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Inbound Marketing - How to drive MORE traffic to your website

One of the most common mistakes we see on social media is businesses posting nothing else but sales offers and neglecting the power of inbound marketing. Using social purely as a platform to try and sell direct to customers. Bombarding them with offers, promotions and how "cool their new product is". Think of it like walking through a market. You have all of these stall holders shouting at you to buy from them - not a nice experience. So why would you want to run your social media like this?

Good news, there is an alternative that has proven to be successful!

What Is Inbound Marketing?

Introducing Inbound Marketing. The philosophy of attracting clients through providing true value to them without expecting an immediate sale in return. Of course you want them to eventually become a customer but this is the process of delivering solutions to your clients problems, providing insights and engaging with them on a 1-1 basis. By developing this relationship you establish your business as the experts or authority in the industry and a trusted source to go to when they do need their problem solved.

Inbound Marketing In Action

Let's look at an example. You have flat feet and keep getting blisters when you run. So you Google "flat feet and blisters" and at the top of the page you see an article - "What Kind of Shoes Are Good for Flat Feet?". You read the blog, notice that the information is really helpful and already this business has positioned itself as a "go-to" resource for your flat footed issues! Imagine then, whilst you're on their blog, someone reaches out to you. "hey, if you're struggling with blisters, here's a video which explains why you might be getting them!". Again they have provided you with more value!

Inbound Marketing

So who are you now most likely to buy a pair of flat footed running shoes from? The company that is offering you 10% off their inflated prices? Or the company that has provided you with advice, resources to help and built a solid relationship with?

The Flywheel

Take a look at HubSpot's Flywheel for Inbound Marketing.

HubSpot quote "Inbound is a method of attracting, engaging, and delighting people to grow a business that provides value and builds trust". They use the flywheel to explain how they attract new customers. By creating valuable content for your users designed to address their problems and pains, you create trust and attract qualified prospects into your flywheel.

Attract clients by publishing content, news articles, blogs and social media posts. Focus on a problem and offer a solution. A good example is a guide on "how to" solve a particular issue. Engage with them by building long-term relationships. Give them help and advice and make your company personable and friendly. Then make sure to delight them with your product or service - focussing on exceptional customer service, and making sure your customer is happy after they have purchased from you. A delighted customer becomes a brand advocate - sharing your business and your services across their social media and through word of mouth!

How Can Your Business Use Inbound Marketing Today?

Hopefully we have convinced you of the importance of inbound marketing and how it can effectively transform your business in such a crowded online market place. Here is a list of things you can start doing to build your flywheel momentum:

Post Regular, Valuable Content

Create blogs, articles, guides and "How to's" for your audience to read. Give them true value. A good place to start is your FAQs. What do your current clients ask you? Turn these FAQs into a small guide "The 10 things you didn't know about XYZ"

Post this to your social media and start driving your audience to your website where they can see what you offer and how you can help them.

Engage With Your Audience

Respond to comments and definitely respond to reviews and recommendations! Engage in conversation on social media. If people are asking questions, go in and provide them with an answer. The result? You position your company as the authority and expert. Where are the going to go when they need your services?

Exceed Expectations

When someone does make a purchase or turns into a client, make sure you go above and beyond what they are expecting. Turn your current clients into your biggest fans. They'll share your content, like your posts and recommend your business when their friends and family need!

If you want some more help on this topic, or if you want to know how to grow your business online, you get in touch or follow us on social media!

Your Digital Checklist? 5 Things You NEED to be Doing Online!

In the current times your business needs to be performing well online. And that means consistent traffic that leads to consistent leads and sales. So we have created your digital checklist for your business. If you are missing any of the things from the list below, you could be missing out on clients and revenue!

So, how does your business check out? Let's find out...

1. Is Your Business on Social Media!?

This seems like an obvious one on the digital checklist, and it kind of is. If your business doesn't have at least a Facebook business page - you are missing out! Ideally you should be present on every platform that your potential clients hang out. If you are on social - great!

Are you using it to its full potential? We won't go into too much detail but here are some features you can use to help boost client interaction and sales!

digital checklist
  • Inbound Marketing - if you aren't on social media, you're missing a huge opportunity to target your potential customers with the inbound marketing strategy! Post VALUABLE content, regularly. Give your audience something to read other than sales and offers. Build trust and gain authority. When they need someone in the industry, they'll know to come to you! I recommend reading this book by Gary Vee on social media content - it's HUGELY valuable! (Find out what Inbound Marketing is here!)
  • Reviews! Social proof is HUGE! Get all of your clients, past and present, to give you a facebook review. They're gold.
  • Add your products / services. People DO look at them and if you have an e-commerce site, then think about linking your shop to your Facebook! Take a look at Groom's Farm Shop, we built their shop and their social media!
  • Automated messaging - makes life easier for you, easier for your audience and you can link to you website directly from messenger! Feel free to test our own Facebook messenger out!

2. Get Your Business on Google!

This is another asset that is under-utilised and under-valued. First things first on the digital checklist - Google My Business Profile. Don't have one? Get one today. it's free, easy to set up yourself and is seriously valuable. Here's how you can get started with it.

Once you have set up your profile - DON'T JUST LEAVE IT TO COLLECT DUST!

Update your info, post valuable content, get reviews and keep the info up to date. You can even add a button to contact you direct so you can push consistent leads to your website and increase revenue!

3. Whatsapp For Business

This is a really cool asset for your business. Especially if you are a one-man-team or a small business. Did you know you can use a landline for Whatsapp business? Well you can! And it adds a super valuable way for your customers to get in touch. It's not as formal as an email and not as scary as a phone call. You can engage with potential and existing customers in a personable way. This is a real game changer.

It is a proven fact that customers that receive a higher level of personalisation, are more inclined to buy from that business. It will also help to get consistent leads to your website! So be personable!

Liking this guide so far? why not send us a Whatsapp and tell us!

4. A High Converting Website

This is a really important one on our digital checklist for your business. Forgetting about our current situation from Covid-19, this is valuable regardless. You NEED to be able to market / advertise / sell online. Why? Because without it you will struggle to get consistent leads to your website.

You can reach thousands of people in seconds in the digital world. But you will never be able to scale to your full potential without a high performing site. You can push as much traffic to your site as your budget will allow, but if users are leaving your site as quick as arriving - it's a pointless exercise!

You need a site than can either capture leads, sell products and services, book appointments or phone calls or track users for re-targeting and analytics. Preferably a combination of all of these (definitely analytics, bit thats a whole other post). So that if you spend £100 on ads your website will generate you £200 in revenue. Now you can see the power of a high performing site.

5. SEO

The best place to hide a dead body? Page 2 of Google.

SEO if you didn't know, stands for Search Engine Optimisation and you need to factor this in to your business. If your website has cruddy SEO, it won't rank highly in Google or other search engines. And if you get lost in Google, you may as well not be on there. Good SEO including on-page, backlinks, local citations and loads of other factors, will help boost you up the rankings.

Higher up the rankings = higher traffic = more sales = closer to that lamborghini (here's my favourite).

If you don't know how to do this, speak to your web developer or hire a specialist...

Who would we recommend? We've heard good things about these guys!

How Did Your Digital Checklist Score?

So, how many of our digital checklist for your business did you tick off? If you managed to tick them all off - that's great! If you didn't and you need some help, feel free to drop us a message. We'd be more than happy to advise.

content marketing

Content Marketing - What is it?!

We’re living in an increasingly digital age. And it’s growing easier by the day to set up a small business online. This means many of us are facing more competition than ever. In a market, that is growing more saturated by the day. It’s not all too surprising then, that many of us are looking for new and innovative ways to market our products and services. If you’ve been looking into the most effective forms of marketing lately, chances are you’ve heard the term “content marketing” thrown around a lot. But what actually is content marketing and how can it help your brand?

What Is Content Marketing?

If you’re looking for an outright definition of content marketing, it’s a good idea to look to the Institute of Content Marketing. The leading body on this subject. They note that content marketing is “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience - and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action”.

This may sound a little complex. But content marketing really is pretty straightforward. Put simply, you offer people information, entertainment, or something that will engage their attention. The content you provide isn’t generally focused on promoting your products or pushing sales. Instead, people feel that they’re getting something beneficial to them. Without the pressure of feeling they need to buy something in return.

Now, many people will raise the question of why you’d invest time, effort and money into giving something to people that you don’t get any financial benefit from. They’re not paying for what you’re providing and you aren’t encouraging them to actually buy anything from you. But this is where you need to think outside of the box. If you’re giving your target audience something that they feel is of value for free, you’re going to gain their trust - they’ll have positive feelings towards your brand. This can help to create a following who will be more likely to buy from your brand in the future.

Here Are Some Examples

Content marketing is by no means a new venture. In fact, one of the greatest marketing campaigns was brought into play by Marvel Comics back in 1982. The brand wanted to promote their GI Joe toys. But without making customers feel pressured to buy with heavy handed sales tactics. So, they created a comic called “GI Joe - A Real American Hero!” This gave the character of the toy they were hoping to sell a more real life presence and a backstory. After two issues had been released, 20% of their target demographic owned a GI Joe action figure. Seven years later, two out of three boys in their target demographic owned a GI Joe action figure. This wasn’t a small demographic either - it was any boy between the ages of five and twelve, so you can imagine just how much profit they made from this campaign.

Hopefully, the above information has helped you to get to grips with the basics of content marketing and can be put to good use in some marketing campaigns of your own!

e-commerce and covid

E-Commerce & Adapting To Covid-19

We’re living through pretty unprecedented times and e-commerce could be paramount. At the beginning of 2020, very few of us could have anticipated what the months ahead would hold for us. And for the rest of the world too! Rather than following our usual routines and looking forward to holidays we’d booked, concerts we’d bought tickets to and other social events, many of us have now found ourselves in a lockdown situation. Where we can only leave our homes for essentials, like food or medication. Covid-19 has created a worldwide pandemic that many people are struggling to deal with on a personal level. But businesses are suffering too!

Every company relies on transactions and sales taking place in order to generate profit. But with the current world situation and the relative instability of jobs right now, people are becoming more reluctant to spend their income or savings on anything but essentials. On top of this, business operations are inevitably having to change. Chances are your business is going to have to adapt to survive these times. Here are a few areas you can focus on to keep afloat and generate profit during these trying times. If you don't know what E-Commerce is, heres a good definition.

Ensure You Have an E-Commerce Website

The first thing you need to do during this outbreak is to ensure you have a high quality, high performing website. Prior to the pandemic, there were businesses that operated on a brick and mortar basis (with physical stores) and businesses that operated online (with E-Commerce stores). There were also businesses that dabbled in both. At the moment, E-Commerce is the only way forward - purely because people cannot leave their homes right nw!

If you want to reach customers or clients, make sales and generate a good revenue. This is for the sake of your staff members’ safety, your customers’ safety and your own safety. Only businesses selling essential goods should still have their physical doors open. Operating online cuts out physical customer contact and it allows more staff members to work from home. Just be sure to limit orders so your warehouse staff aren’t overwhelmed and can maintain social distancing measures when picking and packing!

Make Your E-Commerce Website the Best It Can Be

Setting up a website can seem like a relatively simple process. There are platforms that allow you to set up, use pre-made templates and get started in this way. But if you want a professional presence and to generate as many sales as possible, you’ll benefit from bringing professionals in to work on your site. They’ll be able to create a unique design that fits your brand aesthetic, incorporating branded colours, fonts and more. They’ll also have insight into user experience or “UX” design, ensuring that your page is easy to navigate and a pleasure to use.

Sure, these may be uncertain times we’re living in. But this just makes it more important now than ever to invest in your company and give it all it needs to continue operating. Get started in the right direction by trying E-Commerce. Then create a site to be proud of.

digital checklist

The Power of FB Ads

It's a pretty established fact at this point that social media isn't going anywhere. It might have once seemed as though it was going to be little more than a fad. But the truth is that social media is an essential part of many people's lives. This means that it's an equally essential part of any business's marketing strategy. Sites like Facebook are an incredible tool in your marketing arsenal. But far too often they end up getting ignored. With that in mind, here are just a few things to help you better understand the power of Facebook ads as a marketing tool and help you start using it to benefit your business today!

Facebook ads are incredibly cost-effective

Social media is obviously one of the most cost-effective marketing methods available. Mainly because so many of the platforms are free to use. You can achieve huge reach and traffic from a well written post. However, even paid services like Facebook ads offer great value for money. It costs around £5 to reach 1000 people (depending on the quality of your ads). Which if you compare to traditional methods (flyers, posters, bill boards etc) the cost per reach is incomparable!

Additionally you have full of control over how much you spend on any ads depending on what you actually want and need from them. Many people don't realise you can set your budget so you know EXACTLY how much you are going to spend. This means that you're always able to work your marketing strategies around your business's budget. Something that can be pretty difficult with other forms of marketing - even other digital ones.

You can instantly observe their performance

Feedback is crucial for any kind of marketing. You need to know if something is working. And you also want to be sure that you're not just throwing your money away. Compare this to printing flyers - you have all of your ad spend up front, and if the promotion fails? Money lost. In contrast, with the detailed analytics provided with Facebook ads, you're going to be able to immediately and easily observe how effective your ads are and where you need to make changes in terms of ad copy and content.

AND if you find one of your ads is performing well, you can increase the budget and kill the ones that aren't!

They make it easy to make adjustments

One of the biggest sources of frustration for a lot of business owners when it comes to their marketing is that, if you realise that a certain marketing strategy isn't really working, there's a chance that you've already committed to something, both practically and financially. If you're handing out flyers for your business, you will have already made the commitment to them by the time you're handing them out. With Facebook ads, if there is some element of them that really isn't working that well, you can easily control them. You can make adjustments based on existing analytics. This ensures that you not only get the best possible return on investment but that it happens as quickly as possible.

You've got to remember that Facebook ads are an incredibly useful tool. But it's certainly not the only social media service available to you. Sites like Twitter and Instagram offer many of the same benefits. You've just got to be sure that you're paying attention to the things that make these various platforms unique. By tailoring the way that your business interacts with them accordingly, social media can be one of the most powerful tools you have in your business. But you've got to know how to make the most of them.

Why your website could be costing you money

You need to think about how you can improve your business and its prospects. By firstly, making sure you have a professional and functional website as much as possible. You are going to need to make sure you have the best possible website, as this is going to have a major impact on the way your company is received. Not to mention any success you might have. 

Now, pretty much every business or website these days is going to have a website. But the fact is that not all websites are created equal! These are some of the ways in which that can happen, and you need to make sure you work on that as much as possible.

Poor Design

Poor design is one of the biggest problems for people who find their website underwhelming. A poor design can really go a long way towards ruining user experience. This is a particular problem for businesses that have created their own websites without professional guidance and support. If you want a better design, you need to get in touch with the experts and make sure you look at what they can do to achieve this. 

Lack of Online Store

Lack of an online store can also be a hindrance to success and missed sales. The fact of the matter is that there are so many things that people look for online these days. This is essential as it is an excellent way of being able to secure more sales and impulse buys from website visitors. 

Broken Links

Broken links can hinder your website and drive traffic away. Now, there are a lot of issues with this. Broken links can ruin the experience, as well as impacting the page speed and the professionalism of the site. By hiring professional web design experts, you can make sure you don’t fall foul of things like broken links. 

Complicated Layout

Complicated layouts are a problem for even professionally designed websites sometimes. And you need to make sure you are serious about coming up with ideas that will help you improve the layout of the business website so that it is far less complicated. This is something that is really important, and you need to get this right as much as possible. 

So if you are serious about getting the best possible outcome for the company website, you need to make sure you hire professionals. Website optimisation is key for having a strong and well-presented website, and this is something you are going to need to keep in mind moving forward as much as possible.

You can view the first ever website made here!

social media

Why you NEED to be on social media

As a modern business owner, there are so many wonderful things you need to get right. And embracing social media is one of the best ways of being able to do this moving forward. Making the most of SM is something you are going to have to ace right now as a small business owner. 

SM is so prevalent in the world today, and it also helps you to make the best of your marketing strategies. Here are some of the key benefits of using sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to promote your business. 

