Digital marketing is a world of crazy changes. It seems like every single day we are presented with new tools to help us become more successful in our online marketing endeavors. Even as tapped into the “latest and greatest” as I am, it’s still hard to determine which choices will be the best. However, there are a few digital marketing ideas that could benefit just about every small business owner as we enter 2015.
Here they are:
1. Location-Based Marketing
With all the technological advances and growth of smart phones, it’s no surprise that we can now utilize location-based (aka geo-location) marketing and it can be pretty powerful. Have a brick-and-morter store? Geo-location based mobile beacons could be a way to deliver digital and mobile coupons while consumers are in a specific location.
Sheri Amass of Mobile Marketing Studio recently chatted with me about location based technology. She says, “geo-fencing features within mobile messaging platforms such as SMS text message marketing and mobile app push notification platforms allow businesses and marketers to fine-tune target audiences. For instance – send sale announcements to all customers within a 10-mile radius.”
How can small businesses do this? With ibeacon technology. Beacons are a small, low-cost piece of hardware which may be placed in or near a business which connections to transmit messages or prompts directly to a smartphone or tablet.
Sheri goes on to remind us that any and all location-based marketing should be done responsibly sending messages only to those customers who have opted in to a permission-based list via text-to-join, online sign up pages or have downloaded the business’ mobile app. Create incentivized campaigns rewarding the users with mobile coupons or exclusive offers for joining your list or downloading your app to build a valuable mobile marketing list.
The concept of retargeting – a cookies based technology that follows website visitors – may feel creepy at times, but it can be utterly effective. Let’s say you had a website visitor interested in some of your products, and may even put those products in a shopping cart. However, there is a large chance (67.9%, in fact) they will actually not even make the purchase.
Consumers abandon shopping carts for a variety of reasons such as: website loading too slowly, there was not shipping info, they ran out of time, etc. Regardless of the reason, implementing a retargeting program can woo them back to you.
Here are some retargeting platforms to consider:
- Perfect Audience
- Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are also rolling out retargeting options as well.
3. Email Marketing
Email, email, email. As a consumer, you either love it (think flash sales!) or hate it (think spam). As a small business marketer, however, email marketing – when done correctly – offers the highest return on investment. The way you stand above the rest is be taking the time to understand your subscribers, and to deliver the content they want, when they want it.
Here are a few quick tips:
- Segment leads up front
- Trigger campaigns based on actions (such as clicking on a link)
- Deliver messages that are personal, timely and relevant.
Speaking of “personal” messages, that is the next tip I think small business owners should embrace in 2015 … personalization. Before the onset of inbound marketing, there was mass marketing. Throw a message out there and hope it sticks somewhere. There is nothing personalized about that type of marketing at all.
Whether or not you have noticed it, personalized marketing has been on the upswing over the past several years. Have you noticed how Google search results are aggregated based on your search history? And, how Facebook’s timeline is a result of what types of content you’ve interacted with? Personalization is popping up all over the place. So, how can a small business owner get personal?
Here are a few ideas:
- Start gathering data about your customers. What do they click on, what don’t they? What gets them to engage? What questions do they ask you?
- Based on the information you’re gathering start building micro-segments: who they are, what are their buying preferences, where are they in the stage of the buying process, and how qualified they are for the purchase.
- Consider fancy technology. For example. Hubspot offers a new Content Optimization System allows you to fully personalize your web visitors experience.
5. Paid Promotion
Sure, us inbound marketers tend to dismiss traditional “outbound” marketing methods, but the fact of the matter is that there is still a place for paid promotion. You just have to be thoughtful about it. Don’t just run an ad. Run a highly targeted, trackable ad. It’s easy to do these days with Google AdWords, and many of the heavy-hitters of social media. Pinterest recently rolled out Promoted Pins; Facebook has a long and successful history of delivering a high ROI on their ads; and there are also Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn ads.
To get started with paid promotion- start with an offer. Map through the process of what it is you want out of a prospect, and at the very least capture their contact information. If they don’t convert now, they may convert later.
Marketing choices will continue to change. I hope you’ll take some of these digital marketing ideas and embrace them in 2015. If you do, let me know how it goes!