows you to track all your website data. GA gives you insight into a bunch of useful information including user location, acquisition (how your customers arrived on your website), language (should we install Google Translate?), session time, and so much more. The best part of it is, if you have GA from the start you can look back at trends. For example, that campaign you did on boxing day that doubled your website traffic – great, let’s try that again. We now have the data that shows why and how.

Lucky Orange

If you were impressed with Google Analytics, Lucky Orange (LO) will blow your mind. For as little as $10 a month you can stalk the crap out of your customers. LO allows you to watch your website user’s real-life cursor movements and you can then start a chat with them whenever you like. LO also produces heat and scroll maps over specific periods of time so you can see where the most ‘go to’ bits of information is on your site (and believe me, it’s not the sliding banner without any call to action on it!).

Conversion Tracking

Almost all paid digital marketing avenues allow you to monitor conversions on your website. This is done via their ‘tags’ or ‘pixels’. Make sure you check what conversion tracking is offered on each platform you use, and implement it before you start your campaigns! A great way to gather data on potential clients, and sales, is to install a search bar on your web page – whatever is the most searched item is what you should probably be stocking!

How You Heard About Us

Track how every single customer heard about you. Put this on your contact forms, on your sales forms and every phone call or email you get. Do not start spending money on campaigns of any sort, until you can track and measure your Return On Investment (ROI). Money used in the wrong area is money wasted.

Now your website is optimized! You have analytics and conversion tracking in place and are starting to understand where your hard earned dough is going. Now it gets exciting! You’re ready to dive in with some campaigns to start acquiring traffic.

Acquisition

Social Media Marketing

It is so easy to get confused and lost with all the numerous avenues of social media marketing out there. The best advice I can give you is to pick one or two forms that you know well and stick to them. If you are a novice don’t worry, just choose any you are familiar with and start studying. Most likely the ones you personally use are the ones that will work for your target market. Use a couple of different platforms well and don’t bother with the rest. If you get it right, you won’t have to bother with other avenues until you have built your empire and can assign a person to each.

Different social media accounts are better for different businesses, depending on what you sell. If your product is visually appealing Instagram and Pinterest are brilliant. If you offer high-quality content for free as part of your marketing strategy (which you definitely should!) consider creating tutorial type videos and dominating YouTube.

Where you can, always try to plan ahead social marketing campaigns. There is a good rule to try and use here; your content should only ever be one-third promotional. Most likely your followers have started paying attention because they like the style of your brand, not necessarily the products (yet!). It is an age-old rule that no one likes to feel like they are being sold to.
If you struggle to find content to post, get stalking. Find people on social media that would be your target market and see who they follow. What are they sharing? What are their interests? Getting to know your target market inside out will be one of the best investments you ever make.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is the term used for paying influential people (usually with high followings on social media) to advocate for your product. Have you ever noticed how your favorite fitness model is offering 10% off her ‘all-time favorite protein’? It’s because she was paid money to do it. Influencer marketing can work wonders and it has helped some big labels get to where they are now.

The biggest thing to remember is to be smart about how you use this tactic. Do not go to an account with millions of users and pay your year’s marketing budget for one post. Research as many accounts as you can, aim for lots of little influencers that are cheaper and have a more refined audience – offer freebies to people first and then negotiate a cash value if they ask for it. There are plenty of businesses out there that will do this for you, however many are huge and don’t know how to handle your audience or demographic properly.

Re-Marketing

Customers almost always begin as browsers. They will browse, bookmark, backbend and scrutinize not only your product but those of all your competitors. You need to recapture customers using re-marketing ads. This is your second chance card, it will allow you to reach a visitor that previously abandoned your website and/or their shopping cart.

Use this opportunity to subtly jolt your customer’s mind, make them pick-up right from where they left off. Almost all main digital advertising platforms offer some form of re-marketing via a tag or pixel implemented on their website. The tag or pixel on your website lets you re-target the customer directly via their cookies.

