Most SME owners understand the benefits of working with Digital Marketing Services agencies. Their knowledge is specialised, they save the business time, they offer a fresh perspective, and they can help to educate business owners about important digital marketing practices. However, these same business owners are often confused about what digital agencies actually do for the business. In this article, we’ll discuss a few of the most common digital marketing services. We’ll also talk about 4 signs that indicate the need for these types of services.
Internet Live Stats reports that Google currently processes over 40,000 search queries each and every second. This translates to over 3 billion searches each day and 1.2 trillion each year, worldwide. Needless to say, the search engines have become a major player in determining the success of a business.
This is why search engine optimisation, or SEO, is so popular. It determines the quality of traffic and ensures that the audience is well targeted. It determines the quantity of traffic and ensures that the audience is sizeable. It also determines whether or not the search results are organic and ensures that businesses don’t have to spend any more of their budget on advertising than necessary.
MediaOne, the leading digital agency in Singapore with over 10 years of experience, understands that it takes more than a well-designed website to get the attention of customers and their goal is to get businesses on the first page of Google. The company lists SEO as one of its services. And it is well-equipped with the technical skills and knowledge to make their clients top competitors. Their white hat techniques include securing high-quality links and making sure they are diverse, create unique meta descriptions and titles for each page so that similar content on the website will not compete against each other in the search results, and crafting the best keyword strategy for semantic search.
Why does it seem that every website, large and small, is equipped with a mailing list, sign up option? It’s because mailing lists actually bring in results. Email marketing makes use of electronic mail to fundraise and communicate with the audience. At best, this form of marketing helps businesses build relationships with current and potential clients so as to encourage loyalty and repeat business.
Getting someone’s email address is much like being invited over to dinner. The potential customer is comfortable with the business and willing to listen to what it has to say. In fact, in 2012, Chief Marketer found that the ROI of email marketing was 21.5% better than that of direct mail.
iFoundaries offers email marketing as one of its services. The company feels that this form of marketing is much more stable and reliable when compared to the ever-evolving social media platforms. iFoundaries uses their email marketing software to help build a larger and stronger list. They work with their customers to ensure that their newsletter templates feature actionable designs, that mailing lists are easy to import in both CSV and EXCEL format, that the company has auto-responders as well as triggers for their drip campaign, and that each client has a thorough campaign report to show statistics for the number of opens, click-throughs, bounce and unsubscribe. iFoundaries is focused on offering their clients solutions that are cost-efficient and offer huge returns.
Social Media Marketing
This is not to say that social media platforms can’t be effective. Statista reports that In 2017, over 62% of Singapore’s population accessed social media. And it’s predicted that by 2019, this number will rise to 63%. So what does this mean for business owners? It means that social media shows no signs of slowing down over the next few years and that this is a great place to secure new business. The great thing about social media marketing is that each post is a new opportunity for customers to convert. Every image, comment, or video is another chance for someone to react to the brand.
Happy Marketer is determined to make social media marketing easy with their well-researched editorial calendars. They plan each post and ensure that followers are always aware of the latest events, offers, and themes. And their focus is to put the most important parts of the business’s brand in the spotlight. Happy Marketer’s social media skills include making sure the business secures the right audience for the type of content it offers, remaining up to date with the activity of the business’s audience with the help of alerts and page administrators, and getting the most out of content promotion based on daily financial limits.
Display advertising is the means of promoting a brand visually through banners, images, and buttons. And this is typically done through ad networks. The business specifies what demographics they would like to target as well as their budget. The network then serves the company’s ads to users who fit within those specifications.
Many businesses have given up on display advertisements. They feel that ad blockers have made this form of advertising obsolete. However, this would not be the first time that people have lost hope in display ads. Back in 2013, it was rumoured that this form of online advertising had died. But even still, marketers continued to invest in it. According to Marketing Land, by 2014, advertisers had spent over $13 billion in display advertising in the United States alone–a 5% increase from the previous year.
Display advertising can still be pretty useful, especially when it comes to platforms like Facebook and Google Display Network which happens to covers over 2 million sites and mobile apps. Clickworkz is a company who believes in display advertising and they work to drive ads to the most profitable placements through several targeting types.
