In today's digital age, small businesses have unprecedented opportunities to reach and engage with their target audience. But without a clear and well-structured strategy, you are leaving a lot to chance.
Digital marketing has become essential to any successful business strategy, enabling smaller enterprises to compete with larger companies on a more level playing field.
This article will explore a comprehensive digital marketing strategy tailored specifically for small businesses, encompassing key elements and actionable steps to achieve your desired growth and success.
Basic Principles of Digital Marketing Management
- Define Your Target Audience
- Build a Professional Website
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
- Social Media Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Online Reputation Management
- The Future of Digital Marketing
A digital marketing management strategy has eight key steps that must not be overlooked. We also include a bonus look at what the future of digital marketing holds.
Each principle will require a different amount of time, effort, and resources, but they are all equally important to promote your business effectively online.
Let's begin with the most obvious, defining your target audience.
1. Define Your Target Audience
Every digital marketing strategy begins with identifying who it is you want to reach with your various tactics and campaigns.
You can have unlimited resources at your disposal, but if your marketing campaigns do not end up in front of the proper target, you have little chance of reaching your objectives and key results.
In this section:
Conduct market research
Market research helps you gather valuable insights about the market, target audience, competition, and overall industry trends.
Incorporating a market intelligence platform into your research strategy amplifies your ability to stay ahead of the competition, ensuring you have access to the latest mark.
Online market research offers a cost-effective and efficient way to gather data and make informed decisions. Start by clearly outlining what you want to achieve with your research.
- Identify specific questions you need answers to: such as understanding your customer's preferences, analyzing competitors, evaluating the market size, etc.
- Some common research methods: Create online surveys, social media listening, and competitor analysis.
- Compare your online research findings: Use other sources of information, such as industry reports, studies, or expert opinions. This validation will add credibility to your research.
- Use the insights from your research: Let the data you find guide your actions, whether it's about improving your products/services, refining your marketing strategy, or identifying new opportunities.
Markets are dynamic, and customer preferences will change over time, so this isn't a 'set it and forget it' type thing.
You must constantly conduct online market research to stay up-to-date with the latest trends to maintain a competitive edge.
Create buyer personas
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on your market research and data about your existing customers.
It helps you personalize your digital marketing strategy, product development, and customer interactions to attract and retain proper buyers for what you sell.
- Start by collecting data about your current customers: Look for patterns and common characteristics among your most valuable and loyal customers.
- Analyze the data: Identify common customer demographics, such as age, gender, location, education level, occupation, and income. These details will form the foundation of your buyer persona.
- Find the features or benefits: Understand their preferences, such as communication channels, content format (e.g., video, blog posts), and buying behavior.
- Learn what influences their purchasing decisions: Understand where and how they gather information, how they evaluate options, and what makes them choose your brand over your competitors.
- Give the persona a name and find an image: Make it more relatable. This will help humanize the persona and make it easier for your team to connect with and understand it better.
Compile all the information you've gathered into a detailed profile. Here's an example:
It is possible, and likely you will have multiple buyer personas, especially if your business caters to diverse customer segments.
Each persona should be distinct and well-defined, reflecting that particular group's unique characteristics and needs.
Analyze competitors' strategies
Start by identifying your main competitors in your industry or niche. Look for companies that offer similar products or services and target the same customer segment as you.
This can include both direct competitors (those who offer the same products/services) and indirect competitors (those who cater to the same customer needs but with different products/services).
Visit their websites, social media profiles, and other online platforms they use for marketing and communication. Take note of their messaging, branding, content strategy, and the overall user experience they provide.
Analyze their features, pricing, and unique selling propositions (USPs). Compare them to yours to see where you can position yourself as superior to them.
Look at their ad campaigns, and sign up for their newsletter to get a peek at their email marketing strategy and content marketing. Understand the channels they use, their frequency, and the types of content they produce.
Check their customer reviews to see what they like and dislike about your competitors. This can give you insights into areas where they fall short, showing you where you can fill gaps.
Draw conclusions about your competitors' strengths and weaknesses based on your analysis. Use this information to make strategic decisions for your business and refine your marketing strategy.
