We could have called it a digital on demand platform, but instead chose marketing on demand, after all - the lines between digital and not digital are pretty much blurred these days, it’s all marketing anyways.
Or is it? Well, not quite. Our marketing on demand platform is more about getting your digital basics right.
In our experience, getting your digital right means starting with your physical assets and making sure that you present well and consistently in an online space. Things that you might not even consider important like your physical address or photos of your business, brand presentation, and consistency and just being on a platform (Facebook/Google My Business/Instagram/Twitter). At the core of our marketing on demand platform is a tool that helps you with your business listing and manages your channels.
Just being consistently listed and on all platforms ensures your brand is protected and means you will be found when people wanting to find you are looking for you.
Ask yourself: If you were a customer on <insert channel> and you were looking for your brand - what would it look like? Would you be happy with how you were presented? If the answer is no, maybe it’s time to start taking control.
But, what about <insert lesser known platform>, should I be on there? We get this all the time. Twitter, Pinterest, Bing. The short answer is yes. The medium answer starts with yes, and then asks you to consider it not for now, but perhaps in the future. You should be considering how these platforms will grow into the future and getting listed with them is the first step.
Core access on the MOD is really about getting the basics set up and having you start to learn about the importance of each platform and channel. It may not mean an exponential increase in traffic, leads, or immediate sales. But it will mean that you are in control of what a user will see when they are looking for you.
What should you set up?
We recommend a few basic products:
- Business listings pro that syncs and maintains 31 listings sites. From main players like Facebook, Google My Business and Bing, to other business listings that are effectively the new yellow pages. They will bring increased search availability and important backlinks to your site.
- Review and reputation management pro that lets you manage your reviews and reputation in one place. Google has indicated that it places more and more importance on reviews and customer engagement. As such, you should dedicate time to ensure you close the loop with your customers. Our platform makes it easy to review and reply (in seconds) with custom and ready drafted replies that are made for 1 star or 5.
- Social media posts and planning tool to help create 10x content across each platform. Connect to your platforms to plan and schedule posts.
Blogging and content writing — you should write a minimum of two blog posts per month. We base our content strategy on delivering on what your customers want. Answering important questions relating to your sector and customers needs is the easiest way to get started on posts (as you can write them), and it will also provide information they can explore when they are on your site. In addition, if you have success stories such as testimonials and case studies you should aim to update these as well. You can see how we have set up our ‘blogging structure’ with case studies and knowledge base articles.
Social media posts — you should be writing and updating your social channels at least once per week. Ideally, if you’re able to have the structure and time to adhere to a content and social strategy, then it’s going to be more effective, but social media planning and publishing won't always follow the rules. It can be hard for businesses to be active on social media and to achieve cut-through when they don’t really have anything to bring value to the platform. Take instagram for instance — it’s a very visual and engaging platform, so if you’re a consultancy like Hamma, and you don’t have the time to think and create something that’s going to be found engaging or entertaining, then I’d argue it might not be worthwhile thinking too hard about nailing it, and just focusing on having a presence and doing the brilliant basic work.
Design — having a distinct and consistent brand and design is one of the key fundamentals for brand growth. If you don’t have a document that can guide you and anyone working with you — you really need one. Focusing on fonts, colours, logos, colours, and directions when to use them will make it easier to create marketing and customer collateral, and importantly, having a consistent and distinctive brand means your brand and marketing are going to be more effective and it’ll work harder for you. How? Great question. Essentially it comes down to the neural pathways in your brain (seriously), by having a consistent brand that is also distinctive means it’s more likely that customers and prospects will recognise you and it is proven the just by recognition alone, then are more likely to consider and buy.
Websites — you should aim to have an effective website that you are able to easily update and maintain. Some argue there’s no difference between “digital marketing” and “marketing”. And I agree. Digital is everywhere, and websites are par for the course. If you don’t like your website, then it doesn’t take much to get ahead of it. How much should you spend on your website? It really depends on how much value it brings to your business and the role that it plays in new business (i.e if you’re a consultancy that relies on word of mouth and existing customer referrals then just make sure it works and looks professional. Whereas if you’re an eCommerce store or a more established business that provides a sought-after product of service in a competitive space - then having a well-designed and structured website is going to pay off in droves. For these clients, I always suggest spending as much (if not more) as the wage of the best salesperson on your website. This should include hosting, platform and regular updates. For enterprise businesses,the website is part of a broader cost-benefit analysis and should be subject to enterprise analytics and conversion measurements to understand ROI (it’s complicated)
GMB optimisations — Google My business is becoming a really important part of all customer journeys. With Google rewarding participating businesses with valuable right-hand columns (on desktop) and top of the page (on mobile). With Google dominating online searches, being able to ‘listen’ to what they are asking you to do can give you an advantage for nothing over competitors. Given Google has really pushed GMB and we know that customers like reviews and it impacts decision making, then pick up what they are putting down and take the time to make sure your GMB is en point.
Ads — The businesses wanting to grow need to get their name and reputation out there. It’s not to say that a business cannot succeed with advertising, but it is one of the easiest ways to get their name out there. I would caution against just throwing money at Google or Facebook, and instead consider a range of awareness-building initiatives that will suit your budget and your business. However, keep in mind that advertising and brand building is largely linked with neural brain pathways and behavioural psychology what works really depends on a range of factors including how consistent and distinctive your brand is, along with how available your product or service is (i.e. no point in pushing a packet of chip brand to customers that isn’t available anywhere near them to purchase).
SEO — The dark arts. SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is such a generalised area of marketing that is often misunderstood and oversimplified. In the very basic sense, it’s about making sure that you are being found when people are searching on search engines (like Google or Bing). From there it can get incredibly complicated and involved, with a variety of tactics and strategies employed to varying levels of effectiveness and measurability. In my experience, if you can focus on content and telling a story, that will help, but ultimately, you need to get expert help and someone who has the experience and knows what they are doing.
Email Marketing — I consider email marketing a bit like Social Marketing. If you’re not going to spend the time to really do it differently, then just make sure you get the basics right. We know that customers don’t want to get spammed, so I love to use it as a way to have a conversation with my customers and prospects about what we’re working on. Keep it short and sweet. Promotions work too. The other key thing to keep in mind is that it is a numbers game. Sends, receives open rate, view rate, click-throughs. You have to be considered, but you should not be too precious about the story that you are trying to tell, or whether it should be perfect. Done is better than perfect. If you have a large enough data base, employ A/B testing and build on success. Try to understand what will work for your customers and why.
Broader Strategies — One of the reasons I love marketing and digital is that it is always changing. There are new platforms and technologies coming into the marketing each month. There is still a degree of ‘what works for one will work for all’, but it’s still worthwhile to consider anything and everything if it’s going to work for your business. What we know works is having a very good product (the product, the product, the product), and then making sure you have the basics set up brilliantly. We try to encourage our customers to be frugal when they need to be, and generous when it’s working, and also to trust in the process. Not everything can be measured on a month-by-month basis, and anyone convincing you to blindly trust the numbers doesn’t understand what they are talking about.