Marketing was a lot simpler in the days before the internet. Back then, a few business cards and a wacky inflatable tube man standing outside of your storefront were enough to drive traffic. But in the digital age, things can get a whole lot more complex. Facebook ads management, Goggle analytics, and Photoshop (the horror!) are all things standing between you and a killer marketing strategy. If you’re hoping to stay afloat, or even better, stay ahead of the competition, you’re going to need to think outside the box when it comes to marketing for your business.

You may be frustrated, confused (or terrified) by the convoluted world of digital marketing.

Trust us. We. Get. It.

But we hope you’ll take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone. Anywhere you go, there’s a business owner wrestling with his or her digital marketing strategy, wondering if they’re posting the right thing, spending the right amount of money, or following the right formula for their marketing efforts. That’s why we’ve compiled this killer blog post: to help businesses master their digital marketing without breaking the bank. What follows are 20 tips for how to level up your digital marketing in 2020.

Build on branding

Consistent branding is important, but what does consistent branding even mean? In marketing terms, consistent branding means having a uniform look across all avenues of media. Keeping things consistent helps your audience associate your visual identity with your business, and that’s what marketing is all about: staying top of mind. By tying your business and your visual identity together and maintaining this marriage across social media, print materials, your storefront and more, you’ll find your brand recognition will improve over time. Keep it up long enough and your customers will definitely take note.

Bet on business cards

In the day and age of the internet and social media, it may seem like business cards are obsolete. But quite the contrary, business cards are literally your calling card, and, as such, should reflect the style of your business and who you are as a business owner. Consider revamping your business cards for the New Year. Start with a creative logo, and make sure the texture of your card is on-point. Now is not the time to skimp. The quality of your business card might make all the difference between a new business connection and just another friendly face.

Pay to play

There was a time when organic content reigned supreme on platforms like Facebook. These days, Facebook profits off of a strict pay to play methodology, meaning if you want eyeballs on your content, you’re going to need to dish out some dough to get it done.

There are no ifs, ands or buts about it: social media advertising should hold a place within your marketing budget for 2020. If it doesn’t, you’ll have fallen behind the countless other business that are pouring large portions of their marketing funds into these tried and true methods of advertising. