When it comes to digital marketing, it can be tricky to stay ahead of the competition due to the ever-evolving digital landscape, where trends come and go (barely making it past the two-month mark).
Marketers have to constantly keep up with the latest trends, such as digital content and media buy that is relevant for their brand to stand out from the crowd. It’s hard work, but it pays off.
Before the year slips away from you, make sure you evaluate your online marketing strategies and efforts for the year to understand the state of your overall performance and brand health — be prepared to compete!
If you’re unsure of where to start with your digital marketing efforts or which areas to focus on, all that’s about to change!
Here is some digital marketing do’s and don’ts to put you back on track:
Let’s start with the dos.
Must-have a company blog
Owning a blog is an effective way to communicate with your audience and is a good way to offer relevant and insightful marketing tips.
Blogging creates brand awareness, personality, and builds trust as the go-to experts in a specific industry.
For example, entrepreneurs seeking advice for their business from a digital marketing agency will find your blog useful because it matches their interests.
Blogs are also an inexpensive way to drive traffic to your website and help boost your search engine optimization (SEO) for search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, and others that are always on the hunt for freshly baked content to index.
It’s a great way for businesses to include relevant keywords that the audience keys in when they search for a service or product related to a specific industry. Let’s say, keywords such as Media Agency, Content Marketing, Digital Marketing Services, Kuala Lumpur, etc.
Follow your people
Be where your customers are on social platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Google, etc.
Avoid promoting on platforms you aren’t managing and stick to the ones that are relevant for your business to keep consistent.
With artificial intelligence today, it enables social media analytics that help direct marketers like you to which types of social media strategies work best for your target audience and where to allocate your budget wisely.
Social media analytics free trials at Hootsuite is a good way to understand whether your efforts are working in more than one social media platform, so you can align your digital marketing strategy.
Build a brand community
An audience is just people sitting there watching what you have to say. However, an audience turned into a community (through content marketing) is a group of people that feel strongly connected to your brand and whom you have the power to influence.
They no longer look at your product and services the same way anymore, instead, they willingly love your brand so much that they voluntarily become your brand advocates by sharing and inspiring their friends and others to use your products.
If executed well, this community can strengthen your brand image by spreading the word for you and interact in the space that you’ve created, such as asking questions, sharing their thoughts, and issues. They may be loyal customers, family, friends, potential customers, etc.
A great example of this practice is the Sephora Beauty talk and beauty board, a forum that connects their customers with the online community by sharing ideas, thoughts, opinions on their products. They invite users to upload photos of themselves wearing their products and link them to the product page of items used. Marketers can find out which product customers like and understand their pain points.
Put the social in social media
Socialize online and engage with your customers with a strong content marketing strategy. You should make all the effort because it genuinely shows, and they will return the favor.
Interact with your customers on their personal or professional page by giving them some insight they need clarification for, and they will slowly involve you in their community, business, and industry.
They will always look for experts like you whenever they seek more insight.
When planning for your posts, you must be specific with your ideas and organized with your dates to form a solid online marketing strategy. It’s best to use slides for reference that are presentable to be used in-house or for your clients.
Include these details in your monthly Masterplan (use PowerPoint, keynote, or whichever suits):
Allocate specific dates for each post per week in a month. For example, if you’re doing 12 posts per month on Facebook/Instagram during Christmas month for a campaign or any form of content marketing, it’s best to space it out to every 2-3 days per post and avoid posting daily content, your audience might find it annoying or ignore it).
Your caption (scribble your lightbulb moments before you finalize content).
The format used like video, static image, GIF, Infographics, etc (use reference links, image, video, etc if it’s still in progress).
Highlight if it’s a boosted post.
Incorporate web push notifications
How does web push work?
Any company with a website can send out these push notifications once they install a code (web-based SDK) from a web push service such as Airship with no app required.
The objective here is to deliver messages to your subscribed audience in Real-Time as soon as the message is initiated from the backend. This gives high real-time live reach when it matters (the first hour your brand goes live on social media).
You can’t afford to ignore your customers and not engage or reply to their queries via email or comments on other online marketing platforms. It is just plain rude! So, having a web push online marketing strategy will decrease the chances of customer dissatisfaction because you can reach them on their desktop and mobile phones.
Communication is a 2-way street in all aspects of life (relationships, friendships, work, digital marketing, etc) and you need your customers just as much as they need you. I am sure you’ve heard of the phrase “It takes two to tango” because it is so true.
Here’s a tip: If you have an email list, promote your video or status updates to that list to drive more engagement.
Now, let the DON’TS begin!
Don’t create poor content
Stay away from creating poor content that lacks substance and is a waste of your audience’s time. This can be content in blogs, Vlogs, social media captions, ads, podcasts, and more.
What is poor content?
Spelling and grammatical errors (get help with free editing tools such as Grammarly).
Irrelevant content that does not relate to the audience’s interest.
Content that doesn’t interact with the audience.
Low quality image/ sound/video quality
Poor sentence structure for website/blogs/Vlogs
Too much exaggeration.
Quantity over quality (beware of information overload).
Overpromising and self-praising content.
Unauthentic content that is a copy-paste from a site.
Generic social media captions.
Writing to/for yourself and not your audience.
Flat out boring and zero flow.
You want to create quality content marketing that resonates with your audience.
Perhaps you can ask a question or add a poll in your post to interact with your audience. Post content that your audience will not only acknowledge but will get hooked on!
