Digital marketing news for small businesses: May roundup

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It’s the end of another month, and if you’ve been too busy to keep up with all the latest developments in the world of digital marketing, here’s a look at some of the stories that have caught our eye during May.

Time to start engaging with social media influencers

When was the last time you reviewed your social media strategy?

You might want to do so in light of a report published this month by Lithium on the State of Social Engagement 2017. The research found that just 1% of brands engage with social media influencers and advocates – despite the fact that customers “expect fast, easy, and responsive digital customer experiences.”

The report highlights the fact that the overwhelming majority of brands use social media in “broadcast mode” – a one-way conversation that fails to build relationships with those who have the power to promote their brand. But it’s called ‘social’ media for a reason: it’s about being sociable.

That means that to succeed, brands need to reply to fans and followers and engage with their content. With tools such as Hootsuite available to help you keep track of social media mentions, there’s no excuse not to.

Watch where your ads appear…

A survey published this month by Broadband Genie highlighted the need to be careful where your adverts are placed if you’re running ads in networks such as Google’s Display Network.

It found that 50% of customers blame the brand itself if one of its adverts is displayed alongside inappropriate content.

While views differed over what constitutes offensive content – the top concerns being explicit, racist or violent material – a whopping 75% agreed that seeing a product or service advertised alongside inappropriate content would put them off purchasing.

As Broadband Genie points out, while Google et al do appear to be making an effort to provide stricter controls on what content ads can appear next to, this is an extra incentive to pay close attention to where your ads might be seen.

Are you targeting your marketing efforts effectively?

Research by BlueVenn released this month found that, despite the fact that brands have access to more customer data than ever before, many are perceived by consumers as failing to ensure that marketing material is adequately targeted to them.

The Data Deadlock report found that 58% of consumers feel that marketing doesn’t target them effectively, with 87% of marketers feeling that this is down to lacking the necessary tools to do so.

According to the research, part of the problem seems to be that with so much data available, marketers are failing to keep up with analysing and learning from it – and that’s why consumers are noticing that marketing often isn’t relevant to them.

Whatever the size of your marketing budget, this report is a reminder that it’s worth taking the time to analyse the data you have on your customers – from your online presence or past orders, for example – and use it to ensure you’re marketing your business to the people who are more likely to be interested in it.

Customers share good experiences as well as bad ones

Many businesses are put off being on social media by the fear that they’ll be subject to negative reviews. But a new report by the Yonder Digital Group has uncovered the encouraging fact that more than 80% of customers share their positive experiences of a company with their family and friends – and that they’re just as likely to share good experiences as bad ones.

It’s worth noting that “a far greater proportion of people tell others about their good experiences (89%) than post it on social media”, though younger consumers are more likely to share their thoughts online.

To get more people talking about good experiences online, Yonder Digital Group’s Graham Ede advises that brands encourage customers to share, and make it easier for them to do so by offering plenty of different ways for them to get in touch.

Take a look at our advice on how to encourage reviews of your business for more tips on getting your customers to share their great experiences of your company.

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A collection of articles written collaboratively by members of the UK Domain Team.

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