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Digital Marketing: When Mobile Meets Email

Published on January 8, 2014
Tags: Mobile Application Development

Email campaigns have been a part of digital marketing for years, with companies of all shapes and sizes relying on mailing lists to get the word out to their existing and potential customers. The need to constantly send out offers, deals, and reminders to clients hasn’t changed, but the way people use the internet most definitely has. We are, of course, talking about mobile and everything that goes with it. Internet users now browse the web and receive their emails when they’re out and about, such as when they’re shopping in the high street. If your business really embraces the mobile platform – and all of the possibilities it offers – you could be reaching out to so many more potential customers. Here are just a few tips on how to make the most of mobile.

SMS & Email
Just because we’re focusing on the internet here doesn’t mean that you should forget about things like text messages. Using SMS as a form of marketing works better now that so many people own smartphones, and can click or call directly from a message to find out more information on a certain company or deal they’re offering. Text messages can, however, be a little limiting in terms of how many characters you have to work with. Emails are better in terms of being able to use text, images, and white space to create an attractive message that is easy to read and easy to click through to a website (just make sure your text and links are big enough to click on without being fiddly).

App Development
You should have a mobile-friendly website no matter what (look up responsive web design development for this), but it can also help to offer your customers the opportunity to download an app. Just make sure that your app is worth downloading – even if it’s free, users will want the application to offer them something they can’t get on your regular site. Gamification principles work really well on mobile apps – offer customers rewards or offers and incorporate fun games or missions in order to engage with potential clients. Just make sure all of your contact and other important details are included in the app as well.

Checking In
The fact that people take their phones everywhere with them is great news for businesses trying to market through mobiles, and the ability of users to ‘check in’ at their favourite places should be made the most of. Offer incentives for customers if they check in to your place of business, such as so much percent off the food bill or a free drink if they bring so many friends with them. Getting creative with ‘check ins’ is a fun way of marketing, and one that customers will definitely respond to.

If you’re still unsure about where or how to start, ask an expert in web design & development to give you some advice; there are a wide range of digital marketing specialists out there, from freelancers to entire web development teams. Some specialise in specific areas, whereas others will cover all forms of online marketing, so make sure you do your research before hiring anyone.

By Chelsey Evans

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Gaining Local Business Via Online Marketing

Published on January 8, 2014
Tags: SEO

Businesses of all kinds rely on digital marketing & development every day – websites, blogs, social media profiles, and much, much more – but what some fail to take part in is the specific area of local internet marketing. Even if you don’t have a physical business, targeting local customers can work wonders; people like giving their custom to local companies, even if it’s online and doesn’t feature a shop front or office they can visit. If you’re a huge global firm, that’s great, but it pays to remember your roots and the people sharing them with you. It’s all about supporting businesses and individuals in their area, so make the most of that with your online marketing. Here are just a few tips on how to achieve this.

1. Know Who You’re Up Against
As with any form of marketing, first of all you’ll need to know who your competitors are. Of course, you should already know this, but this time you should look at your local rivals (something which online companies don’t necessarily always do). See what they’re doing with their website, the design, the web development and other digital marketing, and analyse what seems to work and what doesn’t. Read customer comments on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter and see where they’re going wrong: then make sure you don’t make the same mistakes.

2. Use Targeted Location-based Keywords
Keywords and phrases are used for SEO purposes by most companies in the world, but if you want to target local customers, you need to include location-based keywords. As with regular SEO, you’ll need to do your research and analyse what works, as well as which keywords are (or are not) being used regularly by your rivals. Include these location-based keywords in phrases in as many areas as possible, such as page titles, blogs, social media profiles, video content and so on. Just make sure you don’t start using any ‘black hat’ SEO techniques.

3. Make Use Of Traditional Internet Marketing Strategies
It’s worth noting that you shouldn’t ignore the basic types of marketing that you would be doing even if you weren’t targeting locals. Simple things such as filling in forms to be listed in online directories can help: just because potential customers are turning away from things like the Yellow Pages book to find local business, it doesn’t mean that they won’t use the online version. The same goes for things like email campaigns – either set one up or use your original mailing list, but make sure you find out where your customers live. This way, you can send out emails that target local potential clients; they’re more likely to open up an email if you’ve included their home town or county in the subject line, and offering them special deals for being locals will indeed make them feel special.

In order to make the most out of local internet marketing, ask a specialist web development company for advice on how to best improve your website. They’ll be able to help transform your business site, increasing your sales conversions and putting you ahead of your local competitors.

 

By Chelsey Evans

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How Can Small Businesses Use SEO Without Breaking The Bank?

Published on January 8, 2014
Tags: SEO

Large companies can afford to hire SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) specialists in order to get their business website to the top of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page), but this can be costly. It’s a lot of work, and it requires a lot of hours every week in order to keep on top of the latest SEO techniques, as well as being aware of the most recent (and upcoming) updates to Google’s (and other search engines’) algorithms. So what do you do if you’re only a small business? You may have just as much ambition as a large company, but time and money are often tight. However, you still do need to work on your online presence if you want to expand your brand over the internet. Here are just a few tips that won’t empty your wallet too much.

Learn The Basics
SEO is a complicated subject that can take years to get your head around, but there are hundreds of resources online that will let you know about the basics. A quick run down would include the fact that Google likes original, well-written content that isn’t a duplicate from another site, so a business blog that is regularly updated will do the trick (this will also establish you as a trusted expert in your field – if your posts are good enough). You also need to know about link building (but not link farming), and keyword usage (but not keyword stuffing). Get to know the basic techniques, as well as the ‘black hat’ techniques that you need to avoid; this will stop your site from getting penalised by the search engines.