Once again, get stalking – find out who your target market listens to and always remember to use an individual code for each competitor’s campaign as a way of measuring their success.

Facebook Marketing

We consider Facebook the most undervalued tool in digital marketing! This goes for all industries. We have created Facebook campaigns that have driven more traffic to websites than Google Adwords, at fractions of the cost. I am not suggesting that you should only use Facebook Advertising, I am suggesting however that you take it seriously and really look at all it has to offer.

When you leave Facebook open in an app or on another browser (like everyone does!) it follows you everywhere you go on the internet. It takes in information about you (your income, marital status, where you holiday, interests – the list is endless!) and creates a ‘digital profile’ on you.

Ever noticed how you have been searching for cars and all of a sudden a bunch of car advertisements has popped up on your feed? Or maybe you just got engaged and now Facebook is suggesting wedding locations or photographers? It’s because Facebook is a digital stalker! It is also a marketer’s dream! It means that for as little as $10 you can put your product or service right in front of thousands of potential customers. More accurately targeted than ever before. Also, Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012 and now they also offer this form of advertising!

Campaigns Facebook offer; Awareness • Boost your posts • Promote your Page • Reach people near your business • Increase brand awareness • Increase your reach Consideration • Send people to a website • Get installs of your app • Raise attendance at your event • Get video views • Collect leads for your business Conversion • Increase website conversions • Increase engagement in your app • Get people to claim your offer • Promote a product catalog • Get people to visit your stores

It should be should also be noted that Facebook is very strict on privacy and doesn’t give your information away, it only lets you create audiences with a minimum of 1000 people so that you can’t be individually targeted or identified.

Creating Quality Facebook Ads

Facebook told me I could reach 800-1500 people for my paid post? How do I reach 1500?

As part of Facebook’s tracking techniques, it has determined each of our ‘scroll patterns’. It knows how long you spend on the average post that you’re interested in and how long it takes you to scroll past something.

Facebook rewards your advertisement on how ‘popular it is’. If everyone is scrolling super slow, stopping or even clicking your post, you’re more likely to reach the higher end of the potential viewers for your spend.
In general, short videos or moving graphics work best. You will know if your ad is fulfilling its potential by the amount of reach it gets each day. if it’s on the lower scale of what Facebook said you can achieve for that budget, I would consider changing graphics and wording to something different. It is mostly a matter of trial and error in this aspect and may take time to nail.

Re-Marketing Via Facebook

A Facebook Pixel lets you track, save and target customers that have visited your website. This extends to particular pages and products you have listed. Have you ever noticed how you look at a skirt on Showpo and then the skirt follows you around for days until you finally buy it? This is Facebook’s re-marketing tactic, and it all starts with a Facebook Pixel on your website.

Email Database Audience

Facebook now lets you create a Facebook audience with your email database (if it has over 1000 Facebook users within it). You should already be keeping your email database (a simple Excel spreadsheet with names and emails will do!) as a top priority because it’s useful for so many more things than email campaigns.

Look-A-Like Audience

This is one of our all-time favorites! Facebook has a feature that lets you combine all of the traits of your current Facebook audience and target similar sections of society that have the same traits.

Do Not Buy Followers

I have had many clients make this costly mistake. Once upon a time your Facebook and Instagram followers were only recognized by numbers, the more the merrier. This led to freelancers offering 1000 Facebook likes for as little as $5 (sounds amazing doesn’t it?!). Except just like anything in the world you get what you pay for and what you pay for here is 1000 fake accounts, or accounts of people that are most likely not in your country, let alone interested in buying your product or service.

Facebook will currently show your organic posts to around 15% of your audience If you want anything more than it will cost. Guess what you’re paying for when your audience is fake? An audience that doesn’t care about your product. Or worse still, guess what happens when you try and use the look-a-like audience feature on your fake audience?

We have had to delete social media accounts for clients and start from scratch due to fake followers (some of these had thousands of legitimate followers too! All down the drain because they were contaminated!). Slow and steady always wins the race. Don’t get caught up in having a huge following, it’s only going to cost you more to reach them anyway. In this case, it’s quality over quantity!

