Carrying out research to gain insights on your products, services, target audience and marketing is best practice for business or marketing strategy. There are two overarching types of research - quantitive and qualitative - that you can conduct in order to listen to what really matters for your business.
Big companies spend big bucks every year doing just that. But don't sweat it, as a small business, research can be simply done. And most importantly it can be done at no cost, aside from time. Read on for more information on the different research types, and my tips on how to conduct these for free.
QUALITATIVE RESEARCH involves opinions... speaking to a small group of people and asking for their thoughts on whatever you are researching. It will give you a deeper understanding of that audience you are talking to.
My tips on how to collect this data as a small business:
QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH involves numbers... what statistically stacks up based on the options given to a wide sample of people. This type of research will give you a clear topline understanding of what an audience likes/dislikes.
My tips on how to collect this data as a small business:
Overall, my top tip for small businesses when it comes to research is that you should run a survey to your target audience / customers with both quantitative and qualitative questions on at least at annual basis, just to check you're still serving your customers as well as you can.
If you have any questions then please comment or get in touch with me. You can find more digital marketing top tips over on my instagram.
I absolutely love helping small businesses with their marketing, it's so rewarding to see results blossom and to cheer on the businesses I come to love.
If you'd like to read the full article then click the link below.
Over on my Instagram account I offer digital marketing advice for small businesses. Here is a summary of the posts that were most popular amongst my followers last month:
For the full Instagram post content that elaborate on the advice above, and many more digital marketing tips, please do head on over to Instagram and follow me @digitalmarketingmama.
I'm proud to be one of the writers for MamaTribe's features and this month I have created a hierarchy for how to prioritise your digital marketing channels. Here is a quick overview of the steps:
1// Get your website structure and content right, making sure you are mobile first.
2// Focus on Search Engine Optimisation by researching keywords and adding them to your title tags, headings, descriptions, URLs and image ALT tags.
3// Introduce basic email automation for important emails and make sure they are on brand.
4// Establish yourself on social media, remembering that it is better to excel at one or two social networks rather than spreading your time too thinly.
5// Dabble with social media advertising to increase your social reach and utilise social network pixels.
6// Up your email marketing ante with an email template and regular newsletters.
7// Get serious with your digital advertising across both social media and search platforms.
8// And then add the rest, such as affiliate, content and influencer marketing.
To read my advice on prioritising your digital marketing channels in full you can find the MamaTribe feature here.
Email is one of the most important digital marketing channels thanks to its impressive ability to facilitate both customer loyalty and high conversion rates at a negligible cost.
As a small business, having a template, or several templates that you alternate, is a good idea for consistency, and also to ease the amount of time it takes to send out an email campaign. Any automated emails you have, such as your welcome programme, should also align to the same template style in order to keep consistency.
You just need to make sure that your email template is working as hard as it should be. Here are my tips for creating a template that engages and converts:
Once you have a template you will see your time investment into your email programme decrease, but your results improve as customers respond to the consistency and clarity of what you are sending them.
I have some great email examples over on my Pinterest page here.
Of course, if you have any questions on this or want some help with your email programme then please do get in touch. You can get hold of me via my contact form or @digitalmarketingmama.
When it began, Facebook advertising was so sweet... cheap to run, high engagement rates and high conversion rates. Now all that is changing, but you can still achieve good results if you take the time to plan your campaigns and analyse the results you see.
Here is my quick guide to setting up your Facebook ads via the 'Guided Creation' feature.
Take time to plan your advertising
Choose your campaign objective
Create an ad set
Choose your target audience
Choose where your ads will be shown
Create your ad
There are lots of different options that Facebook offers you along the path of this journey, which can make the ad platform seem daunting and overly complicated. Don't feel like you have to take every option and try and stick to the basic principles outlined above. Once you have done it a few times you'll get the hang of it.
Of course, if you need help building out your campaigns then I am always here to help. Please do get in touch with any questions or cries for help!
A carefully thought out welcome programme for your new email subscribers sets the stage for what they can expect from your brand.
By delighting them at this early stage, when engagement is naturally highest, you are helping guarantee their continued attention for your business... oh hello, higher open, click and conversion rates.