2. Build a Professional Website
Your website is the center of your digital marketing strategy. Consider it your online headquarters, if you will. All digital roads should lead here, so having a professional and fully-optimized website can not be overstated.
In this section:
Designing a user-friendly website is crucial for providing a positive user experience and encouraging visitors to stay on it longer, improving your chances of conversion.
- Use a simple, clean, and uncluttered layout: Ensure there is plenty of white space to make the content stand out and avoid overwhelming visitors with too many elements on the page.
- Create a clear and intuitive navigation menu: Help users easily find what they are looking for. Use descriptive labels for menu items and keep the navigation consistent across all pages.
- Choose legible fonts and font sizes: Make sure that your website is easy to read. Maintain a good contrast between the text and background to avoid eye strain.
- Use consistent branding elements: such as colors, logos, and typography across all pages. Consistent branding helps build trust and recognition.
- Opt for high-quality images and graphics: They must be relevant to your content. Avoid using too many stock photos. Use as many original visuals as possible.
Ensure that your website is fully built with responsive design elements, meaning it automatically adjusts and adapts to different screen sizes and resolutions.
Following these principles will ensure you have a website that attracts visitors and keeps them engaged and satisfied, leading to higher conversions and better overall business results.
92.3% of internet users access the web via a mobile phone, so mobile optimization is no longer a nice-to-have; it's vital.
Make sure that buttons and interactive elements are large enough and spaced well to be easily clickable with a thumb.
Avoid placing important elements too close together to prevent accidental clicks, and account for touch gestures like swiping and pinching in your design and functionality.
Keep your navigation menus simple and concise on mobile devices. Use a hamburger menu (three horizontal lines) to hide less essential items and reveal them when tapped.
Consider using scrolling over pagination instead of traditional pagination. This allows users to continue scrolling through your content without having to click through multiple pages.
If your website uses plugins or third-party tools, ensure they are mobile-friendly and don't hinder the user experience on mobile devices.
Filling your website with content that keeps site visitors engaged and reading more is the primary way to influence them to purchase from you better.
If you've done your market and audience research properly, you'll already know what needs to be on the page and what doesn't.
Organize your content using clear headings, subheadings, and bullet points to break up text and make it scannable. Important information should stand out.
Clearly communicate what sets your product or service apart from competitors. Highlight why your audience should choose you.
Do keyword research and incorporate relevant keywords naturally into your content. This can help improve your website's search engine rankings (which we'll discuss later).
Remember that compelling content is not just about promoting your products or services. It should be customer-centric and focused on meeting your audience's needs.
When done right, the content of your website should build trust and establish your authority in your field.
Clear Calls-to-Action (CTAs)
A call-to-action (CTA) strategy is crucial for guiding website visitors to take specific actions that align with your business goals.
Whether it's signing up for a newsletter, making a purchase, or requesting more information, a well-crafted CTA can significantly impact conversion rates.
Position your CTA prominently on your website page, preferably above the fold (the part of the page visible without scrolling). It should be easily noticeable and stand out from other content.
Use action-oriented language that encourages immediate action. For example, use phrases like "Buy Now," "Subscribe Today," or "Get Started."
Avoid overwhelming users with too many CTAs on a single page. Focus on one primary CTA per page to reduce decision fatigue.
3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The primary goal of SEO is to ensure that a website ranks higher in search engine result pages (SERPs) when users search for relevant keywords or phrases. Let's touch on some of the more high-level aspects.
In this section:
Keyword research is a crucial aspect of SEO that helps you identify the most relevant and valuable keywords to target in your content. Here are the top 4 keyword research tactics:
- Analyze competitors: Look at the keywords your competitor's target and rank for. Tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs can help you identify these keywords.
- Related searches: Scroll to the bottom of the Google search results page to find related searches. These are terms that users frequently search for in conjunction with your main keyword.
- Google autocomplete: When you start typing in the Google search bar, it offers suggestions in real-time based on popular searches.
- People Also Ask: When you search for something on Google, you'll often see a "People Also Ask" section that displays related questions. This area is rich, with good keywords to target!
