You hear everywhere about hacks and revolutionary techniques for success on the web. If the basics of digital marketing have never changed, reaching the right audience is becoming more complex and channels are multiplying.
Companies face a real need to prioritize their marketing efforts. Especially if only one person is working on it, you don’t want it to spread too far.
In this article, we will look at five things that every SME should implement in its early days if it plans sustainable growth in the coming years.
1. Define your budget and goals
This advice may seem basic to you, but we are constantly surprised by the number of companies without a budget or clear marketing goals. In 2019, 50% of small and medium enterprises did not have a defined marketing plan, according to a study by Outbound Engine.
When it comes to budgeting, there is a rule that dictates that the marketing budget should be between 5% and 10% of the target revenue. This includes human resources, including salary and human costs represented by the marketing team. This figure may seem high, but on average, successful companies achieve a return on investment five times higher than the marketing budget!
To set your goals, you should start by thinking about your conversion rates. How many contacts does it take for a customer to sign? So, if you want five more customers during the year, how many contacts will it take to sign those five new customers?
Imagine, you invest time and money to gain subscribers on the LinkedIn page, where you regularly publish. And overnight, LinkedIn changes its algorithm: you have to pay to reach only 10% of these subscribers because your organic publications are drowned at the bottom of your audience’s feed.
Fiction? This is exactly what happens on every social network or search engine: you don’t set the rules.
In 2012, Facebook pages managed to reach more than 15% of their audience through their organic publications. In 2016, this number was barely above 2%. The price of an ad for 1,000 impressions was below $ 2.5 in January 2019, compared to $ 3.60 two years later.
There are two things a company needs to master from the start: its website, with its own domain name, and contact database.
Think of it as an investment: instead of renting money on platforms you don’t control, you invest in the things you own.
3. Know how people find you
The first question to ask is how people find your website. We often rely on Google Analytics to tell us how many people visit our site, how long they stay or which pages they search, but we lack key information: why did they come to our site?
For most small businesses, 90% of website traffic comes from keywords related to the brand or products. These are people who are already familiar with your brand. For them, their site is a showcase, effective for those people who want to learn more about a brand they have already heard about. But the site does not allow them to make a real acquisition.
To avoid this, we need to understand how people come to our site and what they are looking for.
Before we act, we must measure. The Google Search Console is a handy tool for getting the context of your traffic from Google. However, this tool can be difficult to access by a non-SEO CEO or marketer to get really useful information. Another free tool like Fun One can help you by storing and interpreting this data for easier discovery of opportunities.
4. Optimize your existing pages
How many times have you found yourself at the bottom of a website without knowing where to go? How many times have you visited sites that offer you just to make a contact request?
By combining these bad practices, you can ensure that 98% of your visitors leave immediately.
So, since this is the time for good resolutions, here are simple methods to start optimizing your website.
Based on the 10 pages with the highest traffic on the website, ask yourself:
- Why did the visitor come to this page?
- What can they do next?
For example, if this is a page about your product / service, the action to take afterwards may be to request a price quote, download a brochure, or a user case. If it’s a blog post, you can suggest a download checklist, a pdf article, a white paper, or more.
Be careful: talking about your product in a blog post or offering a demo after reading the news is too direct. I should always think about what is the simplest action that brings value to my visitor.
- Example from the Happy Team website:
- Marketing Manager has published an article on conflict management at work
- He later discovered traffic on this article from a search on their Plezi One dashboard
- He then made a PDF of the article to publish the article as a conclusion
Results: 5% of article readers downloaded the PDF, allowing the Happy Team to get many email addresses of people relevant to their services.
5. Putting premium content online
As we just saw, a simple PDF can increase the number of contacts your site generates, even if it has little content.
And the possibilities for premium content are numerous! Here are some examples:
On the pages of your products or services:
- Presentation of SaaS software ⇒ Download price list or details of offers or request for a demo
- Presentation of the offer by sectors ⇒ Adoption of the methodology dedicated to the sector
- Service presentation ⇒ Download customer case
- Presentation of customer support ⇒ A form for assessing the “maturity” of the visitor in relation to your problem
On your blog posts:
- Inbound marketing blogpost ⇒ Guide: “How to set up your inbound marketing strategy?”
- Article listing best practices ⇒ Publish best practices separately and see a pdf guide that brings them all together
- Article on how to establish a budget ⇒ Propose a budget template for download and adjustment
- Thick article ⇒ Give a summary in PDF
- Short article ⇒ Give a link to denser content
- Guide article ⇒ Provide a checklist summarizing the steps to follow
Creating business opportunities through digital marketing does not have to be as complex as some claim. It’s all about building on the foundations, identifying early successes and building on them to focus your efforts on what works.