Are you getting the traffic you deserve? You may have built the best-looking site money can buy, and filled it with great products and services, but if your digital marketing is shabby, you’ll never get a decent number of visitors.
Every online business needs a good digital marketing strategy. This strategy needs several elements. These might include having an email database so you can directly contact loyal customers (try the free version of Airtable for a great powered-up spreadsheet), or sending out a regular newsletter (my fave tool for this is Mailchimp). You might want to invest in an app so your customers can interact in a more meaningful way (if you do, ask an established developer like Milo Creative).
Having a strong social media presence is essential, and you can use web analytics to track the effectiveness of your content. You’ll also need to think about whether or not you want to pay for Google Ads (formerly AdWords) or any other form of digital advertising.
Back in the 1980s London agency BBH came up with a brilliant ad campaign that is now their corporate mantra. The ad was for Black Levi’s and featured a single black sheep in a flock of white ones. The strap-line ran: “When the world zigs, zag”.
Identify a gap in the market and fill it with something different enough to be exciting but relevant enough to sell: this has long been the holy grail of marketing.
When the world zigs, zag – BBH campaign for Black Levi’s, 1982
In the past, the best ideas depended on sheer creativity and gut instinct as much as market research. Today’s brands have an always-on, direct line to their customers.
I’m reporting live from Social Media Week London again this year – covering the official event stream from the conference HQ in Holborn. So don’t worry if you don’t have a conference pass, just follow the #SMWLDN hashtag (or @JemimaG) on Twitter. There are also loads of unofficial (and free) events happening round town.
This year’s theme is Upwardly Mobile: The Rise of The Connected Class. The key question is how can all humans achieve more in a connected world? Fabulous question, but you might be disappointed looking down the schedule trying to find sessions that attempt to answer it. These ten get my vote:
1. Definitely Not Content Tues 15 Sept, 9am: Will Hayward spoke last year. He’s really good. This time he’s talking about the cultural significance of the social web and why why we should all aim higher than “content” marketing. Continue reading →
Twitter is for now and Facebook’s for yesterday – but you can see the future on Pinterest. From recipes, wishlists and wedding plans to visualisations of new romantic partners and dream homes, this virtual pinboard has it all.
In a neurotic, self-obsessed, keeping up with the Joneses world, what could be better than a social network that defines not so much who you are, but who you want to be?
Pinterest’s 70 million users (“pinners”) share what they want, not what they own. For a generation where identity is built around shared ideas and experiences, Pinterest could be the de facto social network.
“Pinterest is a search engine, first and foremost” says Sarah Bush, Pinterest’s UK country lead. Pinterest wants to take on Google – by being a social discovery engine where images are curated by other people. A Google search for “red dress” (for example) will serve up a selection of sponsored links under the “shopping” tab – Pinterest gives you a range of styles selected and commented on by fellow users.
A trendy online retailer with the tagline “Europe’s largest provider of high quality repro designer furniture” sold me some stuff that never arrived – and is clearly never going to arrive.
I came to this realisation while on the phone to a man called Anthony who apologised for delays at the warehouse. After 20 weeks? What a ridiculously poor excuse I thought (or words to that effect). I wondered if anyone else had been given similar excuses…so I Googled the company. And my search query returned page after page of customer “reviews” talking of lost deposits, unpaid refunds, even upheld county court judgements.
Unfortunately I didn’t see these comments prior to parting with my cash. I only saw the things “Europe’s largest provider of repro designer furniture” wanted me to see. The customer reviews on the website are glowing. They have had hundreds of pins on Pinterest; tens of thousands of views on Youtube. The website is beautiful, super slick and easy to use – oh, and very easy to pay.
But look a little closer, scratch below the surface, and it’s all a little like one of those stage doors that opens up into nowhere. It’s easy to say in retrospect, but I should have seen the warning signs. And there were plenty of them:
10:12 We are at the very cool Beyond Retro café in Dalston (top pic of Karinna Nobbs from London College of Fashion and team chatting before the event). Karinna is just introducing the panel now (bottom pic of panel left to right: Karinna, Jonathan, Sophia, Hanna, Kat and Charlotte). This is a live blog so please keep refreshing the page for updates.
Karinna: Pinterest is dominated by women, has been very much in the press since around February. Pinterest great because you can really micro-segment your audience (into style tribes for example) and really engage with niche customers.
You can look at who’s pinning you and what they’re pinning for trend prediections – is everyone pinning a colour you don’t have in your collection? Pinterest has a much higher referral rate than Facebook, Twitter etc. The average time people spend on Pinterest has been quoted as 45 – 90mins – far more than other networks.
The great thing about Pinterest is that it’s not only useful on a personal level, it has great applications for business – as Chris Brogan discusses in the clip above.
More than anything else, Pinterest is a search engine that will drive traffic to your site when used in the right way.
Kate Spade and Wholefoods are good examples of brands using the platform effectively. And you don’t have to be a manufacturer or retailer: Pinterest works equally well for spreading ideas, as organisations like The Guardian and Enough Project are showing.
Despite being a social media consultant, I’m a bit of a luddite when it comes to trying new stuff: not enough time or patience. But Pinterest grabbed me right away – mainly because we’d recently moved and I needed home furnishing ideas. Boom! An online moodboard that can be instantly added to and shared – how damn convenient.
Clearly a lot of other people think so too, because Pinterest is growing at a phenomenal rate – currently more than four million users worldwide. Eighty per cent of those are women (although uptake skews towards men in the UK).
First came blogging, then micro-blogging, now photo-blogging. We’re increasingly busy in terms of the daily information we need to process: if a picture paints a thousand words, ideas can be communicated in an instant. It’s no wonder applications like Instagram and Pinterest are of the moment.