On-page optimization is the process of optimizing individual web pages to improve visibility in search engine results and to attract more relevant organic traffic.
It involves making changes directly on the website to enhance its content, structure, and HTML elements. Some on-page optimization tactics include:
- Title tags: Use descriptive and keyword-rich title tags for each web page. The title tag appears as the clickable headline in search engine results and is crucial for attracting clicks.
- Meta descriptions: They should summarize the content of each page, and should remain under 155 characters. Although meta descriptions do not directly impact rankings, they can influence click-through rates by enticing users to click on your link.
- URL structure: Ensure your URLs include relevant keywords and accurately reflect the page's content. Avoid using long strings of numbers or special characters in your URLs.
- User experience (UX): Create a positive user experience by organizing content logically, using readable fonts, and ensuring that the website is designed for easy navigation.
- Internal linking: Link to other relevant pages within your website to provide context and help search engines understand the site's structure. Internal linking also enhances user navigation and improves user experience.
You will want to backlink only to authoritative and relevant external sites that provide additional value to your website. It improves your content's credibility and usefulness.
Aim for a diverse range of backlinks from different types of sources, such as blogs, news websites, industry directories, and social media platforms. A diverse link profile looks more natural to search engines.
You will also want to include internal links to other relevant pages of your website. This helps search engines understand the structure of your site and enhances user navigation.
Use diverse and natural anchor text when linking to your website. Avoid overusing exact-match anchor text, as it may appear manipulative to search engines.
Remember, backlinking is ongoing, and building a strong and authoritative link profile takes time.
It's crucial to be patient, follow best practices, and focus on creating valuable content that naturally attracts links from other websites.
4. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
When you want to get immediate results, you turn to pay-per-click advertising. Unlike SEO, which takes time to gain visibility, PPC provides instant visibility in search engine results and will drive potential customers to your website.
In this section:
Source: Passive Secrets
To this point, you've done your market research, defined your target audience, and set up your website and fully optimized, which means you are ready to start doing target campaigns for PPC.
- Choose the right platform: Don't try and buy ads everywhere. You will waste a ton of money. Be where your target customers spend most of their time. Look to own one channel, or maybe two, if your budget allows.
- Geographic targeting: Use geographic targeting to focus your ads on specific locations. You can target countries, regions, cities, or even a radius around a particular location.
- Keyword targeting: For search engine PPC campaigns, choose relevant keywords that your target audience will likely use when searching for products or services like yours.
- Ad scheduling: Use ad scheduling to show your ads during specific days and times when your target audience is most active or likely to convert.
- Monitor/adjust: Analyze the data to identify opportunities for improvement and make necessary adjustments to optimize your ads for better results.
Ad copy & creative
Creating good ad copy and creative is crucial for capturing the attention of your target audience and driving engagement.
- Use attention-grabbing headlines: Entice someone to stop scrolling and click. A strong headline can make a significant difference in ad performance.
- Encourage immediate action: Create a sense of urgency. Use phrases like "Limited Time Offer," "Act Now," or "Last Chance."
- Connect on an emotional level: Appeal to their desires, fears, or aspirations. Emotional ads can be more memorable and impactful.
- A/B testing: Compare different ad copy and creative variations. Test headlines, ad formats, images, and CTAs to identify which combinations perform best.
Take into account the ad placement and platform where your ad will appear. Different platforms may require adjustments to ad copy and creative to fit the context.
Remember that creating effective ad copy and creative is a moving target. You will need to regularly assess your ad performance, gather feedback, and make improvements to maximize the impact.
Also known as retargeting, remarketing is a PPC targeting technique that will only aim at someone who has previously been to your website but did not take the action you wanted. Follow these steps:
- Install a remarketing pixel: To start remarketing, you need to add the remarketing pixel or code snippet to your website. Most platforms, such as Google Ads or Facebook, provide remarketing pixels to add to your site's pages.
- Set objectives: Decide on the purpose of your remarketing campaign. For instance, you might want to encourage users to complete a purchase, sign up for a webinar, or download a resource.
