The Right Stuff for Your Digital Marketing

Where should you be online?  That’s a question that every business needs to answer as they develop a digital marketing strategy. There is no one right answer for all businesses. Here’s how you can find the right places for your brand.

Google Yourself

Know it or not, your brand likely has a presence online. Anything you have done online creates a digital footprint.

Start your research by Googling yourself to see where you are already online. Working with your existing online presence can give you good momentum online.

Understand Your Customer

Part of understanding your customer is knowing where they spend their time online. You also need to know what influences their purchasing decisions. That insight tells you where you need to be marketing.

Customer awareness will also give you insight into what to share in your marketing. You need to speak to your customers needs and interests. That helps you understand the forms your marketing needs to take to be effective.

Know Your Strengths

Your strengths are another important factor in deciding where to market online. If you love to create video, then video channels are going to work well. If you don’t like to write, a blog may not be for you. Your comfort and agility with your own marketing will influence perceptions of your brand. Focus on the channels that reflect you best.

The Five Stages of a Business

Guest post by Ed Falkowitz, Certified Mentor, SCORE – Washington DC

Creating an outstanding business is not a goal but a fascinating journey. Like most journeys, it follows a defined path. If you don’t respect where you are in your journey, you get lost.

I find there are five stages in the journey. Follow your roadmap. DON’T GET LOST.

Stage 1: Formulation

In this stage, you do all your thinking and planning about your business. You put together business plans, budgets, marketing plans, recruiting plans, economic forecasts, etc.

You commit to paper everything that you can possibly think of about your business. You basically do a brain dump.

Stage 2: Concentration

Concentration is characterized by lots of energy and activity going out, but very little coming in. Stage 2 involves expending a lot of energy with very little to show for it.

For every ten actions you take, only one produces a result. You’re not spinning your wheels because all your actions are on purpose and designed to get your business up and running.

Stage 3: Momentum

You are still applying energy and effort and now you’re beginning to see results. The business is starting to move. It’s picking up steam.

The business is moving faster and faster, and it’s getting easier and easier. Instead of ten actions to produce one result, it’s 7 to 1, then 5 to 1, then 3 to 1, and so on.

You’re making phone calls and more of them are returned. You’re putting out advertising and more people are responding. You’re going on sales calls and closing more sales. You can feel the momentum building.

Stage 4: Stability

Next, your business becomes fairly stable and predictable. You know that if you do certain things, customers will show up. Ads produce a steady stream of clients, cold calling or prospecting gets so much business, etc.

Your conversion rates are steady and predictable. It’s one action out, one result in.

Stage 5: Breakthrough

If you reach this stage (and I say if because in my experience few businesses ever get here) then your business takes off, often in unpredictable ways. The phone is ringing off the hook and you’ve got so many client appointments you can’t keep track of them.

You have to generate new structures and systems to handle and manage it all. It’s almost like going back into formulation again, because your business is now very different than the one you conceived back in Stage 1.

Generally speaking, these stages are sequential. If you skip over one, you usually pay the price somewhere down the road. If you don’t formulate and go right into concentration, you’ve got a lot of activity with no direction or purpose. If you don’t do the legwork of concentration, you’ll miss out on valuable learning experiences and insights that only come from hard work and perseverance.

I’ve seen clients go from momentum to breakthrough and they get so wrapped up in servicing those clients that they stop prospecting and lead generating. When things calm down, there’s no business and they have to go back to concentration again and it takes them 2-3 months to get back to building a stable business.

Follow the model one stage at a time and your journey will be successful.

About the Author

Ed Falkowitz  is an executive leader with over 40 years’ experience committed to supporting your business vision. Ed centers on performance and efficiency through strategic financial analysis and developing business and cash management solutions that capitalize on your competitive advantage.  He specializes in establishing alliances to deliver defined goals.  Startups and turnarounds are a particular passion as is working with committed and dedicated entrepreneurs.

Ed currently provides volunteer support for the Smithsonian Institution and serves as a business mentor with SCORE. Request an appointment with Ed.

Build in Image SEO

Images are an important element of online marketing and communication. They bring your content to life. Done properly, they also contribute to your search visibility.

Yes, Use Images

Images, when used correctly, help readers better understand your article. They illustrate what you mean, break up the monotony of paragraphs of text, and make your content more enticing.

Another reason for images – visual search is getting increasingly important. Google has an interface that lets people search via images with filters, metadata, and even attribution.

Use the Right Image

It’s always better to use original images – photos you have taken yourself – rather than stock photos. Your team page needs pictures of your actual team.

Your content needs relevant images. An ideal image will reflect the topic and illustrate an important point. An image with related text ranks better for the keyword it is optimized for.

Stock Photos and Other Alternatives

If you don’t have any original images that you can use, try stock images. Pick options that fit your content. Graphs and illustrations are also effective.

Optimize Each Image

Once you have found the right image, there are a number of things to do before you use it,

  • Use a file name with your focus keyword
  • Use JPEG format for larger photos or illustrations, or PNG if you want to preserve background transparency in your image
  • Resize and optimize your image – resize the image to how you want it displayed

Add the Image

Place the image close to related text content. Include a caption, for SEO and for users. People tend to scan headings, images and captions as they scan a web page.

Also give each image an ALT tag. The alt tag displays if the image can’t be displayed to the visitor for any reason and when users mouse over the image. Add alt text to every image that includes the SEO keyword for the content. Describe what’s in the image so both search engines and people can make sense of it.