A Global Audience

You have a lot you need to keep in mind when you are looking to use social media marketing. Being able to expose your business, products, and services to a global audience of potential customers is something you need to make sure you get right. By making the most of social media marketing you can attract a global audience. 

Control Over Your Social Media Content

One of the biggest benefits is the fact that it allows you to control your content and output better. Detailed targeting and re-targeting is certainly something you are going to be able to work on. You can decide what you would like to use to market the company, and the different formats of marketing. 


Communicate With Clients & Customers

The essence of good business lies in communication. And social media plays an essential role in helping with this moving forward. Sites such as Facebook mean that you can communicate and interact with customers in a more instantaneous way than ever before. Posting content, creating groups, or conversing via Facebook messenger, are some of the many amazing things you can use. There are key metrics that play a part in assessing what your customers are looking for from the business. 

Incredible ROI of Social Media

One of the most important things is the incredible ROI that can come from SMM. Having direct control of your budget allows for precise spending. Access to analytics and stats means you can see what is working and what needs tweaking. Being able to optimise ads to better performance before you spend your whole budget. And of course making use of abundance of free tools on social media too!

As you can see, there are plenty of benefits to using SM. And this is something you are going to need to make sure you get right as much as possible. Try to make full use of your social media options for your business. Right now, this is something you are going to have to get right as much as possible. Think about doing as much as you can to embrace social media marketing, and try to think about what you can do to make the most of social media marketing right now. 

4 Reasons Why You NEED to Be Paying Attention to Google

If you want to grow your business past the stage of word-of-mouth, then you need to be taking a serious look at the major search engines. Below, we list the 4 reasons why you NEED to be paying attention to Google. If you want to find out more about how to build your online profile, feel free to check out our other blogs!

Buyers Intent

When do people use search engines? In fact, when do you use search engine yourself? 90% of the time, it's when you need an answer to a question. In marketing terms, you are aware of a problem and you need a solution. You're ready to buy.

Okay, let's say you are a clothes outlet for women. Someone types into Google:

"Women's Formal Dresses"

This query has a high buyer intent. Meaning the person asking, is looking to buy pretty fast. And guess what? If you can get your website to be the first thing they see, you'll be in a much better position to sell to them than if you weren't visible on Google.

How is this different to other forms of marketing? Google is pretty unique in that it allows you to market directly to people looking to buy asap. You don't have spend time nurturing leads or warming up cold audiences.

Did you know, according to Junto digital, 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine (Check out these really interesting stats!) Which means that if you're not on Google, you'll never be able to compete.

Where To Hide a Dead Body?

The answer?

Page 2 of any Google search result. Seriously, nobody goes there. 75% of users never scroll past the first page. So if your business isn't on the first page, they may as well not be on there at all.

google

Okay, so this is a common joke in the digital world and it also might be a bit extreme, but the stats back this up. If you're on the first page, you've got a huge chance to increase traffic to your website and so increase your conversions. And that's where you should be aiming.

Free Advertising - Building a Platform

Okay so this is a little bit misleading - getting returns on Google is definitely not free - whether it's your own time and effort or whether it's paying an expert to do it for you.

But, when you are ranking high organically for a particular keyword or set of keywords, then you are pushing traffic to your page for free. Of course, you can pay to get to the top of Google using ads, but when you are up there organically, it's free. If you want some tips on how to rank higher on Google, take a look at our blog post on Inbound Marketing.

Increasing Revenue - the most powerful platform

Google is huge, and it is only getting bigger. More and more businesses are using it to advertise - don't get left behind. And if you don't believe me, take a look at these stats from HubSpot:

  1. Google gets 3.5 billion searches made every single day.
  2. 72% of consumers that did a local search visited a store within five miles
  3. 97% of people learn more about a local company online than anywhere else
  4. 88% of searches  for local businesses on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours
  5. 92% of searchers will pick businesses on the first page of local search results

So, if your business isn't on Google, you can probably agree that you are missing out on sales. If you want to know how we can help get your business on Google, or boost it higher up the search rankings, drop us a quick message today!

The Digital Lark


Leighton Buzzard
LU7 3YS

projects@thedigitallark.co.uk

The Digital Lark 2020 ©