Facebook has the potential to be your best friend in marketing. If you are not leveraging the potential of Facebook you can bet that your competitors will. It is crucial for any small business, they correctly leverage all they can from Facebook.

Conversion Tracking

Almost all paid digital marketing avenues allow you to monitor conversions on your website. This is done via their ‘tags’ or ‘pixels’. Make sure you check what conversion tracking is offered on each platform you use, and implement it before you start your campaigns! A great way to gather data on potential clients, and sales, is to install a search bar on your web page – whatever is the most searched item is what you should probably be stocking!

How You Heard About Us

Track how every single customer heard about you. Put this on your contact forms, on your sales forms and every phone call or email you get. Do not start spending money on campaigns of any sort, until you can track and measure your Return On Investment (ROI). Money used in the wrong area is money wasted.

Now your website is optimized! You have analytics and conversion tracking in place and are starting to understand where your hard earned dough is going. Now it gets exciting! You’re ready to dive in with some campaigns to start acquiring traffic.

Acquisition – Part 2

Pinterest Marketing

Many pigeonhole Pinterest as a tool only utilized by bride-to-be or costume jewelry enthusiasts. This is a blatant misconception as this is a platform where people far and wide congregate to gain insight on the new trends and current ideas of the digital age. Both creatives and corporate elites capitalize on Pinterest marketing. It is a pit filled with eager customers on the hunt for the next best thing to experience.

Users gravitate to Pinterest due to its unique discovery aspect. They have the ability to browse with a broad spectrum or channel in on something specific.

The conversion rate of Pinterest users is amazing! According to Pinterest, 83% of users stated they would rather follow their preferred brand over their favorite celebrity. This is an obvious indication that the majority of users are on the hunt for products when active. A huge 87% of Pinterest users have purchased a product from the platform, and 93% have utilized the platform to plan a future purchase. You can register for priority access to Promoted Pins when they reach Australia, do this via the Pinterest business website.

Pinterest has now launched its paid advertising (Promoted Pins) in Australia. These are a great way to utilize the platform for small business. Having said this organic reach is what you should be focusing on, the best tip for organic Pinterest reach is to create extremely rich content. This includes image and prose, infographics are great too!

Google Adwords

Google Adwords is a form of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, often referred to as ‘paid search’ because you pay to be visible – as opposed to ‘organic search (SEO). You can tell which ads are paid for because the paid ads have a little green ‘Ad’ sign next to the web address. Up to the first four search results on any given Google search can be paid ads.

Google has several different forms of PPC that you can choose from including Shopping, Display, video (Google owns YouTube) and text (their most simple form).

Google offers a brilliant program called ‘Google Partners’ which is completely free and lets you become ‘Adwords certified’. If you’re looking at, implementing and managing your own Google Adwords accounts I highly recommend doing their introduction and mobile courses online. Recently, Google has also been offering free face-to-face training and certification in major cities. Once you sign-up to Google Partners you will be notified of these events.

If the Cost Per Click (CPC) for your keywords is ridiculously high (digital marketing is over $25 per click – I’s very hard to justify!) I suggest using the keyword planner to research what topics people are searching for related to your brand or product – this should give you some pretty good insight for what content will be a hit for your customers.

Negative Keywords and Refinement

If you’re starting out with Google Adwords and have a small budget, be sure to refine your ads as far as possible. One way to do this is to add an abundance of negative keywords (free, research and cheap – are all popular choices). This will mean that anyone looking for free articles will not see your ad and you won’t have to pay for their click.

Further refinement will depend on unique aspects of your business and your end conversion. For example, if you are a trade working from 9-5 make sure your ads only run in those hours. If you want people to call your business, make sure you include your phone link in the ad to make this clear to the customer.