To achieve this, consider introducing a multi-email welcome programme rather than the standard "Thanks for signing up". Few companies do this and even fewer do it well; it is a real opportunity for your brand to stand out.
So what to do?
First, think carefully about why someone has signed up for your emails, meet that need and then exceed it with the content you provide.
Here are some content examples that you could include in your welcome emails:
• Introduce them to your brand values.
• Showcase your unique selling points (USPs).
• Offer a look behind the scenes of your business.
• Add a personal touch from you to them.
• Give them exclusive content / offers.
• Showcase a first look at new things or featured products.
Once you have what you want to say, decide how to spread this out over 2, 3 or 4 emails, as well as the time period these will be received over (probably a 24 hour pause between each mailing), They will get these emails before entering your usual email newsletter cycle.
Make sure each email installment is designed in line with your current email templates and be sure to test both the design and automation set up before sending it live. If you use an email service provider such as Mailchimp, it will be intuitive to set this up on their platform.
Best practice here would be to test different content to see what gets the best response, but in real life, where time is always a premium, just make sure you are checking email stats once it has launched and review the programme after a month or so, then at regular intervals.
Pitch this email welcome programme at the right level and you will create subscribers that open again and again and are bought into your brand values; basically the kind of audience every marketer craves!
For some more inspiration I have added some examples to my Pinterest profile. If you have any questions or comments please do add them, or get in touch with me.
Cookies are a cornerstone of using the internet and, ultimately, provide enhanced user experiences, both directly on sites and via effective data usage by the companies using the cookies.
But how do these magical little nuggets of information actually work? Here is a quick overview:
1. A website/host sends a text file to the user's device to be stored. This contains at least a unique identifier for that device and a reference to the website.
2. The website/host checks for the presence of this information when a user visits. It basically acts as memory for the website, as web servers have none.
3. Information relating to the behaviour or personal information of that unique identifier are then captured.
This can help with everything from remembering preferences, identifying an audience in Facebook, serving retargeted ads, creating your Google Analytics data to providing pop-ups at a relevant time with a relevant message.
They are clever little things, these cookies!
As you build the amount of traffic you are driving to your website then it is important to be able to compare campaigns to figure out what is working.
The way to do this is to start using tracking parameters in the links you use to your site. These are codes that you add to the end of each link to tell Google Analytics where the visit has come from. The most basic of these are:
Once you start to use these parameters you'll be able to tailor your reporting to look at specific channels / campaigns, and compare them against each other. The most basic form of this can be found under Acquisition > All Traffic > Source / Medium. You can also add the parameters as 'advanced' filters on many reports or use them to build a segment.
Complete consistency in the parameter information format you use is the most important thing to remember. In fact, it is best to think these out before you start so that you'll be able to report using the same parameters over time.
Ask yourself these questions and then base the tracking you use on it:
You should only have a few sources, a handful of mediums and many more campaigns. Here are some examples:
If you are new to using Google Analytics tracking parameters then their URL builder is a really helpful tool to ensure you’re adding the parameters correctly. You can find this here: https://ga-dev-tools.appspot.com/campaign-url-builder/
And with that I'll sign off with a fun (?!) fact; UTM stands for Urchin Tracking Module, a legacy from the platform Google Analytics is built from; Urchin WebAnalytics Software.
*Please comment or message me with any questions or feedback. Thanks!*
The question I get asked the most by small businesses using Instagram is how to use hashtags correctly. It is one of the most important things to grow your reach, but like anything in digital marketing, the answer is constantly evolving (pesky algorithms).
However, there are some simple guidelines to follow:
And here are my top tips for making your hashtagging life a little easier:
As I said at the beginning, as Instagram's algorithm is constantly evolving, you do need to regularly run a hygiene check on your hashtags. Not the most fun of tasks, but easy to do in front of the box on a Monday night!
If you have any golden rules that you would like to add, any hashtag tips or any questions, please do leave a comment.
Here are some tips and tricks for effectively using Social Media, Email, Advertising Search Engine Optimisation and all of the other digital marketing channels.