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Top Tips for Digital Marketing

Improving the digitial marketing strategy for your organisation can begin with some simple tweaks to your processes, or a change to your approach. These top tips will be useful for anyone looking to make improvements to strategy, results and analysis.

Don’t try and do everything

A common pitfall for some organisations is trying to be everywhere at once. It can be tempting to maintain accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Vimeo, Soundcloud,

YouTube, Flickr, Pinterest, host several websites and databases and jump on any new platform that comes around, but this can come at a price.

Many organisations struggle with a lack of time, money or skills, which can result in too many platforms to manage, and none of them being managed well. A more positive approach would be to target a few key channels with available resources and ensure high standards are maintained.

This can mean prioritising channels which actively attract engagement from an audience: using analytics packages will determine which platforms audiences use to make bookings, give feedback or view content.

Of course, testing your theories will help. Before you delete your Facebook account for good, for example, you could leave it dormant for a short while and see if it has an effect on your performance.

Things aren’t as complicated as they seem

Digital marketing is awash with buzzwords and loves a Three Letter Acronym (TLA) and it can be confusing trying to navigate certain tactics which may be seen as specialist.

Generally, most activities carried out under the term “digital marketing” are achievable by current staff without the need of extensive specialist training.

For example: Google AdWords. There’s a bewildering array of options allowing you to target your spend as precisely as you want, but it is possible to create ads which are fully automated and will work perfectly well. Google even offer support in setting these up and in further optimising your campaigns. Paying for a day’s worth of training could be far more cost effective than farming this kind of activity out to an external company, and you’ll always have the option to stop and try something else. This is completely normal: all organisations are to some extent trying things, doing more of what works, and stopping what doesn’t.

Always provide a commentary around the numbers

As well as the buzzwords and the acronyms, digital marketing loves numbers. These can be big numbers we want to shout about, smaller numbers we wish we could hide, or even nonsensical numbers we can’t really explain.

Generally, these numbers don’t mean much to unless you’re also a digital marketer. Your CEO or board members who read your reports don’t always know that sessions are different from users, or that users are different from page views. Without context, they don’t know if your engagement on social media is massive, average or tiny.

For this reason, you should always provide a clear and understandable explanation of what your numbers mean and how they compare with previous figures or similar organisations in your sector. For example: “A one-off advertising campaign meant engagement on Twitter was double that of the previous year. We do not expect the same result next year without a similar spend being allocated.” Phrasing your commentary in this way will explain and pre-empt questions that may arise.

A website is never finished

After months of research, making the business case, finding a developer and going through the design process, you’ve finally launched your swanky new website. You haven’t lost your search engine rankings and ticket sales are coming in as fast as ever. Mission accomplished?

Websites are never completely optimised as soon as they are launched. There are always improvements to be made – often quite small and simple ones – and they can have a significant effect on your measures of success, e.g. ticket bookings, email sign-ups or product sales. Sometimes something small like changing a button colour is all it takes to improve conversions and changing the title of a page can have a massive effect on search rankings.

It’s important to use your analytics to guide these changes. Use live chat or web surveys to get user feedback. Install heatmapping software so you can see where your visitors are clicking. Use A/B testing (Google provides this for free with no tech knowledge needed). Focus on one area at a time so you have a definite idea of what is causing improvements.

Finally, treat this as a continual process of iterative improvements: one of your tactics that is always ‘on’.

Image of actors on stage inside a large soft drink can lid

Don’t get complacent (there’s an algorithm change just around the corner)

It’s a cliché, but change is inevitable, and it’s not always comfortable. This is especially true of digital marketing. Big players in the online world often come and go, and those that stay usually change the way their platforms work with a frightening frequency. Change happens so quickly that legislation can’t even keep up.

There are many examples of websites that once enjoyed massive traffic, only to lose it over night because that traffic all came from search and Google’s criteria for ranking websites was suddenly changed.

It’s important to be aware that this is going to happen, so you can deal with it as best you can. You must remain flexible in your methods, be aware of trends (attend events, read blogs, speak to your peers at other organisations), and mitigate risks by not being overly reliant on a single channel.

What next?

This article has offered just a few tips for improving your offering, but digital marketing is constantly changing so it’s important to keep revisiting your tactics. To learn more, you can read one of the articles linked below.

The Digital Culture Network is here to support you and your organisation. Our Tech Champions can provide free 1-2-1 support to all arts and cultural organisations who are in receipt of, or eligible for, Arts Council England funding. If you need help or would like to chat with us about any of the advice we have covered above, please get in touch. Sign up to our newsletter below and follow us on Twitter @ace_dcn for the latest updates.

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