8 tips to improve your digital marketing

By Gabrielle Stannus
With business increasingly shifting online during the COVID-19 outbreak, now is a great time to maximise the impact of your digital marketing. Catherine Skreiner from Seeking Digital share her top tips for doing more with digital tools.

Catherine Skreiner is a marketing professional, with twenty years’ experience across industries such as beauty, energy/utilities, property and hospitality. For the past 13 years, Catherine has specialised in digital marketing. During that time, she has seen first-hand how digital tools have transformed the way businesses market themselves.

“The rise of social media has made it so accessible and so easy for people to have that direct relationship with their customer and to really impact change in their business. Whereas before it used to be, if you didn't have a big budget, then see you later,” says Catherine.

“The beautiful thing about digital channels is that because the barriers to entry are so low and so many of these platforms are free or very inexpensive to play in. You can trial content, you can try new approaches, you can try new things,” says Catherine, “You can put your brand forward in different ways and really measure the impact that that has. Whereas in more traditional media, it takes a while for you to see any uplift, change or shift in behaviour.”

So, whether your business is currently online or yet to get ‘social’, these digital marketing tips are for you!

1. Pick the right channels for you
Before deciding on which channels your business should be socially active on, you will need to identify where your intended audience mainly hangs out in.

Business to Business (B2B)
If you are a business trying to connect with other businesses, Catherine recommends LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

These social media provide direct feedback in real time that was not available in the past unless your business customer picked up the phone or sent an email to you.

Business to Customer (B2C)
If you are a business seeking to connect with potential customers, then Catherine recommends using Facebook, Instagram and even Pinterest, the latter used by many people as an alternative search engine to Google and YouTube.

2. Take a content led approach
Catherine says that social media is an investment, not a quick fix. She suggests creating a content plan and content themes, keeping in mind your business goals and your call to action (CTA). Catherine encourages businesses to create content that helps address the needs of their audience and customers, saying the greenlife industry has a unique opportunity to capitalise on the current thirst for gardening knowledge amongst consumers.

“There is so much that a lay person or black thumb does not know about what they need to know. It's about really understanding what they need more knowledge on. How can you provide that knowledge and then really focusing on content marketing as a vehicle for fuelling the different marketing channels that you have,” explains Catherine.

“When you have content that you've created that solves your customer's problem, that content can go on social channels, your website, turned into a video that can sit on YouTube, go into an email newsletter or even be turned into a podcast,” says Catherine.

Catherine advises business to create content that can be consumed where their audience is naturally consuming content. “If they are big blog readers, then create really good blog content.” That blog can potentially be repurposed into the following to help you form a monthly online social media campaign:

  • 1 x email to your database [or even a series!]
  • 3-4 Instagram / Facebook / LinkedIn posts
  • 3-4 Instagram stories
  • 6 x tweets for Twitter
  • 1 x LinkedIn article
  • 1 x update on Google my business

“The premise around having that hero content is that it works really hard for you if you put the quality and the effort into it at the beginning, because it can be recycled and repurposed for all of the marketing channels that you are on,” says Catherine.

And remember to create a list of go-to hashtags to help share your content. Rotate them frequently!

3. Create better content and schedule it to save time
Catherine recommends the following tools and platforms to help you:

Create better graphics
  • Canva: Online graphic design platform that allows users to create social media graphics, presentations, posters and other visual content
Plan your frequency of posting
  • Facebook: Schedule your Facebook posts
  • Planoly: Schedule your Instagram posts
  • Later: Schedule your IG posts
  • Hootsuite: Allows you to schedule content across multiple social media
Organise your content
  • Asana: Web and mobile application designed to help teams organize, track, and manage their work.
  • Trello: Online boards, lists, and cards to help organize and prioritize projects

Create and edit video
  • InShot: Visual content editing app that allows you to create videos, edit photos, and create image collages
  • Magisto: Online video editor with a web application as well as a mobile app for automated video editing and production

4. Better understand who your audience is and what resonates with them
“To better understand your audience and how your content is resonating with them requires digging into the analytics and the insights behind the channels that you are on,” says Catherine. Use this data to regularly review and refine your online marketing strategy.

Installing Google Analytics, Google’s free analytical software, on your business website will help you to understand who goes to your website, what they do when they get there, and what content they are consuming on the website.

With social channels, Catherine says it is about understanding the best performing content. Use in platform or scheduling software such as Hootsuite to gain this insight.

Paid email marketing services such as MailChimp allow you to collect and analyse data on the emails you send out to your database.

5. Work with the ‘algorithm’
Continue to create and post content to your preferred digital platforms to keep your audience interested and to avoid losing them to the ‘algorithm’. “Quality educational and inspiring content is what people would like to connect with as human beings,” says Catherine.

“If a person likes, comments, shares or swipes through a carousel of images or a gallery of images, Facebook or Instagram are picking up those signals and saying this person likes this content. Let us make sure that we show them more of that content. But that person needs to keep interacting with those brands to keep seeing that content. If they stop liking, interacting or commenting with a brand, that brand will fall out of their news feed.,” warns Catherine.

6. Get your audience onto your own platform
“Having your business on Facebook and Instagram actually feels like fun because it is a nice place to hang out. However, the goal should always be to get people who are interacting with you on those channels to convert or get them to visit your website,” says Catherine, “Ideally you can capture their email address and pop them on a mailing list because your website and your email database are the things that you control. Social channels are rented space.”

“Ideally you want that end customer to be visiting you in person in a physical retail environment or your website, which is the next best thing. And if your website is working hard for you, then it should be converting that person either to sales or to being someone on your database. This means that you can open up another avenue of direct communication by getting into their inbox on a regular basis,” Catherine adds.

7. Go mobile
“Your businesses is at risk of being at a disadvantage if you are not leveraging digital channels,” Catherine warns, “And that can be as simple as having a mobile responsive website. Google prioritizes websites that are mobile responsive because they recognize the volume of traffic that comes through Google from a mobile device. Most of us have a smartphone these days. It is on us all the time. We use it for everything. If your mobile website experience is not good or it is simply not mobile responsive, you will be losing valuable traction with both Google and visitors coming from those social platforms because they cannot easily do what you ideally are wanting them to,” says Catherine.

Make sure your website viewers can purchase a product, view content, sign up for a newsletter or even submit a simple inquiry form just as easily from a mobile device as they can from their desktop.

8. Go online now!
For those businesses yet to adapt digital tools, Catherine says now is the perfect time to be doing so.

“With what is happening at this moment with COVID-19, everyone is forced to stay at home. Everyone wants to make their environment as beautiful as possible. They are spending a lot more time in those environments,” says Catherine.

“Now is the time to, to test some things that you've perhaps always wondered about or thought about or even just go and, and, and, you know, speak directly to the audience and ask them what content they would like to see, ask them how are they going? And opening that direct conversation is such a huge opportunity,” Catherine concludes.

Are you ready to get started but need some extra help?
Click here to start exploring a range of free or low-cost digital marketing resources and services available to businesses across Australia.

References
1.Image adapted by Catherine Skreiner from original found in: Dietrich, Gini 2020, 'PR Pros Must Embrace the PESO Model', posted 27 February 2020, viewed 25 April 2020, https://spinsucks.com/communication/pr-pros-must-embrace-the-peso-model/