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How Digital Marketing Can Grow Your Business: Where to Invest & Where to Save.

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When it comes to digital, there are some areas worth splashing out on, and others where you can hold back. Gartner suggest businesses invest 2.5% of company revenue in digital marketing*. So if you’re a €500,000 business,
a ballpark figure to spend on digital marketing would be around €12,500. If you have this investment, fantastic. But if you don’t, there are other ways to create impact. This paper outlines some of our suggestions on where to focus your budget, and where you can make savings.

*Gartner Digital Marketing Spending Survey

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How Digital Marketing Can Grow Your Business: Where to Invest & Where to Save.

  1. 1. White paper How digital marketing can grow your business: where to invest and where to save. Customer Engagement
  2. 2. Page 2 The drive to digital Europe’s culture of entrepreneurialism is inspiring, dynamic and a major contributor to its economic success. Entrepreneurs are the powerhouses behind our diverse, successful small businesses. Whilst experts in their fields, though, not all entrepreneurs are entirely up-to-speed on digital marketing, which remains a minefield to many SMEs. Most small businesses now have a website, but it’s all too easy, having spent thousands on their storefront, to adopt a ‘build it and they will come’ attitude. Some will, and a great website will certainly boost a business in a global marketplace. But with a bit of planning and insight – and not much investment - small businesses can take digital marketing a step further to connect with their customers and prospects accurately and effectively, amplify their brand and grow their business. When it comes to digital, there are some areas worth splashing out on, and others where you can hold back. Gartner suggest businesses invest 2.5% of company revenue in digital marketing1 . So if you’re a €500,000 business, a ballpark figure to spend on digital marketing would be around €12,500. If you have this investment, fantastic. But if you don’t, there are other ways to create impact. This paper outlines some of our suggestions on where to focus your budget, and where you can make savings.
  3. 3. How digital marketing can grow your business: where to invest and where to save. A Pitney Bowes white paper Page 3 01. Listen then participate Digital media has opened up a world of opportunities to businesses large and small, but whilst it can create heroes overnight, it can also vilify businesses and individuals, and damage a brand’s reputation at the click of a mouse. This is why it’s so important to listen before you participate. It’s not a broadcast channel, but a way of engaging, creating dialogue and adding integrity and credibility to your brand. Look for conversations in which you can participate, advise and gradually influence – local community pages, for example, to gauge interest and demand for your products in new markets – and groups you can join to share expertise. Start small but think big. 02. Google Analytics is your new best friend Google Analytics is straightforward to use and is a great way of demonstrating the value of your digital activity – and it’s free. You can find out who visits your website; where they come from; what they do when they get there; and how they interact with your content. You can then use the data to provide insight into your digital strategy and direct resource accordingly. YouTube has some great video user guides on Google Analytics, like this one by Trevor Shipp. 03. Content is king (and queen) It’s easy for small business to feel overwhelmed by the noise and sheer amount of shared content and updates that are continuously generated. Content creation is worth looking at, though, as it really helps spread the word about your organisation. In a recent survey, 58% of SMB marketers say a lack of content is their biggest challenge. This explains why spend on content is expected to overtake spend on digital advertising. We’re not talking about generating reams of expensive content: just share short, regular posts, case studies or customer references whenever you can. Tap into your existing resources – you might find keen writers in your workforce who are already active bloggers, and can produce great content for your organisation, or there are courses such as this Open University Creative Writing course which may be a great investment – the fees are not much more than you would pay a freelance writer for a few pieces of work. You can also re-purpose existing content: create infographics from presentations, or turn a blog into short social media posts to generate interest. You can download a content calendar here to make planning easy. Where to save