Website Design & Development
When it comes to taking a digital campaign to the next level, it’s always important to consider how well-branded the business is. This means that not only should SEO, email marketing, social media strategies, and display advertising be well executed, but so should the business website. This is why Verz Design lists website design and development as one of its digital services.
This company breaks their web design and development into phases. It starts with project initiation where they establish the business’s requirements and KPIs and deliver a timeline to the client. They then move on to the design and contend phase where the company comes up with an approach to content that works for both the client and their users. The company then enters the web design & development in they turn website mockups into a working prototype. Next Verz tests their designs and get feedback from the client. Finally, after the company deploys the project, they work to ensure that the client has all of the necessary support needed.
Signs A Business Needs the Help of An Agency
Though digital marketing services can drastically improve a marketing campaign, many business owners have no idea if or when they need their services. In fact, many wait until its too late to solve the problem. Here are a few signs that business owners should invest in digital marketing services.
Sudden dips in traffic
Perhaps the business has been successful up to this point but is suddenly starting to notice dips in website traffic. This can be a major if the website makes up the majority of the company’s revenue. These changes may be due to technical issues or penalties from Google. Whatever the problem is, a digital marketing expert can help get to the bottom of it.
Bounce rates are skyrocketing
Bounce rates represent the percentage of people who only visit one page of the business’s website. They are also an indication of how well the website is converting its visitors. Every website has a bounce rate, however, there are certain businesses that struggle with higher percentages than others. In most cases, it means that there is a problem that needs to be addressed–from poor content to slow site speed. If business owners are having a hard time with these numbers, they should get seek the advice of the experts.
Competition is always leading
A great way to determine the success of a small business is to compare them to their competition. Ranking is an indication of two important factors: relevance and authority. If competitors, specifically other small businesses in that field, always seem to outrank the company then it may be time to consider calling in the professionals.
ROI is hard to measure
Small businesses often operate on limited to budgets. This means that business owners have to spend their money wisely, making sure that they are actually getting results. While it can be easy to measure traffic, bounce rates and rankings in the search engine, it can sometimes be difficult to measure return on investment. If business owners are not about to clearly track their ROI, then they should consider taking advantage of the digital services that agencies offer.
Digital Marketing for Small Businesses
Thanks to technological advancements like increased smartphone usage, more people are now actively using the internet than ever. This presents an opportunity for businesses to expand their brand awareness and reach, especially those that own online stores. It’s not a coincidence that digital marketing will cost companies an estimated $1.3 trillion this year.
While offline marketing methods can help increase the revenues generated by your business, they aren’t as effective as online marketing strategies. This explains why internet marketing overtook took offline media as the most popular form of advertising more than four years ago.
The good thing with digital marketing is that it reduces the disparity between small businesses and established enterprises. Specifically, small and medium-sized enterprises have a better chance of reaching broad audiences despite their significantly inferior marketing budgets.
Top Digital Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses
If you’re a small business owner looking to increase brand awareness and conversion rates, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to discover how you can make your start-up stand put in what is a fiercely competitive online market.
1. Create a Social Media Presence
Since the onset of Covid-19, there has been limited face-to-face contact between businesses and their clients. As a result, companies have been forced to resort to alternative means of communication, one of which is social media.
Creating a social presence is vital to succeeding in your social media campaign. Unsurprisingly, many businesses, regardless of size, invest in social media marketing.
When you implement this strategy, create accounts in as many social platforms as possible. This ensures that you cater to the diverse needs of your target audience. However, you might want to narrow down to specific networks once you discover what your customers like most.
Remember that social media marketing is always about developing relationships with your clients. As such, take time to listen to their complaints and recommendations instead of constantly posting advertisement messages.
2. Pay Attention to Trends
After creating your social media profiles, ensure that pay attention to the latest trends. This lets you know what people are after at the time, which is useful for creating relevant content.
By following trending topics, you know what resonates with your customers’ needs. A strategy that brought success last year might not be useful this year.
The best way to keep up with what’s trending is by conducting social listening. It helps you get detailed information about the needs of your clientele, which is why companies have increased their spending on this strategy by 67%.
3. Emphasise Quality
Many marketers still think that posting regularly is enough to increase their engagement and conversion rates. This isn’t the case. Instead, customers are now focusing on quality content that can help solve the challenges they face.
