Daniel James, Campaign Manager at Fasthosts, shares five things that seasoned specialists and aspiring web pros alike should consider when putting together a marketing strategy to ensure they get the best bang for their buck and attract the right clients.
Recent data 1 has revealed that while the majority of web pros feel confident in marketing their business, a significant proportion were missing a trick when it came to adopting the latest tools like SEO, PPC and emerging social media channels like TikTok. Given that web pros are set to increase their marketing spend by over a third on average this year compared with 2021, it’s vital they get their marketing strategy right.
As with any business looking to attract and target the right customers, web experts need to understand how to get the best return on investment from their selected marketing. One thing is certain; to be virtually unstoppable, web pros need to connect with both potential and existing customers across a range of digital marketing channels.
Yet finding new clients isn’t always an easy feat. It takes time, resource and dedication to reap the rewards. With almost a quarter of web professionals admitting to finding marketing their business stressful, worries ranged from getting it wrong and attracting the wrong audience, through to attracting too much business and then not being able to service both new and existing clients. So where should web pros begin? Dan has five handy pointers:
- Take time to plan your marketing strategy
It may sound obvious to some, but start off by mapping out your marketing strategy. It’s amazing how many people will jump right in and launch a Facebook advertising campaign without actually knowing where their audiences are. If you’re not targeting the right audience, you’re only going to see wastage.
Instead, take a bit of time to carry out research that will inform your marketing strategy. In doing so, ask yourself some fundamental questions, including:
- What are your business goals?
- How can marketing help achieve these goals?
Getting the Measure of Marketing – A Guide for Web Pros
- Who is your target audience and where can they be found?
- What do you want your audience to think about your business when they see your
- Communications, and how do you want them to respond?
- Who are your competitors?
- What’s the market looking like?
- What makes your company stand out?
- Once you’ve done this, you should start to look at what you want to do, what you want to achieve
- and what channels you need to harness to reach your target audience.
- Know your customer
A lot of web pros will naturally have a good understanding of their audience from working with them before, but it can be quite easy to become biased towards a particular channel or creative route. Why? Because that’s what you might like, or have used before. But, it’s always wise to check if those are still the best choices to be making.
Carrying out customer research is really important in carving out a successful marketing strategy, but it doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg.
While it may depend on the size and scale of your business, you don’t necessarily need to outsource a massive piece of research to an agency. Understanding your customer base can be as simple as speaking with a couple of clients or with colleagues working in a similar industry. You could even put a call out on social media to gather people’s thoughts.
Above all, before you get started, you should have a clear understanding of what you’re trying to achieve and make sure you’re talking to the right people in the right way.
- Channel plan
Once your research is complete, it’s time to look at your channel mix and decide which ones you want to dial up (or dial down).
If your audience uses social media, focus on kicking off with a paid social strategy, which would influence your weighting of spend. While social platforms like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn remain hugely popular for businesses, the likes of TikTok is quickly emerging as a great way to reach new audiences and shouldn’t be underestimated.
- Set goals and KPIs
From the outset, set your goals and KPIs so you can measure success and review these as you go. Take time to understand the purpose of the metrics that you’re tracking to achieve business goals. For example, if you’re spending £5,000 on Facebook, ask yourself what you want to achieve from that. Only then can you understand whether the investment is working for you.
It’s often said that you should focus more on engagement rather than getting caught up on vanity metrics, such as likes and follows, and I tend to agree. However, they can be a good measure of the quality of content and audience reach so they do have a place – it’s just a case of understanding their importance against bottom-line metrics like lead-gen or conversions.
- Supercharge your marketing efforts
If you’re looking to take things to the next level, you should seriously consider implementing a retargeting strategy. If you know that there’s an audience that’s interested in what you’re doing because they’ve previously engaged in some way – whether watching a video, clicking on an advert or visiting your website – it’s certainly worth exploring.
A retargeting strategy will allow web pros to really cement their messaging and move prospects along the conversion funnel. If your goal is focused on lead gen, then you might run an engagement or information-led piece before following this up with some retargeting that’s more focused. It’s generally super quick, relatively inexpensive and most channels offer it as an option. Ultimately, when it comes to digital marketing, web pros shouldn’t be afraid to experiment with new
channels and media. Doing research will put you in a strong position, but the only way you can truly perfect your strategy is through trial and error. That’s why it’s a good idea to set aside some budget for experimenting/testing out new tools.