Weekly Bitz: Kick-Start Your 2019 Digital Marketing Strategy & How to Handle Negative Reviews Over the Holidays

Weekly Bitz: Kick-Start Your 2019 Digital Marketing Strategy & How to Handle Negative Reviews Over the Holidays

Below is the roundup of some of this week’s MarketingBitz articles and blogs. MarketingBitz publishes digital marketing articles, videos and slideshows written to address the needs of small businesses.

Kick-Start Your 2019 Digital Marketing Strategy with These Useful Tips (December 13, 2018)
MarketingBitz: “And just like that, 2018 has come and gone in a flash. As the year comes to a close, you need to start thinking about how to prepare your digital marketing strategy for 2019 so that you can hit the ground running after New Year’s.”

Lumps of Coal: How to Handle Negative Reviews Over the Holidays (December 11, 2018)
MarketingBitz: “Managing your reviews on local search results can determine whether your company receives a lump of coal or the gift of revenue this holiday season.”

12 Tips to Finding Social Media Zen (December 14, 2018)
Search Engine Journal: “Once the golden child of digital marketing, social media continues to shock, surprise, seduce, defy, and when done right, even sell. Let’s remind ourselves, there is no autopilot, no snooze button in this current state of marketing.”

The Power of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle on Social Media (December 12, 2018)
Business 2 Community: “Each and every one of us can share content to the masses as we see fit. That includes content that we like, expresses our current state or communicates a point. So where running an old commercial felt out of place in the pre-social media world, it is now not only widely accepted, but embraced.”

How Local Businesses Can Leverage Email Marketing (December 11, 2018)
Business 2 Community: “As the owner of a brick-and-mortar shop, you don’t have to be restricted to familiar faces who visit your shop; the internet can help you expand your target audience. Out of all the marketing channels, emails are the best bet worth leveraging.”

Kick-Start Your 2019 Digital Marketing Strategy with These Useful Tips

Kick-Start Your 2019 Digital Marketing Strategy with These Useful Tips

And just like that, 2018 has come and gone in a flash. As the year comes to a close, you need to start thinking about how to prepare your digital marketing strategy for 2019 so that you can hit the ground running after New Year’s.

It’s important to have a plan in place before the year begins, that way, you’ll know exactly what you’re looking to achieve and improve upon. If you’re unsure of how to begin, here are a few useful tips to get the ball rolling.

Review Your Benchmarks and Data

In order to know what areas performed well and which need to be reworked for 2019, you need to complete a data analysis of your results from this year. If you set goals at the beginning of the year (e.g. gaining 300 social media followers or adding 200 new email subscribers) pull the data that will show whether or not you achieved those benchmarks.

Figure out where your wins and losses occurred. What big accomplishments did you have this year? For instance, did you redesign your website? Or launch a new product line? Use these wins to propel you forward and strive for an ever better 2018. If you experienced losses this year, like an unsuccessful social media campaign or low website views, you’ll want to document those as well, as they will help you tremendously with creating your strategy for 2019.

You’ll also want to ask yourself if you see any patterns that occurred, or if there are any particular times where you saw an influx of website traffic, new leads, email sign-ups, etc. It’s also helpful to compare 2017’s results to see how far you’ve come. Determine which benchmarks performed well and which were lackluster, then utilize those results to formulate a better, more thorough plan for 2019.

Look at Your Website & Social Media

Best practices for website content seem to change constantly, so you need to be sure that you’re up to date with trends. Is your site mobile-friendly? In March, Google announced that it would begin its mobile-first indexing, meaning that the mobile-version of your website is where Google will begin in order to determine your ranking. So, the better you follow mobile best practices, the more likely it is that your site will rank higher.

You should also monitor your website’s analytics. Determine which metrics you’d like to focus on. Here are a few examples:

Users: How many people visit your site within a given time frame.
Sessions: An estimate of first-time visitors.
Page Views: How many times each individual web page is viewed.
Unique Page Views: This metric measures a single page view once per session, as opposed to every time the user comes back.
Bounce Rate: This determines the percentage of people who leave your site after looking at only one page.

