This year I had the opportunity to coach high school basketball at the freshmen level. It was a new experience for me and I enjoyed it very much.
The one thing about coaching is you are always looking for ways to gain an advantage over your opponent. You can install new plays, you can come up with different gameplans, or you could really focus on one of your weaknesses and get better at it.
It's pretty similar to how businesses are facing their digital marketing needs in 2018. Like basketball, there are so many plays and strategies out there that it can be overwhelming at times.
One day towards the end of the basketball season I realized that we just need to go back to the fundamentals.
If you are a business that is just starting to tread in the waters of digital marketing, I believe that's what you need to focus on. The fundamentals. The basics. The must haves of digital marketing. Worry about the other stuff later.
Trust me, I understand how overwhelming it can be. As someone who runs a digital marketing business, I feel like I'm needing to constantly educate myself about what's new. The truth is, it changes rapidly and you don't need to grasp it all.
When I say go back to the fundamentals (or basics) for your business, let's literally start from the beginning. Here are the basic needs of a business in a world that continues to become more digital.
According to this CNBC article conducted in 2017, about half (45%) of small businesses say they don't have a website. That's a startling number.
If you are a business owner, a website is just as important as a business card in my opinion. This is really the center of all digital marketing needs for a business. Your website should be clean, easy to navigate and attractive. Just as important, it needs to be mobile friendly. About half of the users on my website are browsing it on mobile devices.
Your website also needs to communicate what you do within 5 seconds of someone landing on their page.
Let's take a look at my site, for example:
When you land on my homepage the first thing you see is the phrase "Creating Marketing Strategies For Your Business Growth" with a call-to-action button below it that leads you to my services.
If I'm ranking what businesses need first, a highly functional website is #1 on my list.
Social Media Presence
If you are a business owner and you say "Facebook is not for me", you're likely missing out on sales. I can't think of a good reason not to have a Social Media Presence as a business these days.
First, it's free. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. All free.
At your most recent family gathering, how many heads were looking down at their mobile devices? They were probably on a Social Media platform.
It's not just the younger generation these days either.
Social Media is really a necessity. It's helps with SEO (search engine opitimization), it will expand your audience, drive sales, interact with customers, and will give you data on your target market.
The other great thing about Social Media is it's a platform to let your personality show. Have fun with it, not everything has to be serious.
If you don't have at least one Social Media profile, start today.
Google My Business Page
Google remains the number one used website in world and 95% of people search for local businesses online according to brightlocal.com.
Whether you've set up a Google My Business Page for not, you may already have one. The key is, you need to verify that you own that business.
If you are not sure what a Google My Business Page is, here is a screenshot:
Once you have verified that you own the business, here are a few things that you have control over: your business hours, you can respond to reviews, you can add a link to your website, you can add photos, and you can add your busiest times of the day if you have a storefront.
You can also get insights. On your dashboard you have instant stats about how many searched for you online with Google, how many page views and how many took actions.
Check out my blogpost on Why You Should Have a Google Business Page for more information.
Most people probably have an e-mail address, but do you utilize it to the fullest?
If you have an e-mail address listed with your business, make sure you actually check your e-mail and respond to those reaching out to you. One thing that frustrates me is e-mailing a business and never getting a response from them.
E-mail also lets you communicate with your customers. Building an e-mail list is something to highly consider if you have a business. You can utilitize e-mail marketing to let your customers know about your recent promotions, send them coupons, and inform them what new things you have to offer.
Sometimes we make things too complicated. If you realize the importance of digital marketing for your business, make sure you have the basics covered first, then move on to the next level (Adwords, Facebook Ads, Live Video, Analytics, SEO, Chatbots, etc.).
If you have any questions, please don't hestitate to ask at firstname.lastname@example.org.