If you have the time, you can get quite crafty with your Adwords. You can use your competitor’s brands as keywords and research what the negative points of their business are. If they’re cheaper but import their product make sure to include in your ad that your product is ‘of the highest quality and made from local materials’.

Google Re-Marketing

Just like other major social networking players, Google has re-marketing options available to target customers who have visited your website. When you look at a camera online and it follows you to every other website you go to, this is Google re-marketing. This form of advertising is invaluable an needs to be part of your general campaign.

Change Your Strategy Not Your Budget

We took over an account from one of ‘Australia’s biggest marketing companies’, We managed to increase their traffic by 400% without touching their budget. Make sure if you use a marketing company they use different strategies, not just ‘increase your budget’.

Bing Ads

Ok, so we’re all well aware of the internet God, Google, and their affiliated Adwords, but there are other avenues to explore out there to generate business revenue and exposure – Microsoft Adwords.

Microsoft Adwords is the result of the consolidation of Bing and Yahoo! Every Microsoft computer comes with Bing pre-installed, many people don’t have the tech know-how or the care to change search engines. Surprisingly Bing holds 25% of the market share. That’s 25% of your potential customer’s guys, so if you’re choosing Adwords as your only channel of marketing make sure you get on board with Bing too.

Email Marketing

No matter what anyone tells you, email is not dead. If used correctly email can be an extremely powerful marketing tool. Just Google ’email marketing statistics 2016′ and you will see hundreds of stats validating this claim. Avoid buying email lists from dodgy operators. You get what you pay for.

Create A Database

Do it now! Seriously! If you take one thing away from The Bible, it’s that your email database should be a prized possession! this needs to be updated regularly! To start all you need is a basic Excel spreadsheet with your customers/potential customer’s names and emails.

Thank You Emails & Surveying Customers

Approximately 20% of recipients will share a personally addressed ‘Thank You’ either via social media channels or with their friends and family. This is also an awesome opportunity to survey your customers, the answers to every marketing question are in your customer’s head). An example of a brilliant survey question is ‘describe our product/business in one line’ – use the answer when you sell your product via all of the digital channels you implement. Ask for your Google review in your Thank You email, offer an extra small incentive (referral codes work well).

Referrals

Referrals are, and always will be, the best form of marketing. Think about how much you are inclined to use a service when you have received a recommendation from a friend. Compare this to when you see an Ad pop up on Google. Despite this logic, many people don’t see referrals for the beautiful opportunity they are. Give your beloved customers a little bit more incentive to refer you – a good idea is a discount on their next order/invoice (win-win because they place another order to get their incentive).

Search Engine Optimization

The Art of Ranking

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the art of getting your website to rank well organically for keywords. You should be aware that there are two different types of SEO out there: white hat (good) and black hat (bad). If Google catches you using black hat tactics they will penalize you by black-listing you from Google.

The easiest way to tell if someone is using black hat tactics is if they can get you to number one overnight, SEO conducted properly shouldn’t be an overnight success and if it is, the next time an algorithm change comes around, you could be in a lot of trouble.

A good example of this is when back-linking was considered a high factor for SEO. Dodgy SEO operators would create thousands upon thousands of backlinks for their customers, it worked for about six weeks and then Google started to catch on to the fact that a majority of people’s backlinks had nothing to do with their actual websites. For example, an Australian clothing company shouldn’t have had thousands of backlinks to directory websites in India. As a result, many were penalized for this kind of behavior. While Google still takes into consideration links, the focus has moved from ‘quantity’ to ‘quality’.

What Factors Matter Most

Due to the huge amount of factors that contribute to SEO, that change frequently (every algorithm update), we cannot possibly provide a full list of need-to-know factors. I have listed the most basic and easy tactics that largely remain constant through all algorithm changes.

Keywords

Decide on your keywords carefully. Put time and effort into this step, research what people are searching in regard to your products. There is no point going through the tedious process of SEO to rank for keywords that only get searched once a month!

Clean Websites

Google favors clean websites. These are the ones that are coded cleanly and don’t use WYSIWIGS features. These features are commonly found in ‘WIX’ and other similar alternative website building sites.

