Hi Stuart. First off… let’s imagine that I am the owner of a new business with a traditional business model- let’s say a candle shop- why should digital innovation, digital marketing, and so forth, be important to me?
The way consumers research and buy products today, be they traditional physical products or on-line services, has changed dramatically over the last decade. The ubiquity of smart phones, tablets and home computers means that when people are interested in something the first place they go is online, usually to Google.
So in relation to your example of the Candle Shop, there is an opportunity to engage with interested customers very early in their buying process through Digital Marketing. Digital Marketing, be it paid advertising (Pay Per Click) or clever content-based promotion (Search Engine Optimisation) is a faster, more versatile, more targeted and more measurable than many traditional forms of marketing, such as Shop Signage, Newspapers, Radio, TV, and Billboards.
It’s very hard to quantify these older methods of advertising, I’m not saying they don’t work, but to what extent and to what cost. The return on investment from Digital Marketing is completely transparent, and very affordable in comparison to these older forms of advertising.
Compared with more traditional forms of marketing, what would you say are the skills necessary to make the most of the digital marketing opportunities available to new businesses?
The essential skills required for someone preparing to delve into the world of Digital Marketing will vary depending on the strategy and method of marketing they wish to peruse. Ideally, in-house marketing teams or individuals should be proficient in Web Design, Copy Writing, Marketing Analytics and Social Media.
It would also be very beneficial to have a good understanding of Search Engine Optimisation techniques and Pay Per Click platforms like Google AdWords. However, receiving training and building up expertese in these areas can be expensive and take a long time, and so in many instances it is more effective to partner with a specialist to achieve results sooner and cheaper.
What would you say should be the area of focus for a new business taking it’s first steps into the realm of digital marketing?
Well the starting point for us at Blue Monkee Digital in working with any Client on a Digital Marketing assignment is to ensure that their Website is fit for purpose. It is essential that a business’s website looks professional, is easy to use, has a friendly content management system, and is optimized for viewing on mobile devices.
There are many forms of Digital Marketing; SEO, PPC, Social Media Advertising to name but a few but there is no point driving interested customers to Website that fails to convert their interest into sales opportunities. For many businesses, optimizing their Website for Digital Marketing can be relatively painless, however if the site is more than 5 years old it may be easier to look a redeveloping it from scratch.
One of the areas that many businesses struggle with when it comes to digital marketing is creating and deploying high-quality visual content. First of all, how would you categorise or describe the purpose of visual content in digital marketing, and are there any tips of the trade that people can employ to use their content more effectively?
Well the best way to demonstrate the importance of visual content is to use some, take a look at this infographic released by PwC last week for example:
Young people in particular want video, whether it be work-related, newsworthy, educational, or entertaining video, millennial’s will find it and watch it. Some of the more popular platforms for video content would be YouTube, Vines, Periscope, Snapchat, and off course all the usual social media sites will have video content shared constantly on their new feeds. I haven’t even mentioned video content on business websites, blogs and forums.
Many new business owners find that they labour tirelessly to improve their SEO, without seeing many results. Is this a story that hear much from your clients, and how achievable is it for the average new business to appear more prominently in search results?
Yes, its something we hear all the time from businesses seeking to improve the return on investment from SEO. Generally, they have been trying, in vain, themselves to get their website to rank better on Google, but without the necessary knowledge and experience it can be very difficult and very expensive.
Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet for any business to improve their search rakings overnight. At Blue Monkee Digital deploy a blend of professionals consisting of content writers, web developers, Google qualified specialists, and social media specialists to develop the right Digital Marketing strategy for each Client.
Can you tell us about a campaign that you found to be a particularly good demonstration of the potential of digital marketing to deliver results?
We are currently working with a high growth FinTech start-up called www.OrcaMoney.com, as their Digital Marketing partner (they will be pitching at UpStart by the way!). As a business launched less than 3 months ago we are helping them build out a long term SEO strategy to gain industry authority in their business domain, namely Marketplace Lending, through a content led strategy.
In the short term, we are also helping them to get noticed and drive essential early traction through a very targeted PPC strategy, all for a fraction of the cost of their competitors Digital Marketing spend. As a result of our work with them, they are already achieving higher traffic volumes and lower customer acquisition costs than many more established players in the industry.
Can you give us an idea of some of the major trends you expect to see in digital marketing over the next year or so, and are there any strategies which are currently being used that might soon fall by the wayside?
The world of Digital Marketing is very dynamic, it is constantly innovating and changing. Whether it is Google algorithm changes, faster technology, smarter data analytics, greater on-line collaboration, it all results in one thing, more digitally demanding customers!
One example of a big recent change in the world of Digital Marketing was Google announcing overnight that they would be eliminating their well renowned side-ads. Pretty big deal, considering millions of businesses advertise here every day! I wrote an article for SEM Rush recently called Google Side Ads, which covers more in depth what specific changes have occurred, potential reasons for the big change and how the removal of these ads could potentially affect businesses. Feel free to have a read, but this is the sort of stuff that changes regularly in our industry, so it’s important for us to keep up to date and ensure our clients are always one step ahead.
Blue Monkee Digital is a major supporter of the upSTART Pitch Battle taking place at Digital DNA this year, why was it important for the team to be involved?
As a Full Service Digital Marketing Agency, Blue Monkee Digital offer a unique combination of Creative, Digital and Technology capabilities to clients right across the UK. We recognized that some of the most interesting innovation and disruption in business today is taking place within the Start-up community. We are increasingly working with Start-ups, both traditional and on-line businesses, who realise the importance of an effective Digital Marketing strategy to gain vital early traction with customers.
We have built up valuable expertise in this area, and importantly are able to help these early stage businesses to build an effective web presence, deploy cost effective SEO and PPC campaigns, and leverage the power of Social Media channels, all on a ‘Bootstrapping’ budget. We will have a stand at Digital DNA some please come and talk to us to find out more.