As mentioned earlier, it’s wise to occasionally create informative posts, rather than constantly publishing promotional messages. Keep in mind that your audience isn’t always looking to but – sometimes, they might be after more information about a product or service you offer, or a topic related to your niche.
Quality content is accurate, relevant and timely. More importantly, it’s written in a human tone, and not for search engine robots.
4. Monitor Your Progress
There’s no need to invest in digital marketing if you don’t continually monitor your progress. Because this form of advertisement involves the implementation of multiple strategies, you must check what’s working and what’s not regularly. This allows you to devise tactics on how to improve your returns.
Nowadays, you can analyse your campaign’s progress easily using analytics tools, either free or paid. These platforms allow you to choose the parameters you want to track, depending on your preferences.
Once you know what’s working for you, you can eliminate or improve the unsuccessful strategies. One way of doing this is by doing A/B testing, a method where you create variations of a marketing message or on-page elements to see which works best. For instance, you can create two CTAs –one with plain text and another with a button. You will then look at how your audience reacts to each and choose the better option.
5. PPC Marketing
PPC marketing shares many similarities with SEO, with the most significant difference being that you have to pay for it. When you implement this strategy, you pay a specified amount (known as cost-per-click) every time a user clicks on you ad.
A widespread misconception is that PPC marketing is too costly for small businesses. In reality, it can help you compete with larger companies because paid ads tend to rank on the first page of search engine result pages faster than organic content. Furthermore, it allows you to target your ads towards specific demographics, and you only pay for results.
Notably, the cost of a PPC marketing campaign mostly depends on the competitiveness of your niche. If you bid for high-tenet keywords, you will have to spend more money.
6. Use Different Formats
Don’t bore your target audience by always posting the same kind of content. If you want to keep your customers engaged, try to use different formats. For instance, you could post an article in the morning, a video during the day, and an infographic or podcast in the evening. It’s also helpful to use the various options available on social media, such as Facebook’s Stories, Twitter’s Fleets, and Instagram’s Reels.
That said, it’s essential to what type of content works best for a particular social media. For example, a post with a GIF might get many likes on Facebook and perform dismally on Twitter. Similarly, a plaintext tweet might receive more engagement than one that contains visual content.
Types of Content used by Digital Marketers Source: HubSpot
Suppose you don’t an impressive photo gallery, several sites on the internet offer free, high-quality stock photos. This doesn’t mean that you download any photo you find online – ensure that using it doesn’t infringe the owner’s copyright.
Always embed alt text on your video content, as this helps people know what it’s about if the page doesn’t render correctly. Also, remember to include captions in your videos.
7. Email Marketing
Email marketing is a highly effective yet affordable method of improving your online business. One message can help you reach hundreds or even thousands of prospective customers.
The effectiveness of email marketing lies in the fact that people who subscribe tour mailing list are already interested in your products and services. Therefore, they are more likely to open and respond to your newsletters, promotions, updates, and general messages.
What to internet users check first when they wake up? Source: Optinmonster
You don’t need a big budget to succeed at email marketing, as there are several free and low-cost tools available online. All you need is to do is create messages with catchy subject lines, a concise body, and a clear and compelling call-to-action. Then, ensure that you get the timing right – sending messages too often makes you look desperate, while taking too long might make the intended recipient disinterested in your offerings.
8. Automation Tools
As your business grows, your marketing campaign becomes more demanding, and this can hinder your productivity. Luckily, you can use automation tools to help make your campaign more effective. Some examples include:
- Keyword research tools – these help in improving your SEO and PPC marketing campaigns by identifying the commonly used search terms.
- Analytics tools – these are useful for targeting the performance of your campaign and making recommendations on how to improve.
- Social media tools – these help in creating, scheduling and increasing the engagement levels of your social media posts.
- Email marketing tools – these ensure that emails reach recipients in time and help in monitoring engagement levels.
Challenges Faced by Small Businesses in Digital Marketing
Although it has many potential benefits, investing in digital marketing doesn’t always guarantee success for small businesses. Of course, the biggest of them all is the ever-increasing number of competitors.
Here are some of the challenges that small business face when they venture into online marketing.
Building a Website
Without a website, it’s challenging to have a successful digital marketing campaign. This is why many businesses looking to get more sales through the internet start by creating a website.
