You’ve probably heard it said before that running an effective digital marketing campaign requires the ability to manage a lot of moving parts. Simply identifying all of these parts can be a challenge in itself, and often digital marketing resources only focus on individual aspects of the process. Sometimes, it’s more helpful to take a step back for a better look at everything that’s required of your marketing campaign; that’s why we’ve compiled our comprehensive 101 steps for your digital marketing plan, featured below.
Social media is a rapidly growing sector of digital marketing that has become particularly effective in helping companies reach a broader, more engaged audience. Social media marketing must be part of your digital marketing plan.
- Market across multiple social media platforms.
A social media strategy is most effective when it plays out across multiple platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Regardless of your own familiarity with these platforms, it’s in your best interest to manage numerous profiles, as you never know which platform your target audience utilizes the most.
- Showcase consistent branding across platforms.
It’s important that the branding on each of your social media accounts be uniform; this means that spelling, contact information, profile descriptions, and to an extent, images, should be consistent in order to make your company more easily recognizable. Your profile page should also communicate a high level of professionalism; you’ll never be seen as an authority in your industry with social media profiles that feature grainy cover photos or sloppy content.
- Create social media content that’s truly relevant and engaging.
This can include advertising contests, promotions, sneak peeks of new products, polls, links back to informative blog posts, etc. The idea is to find ways to not just get viewers to visit your social media page, but to engage with the content that’s on it.
- Update your social media profiles frequently.
Social media profiles become obsolete when they’re left unattended for too long. The key to capturing and sustaining an audience is to make posts on a regular basis (at least 2-3 times a week for each platform).
- Always respond to customer comments and inquiries.
The point of social media is to connect with others, so when a viewer asks a question or leaves a comment on your profile, always be sure to respond professionally and expediently. This communicates to your viewers that your company is both attentive and concerned about the customer experience.
- Take advantage of social media marketing.
Marketing on social media platforms is becoming one of the most effective advertising methods; according to AdRoll, Facebook ads maintain click-through rates that are 8 times higher than those of traditional web ads. In other words, social media marketing works.
- Optimize posts for SEO content.
The realm of social media is still a great place to incorporate keywords that your website is attempting to rank for, but only include these keywords in a context that makes sense and seems authentic to viewers.
- Customize your Facebook URL.
Once your Facebook page has 25 likes, you have the option to change its URL to include your company name, rather than the platform’s randomly generated URL. However, note that this URL can usually only be changed once.
- Be intentional with your profile descriptions.
Especially on social media platforms like Twitter, your profile’s “About” section will serve as the meta description that appears for your page. Make these social profiles descriptions both informative and enticing (and perhaps inclusive of relevant keywords) to make optimal use of them.
- Create links to your social media profiles.
On your website, blog, or other online content, include “buttons” that link to your social media profiles. This will make it easy for your visitors to connect with you on social media.
Local SEO strategies are designed to help businesses market to a local audience, which is especially important when a business has multiple storefronts in various locations.
- Define your goals.
If your company aims to reach specific local audiences (which most should, when applicable), the first step is to define your local SEO goals. Who specifically are you targeting? Will your SEO strategies vary from location to location? What benchmark will you use as a measure of success?
- Conduct a local SEO audit.
A local SEO audit is an initial assessment of all of the most influential factors of an SEO campaign, and is used to identify areas of strength and weakness. A local audit would include an assessment of your Google Business page, your website and its landing page, and would analyze your local social media, local competition, and your existing citations. See how you stack up against the competition and compare your website to your competitor’s with an online free tool.
- Create Google My Business pages.
No local SEO campaign is complete without the creation of local business profiles, such as those available from Google. However, be sure that you’re deleting all duplicated My Business pages, as these can result in a Google penalty, which will hurt your local rankings.
- Maximize listings in local online directories.
Local online directories like Yelp! present simple and easy opportunities to build your company’s citations, which influence search engine results rankings. A citation is any mention of your company’s name, address or phone number on pages other than your own website. On these directory pages, it’s a good idea to include a link to your company’s website, too.
- Be consistent with content.
As with social media profiles, consistency is integral to a successful local SEO campaign; however, in this case it is less about effective branding and more about making your business easily searchable.
- Create opportunities for customers to leave reviews.
Customer reviews will encourage visitors to investigate your site and, when positive, they play a significant role in attracting conversions. Google is now featuring reviews on local SERPs; the more diverse, high-quality, and plentiful your company’s customer reviews, the more likely you’ll end up on Google’s SERP carousel at the top of a results page.
- Market to a mobile audience.
Appealing to mobile users is particularly important for targeting a local audience, as approximately 80 percent of all local searches are conducted on a mobile device.
- Create webpages for specific locations.
If you have three brick-and-mortar storefronts, create three distinct web pages on your website for each location. This will help better direct those that search for your company name and location to your website, while creating the opportunity for your company to offer content that is specific to each location, and therefore more useful to local customers.
- Optimize content on local webpages to a local audience.
This requires conducting local keyword research. Identify which phrases potential customers in your target area search for and implement throughout the content of a local page just as you would with traditional SEO ranking keywords.
- Seek out ways to earn local media coverage.
Coverage from local media is another effective way of getting your company’s name to rank high for your area; the more external sources that associate your company with a specific location, the more your local rankings will improve.