  4. 4. Page 4 04. Use the power of visual Images and video create strong impact and generate interest. Online photo- and video-sharing network Instagram was the fastest-growing major social network among US adults in 20144 , and Pinterest and Vine, too, are seeing major growth. Videos are said to increase an understanding of your product or service by 74%5 , and we’re not just talking about the business-to-consumer environment here. In a Forbes survey, 75% of executives said they watch work-related videos on business websites at least once a week6 . In our digital landscape it seems a picture really does paint a thousand words. You don’t have to create your own videos or images (although it can be fantastic if you do – anyone with a smartphone can create their own and upload them to a YouTube channel), but just sharing those you have found insightful or inspiring can earn your brand kudos. You can host videos on your website to educate, inform and add interest, and forward the links in email updates to your customers. 05. Don’t write-off popular channels because you think they’ll be too expensive LinkedIn is a fantastic, credible business network, and represents an unrivalled way to grow your web of contacts. You can join groups and participate in relevant, intelligent conversations. What many businesses don’t know, however, is that LinkedIn itself offers free of charge seminars to help you get the most from the platform. Resources like lynda.com, owned by LinkedIn, are membership-based and provide access to a host of video tutorials on a diversity of topics. Other platforms like Google Places enable customer and prospects to find businesses easily, and it’s free of charge, so securing a listing here is a must. Where to spend
  5. 5. How digital marketing can grow your business: where to invest and where to save. A Pitney Bowes white paper Page 5 06. Know your SEO from your PPC To grow your business and its digital presence, you need to ensure it is easy for people to do business with you. Being found is key here. SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is a way of improving the visibility of your company’s website or a particular web page in a search engine’s organic (unpaid) search results. Your website can be written and structured in a way that makes it more appealing to search engines and therefore more ‘findable’. PPC is Pay Per Click, a paid-for advertising model to drive traffic to a website. Businesses pay a search engine to place their adverts next to relevant search results. SEO should be an ongoing strategy, and Pay Per Click is a great way to provide leads at a certain time, perhaps for a new product launch or if your business experiences seasonal fluctuations. But you don’t have to do both. 07. Enhance your mobility 91% of SMEs websites aren’t optimised for mobile according to survey from Basekit2 . Considering that in the UK alone one in three online sales comes via a smartphone or tablet3 , making sure your website works as well on smartphones and tablets as it does on a desktop will boost your business and its credibility. Ask your web team to ensure they build in mobile-first design, along with mobile-friendly forms and downloads which can be easily viewed on handheld devices. 08. Work with partners If you just can’t allocate internal resource, bring in the experts – but be smart about it. Websites such as Growth Geeks (growthgeeks.com/) , an online marketplace for freelancers, enable you to select your freelancer of choice based on your business requirement: helping you write an email pitch to journalists, design a landing page for a new product or increase your conversion rates.
  6. 6. Page 6 1 Gartner Digital Marketing Spending Survey 2 Basekit Research as featured in The Drum 3 Research from IMGR CapGemini as featured in the Standard 4 Pew Research – www.pewresearch.org 5 Statistics from Digital Sherpa 6 Forbes research cited in Video Brewery 09. Be a social butterfly Setting up your social media pages and planning how you will publish is fairly straightforward. Once you’ve done this, placing a small amount of money and time behind social posts – perhaps on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook – can really pay off, as your business is promoted to a tightly-targeted audience at a low cost. For example, a bridal business can target all users who change their status from being ‘single’ to ‘engaged’ on Facebook. Advertising on social platforms such as Twitter is highly targeted and can be great value. You can use promoted accounts, Tweets or website cards, which include an image and a link to your site. Your message can be targeted at individuals based on interest, gender, location and demographic, and it’s subtle, well-regarded and non-intrusive as it is integrated within users’ feeds. 10. Consider a single platform on which to manage your channels Platforms such as Hootsuite and Buddymedia enable you to manage your digital updates, all in one place. You can schedule Tweets, and line up content to go out across your different digital networks simultaneously, if you want to. Crucially, they also help you manage your conversations all in one place, so you don’t have to keep dipping in and out of Twitter, LinkedIn and other networks to see if there’s something to which you have to respond.
  7. 7. 15MKTC05718 _UK Pitney Bowes and the corporate logo are trademarks of Pitney Bowes Inc. or a subsidiary. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. © 2015 Pitney Bowes Inc. All rights reserved. For more information, call 08444 992 992 or visit us online: pitneybowes.com/uk United Kingdom Building 5, Trident Place Hatfield Business Park Mosquito Way Hatfield Hertfordshire AL10 9UJ ukenquiries@pb.com

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