In terms of social, you’ll want to take a look back at your engagement throughout the year. Facebook Insights, in particular, can you show various interactions with your posts, audience demographics and how you look next to your competitors.

Determine what variations of content performed well and which didn’t receive any engagement. That way, you can better plan out your content for next year. It’s ideal to keep track of your social engagements monthly, then at the year’s end you can easily look back and see the posting times that generated the most engagement, and the content that performed well.

Develop Your Strategy

Now that you’ve looked at all of this year’s data, it’s time to get started on 2019. Start small by asking yourself what you’d like to accomplish this year and why. Then you need to determine how your digital marketing plan will help you to achieve those goals.

Ask yourself, who am I trying to reach, and how will I reach them? Where do my competitors rank against me? What makes my business unique? How can I make those components stand out? It can be overwhelming to determine all of these answers at once, try working through a few per day. Then you can develop your strategy over a period of time.

Review your revenue goals, social media initiatives, email marketing goals, large projects and website initiatives, then see how you can best intersect these components to work together. Figure out what you’ll need to help you with these initiatives, whether it’s adding additional staff members, implementing new training procedures, adding new tools and programs, delegating duties, etc.

Weekly Bitz: How to Develop Engaging Emails & Prepping Your Website for Holiday Traffic

Weekly Bitz: How to Develop Engaging Emails & Prepping Your Website for Holiday Traffic

Below is the roundup of some of this week’s MarketingBitz articles and blogs. MarketingBitz publishes digital marketing articles, videos and slideshows written to address the needs of small businesses.

How to Develop Engaging Emails That Will Get Opened (December 5, 2018)
MarketingBitz: “When a customer subscribes to your email list, they expect value to be provided in some capacity. And, odds are, your business is not the only one they subscribe to. Over 281 billion consumer and business emails are sent per day, and it’s likely that a majority of those go unread and are instantly deleted by the receiver.”

How to Prepare Your Site for an Influx of Holiday Traffic (December 4, 2018)
MarketingBitz: “If your website is not up to speed for the holidays, you’ll be missing out on potential customers. Every second of website load time, 20% of consumers leave and seek one of your competitors for their purchase. Also, bear in mind that you need to keep your website running fast late into the season, as the highest amount of traffic actually occurs on December 26.”

Should You Get a New Website? (December 6, 2018)
Business 2 Community: “Generally, businesses want more traffic to their websites, more enquiries, more business, more sales, or just more awareness of their products and services. Digital marketing will help you achieve these. But the website plays a central role in all of this. No matter how good your digital marketing strategy is, it will never be enough if your website is not built to handle the traffic, and does not provide your visitors with a great experience that leads them through a journey.”

How To Build a Strong Social Media Influence (December 6, 2018)
Business 2 Community: “There’s a lot you can do to improve your personal brand’s social media influence. When you persuade people, your visibility and authority will both rise as a result.”

SEO in 2019: 8 Essentials of Website Optimization (December 3, 2018)
Search Engine Journal: “In the good old days (circa 2009), Google supposedly only used about 200 ranking factors to determine the SERPs. A lot has changed in the past 10 years. But one thing that hasn’t? You don’t need to sweat every ranking factor. Some variables carry much more weight than others.”

How to Develop Engaging Emails that Will Get Opened

How to Develop Engaging Emails that Will Get Opened

When a customer subscribes to your email list, they expect value to be provided in some capacity. And, odds are, your business is not the only one they subscribe to. Over 281 billion consumer and business emails are sent per day, and it’s likely that a majority of those go unread and are instantly deleted by the receiver.

With so many emails being sent, what can you as a business owner do to ensure yours stand out from the rest, and increase your chances of them actually being read? To captivate your readers and keep them coming back for more, here are a few tips on how to write engaging email content.