- Determine your budget and bidding strategy: Define your bid strategy and budget for the remarketing campaign. You can adjust bids based on the value of different audiences or the likelihood of conversion.
Remarketing is a powerful tool to re-engage with potential customers by showing them personalized ads. Doing so reminds them of your brand and improves their chances of taking your desired action.
5. Social Media Marketing
Much like PPC advertising, your social media marketing plan will hinge on the platforms you use and where your customers gather.
While strategies can vary depending on the industry, among other specific objectives, some common tenets still remain.
In this section:
Organic content strategy
Begin by making a content strategy (to include a content calendar) that aligns with your brand identity and core audience. Include a mix of different types of content, such as articles, images, videos, infographics, and user-generated content.
Use consistent branding across all your social media profiles. Use the same logo, colors, and tone of voice to reinforce your brand identity and make it easily recognizable.
Develop a content calendar to schedule and organize your social media posts. This ensures a consistent posting schedule and helps you plan content ahead of time.
Encourage your followers to create and share content related to your brand. User-generated content can be highly engaging and authentic.
Share your blog posts, videos, or other content from your website on social media. This drives traffic to your website and encourages followers to explore your offerings further.
Use Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories, and live videos to showcase behind-the-scenes content, product demonstrations, and real-time interactions with your audience.
Social listening involves tracking your mentions, comments, hashtags, and discussions to understand sentiment, trends, and customer feedback.
You use it to gain insights into what people say about your brand, industry, competitors, or specific topics of interest.
You can use several social listening tools, like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Mention, Brandwatch, and Socialbakers.
Pay attention to the sentiment behind mentions and comments. Are people expressing positive, negative, or neutral opinions about your brand or topics of interest?
Social listening is not just about monitoring; it's also an opportunity to engage with your audience. Respond to comments, answer questions, and acknowledge positive feedback.
Social listening is a valuable practice for brands to understand their audience, identify opportunities, and build better relationships with customers.
Engagement & community building
Engagement goes beyond the number of likes or follows and includes other things such as comments, shares, mentions, clicks, and direct messages.
Engaging with others on social media allows you to gather valuable feedback and insights from your audience, helping you understand their preferences and pain points.
- Respond promptly: Reply to comments, messages, and mentions in a timely manner to show that you value your audience's input.
- Ask questions: Encourage two-way communication by asking questions and seeking opinions from your followers.
- Have contests or giveaways: Organize contests or giveaways that incentivize participation and increase engagement.
Community building is about creating a supportive and inclusive space where people feel connected to your brand and to each other. Some great benefits of building a community include:
- Brand advocacy: An engaged community is more likely to become brand advocates, sharing positive word-of-mouth about your brand.
- Customer support: Your community can support each other by answering questions and sharing experiences, reducing the burden on your customer support team.
- Product development: Engaging with your community can provide valuable feedback for product improvements and new ideas.
Influencers have established followings that trust their opinions and recommendations, making them valuable partners for your marketing efforts.
Look for influencers with a significant following in your niche or industry and whose values resonate with your brand.
Once you've identified potential influencers, research their content and engagement levels. Look at the type of content they create, the tone of their posts, and how their followers engage with them.
Before reaching out to influencers, engage with their content by liking, commenting, and sharing their posts. This will show that you're genuinely interested in their content.
Offer something of value to the influencer in exchange for their collaboration. This could be exclusive privileges, early access to new releases, or an opportunity to host a giveaway for their followers.
Be open to negotiation and find a mutually beneficial arrangement. Flexibility and willingness to work together can lead to a more successful collaboration.
Remember that successful influencer collaborations are based on authenticity and mutual respect.
Building strong relationships with influencers can lead to long-term partnerships and a more significant impact on your social media marketing efforts.
6. Email Marketing
A future that excludes email marketing from your digital marketing strategy does not exist.
Statistics show that there is no expected decline in emails sent each day in the near future, so the time to learn effective email marketing is now.