That said, having an accessible domain name isn’t enough – you must ensure that your site has the right optimisation, ideally, it should have quality and relevant content and an easy to use interface. If your site has poor design, more than 75% of users are less likely to trust your business.
Additionally, poorly designed sites often have high bounce rates. This results in lower conversion, as most of your traffic will quickly shift to a better option. According to HubSpot, 38% of consumers stop interacting with websites with unattractive layouts or irrelevant content.
Small business owners will find reprieve in the fact that the internet has several easy to use website builders. Nowadays, you don’t have to be proficient at programming to develop an attractive website.
Targeting Right Audiences
You might have a great website, but you can’t have meaningful returns if you target the wrong audience. This is why you need to create a buyer persona.
Buyer persona are a hypothetical list of what your typical customer would want from you. To build these lists, you need real-life data about your consumers’ preferences. This is challenging for small businesses, as it supposedly takes time and a considerable amount of resources to obtain this information.
In truth, it doesn’t cost much to obtain information about your customers. You can get useful insights into their preferences by asking direct questions or monitoring their online behaviour. When using the latter approach, pay attention to their posts, shared posts, who they follow, and when they like using social media.
After gathering the information, use it to create personas by providing answers to the questions your ideal customer would ask. These responses will help you craft more effective marketing messages,
Creating Consistent Branding
Branding is among the most vital aspects of digital marketing. Since most companies have active marketing campaigns, it’s essential to create messages that make your brand relatable and easy to recognise. If you don’t, your adverts won’t stand out, and this is a careless way of losing money.
How do you start? To create a successful branding strategy, pay attention to the details. Everything matters, regardless of its size. Some things that appear insignificant like font style and colours can have a massive impact on how prospective clients perceive your business. Ensure that you use consistent branding across all advertisement platforms.
Another way of improving brand consistency is by training your staff and issuing them with a guideline on what styles and designs to use when advertising your company.
According to HubSpot, lead generation is among the top challenges faced by internet marketers. This is surprising, given that the number of advertising channels is ever increasing. However, it’s also understandable because more businesses are now relying on the worldwide web to expand their reach.
You must create valuable content if you want to generate more leads and increase your website traffic. As mentioned above, the best way to do this is by creating buyer personas.
Source: Digital Marketing Community
Once you know what your customer base likes, you will informed decisions on how to improve your marketing strategy. Specifically, you will learn how to craft your website content, how to write you ad copy, how to optimise landing pages, when to post on social media, etc.
Limited Marketing Budget
While some digital marketing like social media and email are relatively cheap to start, others require bigger budgets that are often out of reach for upcoming businesses. Research conducted by SEMrush shows that 67.4% of small businesses struggle with limited marketing budgets.
Don’t give up on digital marketing yet, even if you feel that you don’t have enough money. The first step to reducing your expenses is investing smartly. You will see an impact if you spend your money more wisely.
Ensure that you have a realistic plan, then select the paid advertising platform that suits your needs. When starting, the maximum number of platforms you should subscribe to is three.
Another tactic for maximising your low budget is by running few tests. Since most paid ad platforms provide quick results, you can run tests on Google, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube within a month. After each test, identify the ads that perform best and start from there.
Alternatively, you can choose to improve your best-performing strategies. Going all-in on a tactic that has already brought positive results is a good call, especially if you have tight budget.
Creating Business and Marketing Goals
You can’t know what to optimise for or monitor your progress if you don’t start by setting goals. Here is a lowdown on how to create objectives for your digital marketing campaign.
First create specific, measurable and attainable goals. This enables you to know what you plan to achieve, by when, and the tactics you will employ.
Second, invest in analytics tools, such as Google Analytics. These help you track crucial metrics, such as your traffic sources, their dwell time, bounce rates, etc. more importantly, they help you save the time you would have otherwise used doing these complex calculations.
The most efficient way of determine the effectiveness of your marketing strategies is by measuring your return on investment. The problem, however, is that many marketers don’t know how to do it.
For accurate results, you need to closely monitor your marketing activities and sales results. Luckily, several tools can help you with this. You can also opt to do it manually.
If you choose the manual approach, ask your clients how they learnt about your business. Was it through social media? Did a friend recommend it? Then, keep record of their answers to know the most popular source of your audience. You can also create an email containing this question and send it to your customers.
