I’m not 100% sure when a ‘hack’ became a good thing but according to popular opinion, it seems that writing about ‘hacks’ means you are providing people with some sort of shortcut to success.
I’m not here to promise you that.
What I am here to say is that by following these 13 ‘hacks’ or tips, you should be able to work more efficiently and do more with your time.
The focus of this post is on digital marketing hacks and if, like me, you work in digital marketing, some of these tips can save you valuable time and energy each and every day depending on how many clients you are working with.
1. Use your data on a regular basis
I can’t oversell the value of data. If you are not both collecting and using data to inform all of your digital marketing decisions, then you are not working as efficiently as you could be.
Data should guide all of your decisions. From what content to create, to advertising spend to UX improvements. Whilst your gut for these things might be good, the data is better.
The right data will tell you your customers’ purchasing habits, which ads are working, and where you might have gaps in your content strategy. Making data-driven decisions is the best way for your business to reach its full potential.
2. Optimise your customer experience for mobile
As we head towards the end of 2020 and into 2021, it seems strange to still be peddling the mobile-friendly line, however, it’s also strange to see so many sites that are still no focusing on the mobile experience.
Even if you own and manage a website where the majority of customers still come via desktop, Google is ranking your website based on the mobile experience so it’s not something you can simply ignore. Delivering a great mobile experience is a great way of future-proofing your website and you can no longer put this one on the back burner.
3. Understand and listen to your audience
I’ve already talked about the value of data and that is one part of the puzzle when it comes to understanding your audience. The second part is to listen to them. Monitor all of your touchpoints with customers and prospective customers and pay attention to what they are saying. Whether it’s review sites, social media platforms or blogging sites like Quora or Reddit, there are so many places online where people can talk about your brand and products so it’s important to closely monitor them and understand what they are looking for from your business
You can of course also look to be the driver of the conversation with your customers. Reach out via email or your own social platforms and actively ask for feedback – there is no better person to ask about your customer experience than the customer themself.
4. Differentiate your growth strategies
Every business wants to grow but you must be careful of putting all your eggs into one basket. Whatever your business growth goals, make sure you are using an omnichannel approach and utilise every opportunity available to you to grow. This doesn’t mean diluting your efforts and spreading yourself too thin. It means taking a measured approach and working out which channels are going to bring you the best return on your investment (time and/or money). SEO, AdWords, Social Media, Content Marketing, Email – all of these present different opportunities for you to grow your business and each offers many facets which you need to decide on which to include in your overall growth strategy.
This ‘hack’ relies heavily on #1 – use the data to inform you of which growth channels are working for your business and maximise those opportunities whilst constantly investigating other opportunities.
5. Audit your own sites on a regular basis
Sometimes auditing your website can be a seen as a project rather than an on-going activity and that’s never going to be a great long term strategy. Don’t simply carry out an audit of your website and then forget about it. Whilst you may see some initial gains, these can quickly drop away again if you are missing other potential issues on your site and not carrying out regular auditing.
This doesn’t mean you have to perform a full site audit every week. There are specific things you should be checking weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually so put together a schedule and make sure you stick to it.
6. Carry our regular competitor audits
As well as keeping on top of your own site, it’s really important to keep an eye on what your competitors are doing and to carry out that research on a regular basis. Knowing what deals they have on their site, what keywords they are ranking for and roughly what traffic they are getting can really help you to stay ahead of the competition and get to the top of the pack.
Sign up for competitor newsletters, follow them on social media, and conduct regular audits of their website. You know they will be doing the same to you.
7. Make every page a landing page
Every page on your website should have a purpose. From your homepage to your latest blog post, you should have a very clear idea of what you hope to achieve by publishing that page. That’s why you should treat every page as a landing page and answer a couple of key questions – what do I want a visitor to do when they get here? What do I want them to after landing on that page? Once you know what you want them to do on the page and after, then you can tailor the messaging and the calls to action to meet those goals.
8. Repurpose content
Remember how long it took you to create that infographic? What about the time you took to produce that testimonial video? Content takes time to create if you want to do it well but it’s such a shame to limit your audience by only using that piece of content in one specific way.
Can a blog post be turned into a video presentation? Can a video be translated into a podcast or a simple audio file for those who like to listen to content in their car? Can the date you used to create your infographic be used to create supporting posts and PR pieces that add unique value? Make the most of your already awesome content and think about how it can be repurposed for other platforms and mediums.
9. Republish content
In a similar way to repurposing content, don’t forget about republishing content. Remember that awesome blog post you wrote a couple of years back that did really well in organic search? It’s amazing what a refresh to that content can do for your current rankings. It’s likely that over the past couple of years, other sites have come along and replaced your amazing content with something fresher – now it’s your turn to do the same but instead of starting from scratch, simply take your original piece of awesome content and bring it up to date – update the stats, introduce some new findings, identify some new related keywords that you didn’t feature first time around – there are lots of things you can do to freshen up an already awesome piece of content.
10. Embrace User Generated Content (UGC)
Your customers are not only a goldmine for useful information, they are actually an awesome resource when it comes to creating content. It’s amazing how many customers want to help you to promote your business. We’re not talking about influencer marketing here where people are expecting to get paid. We’re talking about satisfied, loyal customers who simply love your brand and products.
We’ve managed to tap into users for so much content over the past few years – from top tips to video reviews to testimonials – it’s amazing how much you can gather from your customers and amazing what you can then do with t hay content. You don’t have to do everything yourself – take full advantage of the resources around you.
11. Use the skyscraper technique
For those of you not familiar with the skyscraper technique, it’s a technique developed by Brian Dean of Backlinko and it’s a method of creating content that is 10x better than the pages currently ranking in Google for the keywords you are targeting.
There are three basic steps to the skyscraper technique:
Step 1: Find link-worthy content
Step 2: Make something even better
Step 3: Reach out to the right people
The basic premise is that no one is interested in the tenth highest or even the fifth-highest skyscraper in the world. You only want to know about the highest and when it comes to linking, people are only going to link to the best piece of content in your space.
12. Don’t be afraid of video content
We’ve already talked about the power of repurposing content, however one key area you should be embracing is video content. According to Smart Insights, 92% of marketers say that video is an important part of their marketing strategy in 2020, up from 78% in 2015. Why the big jump? Well, according to 88% of marketers, video marketing provides them with positive ROI. When you consider that only 33% said the same in 2015, it shows that consumer sentiment toward videos is much stronger now.
This research is supported by Visme and perhaps the cost of video marketing is becoming less prohibitive with 46% of marketers saying video marketing has become much more affordable and their research showing that 91% of marketers claiming they are happy with their ROI from video marketing. Visme’s in-depth guide to video marketing is a great place to learn more about video marketing.
Video is only going to grow. On virtually every platform, video is playing a huge role, from dedicated channels like YouTube to Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn – people are consuming video at rates previously unheard of. It is estimated that the average person will spend 100 minutes every day watching online videos in 2021. This is a 19% increase compared to daily viewing minutes in 2019, which stood at 84.
Don’t be afraid of video content – embrace it as part of your strategy as we head towards 2021.
13. Constantly update your keyword research
Don’t let your keyword research be a ‘set and forget’ exercise. Don’t simply identify a set of keywords, add them to your keyword tracking tool and then simply report on them every month. Keyword research should be an on-going process where you are constantly looking for new opportunities and ensuring you are optimising for the most relevant keywords across your website.
Whether or not you want to call these hacks or tips, hopefully, they have provided some insights into some of the key areas you need to focus on if you want to get a better ROI for the digital marketing work you are carrying out.