In this section:
Build an email list
Here is a list of methods for effectively building a quality email marketing list:
- Opt-in offer: Offer something of value to your audience, like an e-book, a downloadable resource, a discount, or exclusive access to content. Make the email address a required field.
- Signup form: Create an eye-catching and user-friendly sign-up form on your website or landing pages. Use it to signup for discounts, upcoming sales, or new product releases.
- Use a popup: Consider a popup as a way to grab visitors' attention and prompt them to subscribe when they visit your site.
- Host webinars or events: Host webinars, workshops, or live events and ask participants to provide their email addresses during registration.
Regularly monitor performance and pay close attention to metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and conversions to optimize your efforts and adjust accordingly.
Remember, building an email list is an ongoing process. Focus on providing value and respecting their privacy and preferences. Nurture them with relevant information, and you will build a loyal and engaged audience.
As your list grows, segment subscribers based on their interests, preferences, or behavior. This allows you to send targeted and relevant emails to different segments.
Segmentation and personalization
Why should you segment and personalize your emails? Does it matter that much? Of course! The value of sending emails to the correct audience makes all the difference.
Common email segmentation criteria include:
- Demographics: Group subscribers based on age, gender, location, etc.
- Behavior: Based on purchase behavior, interactions, or email engagement.
- Interests: Relevant only to specific product categories or topics.
- Geography: Location-based segmentation is common and preferred.
- Industry: Different industries will have different languages and use cases.
- Lifecycle: Where subscribers are in the customer journey (leads, first-time or repeat buyers).
Tailor the email content to each segment's interests and needs. Address the subscriber by their name, and use language that resonates with their preferences.
Include their name in the email subject line or somewhere in the email body to make it more personalized and relevant to them.
Based on their preferences and behavior, send targeted offers, discounts, or product recommendations that align with their interests.
By implementing segmentation and personalization in your email marketing strategy, you can create more relevant and engaging email campaigns that build stronger connections with your audience and drive better results.
Automated email campaigns
You can nurture leads, engage customers, and deliver personalized content based on specific triggers or actions by setting up automated email workflows.
It will require a third-party email marketing service, or ESP, like Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, or Drip, but it is well worth the investment and time needed to set up your campaigns.
We won't get into the campaign setup, as any ESP will provide you with adequate support there, but let's look at a few types of automated emails.
- Welcome email: Automated email welcoming your newest subscriber.
- Abandoned cart: Reminder to someone who leaves items in their shopping cart without completing the purchase.
- Lead nurturing: A series of educational or helpful emails to nurture leads and guide them through the sales funnel.
- Re-engagement: Send to inactive subscribers to encourage interaction with your brand again.
Remember also to set up automated follow-up emails to respond to specific user actions or interactions. For example, you can send a thank-you email after a purchase or a reminder email for an upcoming event.
Before launching your automated workflows, thoroughly test each step to ensure that emails are triggered correctly and that the content appears as intended.
Use the data and insights gathered from your ESP to refine workflows and provide more relevant and engaging content. Successful email automation requires careful planning, A/B testing, and continuous optimization.
Depending on who you ask, A/B testing can be a friend or foe. It can cause a delay in pushing an email campaign to full capacity, but it can also provide great data on what words, cadences, etc., will work best to realize the outcomes you set in the beginning.
First, you must establish clear goals for your A/B tests. Determine what you want to improve or achieve through testing, such as increasing open rates, click-through rates, or conversions.
Then, focus on testing a single variable in each A/B test. For example, test one subject line variation, one CTA, or one image. This ensures that you can clearly attribute any differences in performance to the specific element being tested.
Test a sample size that is large enough to draw statistically significant conclusions. Testing with too small a sample may lead to inconclusive or unreliable results.
Look for optimal send times. Experiment with different days of the week and times of day to determine when your emails receive the highest engagement.
Subject lines play a critical role in email open rates. Test different subject line variations to determine which ones perform best and drive higher open rates.
Analyze results from previous A/B tests and use those insights to inform your future testing strategies. Build on what you have learned from previous campaigns.
But most importantly, have patience. Allow enough time for your A/B tests to run and gather sufficient data before drawing conclusions. Rushing the process can lead to inaccurate assessments.
