Let’s face it, everyone wants to master this advertising medium that is all-consuming. And for most, that is simply not attainable. You could devote every waking hour to keeping up on the latest trends (which can literally change weekly). And, I’m quite sure that’s not the best use of any business owner’s time. Truth be told, it’s so very new, it’s hard to call anyone a true “expert”. The problem with hiring a digital marketing company is that you don’t know enough about marketing to assess how they are performing. At the very least though, you should know the basics of digital marketing.
1. Building Your Website
It starts with your website, which is by far, the single most important digital marketing element. Everything you do in the world of digital marketing should be driving traffic to your website. So, for example, if you are doing a post about custom product design, you should have an equally robust page on your website about custom product design that your post will link to. There are thousands upon thousands of companies that design and create websites. And, there is a decent amount of companies who have experience in building sites for this industry. Be sure to ask the following questions prior to hiring:
- Is the site a template site or custom site? Have them explain the differences.
- What are the steps in building the site and the realistic length of time it will take to complete it?
- Does the site include custom copy?
- Is the site mobile responsive?
- What platform is the site being built on (Magento, WordPress, etc.)?
- Is this platform easy to work on if you want to implement your own updates?
- Does the company provide backend training?
- Is the site yours upon completion or does the developer maintain ownership?
- If you want an online shopping site, can it easily connect to your POS system (this might also come down to what your POS system offers)?
- What is the process for managing and updating products?
- What are your options for a Diamond Search component?
- Are there monthly maintenance fees after the site is complete? And, if so, what do those fees cover? Are they mandatory?
- Does the developer offer hosting capabilities and what are your options?
Create a master list and compare companies side by side. And, then it all comes down to trust and whom you feel most comfortable with.
Website companies can run from the low thousands all the way up to six figures. The cost is based on the complexity of the site and the amount of functionality you want and need. In today’s rapidly evolving world of digital user experience, a website that was created three years ago can easily become obsolete. That’s how quickly things change. Build a site that can grow with you and have the ability to change. It’s like building a house. Make sure the foundation is solid so you can re-paint and add rooms or move walls, if need be.
If you have a website, remember that they are in constant need of updating and refinement. If you’re not currently doing this with your website, you are probably losing ground in organic ranking. Why? Because Google is a business. And, it too, is looking for relevant and updated copy which will increase your ranking status. They want their customers to have a good user-experience. And, you should too.
2. Website Security
If you are selling online or thinking of selling online, make sure your site is secure. It should have a little lock symbol like this:
Google is going to begin penalizing companies that do not have this security in the form of decreased organic rankings. If your site isn’t secure, and you have any data entry (such as search box, log-in etc.), it will actually say it’s not secure in your Chrome browser. It’s very likely that users will not remain on your site once they see that symbol notifying them that your site is not secure.
3. Social Media Marketing
Next up…Social Marketing. When it comes to Social Marketing, there is one thing to remember: Facebook is king. Every other platform pales in comparison when it comes to sheer users and numbers. So, as we like to say here at Fruchtman, you can fish in the pond where there are a few, great fish, or you can go where they can’t wait to take the bait. So, if you are spending budget dollars in Social Marketing, Facebook is where it’s at. No matter what your budget may be, it’s time to consider integrating short videos on Facebook or consider doing Facebook Live. Both are highly effective advertising outlets. Videos (short or longer format) catch your attention. Especially if they hold interesting content. It’s been reported, people comment up to 10 times more when you use video.
Speaking of Facebook, posting no longer matters. Feel free to post a few times a week (at the most). But, less than 6% of your fan base is even seeing those posts. Why? Because Facebook is a business. And today, that means you need to allocate media dollars. Facebook advertising is no more than a hyper-targeted billboard. And, that’s a good thing. Done right and done well, it is the single best advertising medium you can use in the world of digital. Unlike traditional media (such as billboards), you can hyper- target zip codes, relationship status, income levels, education, specific interests, etc. And, it’s completely measurable.
And, if posting does not matter, your Facebook page banner is seen even less. No need to change it out very often. Three to four times per year is good enough.
What about other platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Snapchat? Understand, each one of these demand time and money. People want to follow people on Twitter, not small businesses. If you’re going to use those platforms, make them interesting for anyone who follows you. Provide important information and set yourself up as the jewelry authority. It shouldn’t be used for advertising, but for building a community and relationships. Regarding Instagram (owned by Facebook), you can easily utilize this platform by running ads on Facebook and using the same ads on Instagram. Video is also big on Instagram. If Facebook is king, Instagram is queen and making headway. What about Snapchat? It’s definitely used by the younger demographic. Is it as important to your business at this point as Facebook and Instagram? Absolutely not. Just as in any medium you use, you want to select those you can do a great job on and not spread yourself too thin.
4. Paid Search
Paid Search, sometimes also referred to as Search Engine Marketing (SEM), is literally the Yellow Pages of today. Which, by the way, never use the Yellow Pages to do your SEM. Also, never pay for any search terms that include your name. If people are searching your name, they should find your name organically. There are just as many companies doing SEM as there are doing websites and everything else in digital. Most are not going to do what is in your best interest. I am telling you this, because I have seen it over and over and over and over again. For example, you do not want to compete for the word “ring”. Why? Because you are competing with companies who are also bidding for ring video doorbells or ring security kits. Google the word ring and see what you come up with. You will also want to be careful about bidding on the word “engagement ring”. Even though it’s industry related, Google it and see what comes up. You are competing against every industry engagement ring giant. And, it will cost a fortune. Instead, bid on “engagement ring (your city)” and, win that war. Believe me when I tell you, most companies are spending your money on the former and not the latter. And, wasting lots of your money.
All digital campaigns should be carefully tracked, measured, and tweaked as the months go on. Do not look at daily statistics and make wild changes. We typically modify campaigns after several weeks. No matter who you work with, ask for quarterly reports so you can see some trends. And, ask questions. These terms are not things you are familiar with and make sure your digital company explains things in language you can understand. Do not let them intimidate you.
Digital marketing is very complex. I’ve barely scratched the surface in this 101 tutorial. It’s enough to make you wiser and a little dangerous. 201, however, might make your head spin.