For many businesses, digital marketing and maintaining social media accounts can become a task that is put off until later. As it’s time to start thinking about resolutions for 2015, take a look at these nine: three for digital newbies, three for intermediate users and three for super advanced marketers.
Three Pieces Of Advice For Newbies
Build A User Story Of Your Average Gardener. Who is the average end consumer of your product? Man or woman? Suburban or urban? Twenty to 30 years old or 40 to 50 years old? DIYer or do it for me? Whatever profile you come up with, ask yourself if you are creating products for this customer and if your marketing is getting the attention of this customer.
Educate Instead Of Sell. It makes me so sad when I visit a Twitter account and it reads like a Sunday store circular. Stop telling me about prices. Start telling me about how to use your products and how your products could change my environment and mood.
One of my favorite marketers in our industry is Altum’s in Zionsville, Ind. The subject line of the garden center’s newsletter catches my attention just about every time, with articles like, “Top 5 Things To Do With Your Pumpkins” and “Yard-to-Table Summer Bruschetta & Salsa.”
Establish A Serious Focus on Metrics. It can seem overwhelming because you have to get into your website’s code to do it, but install Google Analytics tracking code on your website. Look into your eNewsletter metrics. I’ve seen many companies that have made serious investments in their website marketing, but never installed Google Analytics.
It’s difficult enough to determine where your marketing metrics stand compared to your competitors. If you can’t compare month-over-month or year-over-year numbers on your own site, you really have no gauge of the success of your efforts.
Once you have Google Analytics set up, look into some training. Google offers free online courses through Analytics Academy.
Intermediate Users: Take Note
Figure Out What Has Been Working Best For You. If you have analytics, dive in. Look at which website pages or types of eNewsletter messages drive the most engagement and make your brand most visible. Do more of the things that work and less of everything else.
Build a Year-Long Content Strategy. If you have a plan ahead of time, you’re more likely to follow through. One important thing to remember – you can populate your content strategy with photography and articles of your own, or you can share content from other sources.
Invest In Images. Whether you spend on a better camera or just the dedicated time to take some photos, your digital marketing needs to show how beautiful your product is. For website and social media accounts, check out the Canva app for generating trendy meme- and logo-type graphics that incorporate your photographs.
Super Advanced Marketers: Kick It Up One More Notch
Iterate. Digital marketing is constantly changing. New social networks are being created all the time (Ello, anyone?) and sometimes they’re right for our markets. Sometimes they’re not. But don’t stop paying attention to the new tools out there. It doesn’t mean you have to use them all, but the greatest one for your business may not have even been invented yet. The more sites and apps you experiment with, the more quickly you should be able to evaluate new tools and determine their value to your business.
Go Mobile. GreenhouseGrower.com is working this month on rolling out a new website, which features a responsive design. This means that the site is optimized based on what type of device you’re viewing it on – a smartphone, tablet or computer.
Please make your website and newsletter look good on a smartphone. Your website and newsletter providers may provide template options for responsive design. Take them up on it.
Work On Responding To News/Trends In Real-Time. Do you remember the blackout during the 2013 Super Bowl? Digital marketers are still talking about how quickly Oreo responded on Twitter, just a few minutes after the lights went out.
Power out? No problem. pic.twitter.com/dnQ7pOgC
— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) February 4, 2013
— Domino's Pizza (@dominos) October 26, 2014
Domino’s Pizza is also very well known for talking to customers in real time. Both accounts consistently hit just the right tone with humor and have the right ideas on which current events are and are not appropriate to comment on. In the reader’s eye, this all adds up to a company that is fresh and paying attention to the world around it. But maybe more importantly, it’s interesting. People tune in just to see what’s next. Would you say that’s how people think of your digital marketing? If not, resolve to get there in 2015.