There’s a reason why companies invest money in staff training – when employees are trained, they offer more productivity and are more likely to satisfy clients’ needs.
Before you start training, evaluate each individual’s expertise, and their strengths and weaknesses. This helps you know what your staff excel in and the areas that need improvement.
Once training starts, set periodic targets for each of your team members. They should be at least proficient in a few of the areas you were training them.
Increasing Customer Engagement
Marketers tend to focus too much on obtaining leads and increasing conversions that they forget about existing clients. This is a mistake, as your existing customers are more likely to buy from you than new ones.
If you want to increase customer engagement, devise methods that keep them interested in your offerings. For instance, you can offer them discounts, free shipping, or commissions on referring new clients. You can also increase your social media activity, particularly replying to comments and answering questions asked by your followers.
Best Digital Marketing Tools for Small Businesses
Now that you know the best strategies and challenges faced by digital marketers, here is a list of the best tools that can help propel your small business to greater heights.
SEO Marketing Tools
SEO is a must-have strategy in your digital marketing campaign, as more than 50% of all website traffic comes from search engines. Luckily, the internet has plenty of tools to help your site reach the first page of search results.
Some of the standout SEO tools include:
Knowing the keywords uses by your target audience can help you rank higher on SERPs. Ahrefs is an excellent tool streamlines your keyword research strategy.
The platform has a website explorer that allows you to see the top-ranked keywords for every site. This feature also shows you how competitive a keyword is, backlink sources, and a site’s best performing content.
Simply put, Ahrefs helps you improve you SEO strategies through competitive analysis and suggesting high-intent keywords for content creation.
SEMrush offers most of the features sought by SEO marketers, including competitive analysis, backlinking opportunities, competitive analysis, and SEO audits. It’s suitable for all businesses, whether big or small. Currently, the company has an extensive database covering over 46 million domains and 120 million keywords.
The standout feature of this platform is its ability to sort keywords by different criteria, including differences, search intent and variations. It’s also effective at tracking the organic position of a website in SERPs, copies of PPC ads and their position, and competitive analysis.
If you have an e-commerce website, SEMrush allows you to improve your site structure and optimise your content. There’s also support for social media marketing and online reputation management.
Identifying the trending topics in your niche can boost the success of your SEO campaign. It also saves the time and money you would have otherwise used on research. BuzzSumo is largely effective at updating on the hottest topics in your industry.
If you are unsure of how to reach your target audience, this platform can connect to influencers in your niche. Using the search function, you can discover the most followed individuals whose posts resonate with the needs of your prospective customers.
Additionally, BuzzSumo enables you to view past trending topics. These offer a great insight into what you should in your content for better engagement.
Lastly, this tool allows you to analyse most shared and most referenced pieces of content. You can also get in-depth insights, including the people sharing and referencing the content, and the number of followers they have.
Conversion Optimisation Tools
The ultimate goal of every marketer is increasing conversion rates. Sometimes, even the smallest of changes can be the difference between a visitor buying from you or shifting to another site. For instance, including your CTA in the above-the-fold section of your web pages can help you convert more visitors.
To improve your conversion rates, you might want to invest the software listed below:
Unbounce is useful for creating and optimising your landing pages for better conversion rates. It has a rich set of features, including an inbuilt A/B testing feature and analytics tool that show you what on-page elements are working and which aren’t.
Furthermore, you don’t need experience in coding to use this platform. It has several landing page templates that are easily customisable. After customisation, you can run the analytics tool to show you the areas that need improvement.
Optimizely is among the best conversion rate optimisation tools available in the market. It continually runs A/B tests on your website, especially the landing pages, and gives suggests on how to optimise their design for better results.
Another impressive feature provide by this platform is the ‘experiment everywhere’ function. This enables you to customise the tool to your preference and perform server-side product experiments.
HotJar increases your website’s conversion rates by giving you a better understanding of your traffic’s behaviour. In this regard, it supports form analytics, heatmaps, on-site polls, session replays, and surveys.
Heatmaps are particularly useful for identifying the areas of your site that people are or aren’t clicking. On the other hand, session replays give a detailed review of a customer’s journey on your website.