7. Content Marketing
The primary aim of content marketing is to build brand awareness, establish authority, foster customer loyalty, and ultimately drive profitable customer actions.
Here, we will discuss ways to create your content so that it stands apart from your competitors.
In this section:
Write for what your audience needs and wants from your business. To write effective content, you have to know your customers at their deepest levels.
Use surveys, interviews, social media analytics, and website data to understand their demographics, behaviors, interests, and pain points.
As mentioned earlier in the article, developing detailed buyer personas will provide you with the information you need about their characteristics, motivations, challenges, and preferences.
Educational content that teaches them something new, provides tips and advice, or offers in-depth insights into your industry is highly valuable to your audience.
But, not all content needs to be educational; entertain and engage your audience with entertainment, such as stories, videos, or interactive quizzes.
Use storytelling to make your content relatable and emotionally engaging. Being able to tell a good story helps create a connection with your audience and keeps them invested in your brand.
Be willing to adapt your content strategy based on audience feedback and changing market trends. The audience-centric approach will require flexibility and a willingness to adjust to meet their evolving needs.
Value and relevance
The value of your website content lies in its ability to meet the needs, interests, and preferences of your target audience. Valuable website content goes beyond promotional material and provides something meaningful and relevant to the visitors.
So then, how do you make content relevant and valuable?
- Usefulness & utility: Valuable content provides practical and actionable information that users can apply to solve their problems. Offer tips, guides, tutorials, or how-to articles that offer real value to your audience.
- Authenticity: Your content should have a unique voice and perspective that sets it apart from competitors. Avoid copying or duplicating content from other sources.
- Credibility: Establish your brand as a credible and trustworthy source. Demonstrate your expertise in your industry or niche.
- Engagement: Offer interactive elements such as quizzes, polls, or surveys to engage visitors and encourage participation.
- Update regularly: Regularly refresh and add new content to keep your website dynamic and encourage visitors to return.
Valuable content provides practical and actionable information that users can apply to solve their problems or improve their lives. Offer tips, guides, tutorials, or how-to articles that offer real value.
Consistency and quality
Creating content that is consistent and of high quality requires careful planning, attention to detail, and adherence to certain principles.
A digital asset management solution provides the infrastructure to centralize, organize, and streamline this content creation process, ensuring optimal output and ease of access.
Start by creating a comprehensive content strategy that outlines your goals, target audience, content topics, and publishing schedule.
Having a well-defined strategy helps maintain consistency in your messaging and aligns your content with your brand's objectives.
- Establish brand guidelines: Specify your brand's tone of voice, writing style, color scheme, typography, and overall visual identity.
- Content audits: Review and assess your existing content. Identify outdated or underperforming content and update or repurpose it to maintain its relevance and quality.
- Ask for feedback: Encourage collaboration and constructive criticism to improve content quality and maintain consistency.
Continuously seek ways to improve your content creation process. Listen to feedback, conduct A/B tests, and adapt your content strategy based on insights.
Be measurable and data-driven
By measuring content marketing data and regularly analyzing the results, you can gain valuable insights into its effectiveness. It will also help understand what isn't working, so you can spend that time on other things.
Identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) that are unique to your brand position, competitors, product, industry, among others.
Some key performance indicators (KPIs) for content marketing are:
- Website traffic: Measure the number of visitors, unique visitors, and page views your content attracts.
- Engagement: Monitor metrics like time on page, bounce rate, and click-through rate (CTR).
- Conversions: the percentage of visitors who complete desired actions, like filling out a form or purchasing.
- Social media: Likes, shares, comments, and follower count.
- Email: Open rates, read rates, click-through rates, replies.
- Lead generation: Measure the number of leads generated through content offers and landing pages.
- Customer retention: Track customer retention and repeat purchase rates influenced by content.
Create regular reports that summarize content marketing performance and the impact on your overall marketing goals. Analyze the data to draw insights and identify areas for improvement.
Segment data based on factors like content type, audience demographics, or the customer journey. This allows you to identify which segments are responding best to your content.
