Is your digital marketing strategy diversified? Or do you attract most of your new customers from one channel like Facebook, Google, or paid ads?
Just like in the investment world, there’s risk in being over-concentrated in any one area. There’s just too many unknowns to make assumptions that a certain pattern or tactic will always work.
Remember, the “rules” (algorithms & usage terms) of your preferred channels are at the sole discretion of the given social media network or search engine. So even if you’ve had great success in using a particular channel over the past few years, the reality is that it may not work tomorrow. For example, if a big algorithm change comes through and disconnects you from your fans or followers (like Facebook did earlier this year, more on that in a moment) – you may see a dramatic drop in the number of new customers you’re bringing in the door.
To help get you diversify your marketing strategy, we’ve included some suggestions below:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Remember that Bing & Yahoo are still important, even if their search traffic is 14X lower than Google’s. Think about it, if you’re not optimizing for these smaller search engines – your competitors probably aren’t either. That’s an easy way to stand out. Take the 5 minutes to check that your website is submitted & showing up in Bing & Yahoo’s search results. If it’s not, be sure to get it added.
Social Media Marketing
If your business actively uses Facebook, you probably are familiar with the big algorithm change they made this summer. It cut business’s reach to their fans down dramatically overnight. So all those Facebook fans you worked so hard to gain, are harder than ever to reach now that they’re allowing more control over what people see in their news feed.
This is just one example of how fast and dramatically the “rules” can change on social networks. So make sure you’re ready. Pick a few social channels that you post to regularly. Then engage with your audience and work to build a community on more than one network.
Like a blazing spicy hot sauce, we recommend you use ads sparingly. The “rules” and costs (often times from bigger companies with large ad budgets driving up the bids), can change without notice.
Be sure you have some sort of an “organic” plan in place. If you’re having great success with ads (where the inbound leads & revenue are outweighing the costs), then by all means continue to ride it out. But don’t ignore or forget about important organic strategies like:
- An organic SEO strategy
- A meaningful organic presence on social media (not just driven by boosted posts & paid ads)
- Building your email list (more on that below)
Finally, this brings us to email marketing. Our biggest piece of advice on this topic: build your own list!
Remove the risk of the social or search giants changing the “rules” on you. Earn permission from your customers & website visitors to reach them right in their inboxes. Believe it or not, email continues to be a very valuable (high ROI) channel. It tends to not be quite as crowded as social media, the cost is very minimal (as little as some of your time), and it comes across as much more personal than many other marketing methods.
If you don’t already have a process set up to collect email addresses from your customers, you should start today. Consider adding input forms on your website and have a way for in-store customers to easily opt-in to your list. Maybe you offer customers to subscribe while they’re checking out (at your register or on a floating tablet). You could even offer them a small coupon for their next visit (BOGO possibly, so they also bring a friend?). Or perhaps you give them special early access to events your business plans to host. There’s many many ways to start building an email list. And the sooner you start, the sooner your business can reap the benefits.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Just like you wouldn’t invest your life savings in a high-risk, speculative stock, don’t over-concentrate your digital marketing efforts.
- Make sure you business is indexed in all the important search engines (Google of course, but don’t forget about Bing & Yahoo)
- Be active & engaged on multiple social channels
- Always have an organic marketing strategy (don’t just rely on ads)
- Begin collecting email addresses to build deeper relationships with your customers
What steps have you taken to diversify your marketing strategy? We’d love to hear about what’s worked well, or not so well (since lessons learned the hard way can sometimes be the most important take-aways).
Thanks for reading, we hope to see you again soon. In the meantime, please follow us on Instagram for more digital marketing tips, insightful stats, and inspiration for your small business’s digital marketing strategy. You can use the link embedded below, or find us @boscusdigital.