Interestingly, this software is easy to install. You only need a script that activates all its functions and integrates it to your site. Even better, it offers affordable plans and their free plan has several useful features.
Email Marketing Tools
Email marketing is a staple for most internet marketing campaigns because it’s affordable and easy to set up. Automated tools offer many perks, such as list-building, optimisation, and occasional incentives.
The following are some email marketing tools that you might want to consider.
Due it streamlined operation and unrivalled efficiency, MailChimp is a popular email marketing tool. It’s free for small businesses, and provides a vast library of email templates. Surprisingly, it offers website traffic tracking.
Although some marketing automation features are limited, this platform is friendly to beginners.
Like MailChimp, Moosend has a user-friendly interface. Moreover, it’s affordable, despite having many features you would expect to find in a costlier option.
Some of the notable inbuilt features include easy-to-read reporting, codeless campaigns, and simple automations. If you subscribe to the premium plans, you can access landing page optimisation features like countdown timers and mobile pop-ups.
Social Media Marketing Tools
With the increasing use of social media, it makes sense to invest in social media marketing. Such platforms offer an excellent opportunity to generate and nurture leads, build relationships, and collect valuable information about your target audience.
It’s almost impossible to manage all social media marketing strategies yourself. You can do it if you’re determined, but it will take a lot of time and leave you burnt out.
Here is a list of software that allows you to improve your social media marketing strategy.
- Sprout Social
If you want to stay ahead of your completion on social networks, consider subscribing to Sprout Social. By helping you organise your calendar in one place, this tool allows you to schedule and post content on multiple social platforms. These posts get published at the ideal time when most of followers are online.
Besides social media management, this platform simplifies connecting to your clients and colleagues. It comes with a Smart Inbox function that gives you a detailed view of all messages so that you can provide prompt responses.
Furthermore, Sprout Social ensures that your content is always optimised before posting. This feature works by identifying your best-performing posts and leveraging social listening to uncover the trending topics in your niche.
Do you know that success of your social media marketing campaign largely depends on the timing of your posts? This is where scheduling tools like Hootsuite come in handy.
Hootsuite allows you to pre-schedule your social media posts. This is particularly useful to business with a global reach, as it allows you to post at the time that suits clients in a specific timezone.
Impressively, you don’t have to leave the Hootsuite dashboard to manage your social media accounts. This feature also identifies top influencers and trending topics.
While Buffer was designed for established companies, it also works well for small businesses. This tool is useful to marketing teams who want to automate and optimise their social media marketing campaigns. It has several relevant features, such as a post scheduler and social media sharing buttons
Including visual content in your marketing messages can improve your success significantly. The following are some of the best graphics tools available to digital marketers.
For small businesses, it might be challenging to raise enough finds to hire an experienced graphic designer. Thankfully, Canva is here to help.
With mobile optimisation and a powerful drag-and-drop editor, this platform makes it easy for novices to create artistic designs and templates. You can create charts, logos, infographics, and presentations using the custom fonts and design templates included in this tool. If you’re an employer, you can track the progress of the tasks assigned to your staff.
Visme is the best option for small businesses looking to create presentations and data visualisation. It helps you take the most advantage of infographics, one of the most popular types of visual content on social media.
In addition to creating visual content, this platform lets you import data from external sources such as spreadsheets and reports. You can then use this information to create presentations that are easy to understand.
Digital marketing is often easier said than done. And that’s why its a good idea for Singapore business owners to invest in an expert digital marketing agency or team. Not only can they help businesses to successfully deploy online marketing campaigns, but they can impart a working knowledge of the most important concepts and terms. Digital marketing services can be an invaluable asset.
If you aren’t convinced about the significance of investing in digital marketing, you might find this interesting – 87% of consumers start their buying cycle online. This is reason enough to motivate you to start marketing your business through the worldwide web.
Besides increasing the potential reach of your business, digital marketing also boosts your sales and increases your credibility. It also offer multiple channels for interacting with existing and prospective customers.
Lastly, the progress of your digital marketing campaign is easier to measure than offline marketing. This is because you can track various metrics like number of shares, click-through rates, conversion rates, etc. with offline strategies, much of the analysis is done through guesswork and estimation.
Get in touch us for the best digital marketing services. Our team will not rest until the expected results are achieved.