Use this data to optimize your content strategy, create more targeted and valuable content, and maximize your return on investment (ROI).
8. Online Reputation Management
Online Reputation Management (ORM) is the practice of monitoring, influencing, and maintaining the reputation of your brand or company.
Having a positive online reputation can be the difference between growing your business and shutting it down.
ORM aims to manage and help limit negative reviews and improve positive comments that can make or break your business.
In this section:
Monitor online reviews
Maintaining a positive image online is crucial. Here are some steps you can take, and tools you can use, to monitor your online reviews effectively:
- Google Alerts: Create Google Alerts for your brand name, product names, and other relevant keywords. Google will notify you whenever new content with these keywords is indexed.
- Use review monitoring tools: Consider using online review monitoring tools that will gather your reviews from various platforms into a single dashboard.
- Email alerts: If review platforms offer email alerts for new reviews, enable this feature to receive notifications directly to your inbox.
- Monitor social media: Keep a close eye on your social media channels for reviews, comments, and mentions. Sometimes it could just be a comment on a post. Other times, it could be a hashtag of your company name.
- Check review platforms: Visit popular review platforms such as Google My Business, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Trustpilot, and industry-specific review sites.
- Analyze trends and patterns: If you see similar praise or criticism, use that information to leverage the positive features and improve your product or service from the complaints.
- Reply to reviews: Interact with reviewers like expressing gratitude to customers who leave positive reviews, and addressing any issues from negative feedback.
By actively monitoring and responding to reviews, you can build a more positive online reputation.
Responding to negative feedback
How you handle negative reviews can significantly impact your online reputation and how customers perceive your brand. Here are a few points to consider when responding:
- Address them name: Personalize your response, if possible. It adds a human touch and shows that you are genuinely concerned.
- Thank them and apologize: First, show gratitude for their honesty and that you appreciate their feedback. Simply showing that acknowledge their displeasure goes a long way.
- Don't make excuses: Offer a solution or an explanation and provide a method of direct contact (email or phone number). It's advised not to have a full support call conversation publicly.
- Avoid deleting or ignoring: Deleting negative reviews or ignoring them can escalate the situation, and show that you don't care.
Remember, your response to negative feedback is visible to the public, so always maintain a professional and respectful tone.
Encourage new reviews
Asking people for reviews is a legitimate and effective way to gather feedback and build your online reputation. But it's important to do it in a proper way.
After a purchase or interaction, send personalized follow-up emails to customers requesting their feedback. Include a direct link to the review platform for easy access.
Consider offering small incentives or rewards to customers who leave reviews. This could be a discount on their next purchase or entry into a prize draw.
Run review campaigns to incentivize customers to share their experiences. For example, host a "Review Week" and promote it across your marketing channels.
Add a review request link or button to your email signature to remind recipients to leave a review after interacting with you.
The Future of Digital Marketing
The future of digital marketing is certainly exciting, but also complex, and in some cases, even confusing or hard to understand. There are many current advancements happening.
For example, it's no secret that AI is having a breakout year and becoming increasingly integrated into digital marketing.
It's helping businesses generate more leads, personalizing content, and creating better targeted ads.
Voice search is also growing in popularity, as more and more people are using voice-activated devices to search for information online.
Data-driven marketing is becoming more important as businesses collect more data about their customers to create more personalized experiences.
These are just a few of the current advancements taking place as the digital landscape continues to evolve.
Small businesses need to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in order to remain competitive.
Well-crafted digital marketing strategies are vital for the success of small businesses in today's competitive landscape.
Remember that digital marketing is an ongoing process, and continuous analysis and optimization are key to staying ahead.
By leveraging the power of digital marketing campaigns, small businesses can make a significant impact and thrive in the ever-evolving digital world.
Mick Essex is the Growth Marketing Manager at POWR. His career spans two decades, primarily in the healthcare industry, with stints in broadcast television advertising and copy editing.
Mick attended the College of Journalism at the University of Louisiana - Monroe. He and his family currently call Lafayette, Louisiana home. Follow him on LinkedIn