MACC News: Digital Communications Checklist

Digital Communications Checklist

Digital Communications Checklist

Digital marketing and communications is booming. Every month there are more than 13 billion internet searches, with 78% of U.S. users searching for products and services online. That’s a staggering percentage. Choosing the right tools and strategies to deliver your message can go a long way toward increasing visibility among your target market.

 Online strategies and tools to consider …

1. Maximizing Your Website’s SEO. Customers searching the internet for your products and services, need to find you … easily and quickly. Where do potential new customers go first when they need a service or product locally?  Most likely to Google. For a website to be a valuable resource for customers, it must be SEO-friendly, meaning it must appear on an internet search. In the past, it was far easier to accomplish this by merely putting top HVAC keywords throughout your website. Today, algorithms on Google, Bing, or other search engines are far more complex. It’s great if you’ve got a website whiz on staff who knows how to put all those SEO-friendly elements into play that raise your ranking in a search engine. If not, you most likely will need the help of a web pro to put your site at the forefront of an internet search.

2. Optimizing Your Site for Mobile Devices.  Currently, approximately 70% more people use mobile devices to seek out local businesses than use computers. The fundamental reason they search the web from their mobile telephones, is that a desktop is unavailable at the moment.  Your site should adjust to fit the mobile device being used to view it. At the point when a website is viewed from a mobile or tablet, it changes from an even design to a vertical configuration, bringing on a different display of content and pictures. Responsive website design (RWD) controls the webpage to properly fit the screen of the gadget utilized, contracting the pictures and content sizes rather than keeping a constant structure. Accordingly, this programmed adjustment improves the user experience.  A mobile-friendly design is a must

3. Establishing a Social Media Presence:  Whether you are a fan of social media, or you try to stay as far away from it as possible, there’s no question that it does present great marketing opportunities for businesses of all sizes. Business opportunities abound with services like Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and others. As we all know, Facebook, the most popular social networking site online, is a versatile, easy way to share company updates and engage customers. It is also one of the best places to begin launching an online presence. With a Facebook business page, you will be able to reach large groups of people in your target market frequently with messages tailored to their needs… and Facebook will send you weekly analytics about your postings.  YouTube is a another great way to boost your visibility and credibility through video.  Integrating social media links and activities into your website also helps to optimize your search engine rankings.

4. Launching an E-Mail Marketing Campaign: You may think of it as ‘old school’ or out of date, but the truth is that email marketing does work! The ‘e-mail blast’ is alive and well … and working wonders for those who do it right. Email blasts are high-impact, cost-efficient marketing tools that carry a compelling and important message regarding a new product, service, or a special alert. Email programs such as VerticalResponse and Constant Contact allow you to customize your emails and send regular updates in the form of announcements, newsletters, promotions and more. To be effective, emails must tell a cohesive story between subject line, header and content -- and present a ‘call to action’. If you are considering an email campaign, be sure to think it through and develop an appropriate message that is of value to your customers.

5. Integrating ‘Content Marketing’.   Content Marketing is all about using the power of educational marketing to make you an industry authority. By providing information on topics that matter most to customers such as environmental issues, cost savings, comfort and other industry-related information, you are positioning your company as a leader. One of the best ways to incorporate Content Marketing into your communications efforts is by posting a regular monthly blog on your website,  written by you or an industry expert.  Providing links to different topics of interest and communicating information to customers through Facebook, YouTube videos,  or local community websites can add immense value and credibility to your business.

6. Exploring Google Analytics. It’s always good to know if your online efforts are actually working. Through Google Analytics, you can assess the performance of your website content and determine if your visitors are taking the actions you want them to.  Google Analytics is a platform that gives you insights into how users find and use your website. You’ll discover which avenues are best for bringing traffic to your site and getting certain actions to happen … the search engines that are driving the most organic traffic to your sight (google/organic vs. bing/organic) … the social media platform where people are engaging with your content …  reports on what visitors are actually doing on your website, and much more.

The world of digital marketing and communications encompasses many different channels, including websites, email marketing, social media, search engine optimization, to name just a few.  Despite the growth of online marketing opportunities, the basic goals  remain the same as traditional marketing: Building customer awareness, capturing a target audience, and gaining new customers!