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Digital Marketing - Value for Money?
With the explosion of digital – or online – marketing, you really are spoilt for choice when getting your message across, with many free options. So which do you choose? Where’s the catch? 

Generally, paid for tools offer you guaranteed exposure. Unpaid tools offer credibility and longevity, although they take longer to have an impact upon web traffic.
Examples of free digital marketing tools:
  • Search engine optimisation
  • Social media
  • Blogging
  • Article placement
…there’s more - please ask for details.

Examples of ‘paid for’ digital marketing tools:
  • ‘Pay per Click’ advertising
  • Banner advertising
  • SMS (text messaging)
  • Sponsorship – page/webinar

Measurement and brand control is harder with unpaid tools such as guest Articles and Blogs, whereas results from paid tools such as SMS are more easily tracked. 

Often they work successfully together: Pay Par Click and Banner Advertising offer short term presence boosting web traffic and interaction whilst Articles and Optimisation take affect longer term. Both offer opportunities for careful targeting.

Good optimisation via site content will also enhance the ranking of the paid for (PPC) advert. The tools are therefore different but complementary, combining to drive traffic to your website.

The key areas to think about when you get receive a free, online opportunity are:

  • Targeting - will this channel reach your target customers? If not, you are investing your time in the wrong direction!
  • Longevity - how long will your information be live for? Can you stimulate a quick response by including an offer with a closing date?
  • Timing - when will your piece/activity appear? How does this affect the content? Some channels - such as search engine optimisation or guest articles - may not be able to provide a date.
  • Flexibility - can you change the content once it's live? Perhaps a different image or new information? 
  • Guarantee - most free online tools can guarantee appearance (pending agreements in some cases)
  • Control - content marketing, netwokring and social media offer good levels of control whilst remaining very cost effective - even free - options. Clearly the search engines will retain control over your website's ranking!

To summarise - yes - many free digital tools are worth considering... but not just because they're free! Take the time to find the right ones for your oragnisation... and good luck!
Not sure which are best for your business? Contact us at Decisions Marketing – we’re very happy to chat about online marketing.
Social Media for Business Success
Social media: most businesses use it as a platform to generate contact, engagement and ultimately sales. But how can we make the most of a tool which simply doesn’t tolerate overt selling? How can we make our conversations count in business terms?

Is Social Media Right for Business?

In short, yes. However – choose the platform which best suits your audience. Think about your content and where your target (and existing) customers will see you. Facebook is still by far the strongest option for volume of users and sharing; but it simply isn’t right for most business-to-business marketing. Pinterest is growing fast and already has the second highest volume of referral traffic. LinkedIn has comparatively small levels of users and activity but is the obvious choice for most business-to-business marketing activity.

Credibility Counts 

That’s how social media can definitely help us all. Regular, relevant conversations help generate awareness and credibility. Responsiveness is a key requirement of your social media too. The pace is fast – and unforgiving. A lean month of Twitter content can look like you’ve shut up shop. Often, social media for businesses is about credibility. It’s a powerful back-up for the rest of your internet marketing arsenal. It’s where people will find you to seek reassurance. They’re looking for confirmation of their impressions about you and your business. That’s where it can always help the sales process.


Selling via Social Media

Have you ever stopped following someone because of their non-stop promotional content? Or left a group because of the plethora of sales messages? Many groups monitor this but once connected, you’re vulnerable to direct messaging. People use social media to be social; not to be sold to. Relevant conversations can gain valuable feedback as well as demonstrate your own expertise in a helpful way. So, what you’re selling is your knowledge, your experience; not your product or service in a direct way. 

Tips for Social Media Success:

1.    Be relevant – in your choice of social media, content and style 
2.    Monitor conversations; respond quickly and wisely
3.    Define success. Do you want website visits, newsletter signups, direct contact? Successful social media will lead to engagement first, then sales opportunities
4.    Be patient. Social media for business isn’t a quick fix. But – stick at it… it’s likely to reap rewards. 

No time to research, write and respond? 62% businesses save time by outsourcing their copywriting

Need a better return from your social media activity? Contact us at Decisions Marketing for a free discussion. We’re here to help.
Time Saving Twitter Tips
Twitter has gained huge popularity, but what are the best ways to get it working for your business?

Here are our top five suggestions to keep your time and your tweets in check:

1. Be relevant – people don’t want to hear weather updates or their horoscope from your tweets. Make your content interesting and relevant; simply the best way to gain followers, website visits and who knows… sales. (Our web designer colleague gains regular work from Twitter.)

2. Volume – research shared by the Chartered Institute of Marketing shows that more than three tweets a day could easily disengage your followers. Go for the ‘little and often’ approach

3. Re-tweets – research shows that asking for ‘please retweet’ rather than ‘RT’ gets a better response from Twitter-users. (51% compared to 39%, HubSpot) Please don’t lose manners by cutting 140 character corners.

4. Timing – whilst Hootsuite will tell you that 12pm – 3pm is the best time to send a tweets, when will your market have a chance to see them? At Decisions Marketing, we’re big research fans. But – data must be interpreted with your own target customers in mind before you make changes to what you’re doing.    

5. Following – the same with any social media, before sharing content and following Twitter users, check to see if their content is relevant to you or your followers. If not, don’t do it.Hopefully, the above tips will help save some Twitter time for you.

One last thought – if time is tight, consider working with someone to create your content for you; to give it that perfect blend of interesting, relevant and personable… with a subtle sales edge too. We can help – why not arrange a free discussion?

Lastly, if any of you are not already using planning tools to help your Twitter feed, why not?! Free tools such as Hootsuite and Tweetdeck are saviours of time and sanity. For regular marketing tips such as these, please connect with us on Twitter. See you there!