…about your Digital Marketing Strategy
There are a lot of things that I am learning every single day. There are a lot of things that I have to un-learn every day. But there are a few things that I absolutely, fundamentally know, for sure, about your Digital Marketing Strategy.
Here They Are
I. You Deserve A Webmaster
When it comes to marketing programs we hire a designer to make things look nice, we hire copywriters to make sense of our gibberish and we hire developers to get the technical details right. But who is responsible for pulling the strings on that marionette? You may think that by hiring out these pieces of the puzzle you have taken the burden of responsibility off of your own hands, but the truth is sobering. There are numerous small tasks that have to be checked off of a to-do list to ensure that your digital marketing program is running in a healthy, efficient and cost effective way.
For instance – at this moment, who is responsible for renewing your hosting account? Is it on an auto renew plan? Are you sure that is the most economical plan for your company? When the designer and developer are finished creating your perfect product – who is responsible for a safe and clean launch? For that matter, who is now responsible for regularly checking on the health of your site? In this year alone there have been a hand full of very nasty attacks on wordpress sites that have required numerous updates and backups.
That is where a webmaster comes in.
This is the point person for your digital marketing strategy. This is the person you direct those technical questions to. The person who is responsible for keeping straight and organized your 500 log ins and passwords. Calculate the number of hours in a year spent in small businesses, chasing down that information and you will see why hiring a Webmaster pays for itself.
II. You need a Digital Marketing Strategy
Now, more than ever, it is impossible to ignore the importance and necessity of a strongly crafted Digital Marketing Strategy. From sprawling statistics to a basic gut-check, it is not hard to see that the world is shifting its attention toward the internet.
When you are looking to find a new Gym in your local area, where do you go? I am almost sure that your answer was not “the Yellow Pages”. We look online. More specifically, we ‘Google’ it.
While the internet may still feel a bit like the wild-wild-west, we know more now than we ever have before about how our audiences are interacting and what they are expecting from us. *Here’s a hint* – make it easy.
Make it easy to be found. Make your message clear. Make getting in contact feel organic and natural. Whether you are selling cheese online or booking piano lessons – there is a right and a wrong way to be presented on the internet.
Some suggestions that I believe apply to any and all small businesses:
– Go to your audience. Find out what platforms they are using and be there.
– Be consistent. Did you move locations? Change a phone number? Do an audit to ensure that your information is consistent across the web.
– Create a Calendar and Share it. Consistently creating interesting copy can feel daunting, but a digital strategy isn’t about tricking your audience into believe you are social or hyper-active. Share what is real. Share what is happening.
III. Knowledge is Power
Remember that wild-wild-west reference. This is no joke. You can ask 5 web developers today to quote a project and you will most assuredly receive 5 VERY different bids. That is because this work is personal. It is personal to the client. It is personal to the designer. And that is great.
Now, receiving 5 drastically different price points may feel a little less than great. We often tend to believe that the lowest bid is due to the developer bing an amateur and the highest bid because the developer is a money-hungry shark. The truth is, so much of this work tends to fall into the ‘mind-reading’ game that there is no bottom line price to anything. Would you ask someone how much a house costs? Just a house. No description of rooms, or square footage? No. Because we know that the cost of a house is dependent on many different variables. The same rings true for Web Development. That is why, Knowledge is Power.
Knowing what to ask your web developer. Knowing what your web developer should be asking you. Knowing what contingency contracts mean and how you can actively participate to keep your own project costs low. Keep an eye on this space, as it occurs to me that these are things worth going into more detail about. For now – if you feel uncomfortable about numbers you are hearing in the Digital Marketing world, do like your mama told you “Ask Nicely Please”. You will find that with the proper approach, this crazy world of Digital Marketing is filled with people who would love to tell you about what it is they do.