Provide valuable content that will create user-generated content (UGC) so your audience can interact with both you and other users. The content can be on social media live videos such as on Facebook, Instagram, feeds posts, podcasts, forums, and other forms of internet marketing. This content hype is likely to go viral.
If you’re not sure what amazing content is, go to Buzzsumo and type the keywords within your space, it will show you content that is popular on the social web already.
Don’t have local search visibility
If you’re not listed on local search or are hard to find, you’re practically invisible in the eyes of digital marketing law. “*Facepalm*” moment.
If you run a local business and your target audience is nationwide, say in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, or in anywhere in Malaysia, you need to get recognized and increase your visibility locally ASAP, especially if you have an existing website. Don’t even get me thinking, “what more globally”?
However, you’re not dead meat yet (almost, digitally), but thanks to the undying ways of the digital marketing world; there are ways to salvage your brand and you’re going to need it:
Get into SEO blogging (publish relevant and easily readable content).
Be consistent with your information across all platforms.
Get online testimonials.
Optimize your website for SEO and conversions.
Put yourself out there. Your voice must be heard. Pump up the volume!
Don’t forgo mobile optimization
Digital marketing is the use of the internet, mobile devices, search engines, and various online marketing channels to reach your consumers.
We live in a fast-paced society that revolves around mobility and efficiency, people are always attached to their mobile phones and rely on it for online purchasing, communication, social media, and everything.
Based on statistics from Datareportal, there were 40.69 million mobile connections in Malaysia as of January 2020.
Looking at the statistics and not opting for a mobile-friendly website would be a foolish choice, as it shows you’re not thinking of your consumers enough to cater to their overall user experience.
Your business must have a mobile-friendly optimized website, as it allows more consumers to be reached at a faster rate and is more presentable for your clients, consumers, and visitors to experience seamless navigation anytime, anywhere with ease. Moreover, it’s up to date and relevant.
Don’t EVER ignore video content
Not leveraging your video content on platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc is like hiding from the world and not maximizing your digital marketing strategies and efforts.
These social sites are craving for yours and everyone’s attention! They want you to watch a video on Facebook Live, rather than watch tv on CNN, Live, Animal planet, or to get a taste of music being promoted online before your actual purchase, and to get your news updates. Content marketing is more than just written content.
Based on research from Asia Pac, 98%of Malaysians watch online videos while 70% of them spend their time on music streaming services each month.
Malaysians engage with video content, which could be a potential way to reach the audience in Malaysia.
You can actually get 2-3 times more engagement uploading a video rather than using a photo or caption. So, what are you waiting for? Use this time to shine on Facebook Live (or other channels) and claim your throne!
Don’t forget to ‘humanize’
Just as digital marketing has evolved, so have our consumers along with it — and they’re growing smarter, savvier, and more demanding.
They have raised their expectations from marketers today and expect more than just plain marketing. They want everything in an instant, from online payments, shopping experience, speedy deliveries, good customer service, the perfect partner, and a whole lot of attention with the click of a button.
Marketers these days tend to forget that customers are only human and are online to seek personal or professional help. Humans want to feel like they’re a part of something meaningful through experiences and personal storytelling. Find their soft spot!
So, if you’re trying to reach out to your consumers and want to stand out, avoid the marketing gimmicks and keep your robotic explanations to yourself (who cares if you scored 99% on Grammarly?) Algorithms are only useful to a certain extent and can’t be depended on 100% of the time.
Here are some ways to ‘humanize’ your brand:
Speak their lingo (avoid bot talk).
Why so serious? Inject some humor and make your audience laugh.
Share some user-generated content for a personalized touch.
Tell them a story about your failures, hardships, etc. Instead of rambling on about how great your brand is. Trust me, they don’t care.
Don’t like your posts or comments (it’s narcissistic).
Appreciation goes a long way (send them a thank you note, gift vouchers, personalized merchandise with their names on it, etc).
Don’t resist help
Businesses aim to grow at a rapid pace, but most of the time, they avoid seeking professional help or they think they can cut back on their budget with an in-house team to take on all the digital marketing efforts.
If you’re not entirely savvy in the digital landscape, it’s going to be a rocky road ahead trying to comprehend online marketing, finding out which online marketing strategies are effective for your brand, and keeping up with the everchanging trends.
If you want to give your business some space to grow, it’s advisable to engage with a digital marketing agency to do the heavy lifting because that’s right up their alley!
A digital agency is a team of talented online marketing wizards that eat, sleep, and breathe all things digital!
To sum this up, the digital marketing landscape is always evolving so it can be hard to grasp everything at once and the only way is to understand your audience more is through social media analytics tools and your online marketing efforts.
I hope you managed to absorb some information and get a rough view of our “Digital marketing Do’s and Don’ts”, so you’re not completely in the dark.
Let’s break it down to refresh your memory.
Must-have a company blog.
Follow your people.
Build a brand community.
Put the social in social media.
Strategize your posts.
Incorporate web push notifications.
Don’t create poor content.
Don’t have local search visibility.
Don’t forgo mobile optimization.
Don’t EVER ignore video content.
Don’t forget to ‘humanize.’
Don’t resist help.
I understand it can be overwhelming but do take it one step at a time.
Remember to run through all your digital marketing efforts and find ways to maximize your business potential.
If you’re looking for a trusted and friendly digital marketing agency in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, or anywhere in Malaysia to help increase your ROI, expand your outreach, and increase your brand awareness, Synergy XYZ is here at your service!