In today’s Q&A, we’ll be discussing the intersection of conversion rate optimization and digital communications and marketing with Emma York, founder of Fresh Approach Digital based in West Sussex, UK.
What is your background and experience? What led you to start your business?
I am a holistic digital communications consultant and founder of Fresh Approach Digital. I have been working in PR and digital marketing for over ten years, and I help start-ups and small businesses develop their business social profiles and define their digital communications and marketing. I started my business seven years ago as I knew there were many businesses that could benefit from some increased company communications, and I was in a position to be able to offer a bespoke and all-inclusive service.
Over the years as clients and potential customers asked for different services and as technology changed, I adapted and have been moving away from ‘traditional’ PR and more into digital and marketing. My passion for working with startups and small businesses has been present in my business from the very beginning and something that still drives me today. I focus now on helping businesses with their paid media and search marketing campaigns either as an addition of their team or as a coach teaching them the skills they need.
Where should startups and small businesses start when defining their digital communications and marketing strategy?
A great place to start is with a plan. I find putting things down in writing really helps business owners and teams to understand their value proposition, what they want to achieve and what they have to offer. A plan helps to set SMART goals that then leads in to defining a customer persona and developing brand guidelines.
For many startups and small businesses they will be doing all of their own marketing, advertising and PR along with the day-to-day running of their business. Planning allows for structure and organisation and for time to be allocated to digital communications and marketing.
Google research has found that since the beginning of March 2020, search interest in ‘online shopping’ and ‘how to buy online’ has grown by 2x worldwide.
Organised and planned content paired with a strategic social media campaign can deliver marketing objectives, enhance a website, build customer trust and awareness leading to conversions and sales.
What are some common mistakes that businesses make in their digital communications?
Common mistakes that I see some businesses making are having several social media channels all created with very few posts, little or no bio or profile copy, broken links and wondering why they are not increasing followers or engagement. Or not having Google Analytics or similar set up for their website. There are many free tools and software available now that can make life very easy and productive for small businesses and those new to marketing in the digital space.
Knowing what the business marketing objectives are, what they want to achieve and who their potential audience is are keys to unlocking a digital marketing plan. Testing content, trying paid media and checking data are all essential factors to successfully using digital marketing to achieve business goals.
I would recommend any business invest a little time researching where their audience spends time online. This will help determine if content and efforts should be put into website blogs, LinkedIn, Instagram or Pinterest for example.
When should your clients be considering conversion rate optimization? How does it build off of the PR and digital marketing strategy work that your company provides?
Conversion rates should be looked at regularly. I always recommend a monthly review of website data and analytics to test and evaluate in comparison month-on-month and year-on-year. This helps to determine the progress of the website and if changes need to be made.
CRO should be used to identify why website visitors aren’t converting into customers and can be an important way to get the most out of your digital and marketing efforts.
Website and social data are key ingredients in maximising the success of any marketing strategy.
If businesses took one action today to grow their business, what advice would you give?
Test, plan, be present, and spend time on the content you are putting together. Is it adding value to your customers? Is it relevant? Look at the data.
Combining website analytics and social insight data, a business has a lot of essential information to find out if their digital marketing is effective and if conversion rates needs to be worked on further. Honestly, most businesses can benefit from CRO!
The results of reviewing this data is unique to each business and will provide the insights needed to understand followers and audience, show how content is being engaged with and whether marketing objectives are being achieved.
Test all kinds of content on your social channels and on your website: videos, images, blogs, selfies, interviews, top tips. Audience insights will show which content they prefer and what they engage with most. And be consistent; posting regularly to digital channels, keeping customers informed, commenting within groups and industry channels is a great way to keep brand awareness going and audience engagement high.
Thanks for joining us today Emma and sharing insights on how to better understand your customers, engage them on social, and ultimately get them to convert on your website.