Personally Address Your Emails

Consumers in today’s complicated retail landscape want a certain level of personalization. They want to be shown that they are appreciated and that their unique needs are being met. You want to help gain your reader’s trust and get them to like your business and the content that you’re pushing out.

A great way to add some flair to your emails is to personally address them with the receiver’s name in the subject line. Most email marketing software has this capability, including Mailchimp. It’s a small personal touch, but it can go a long way, as personalized emails deliver 6x higher transaction rates than those without personalization.

Create a Unique Subject Line

Your subject line is arguably the most important part of your email, as it’s the first thing your subscribers will see. Your email could have the most interesting content in the world, but if the subject line is poor, then your readers won’t be intrigued and will skip over it or delete it.

In order to grab their attention, you need to create a subject line that’s unique. A few tactics to remember are to keep the subject line short and to the point and to be clear about what information or value you’re providing. You can also try to create a sense of urgency, especially if you’re announcing a limited offer or exclusive sale.

Presenting a question within your subject line is also a great way to engage readers. Think of the questions that consumers may have about your business, they may then be compelled to open your email and learn the answer.

Showcase Your Value

As a business owner, you know the unique value that your emails can provide, but the recipients do not, and it’s your job to show them. Focus on your customers, learn more about them, like their wants and needs, then determine how you can meet those needs through email campaigns. The more you learn about your customers, the better you can segment the emails that you send based on their unique preferences.

Share customer testimonials, help solve a problem or product demonstrations within your emails. Content like this will highlight your experience in your field, help build trust with your customers and keep them coming back for more.

Develop Your Voice

Your emails are an avenue for communicating with your customers. Use this opportunity to develop your brand’s voice and personality. Think of the things that differentiate you from your competitors and the areas that your most passionate about in regards to your business, then highlight those components within your emails.

For instance, if you’re a salon owner who offers a one of a kind hair treatment, tell your customers about it. Or if you’re a deli that sells a unique sandwich, offer customers a glimpse into what it looks like. Whatever makes your business unique, tell your subscribers about it through email.

Weekly Bitz: The Importance of a Google My Business Listing & Engaging Facebook Post Ideas

Weekly Bitz: The Importance of a Google My Business Listing & Engaging Facebook Post Ideas

Below is the roundup of some of this week’s MarketingBitz articles and blogs. MarketingBitz publishes digital marketing articles, videos and slideshows written to address the needs of small businesses.

The Importance of a Google My Business Listing (November 29, 2018)
MarketingBitz: “The two most popular resources consumers use today when making purchasing decisions are customer reviews and Google. We inherently trust what other customers have to say about a business, and if we want to know anything at all, we Google it. It should be no surprise, then, that Google My Business — which incorporates the two together — is becoming one of, if not the most powerful tool for marketing.”

Engaging Facebook Post Ideas for Small Businesses (November 27, 2018)
MarketingBitz: “Having a profound Facebook strategy in place that provides the results you’re looking for can prove incredibly difficult. Facebook’s algorithms and consumer behaviors are constantly changing, so creating content that matches up with each of these is always a challenge.”

6 Content Marketing Ideas for the Holidays (November 26, 2018)
Small Business Trends: “To prepare for the holiday season, you supplement your inventory with limited edition products and create tailored newsletters and campaigns. But what about content marketing? The holidays are the ideal time to create engaging articles surrounding the season. Shoppers are eager to consume this type of content and are expecting to see it prominently featured on retailers’ websites.”

How to Humanize Your Website (November 29, 2018)
Business 2 Community: “Most business people recognize, building strong relationships with your customers is essential to your success. The same is true online. While we as people now connect behind a screen, it’s the human engagement we all crave. Humanizing your website is a key to building a strong online presence.”

Top 10 Instagram Trends To Start Using Now for 2019 (November 29, 2018)
Business 2 Community: “Over 80% of Instagram users follow at least one business, with more than 200 million visiting as least one business profile every day. And, with the platform continuously launching new features and transforming it into a more business-friendly environment, it’s clear to see that things are about to get creative and exciting in 2019.”