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Hey Captain, Are You Wearing Your Digital Marketing Hat?

By Shahista Kassam and Sher Najafi

 

 

We get it. As an entrepreneur, it can feel like you’re on a pirate ship, in a hurricane, with one man standing (that’s you). You’re focused on getting the basics done to survive. Digital marketing may not be your forte, so it’s fallen by the wayside. It may look like a three-headed sea monster, but with a little time and research, will reap exponential dividends compared to traditional marketing.

 

In the long-run, a little bit of digital will target the eyes of your ideal customer. And who better to build it than the person who knows the product best? To get you started, here’s 3 must-have pieces to build your brand into a digital marketing platform.

 

Content is King.

 

Valuable content means more than pitching your product. Each piece and promotional channel should target a point in the customer journey.

 

How do I start?

 
 

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1. Start with a blog. “Awareness stage” customers are aware of their symptoms, but have not specified solution options. List the pain points of your ideal customer. Use this to develop a series of blog post topics, and you’re on your way being the “go-to” information source for your customer. BUT don’t pitch your product! Instead, include CTA’s guiding your audience to learn more about your solution. Hubspot’s marketing blog is a great example of inbound done right.
 
2. Create a content calendar.  Plan ahead, stay organized, and set automated publishing to save you time. Keep your timeline to 3-months, with room to jump on trending topics.
 
3. Share on social. Research the right channel for your audience, spread the word, and develop a direct relationship with your audience.
 
4. Build partnerships. Find industry influencers and create cross-promotional partnerships. This will build credibility for your brand, and boost your online search ranking.

 

Learn how to become a VSW Marketing Partner Here

 

 
Build It For Mobile

 
 

Businesswoman using her mobile phone in front of Building

 
 
According to Google Inside AdWords “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan”. For entrepreneurs, this means that getting your product on mobile is more crucial than ever. Your mobile site must be fluid and fast, or your customers will bounce. As a bonus, mobile optimized sites rank higher on online search.

 

How do I optimize?

  1. 1. Check your website’s loading speed. Try PageSpeed Insights – a trusted source for analyzing your site’s performance.
  2. 2. Have a clear path to purchase. Minimize the number of steps needed for users to achieve their goal, and make it easy to find. For example: include call-to-action buttons on the website and one-click payment options.
  3. 3. Make it local. Customize information on your website based on the user’s location. Their smartphone’s GPS allows you to access this information. Learn more about making a GPS-based search feature here.

 

SEO – Learn it. Optimize. Or no one will find you.

 

We’re not kidding. If you’re new, your audience isn’t searching for your product. They’re looking for information. Remember, as with the blog, your audience wants solutions to their problems. You need to learn their language and the words they’re searching. Otherwise, your content will end up on the 20th page of Google, never to be heard from again.

 

How do I stop this?!?!?

  1. 1. Find the right keywords. Use tools like Google Search Console, Google Trends, and Moz to research most common keywords, and trends in their use.
  2. 2. Apply keywords everywhere. In moderation of course, with variations in their use and in long form. These should be applied in your copy, URLs, and image alt-text.

 

Bonus: Conversion Rate Optimization

Every startup has a common goal – to convert visitors to customer. Conversion Rate Optimization is key in achieving this goal. The higher your conversion rate, the higher your ROI. The foundation to this practice is targeting the right customer. Analyze your website data, test the conversion pages, and repeat all over again to see what works best for your business.

 

For more insights to help your new business, check out the #VSW2017 event schedule here!

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