Marketing Technology- Tools You Can’t Do Without
Marketing Tech Means Presence, Planning and Implementation
Marketing strategies today are drastically different than they were even just a few years ago, and to keep up, you’ll need to make sure you’re apprised of the new technology that will help your business grow in the digital world. Because the focus has now gone almost completely digital, you’ll need to find ways to create, manage and leverage your online presence into real dollars for your business.
Though it seems like a no brainer, some businesses underestimate the power of a well done, easily navigable, and dynamic website. This is your home base, your repository, and your platform. Make sure it’s kept up-to-date, linked with your social media accounts, and full of valuable, pertinent information.
A huge mistake that many small businesses make is that they build a website, just for the sake of having a website. This is one area of digital marketing where “set it and forget it” does not apply. Your website should serve as your branding marker; your website, if not optimized for search engines (SEO) and kept up to date with new and relevant information will only serve to show up as a major expense on your budget sheet.
You want your website to work for you, but to make that happen, you’ve got to work for it by creating new content on the regular and syndicating that content across the web in order to entice inbound traffic, and, ultimately, conversions.
Social media is a huge part of search engine optimization (SEO). Keep in mind that when it comes to social media, you won’t get far without employing its various manifestations in your marketing strategy. Set up and maintain Google +, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and any other form of social media that you feel is relevant to your market and your business. Using social media properly in your marketing plan will help with your company branding, improve awareness, increase customer loyalty, build trust, and expand your reach as well as influence, with existing and prospective customers.
If you’re not sure where to start (and let’s face it, the sheer number social media platforms alone can be overwhelming!), hire a professional. There are dozens of social media agencies out there whose entire expertise lies in boosting your digital marketing game.
Email marketing, a tried-and-true approach, may seem old school but can’t be ignored when it comes to the impact it can have on your business. Get a plan for email marketing together, and put it into action using one of the great tools out there.
If your business is small and you’re working with limited funding, go for an email marketing service like Mail Chimp, Constant Contact or Aweber. These services will be limited to email marketing, however.
If your budget can handle it, go for a good Customer Relationship Management system (CRM); these systems are no longer limited to maintaining customer database and managing email communications. A robust system like Infusionsoft, can combine email marketing, automated marketing campaigns and funnels, and sales tools, allowing you to create templates and landing pages, add tags according to customer or prospect actions, track internal communications, nurture leads, and more.
You can link your CRM to your social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, and use them as in interactive way to stay in touch with your customer base. Combine a CRM tool with your social media and you will elevate your customer relationships to a new level.
Managing your social media streams is vital to maintaining your online marketing presence. Check into the various social media management tools that are available to you, such as Hootsuite; these will ensure you won’t miss a message, allow you to schedule posts, and monitor what others are saying about your brand.
There are numerous other aspects to marketing your business today, and as many tools and systems available. The key is to determine what you need to do, how you need to do it, and which tools you can utilize to facilitate your processes. Mind mapping software, project management systems, internal reporting, CRMs, and more… as they say these days: whatever it is, there is likely an application for it.
Now that you’ve created a space for yourself online and have begun building it, it’s time to really ramp things up using search engine optimization (SEO). Again, if you can’t or are simply not inclined, there are agencies galore out there that will gladly help you.
Pay close attention, as well, to your digital reputation. Perform frequent searches on your business from a customer’s point of view and use tools like Google Alerts, Trackur, or SocialMension.
You’ll need to utilize analytics, as well, to help you check that all your hard work is paying off. Using analytics, you’ll not only be able to determine who is visiting your sites, aps and landing pages, and when, but you’ll also be able to calculate items like costs per lead or customer, and return on investment. Take some time and learn about how to track your metrics, and read up on the ins and outs of SEO- even if you have an agency handling these things for you, you should have a birdseye understanding of what’s up.