There is a tremendous amount of stuff being written about digital marketing these days, like how to run a campaign, how to measure it, how to engage people on line, etc. I find, the greatest thing about digital marketing, is the flexibility it affords you to modify, tweak, even abandon a campaign mid-stream – and that’s really powerful. If you a small company and you don’t have a budget to bring in consultants for each marketing task, start your own campaigns and see what happens. Experiment. If you don’t see results, change the campaign. Here are a few practical ideas and some important “gotchas.”
· Set up an Ad words campaign – brainstorm with your team about terms they use would use to search for your product, check what your competitors are using, and come up with a list of search words. Setting up a campaign takes very little time. Try different ad copy. Monitor the campaign every few days. See how it works and adapt the campaign.
o limit the amount of money the campaign can consume each day, week, and month to limit your exposure.
o Read the Ad Words help section to get some good tips.
o Be wary of using “Content” search until you get an understanding about how the campaign is working.
· Do an in-house SEO project – unless you are running an ecommerce site or you are in an incredibly competitive or mature market, you will find that a simple, homegrown SEO project will provide you with most of the value of a full-scale outsourced project. There are many online resources who can tell you how to do this – some examples include a great posts at Woorkup.com, seomoz.org, seotrafficspider.com.
o Invest in the SEO activities that bring the most “bang for the buck;” don’t waste time on second degree improvements. Follow the tips from the experts.
o When you redesign your website, incorporate good design from the “get-go” – you will save a lot of time and effort later on.
o Learn from other companies in your space who are getting good search rankings and exposure. See how they have designed their site/pages.
· Disseminate news – create a list of important announcements about your company/product. Things that are newsworthy include: product announcements, customer or case studies (even anonymous ones), new partnerships, appearances at events, webinars, etc. Plan for non-company specific news as well, such as interesting news/blog posts, industry news, analyst findings, survey results, etc. Become an industry resource by publicizing this information via social channels like blogs, news comments, Twitter, LinkedIn groups, etc.
o Do not advertise through social channels. “Pushing products” is unacceptable behavior in these channels. Make sure that your news is really newsworthy. If not, don’t post.
o Don’t spam. Too much, even of a good thing, is a real put-off
o Err on the side of being objective, rather than touting your own horn.
o Be tenacious on following the discussion on line and commenting when appropriate
· Become an online presence – follow the discussion on line about issues in your space and become a “go to” resource for industry and professional commentary. For this, you will a resource that has a great understanding of your market space; a product manager or technical visionary, who can dedicate a few hours a day to this task, is usually ideal.
o Be careful about using professional “bloggers” – you will really want someone who understands your space well.
o Have someone proofread the copy before it gets posted and make sure the messages are clear and articulate.
o Make sure your online “position” is in line with company’s goals, values, and mores.
o Don’t get started with this unless you are willing to make an ongoing investment; this is a task for the medium- to long-term.