The purpose of this article is to highlight four important pillars of digital marketing in a project marketing or sales organisation setting and introduces tools meant to help you run a cost effective and efficient setup.
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The Four Digital Pillars Of Online Marketing
In project marketing for real estate, there are actually more pillars than four if you include offline strategies. However, as I am a digital marketer my expertise lies in digital marketing and hence, my focus. Some or all of these pillars resonate with some small businesses that have a focus on sales. Here are the four digital pillars in project marketing, in no particular order:
- Email Marketing
- SMS Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
This article will introduce some tools for effective performance in each of these tiers.
1. Email Marketing
Email marketing is an essential staple for project marketing. Done correctly, it is inexpensive and has an extensive reach. In my experience sending emails to people who want your service, the open rate is about 20-30%. Because it’s measurable with email campaigning software, you can improve your email marketing with A/B Testing.
Now, many people do not realise that in the world of email newsletter marketing, your options are not confined to Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor. In fact, I would go so far as to say Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor are replaceable with cheaper options that are just as effective.
My recommendations are two-fold. Firstly, if you have high volumes of emails running into the thousands per month, choose Sendy. Sendy makes use of Amazon’s Simple Email System (SES). With Amazon SES, you can send thousands of emails at a fraction of the cost. We are looking at an expenditure of US$1 per 10,000 emails.
That is peanuts. All you need is a once off cost of US$59 to purchase, and if you wish, US$79 for installation.
Secondly, if you run a Joomla website, you have the option of AcyMailing. AcyMailing uses server resources. That means there is no ongoing cost, and you only pay for the program. There are multiple tiers in AcyMailing, including a free tier, though most of the reporting and extra functions are missing in the free version. AcyMailing comes with free templates in all versions.
That is all for my advice on running cheap but effective email newsletter software. Now, there is a question of how do you get subscribers. Designing a good landing page is an option. However, that does take some skill, practice and testing to get right. In the context of project marketing or certain sales organisations, holding regular physical events you can go to, like a trade show, may be an option to get those subscribers.
2. SMS Marketing
Normally, SMS marketing is done through an API in your Client Relationship Manager (CRM). However, there are a few companies out there that have the next best thing, Whatsapp marketing. Whatsapp is a very popular mobile messaging platform and has millions of users. Bee CRM is one of the few companies that has a robust Whatsapp system, see below:
The only issue is that you have to make a specific request to Bee CRM to have access to this function. However, I believe SMS still has a wider appeal than Whatsapp. Still, Whatsapp is a great replacement to SMS. It is probably easier to build up your phone numbers by a physical event like trade shows, as I find people are more careful giving out phone numbers on the internet.
3. Social Media Marketing
We live in the dawn of social media automation. This is great news for social media marketing. I will introduce to you two modern social media automation tools.
The first is Buffer. Buffer is a social media scheduler and covers major platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
There are also some similar apps out there like HootSuite and Everypost, but I use Buffer. And if you want to take your social media posting and analytics to the next level, there are services such as ZoomSphere that Fridge Magazine uses. Scheduling software is a valuable, time-saving productivity tool. You have to use multiple social media to maximise your results, so rather than post in each one, just post once through a post scheduler.
Next, you can generate leads through social media management apps like Unfollowers. The below is an example of how Unfollowers can search for users to follow, and in return, get followed back:
For example, you can search by Tweet.
You can also search by profile. Now, I use a more expensive app of this type, but Unfollowers is an inexpensive alternative. However, if you want maximum results, have a look at my Twitter toolkit recommendations here.
We now reach the fourth pillar, and that is the website. The website is basically the end point for digital marketing. You want most digital marketing efforts to lead to visits to your site, and conversions. The fundamental principle of running a successful website with good SEO is creating content people love and giving them easy access to the content. Content is king no matter what industry you are in.
In the context of digital marketing, besides obvious design requirements, you have got to get social sharing and social media links done. This is essential for any website, not only in project marketing and sales teams as it helps people find your content.
These days there are plenty of free and paid options for social media sharing and links. I use a Joomla website, so I use JFBConnect. But there should be available options for WordPress, Drupal and other Content Management Systems (CMS). Every website should have a link to your social media accounts, such as below:
Furthermore, it should have sharing links to social media to share your content:
These are the fundamentals of website-social-media integration. The reason why I choose JFBConnect is because it is an all-in-one solution covering many genres of social media.
There is a myriad of sales and marketing tools out there that make digital marketing easier. It would serve you well to investigate and use some of these tools. Not all systems are equal; some are overpriced. Do not be afraid to shop around for alternatives to popular solutions – you may be surprised and find better returns with less popular software. They can assist you in many ways, such as building in automation and streamlining your sales process. I hope that this is a good primer for you to know what is out there besides commonly heard and over-hyped software like MailChimp, and I hope I have helped you in making a choice on what tools you want to add into your marketing toolkit.