2018 EDITION: BEST DIGITAL MARKETING PRACTICES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES IN SINGAPORE
Here are some of the digital marketing best practices small business owners can follow in 2018 so it’s worth your time and money. If you’re here, you probably know that small businesses in the entire world (almost) veers more towards digital marketing.
A brilliant digital marketing plan is many business owners’ main battleground — it causes less monetary damages, has more flexibility, and sees more concrete data.
But reading through lists of ‘the 20 techniques you need to make your marketing shine’ alone is hardly ever going to work. You need to put your digital marketing plan into action. Trial and error is part and parcel of an amazing digital marketing plan, except there’s very little room for trial, and all the room in the world for error. And not to mention the prep work can begin months in advance.
Frankly, digital marketing is all about simplicity. The market tries to complicate it and says you need 15 different techniques at once, but it all comes down to understanding your customer base, and discover what kind of content resonates with them.
So how can your company make the most out of your digital marketing efforts? Here are some of the best practices to follow for digital marketing.
Familiarize yourself with the consumer decision journey
Or as HubSpot puts it, the buyer’s journey. So what’s the buyer’s journey? The marketing giant explains that it’s the three-step process that buyers go through before purchasing a new product or service.
The key reason why we list this as the top best practice you should implement in your plan is because your consumers’ behaviour decides the majority of your strategy.
And surely we don’t mean any customers, we meant those of your very own customers’ and prospects’. You need to get hold of real data showing how your customers or prospects acts and reacts before buying your products or services.
How many times do they have to see your ‘awareness’ ads before they view your website? Who do they compare your products or services with when they’re considering to buy from you? How long do items stay in the cart before being abandoned or purchased?
Tracking your customers’ or prospects’ buying journey lets you know what you can do and how you should do it at the right time.
Invest in content marketing
Content is king, you already know that. But really, what’s content marketing?
In case you’re too lazy to read a whole chunk of words, here’s the gist of it: it’s the consistent creation and distribution of highly valuable and relevant contents to reel in and retain a target audience in order to fulfil lead generation and sales conversion.
Taking this next step of digital marketing means you need to strategically plan, create and distribute your content to reach a higher ROI.
The key is ‘strategically‘.
Every piece of content is created for a reason. Be it a video, whitepaper, or blog post, you need to decipher its need, consider the placement, how it can be used long term, etc.
The difference in content marketing is that you’re informing, rather than selling.
Really, it’s time to put hard-selling to sleep. As explained by Vertical Measures, the golden rule of content marketing is not about you or your business. Your content should be informative and be benefitting your target audience by answering questions and solving problems.
Of course keeping up with the industry trend, such as updating your knowledge on Google search engine algorithm, naturally goes without saying.
Singapore is a small country. People are spoilt for choices. The multitude of restaurants or shops makes it hard for businesses to stand out.
For instance, you’ve finally opened up your very own dream cafe, and you’d very much want to attract people to your store.
But, nobody’s stepping into your cafe for the past 7 hours.
So yes, this is where location-based advertising comes in. Imagine sending out vouchers or offer cards to those who are 5km within your cafe. What will happen? You’ll be welcoming some smiley customers claiming their offers in no time.
People love experimenting with new products or buzzy launches, and when they receive that magical offer or vouchers, they’d be more than happy to visit your store.
It may hardly be those ‘a-ha “Where have you been all my life?” type moments’, but nothing shouts success more than potential customers experiencing your products or services firsthand.
Company blogging is not content marketing. But it’s an essential part of it.
Well first, you need to have a website. Not having a website means you’re invisible to anyone looking for you online.
You can either use your company blogging practice to ‘talk’ to your viewers about topics they care about or help build your business, like monetizing it with affiliated marketing or ads.
Next steps: find your own voice and have fresh opinions. Writing your blog posts with definitive thoughts that somewhat differs from the others matters – your viewers want to know that they’re ‘talking’ to someone.
Feel free to keep it casual too – mix it up with different content formats like videos, downloadable resources, podcasts, free tools, etc.
Blogging is important, albeit somewhat slower results. No wonder it’s one of the most important content marketing formats for businesses in 2018. So trust me when I say your efforts will pay off.
High five to inventors of marketing automation tools! See these corporate social media fails of 2018? I bet you don’t ever want to put yourself in that kind of situation where even an apology barely works and ends up having to pay it with your career because of these social media fails.
Spontaneous content can be interesting, but possibly prone to more errors. Automating tasks can really push your digital marketing strategies forward. Plus you’ll allow more eyes for reviews and checks, hence leaving less room for mistakes.
Not too sure what it means by marketing automation?
Here are some examples:
- Replying messages
- Posting on social media platforms
- Sending emails upon trigger etc.
Do social media marketing… for a reason
According to a social media statistic report, there are 4.40 million active social media users, and 4 million active mobile social users.
That’s certainly a huge figure marketers in Singapore should rejoice over.
But at the same time, an AIA survey shows that one in five (22%) say they ‘actively ignore’ social posts by brands.
Well, of course, that happens. Especially when these contents spark no ‘what’s in it for me’ resonance.
Out of so many social media platforms, Facebook is one of the most popular ones. Unfortunately, their algorithm changes all the time. Last we checked, your Facebook posts are only reaching 2% of your followers.
Still, it’s a great channel for businesses. They have these beautiful, detailed numbers you can derive to check for your content performance, find out how your website is doing, and target the people that you want. If you know how to use it right, you’ll be in for a great surprise. And suddenly all of those content you’ve been building exists for a reason!
What we didn’t tell you yet about blogging is that it’s extremely popular. And there are numbers to prove it. According to WordPress blog activities, over 409 million people view more than 21.4 billion pages each month.
So you can see, it’s hard to compete. And you should be prepared to know that they’ll eventually forget about your blog in no time.
Here’s where you use downloadable resources such as e-books, guides, white papers, infographics etc. to your advantage.
If you’ve been doing your homework and knows what your readers are looking for, then you’d have no issues luring your readers to download your content.
Making an extra long-form content might be deemed too terrifying, but it really requires lesser work than you thought.
All you have to do is:
- Collate your best-performing contents that are related to the topic of the downloadable resources
- Make some adjustments to the content and layout
- Create some visual expressions like infographics
Design not your forte? That’s why the internet is great! You can create any kind of design you like even without design knowledge, for instance, Canva’s free graphic templates can help you create infographics that you can personalize in minutes.
So, there you have it! When they get ahold of your content, it’s the ticket to memory-refreshing success, even if they’ve lost touch with your blog for some time.
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There are endless approaches you can utilize these days, but the thing about digital marketing is that you need to continue learning. EVERY SINGLE DAY. And the next best thing you can do for your digital marketing strategy? Keep refining it.
The pace of the internet world changes so fast, sometimes it’s hard to catch up. We know your struggles, so here’s 11 digital marketing online courses you can take in Singapore to hone your skills.