You hear everywhere about hacks and revolutionary techniques to succeed on the web. If the basics of digital marketing have never changed, reaching the right audience is more and more complex and the channels are multiplying.
Companies are faced with a real need to prioritize their marketing efforts. Especially if only one person is working on it, you don’t want them to spread themselves too thin.
In this article, we’ll look at the five things that any SMB should implement in its early days if it plans to grow sustainably in the coming years.
1. Define a budget and objectives
This tip may seem basic to you, but we’re constantly surprised by the number of businesses without a budget or clear marketing goals. In 2019, 50% of small and medium-sized businesses did not have a defined marketing plan, according to a study by Outbound Engine.
When it comes to budgeting, there is a rule of thumb dictating that the marketing budget should be between 5% and 10% of targeted revenue. This includes human resources, including the salary and human cost represented by the marketing team. This figure may seem high, but on average, successful companies generate a return on investment five times higher than the marketing budget!
To set your objectives, you should start by thinking about your conversion rates. How many contacts does it take to sign a customer? And so if you want five more customers over the year, how many contacts will it take to sign those five new customers?
Imagine, you invest time and money to gain subscribers on a LinkedIn page, where you publish regularly. And overnight, LinkedIn changes its algorithm: you have to pay to reach only 10% of these subscribers because your organic publications are drowned in the bottom of your audience’s feed.
Fiction? This is exactly what happens on every social network or search engine: you don’t set the rules.
In 2012, Facebook pages managed to reach more than 15% of their audience through their organic publications. In 2016, this figure was barely above 2%. The price of an ad per 1,000 impressions was below $2.5 in January 2019, compared to $3.60 two years later.
There are two things a business needs to master from the start: its website, with its own domain name, and its contact base.
Think of it as an investment: rather than renting by spending money on platforms you don’t control, you’re investing in things you own.
3. Know how people find you
The first question to ask is how people find your site. Often, we rely on Google Analytics to tell us how many people visit our site, how long they stay or which pages they browse, but we are missing a crucial piece of information: why did they come to our site?
For the majority of small businesses, 90% of the site traffic comes from keywords related to the brand or the products. These are people who are already familiar with your brand. Their site is a showcase for them, effective for those people who want to learn more about a brand they have already heard of. But the site does not allow them to make a real acquisition.
To avoid this, we need to understand how people get to our site, and what they are looking for.
Before acting, we need to measure. Google Search Console is a handy tool to get the context of your traffic from Google. However, this tool can be difficult for a non-SEO executive or marketer to access to get really actionable information. Another free tool like Plezi One can help you by storing and interpreting this data to more easily detect opportunities.
4. Optimize your existing pages
How many times have you found yourself at the bottom of a web page without knowing where to go? How many times have you visited sites that only offer you to make a contact request?
By combining these bad practices, you can ensure that 98% of your visitors leave immediately.
So since this is a time for good resolutions, here’s a simple method to get started on optimizing your site.
Based on the 10 pages with the most traffic on a site, ask yourself:
- Why did the visitor arrive on this page?
- What can they do next?
For example, if it’s a page about your product/service, the action to take afterwards might be to request a price quote, download a brochure or a customer case. If it’s a blog post, you can propose a checklist to download, the article in pdf, a white paper, or other.
Be careful: talking about your product in a blog post or offering a demo after reading a news item is too direct. You should always think about what is the simplest action that brings value to my visitor.
- Example with the Happy Team website:
- The marketing manager published an article about managing conflict at work
- He later detected traffic to this article from searches that in their Plezi One dashboard
- He then created a PDF of the article to post as a conclusion the article
Results: 5% of the readers of the article downloaded the PDF, allowing Happy Team to get many email addresses of people relevant to their services.
5. Putting premium content online
As we just saw, a simple PDF can explode the number of contacts generated by your site, even if it has little content.
And the possibilities for premium content are numerous! Here are some examples:
On your product or service pages:
- Presentation of a SaaS software ⇒ Download of the price list or details of the offers or request for a demo
- Presentation of an offer by sector ⇒ Download of a methodology dedicated to the sector
- Presentation of a service ⇒ Download of a customer case
- Presentation of the customer support ⇒ Evaluation form of the visitor’s “maturity” in relation to your problem
On your blog posts:
- Inbound marketing blogpost ⇒ Guide: “How to set up your inbound marketing strategy?”
- Article listing best practices ⇒ Publish the best practices separately and refer to the pdf guide that gathers them all
- Article on how to establish a budget ⇒ Propose a budget template to download and customize
- Dense article ⇒ Give the summary in PDF
- Short article ⇒ Give a link to a denser content
- Tutorial article ⇒ Give a checklist summarizing the steps to follow
Generating business opportunities through digital marketing doesn’t have to be as complex as some may claim. It’s all about building on the fundamentals, identifying early successes and building on them to focus your efforts on what works.