In today’s digitally-run world, every business, big or small, should have a digital marketing strategy. As expert Renee Lopez-Cantera puts it, “If you’re not participating in digital marketing, it’s time to jump in.”
Whether you’re just starting out with your startup’s digital marketing strategy or are looking to revamp an existing one, there are many ways to strengthen your efforts. Digital marketing experts Renee Lopez-Cantera, VP of Business Development at Eikon Digital, and Ania Rodriguez, CEO of Key Lime Interactive, shared these five important tips during this month’s Just Ask TCI virtual program.
1. Listen to Your Customers
At the end of the day, the goal of any business is to make its customers happy. One way to do this is to use digital marketing to cater to your specific audience, get feedback from them, and make changes to your business model accordingly.
“Be aware of the sentiment that your customers have toward your brand. They can cross you out based on something they see on social media,” Rodriguez says. “But if you have the right content to help them make decisions, you’re basically laying the information out there so they will be right on point to buy and use the product easily.”
It’s also important to listen and carefully respond to negative feedback you might receive via social media. “Of course, you want to possibly ignore some of the very rude comments,” says Lopez-Cantera, “but it’s good to respond to this type of feedback so you can turn it around into a win by handling customer service and being responsive.”
2. Balance Organic and Paid Traffic
If you’re new to digital marketing and aren’t sure where to start, Renee Lopez-Cantera suggests starting with organic traffic. This type of traffic to your website and social media pages is unpaid and, like its name suggests, happens organically. Start by creating high-quality content that meets the intent of your potential customers to help them find your website on their own.
“If you’re not being found organically,” says Lopez-Cantera, “there’s a way to pay per click (PPC) using Google Adwords so you can rank high and get the word out about your company. Some people just don’t have the staff to maintain robust social media accounts. But the best source of leads is organic traffic.”
Most companies utilize a balance of organic and paid traffic, since organic traffic takes time to build, whereas paid traffic is good for a quick boost.
3. Enlist Third-Party Help
While some larger companies might manage their digital marketing strategy completely in-house, many other businesses hire third parties to help with certain aspects of their strategy. Content writing is one area where hiring third-party help can be hugely beneficial.
“We found that using writers who have more of a snappy, creative personality works really well,” says Rodriguez. “Run-of-the-mill writing doesn’t work, especially when you’re writing emails. Find a third party to freshen up your content.”
4. Pay Attention to Engagement
Some businesses have a ton of followers on their social media pages, but that doesn’t necessarily mean those followers are engaged. Renee Lopez-Cantera suggests paying attention to important metrics like impressions, click through rate, and bounce rate to determine your customer engagement.
“Engagement is very important now, especially in social media,” she says. “Pay attention to how many people are liking or posting on your page. Overall, engagement and traffic to your site make a big impact.”
5. Utilize the Right Resources
Digital marketing doesn’t have to be expensive, especially for startups that may not have the budget for an in-house team. Email marketing tools like MailChimp and Constant Contact are relatively inexpensive or even free, depending on the plan you’re using, and can help you get the word out about your product or service. There are also tools like Hootsuite that let you post to various social media platforms at the same time.
When asked about which resources new companies should utilize, Renee Lopez-Cantera suggested Google Analytics to see where you are and who you’re targeting in order to increase organic traffic.
“When you’re a startup, use smaller tools to get you running,” says Ania Rodgriguez. “Use something like Constant Contact or MailChimp for email marketing. As you mature, you can start using more sophisticated tools for customer feedback and SEO.”
One such customer feedback tool that Ania Rodriguez suggests is a paid software called Ask Nicely, which lets you send a one-question email to your customers after they’ve consumed your product or service so you can get quality feedback and learn more about your customers and their user experience.
Digital marketing is a must-have for any company. But even if your business doesn’t have a huge budget, listening to your customers, knowing some of the basic metrics to monitor, and utilizing the right tools can be a huge help. We’d like to thank Women in Technology Executive Forum members Renee Lopez-Cantera and Ania Rodriguez for sharing their insights with us during this month’s “Just Ask TCI.”
On September 21, 2018 at 12pm EST, we’ll hear from experts Lillian Dominkovics, Francia Guzman, and Ianna Raim on the topic of “executive presence.” Please feel free to virtually join us next month—and invite your friends! Remember, these programs are free and open to the public!