Spend Time On Building Your Social Media Presence
It is vital that – as well as optimising your official business site – you pay special attention to social SEO. This doesn’t mean signing up for as many social networking profiles as possible, but it does mean spending some time optimising your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and any other social profile as you would your normal website. Include your business name in your profile or page name, and create meaningful descriptions for your company and any photos you post, including your keywords and phrases that you use in your website and for any adverts or PPC (Pay Per Click) campaigns. Encourage discussions, and above all, create interesting content (photos, videos, blog posts, tweets) that users will want to share. The more shares, the better your social SEO.

Make Use Of Google Services
Last but not least, it’s not surprising that Google likes pages that make use of Google services, so ensure that you’re signed up to (and use regularly) Google +, as well as having your business details listed on Google + Local (previously Google Places). Link back to your website and include your usual keywords and phrases to get ahead.

Even if you don’t want to hire a full time SEO employee, you can still get expert help by asking for advice from digital marketing specialists – just look online for a company who deals with digital promotion on a daily basis.

By Chelsey Evans

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Online Marketing For Your Offline Business

Published on January 8, 2014
Tags: Web Development London

Do you own an offline business? Do you have a suitable online presence to go with it? If the answer is no, you need to rethink your marketing strategy. Some brick and mortar businesses – especially small companies with a limited number of staff – simply don’t think they need an online presence; they assume that their shop already does enough to attract local customers. And while this may be true, if you’re not online, you’re cutting yourself off from a large number of shoppers.

Why Does Online Marketing Sometimes Get Ignored?
This happens particularly with businesses who don’t actually sell any of their products or services online; they think that there’s no point in spending a lot of time and money on a website, when the only way to purchase an item is to come into the physical shop. People may not be able to buy online with you, but they may want to see what stock you carry – and what prices you’re charging – in order to compare you with your competitors. If you’re not even listed online (let alone have no official website), they’ll be completely unaware of your existence.

Another reason is the cost; small businesses may not have enough in their budget to embark on a huge online advertising campaign or a web development company, but it doesn’t have to cost the earth to market yourself on the web. Start small: list your business on the online version of Yellow Pages, and ensure you’re visible in the Google Places for Business results. If you’re really strapped for cash, make your own free website using an online template, and sign up for business and social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Google + and LinkedIn. These are all free, and they’re great ways of reaching out to your target customers.

Why You Should Be Embracing Online Marketing
The way consumers search for products and services is changing. These days, people simply don’t have the time to spend hours on the High Street, hunting down the best prices and trying to track down that perfect gift; they’d much rather spend a few minutes on the internet first, so they know exactly which shops to visit when they do go out. 

It’s worth noting that, because of their busy lifestyles, consumers are now often searching for products using mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones (rather than being tied to their desks and their desktops). You therefore need to be aware of responsive web design development if you want to reach as many customers as possible; this just means that your site will be user-friendly and quick to load no matter what device (or size of screen) your potential client is using to access it.

Coming Up With A Digital Marketing Strategy
If you want to create an online presence for your business but don’t quite know where to start, there are hundreds of digital marketing specialists & web development companies out there who can help you. They’ll be able to give you advice and support on what’s best for your business, and will also be able to create a bespoke website or blog to help you attract those all-important customers.

By Chelsey Evans

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Going Mobile: Things To Consider When Creating a Mobile Campaign

Published on January 8, 2014
Tags: Mobile Application Development

Smartphones and tablets are increasing in popularity seemingly every day. The world has gone mobile; people no longer wait until they’re in the office to check their emails or start that big report – they can do it on their phone or tablet on the commute, or in a café over their breakfast. Business is no longer confined to one or two places – it can be carried out anywhere, at any time. It therefore makes sense to incorporate a mobile campaign into your digital marketing strategy. But how do you know where to start?

Make Sure Your Website is Mobile Friendly
Tablets and smartphones are great ways of accessing the internet quickly and easily – as long as it actually is quick and easy. You need to make sure that your official business website is not only easy to find, but that it is also quick to load and simple to navigate. By using a responsive web layout, your site will be optimised to fit the screen dimensions of any tablet or phone, no matter what size. Make sure you don’t clutter your site with unnecessary images or videos that will slow down the load time, and include all of your main contact details in an easy-to-see place.

Create a Mobile App
When it comes to mobile marketing, it isn’t just your website you should be thinking about. By creating an app, you’ll be reaching out to many more people than your website possibly ever could. Include exclusive content or the opportunity to receive offers in the app, and you’ll soon get numerous downloads. A web development company can help you to create your mobile application.

Incorporate an SMS Campaign
Mobile marketing doesn’t just have to be internet-based. If you collect your customers’ mobile numbers, text them with special offers they might be interested in. Include your email address, website, and phone number in the text (the phone number is particularly useful as people with smartphones can then just click-to-call). Just make sure you don’t bombard them with messages – no one likes to be hassled, and if you do it too often, you could lose their custom altogether.

Think Outside The Box
QR codes are great at generating interest with potential clients. Add your code to your business cards and any other print media to integrate your offline marketing with your online marketing. People with smartphones can then take a photo of the QR code and be taken to a landing page, making it easy to analyse the traffic generated by the code.

Whether you like it or not, it looks like mobiles and tablets are the future in terms of connecting to the internet and conducting business while on the go. If you don’t embrace it and come up with a well-planned mobile marketing strategy now, you could lose out to your competitors in the future. Don’t get left behind – start marketing on mobile devices today!

By Chelsey Evans

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