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 increasingly complex and the channels are multiplying.
Companies then face a real need to prioritize their marketing efforts. Especially if only one person is working there, you don’t want them to spread out.
In this article, we are going to see the five things that any VSE / SME should put in place from its first days, if it plans to grow sustainably in the coming years.
1. Set a budget and goals
This advice may seem basic to you, but we are constantly surprised at the number of companies without a budget or clear marketing objectives. In 2019, 50% of small and medium-sized businesses did not have a defined marketing plan, according to a study by Outbound Engine.
To establish the budget, there is a basic rule dictating that the marketing budget should be between 5% and 10% of the targeted turnover. This includes human resources, including the salary and human cost represented by the marketing team. This figure may seem high, but be aware that on average, successful companies manage to generate a return on investment five times greater than the marketing budget!
To set your goals, you will have to start by thinking about your conversion rates. How many contacts does it take to sign a client? And so if you want five more clients over the year, how many contacts will you need to sign these five new clients?
2. Capitalize on your site and your contacts
Imagine, you invest time and money to gain followers on a LinkedIn page, where you post regularly. And overnight, LinkedIn changes its algorithm: you have to pay to reach only 10% of those subscribers, because your organic posts are drowned at the bottom of your audience’s feed.
Fiction ? Yet that’s exactly what happens on every social network or search engine: you don’t set the rules.
Thus in 2012 the Facebook pages managed to reach more than 15% of their audience thanks to their organic publications. In 2016, this figure was barely above 2%. Conversely, 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 that a company must master from the start: its website, with its own domain name, and its contact database.
See it as an investment: rather than renting by spending money on platforms you don’t control, you invest in things that belong to you.
3. Know how people find you
The first question to ask yourself is how people find your site. Often, we rely on the analyzes of Google Analytics, which allow us to know how many people visit our site, how long they stay or even which pages they browse, but we are missing crucial information: why did they come to our site ?
For the majority of VSEs/SMEs, 90% of site traffic comes from keywords relating to the brand or products. So these are people who are already familiar with your brand. Their site then serves as an effective showcase for these people wishing to learn more about a brand they have already heard of. But the site does not allow them to really make the acquisition.
To avoid this, it will be necessary to understand how people arrive on our site, and what they seek there.
Before acting, we must measure. The Google Search Console is a handy tool for knowing the context of your traffic from Google. This tool can however be difficult to access for a leader or marketer who is not an expert in SEO to draw really actionable information from it. Another free tool like Plezi One can then help you by storing and interpreting this data to more easily detect opportunities.
4. Optimize existing pages
How many times do you come to a site where you only read “we we us”? How many times have you found yourself at the bottom of a web page not knowing where to go? How many times have you consulted sites that only offer you to make a contact request?
By combining these bad practices, you ensure that 98% of your visitors leave immediately.
So since the period is conducive to good resolutions, here is a simple method to get started in optimizing your site.
Based on the 10 most trafficked pages on a site, ask yourself:
Why did the visitor arrive on this page?
What can he do next?
For example, if it’s a page about your product/service, the next action can be requesting a quote, downloading a brochure or a customer case. If it’s a blog post, you can provide a checklist to download, the article in pdf, a white paper, or something else.
Warning: talking about your product on a blog article or offering a demo after reading a news item is too direct. You always have to think about what is the simplest action that brings value to my visitor.
Example with the Happy Team site:
- The marketing manager published an article on managing conflict at work
- He later detected traffic to this article from searches including the keyword “pdf” in their Plezi One dashboard
- He then created a PDF from this article to put it online at the conclusion of the latter
Results: 5% of the readers of the article download the PDF, allowing Happy Team to collect many email addresses of people relevant to their services.
5. Upload “premium” content
As we have just seen, a simple PDF can explode the number of contacts generated by your site, even if the latter has little content.
And the possibilities of premium content are numerous! Here are some examples :
On your product or service pages:
- Presentation of a training offer ⇒ Download of the training catalog
- Presentation of a SaaS software ⇒ Download the price list or the details of the offers or request 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 customer support ⇒ Form for evaluating the “maturity” of the visitor in relation to your problem
On your blog posts:
- Article on inbound marketing ⇒ Guide: “How to set up your inbound marketing strategy?”
- Article listing good practices ⇒ Publish the good practices separately and refer to the guide in pdf which includes them all
- Article on how to establish your budget ⇒ Propose a budget template to download and customize
- Dense article ⇒ Give the summary in PDF
- Short article ⇒ Give a link to 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 is above all a question of relying on the fundamentals, identifying the first successes and relying on them to concentrate your efforts on what works.