Blogs

Blogs are vital. Google favors sites that have fresh content if your content is also of a high quality it will be shared more frequently by your customers!

Business Submissions

Business submissions are your friend. You can list your business on a range of free business listings (just make sure they are in fact free!). Google business would be the first suggestion, followed by Yelp and Trip Advisor (if applicable). You can Google a list of business directories in Australia and submit to the majority of them.

Reviews

Google Reviews have been deemed of high value in Google’s newer algorithm changes. Do not go and get 2000 fake reviews (this would be black hat and Google WILL KNOW). However, do start getting real customers to write an organic review, try to keep reviews current and constant.
Keywords, Title Tags, Meta Data and Headers are used by search engines to understand the meaning of web pages and ultimately determine if they are relevant for a particular search query. Your chosen keywords should be included in all of these sections of your website.

Retention

Retention

It is important that once you start to see Return on Investment (ROI) on your marketing campaigns that you don’t forget the other half of this success – that being, retention. You need to retain customers just as much as you need to acquire them.

Post Purchase Cognitive Dissonance

Have you ever purchased a product and then regretted it? Or continually questioned yourself whether it was the right decision? This is ‘post-purchase cognitive dissonance’, we never want our customers to feel this. Once they feel this, they can start to form negative thoughts about your brand and or product.

Most people want to feel special, it’s human nature. One of the easiest ways to avoid post-purchase cognitive dissonance with your customers is to make them feel there was more to their purchase than simply making another transaction. An easy way to personalize, and improve, your customer’s experience, is to simply thank them and give them some insight into your business post-purchase.

If you’re small enough, do this with a hand-written note inside their product. If you’re a service-based business with regular clients, give them a Christmas gift (it could be as little as a candy cane! or donation to a charity on their behalf). Another way is to follow up with their purchase and reinforce that they just engaged in a high-quality purchase. For example – a major car dealership may offer free or cheap regular servicing.

Audit Your Marketing

Whether running it yourself or outsourcing to a corporation! No matter who is in control of your marketing this is vital! One of our clients came to us this year and asked us to audit their AdWords, as they just didn’t feel their ROI was right. This client had a budget of over $10,000 a month on their AdWords marketing and one of Australia’s biggest digital marketing agencies were managing it for them (and charging a pretty penny to do so). When we conducted the audit, we found out that for three months straight 60% of their ads had been going to a ‘404 re-direct’ link! The marketing company had also been charging the client for ‘AdWords Management’! Google credited the wasted money but needless to say – audit your marketing even if it’s in the hands of so-called ‘experts’!

Love Your Customers

This one is very simple yet lots of businesses forget it. Your customer is the reason you’re in business, they pay your bills, they feed your kids, and they send you on holidays.

You can spend as much time and money on digital marketing as you like but at the end of the day, marketing is only a way to reach your customer and remember your customer is a human! So use your manners, thank each and every one of them, offer free advice wherever you can, care about them, listen to them (they have some killer ideas sometimes!), just be nice.

Marketing Can’t be an Afterthought

The most successful clients we work with (millions in revenue) have one thing in common. They reinvest almost everything they earn back into their business. They understand that you do in fact need to spend money to make money. If you are serious about creating a strong marketing strategy and getting the most out of it, you need to be willing to put in the time, effort and funds. You need to understand that even the best strategies take time to show an ROI. That brand awareness needs to be a part of that strategy (which sucks because it is VERY hard to measure ROI on brand awareness). I once saw a quote that I feel is very relevant here:

“It takes thirteen hours to make a Toyota. It takes nine months to make a Rolls-Royce.”. – Anonymous.
Which one do you want your business to be?

Put aside a budget for your strategy, even if you must save for a while before you can implement it (it will be worth it in the long run!). Uber still hasn’t broken even because their entire budget goes back into marketing, I don’t know about you, but I have the feeling that strategy might be working for them.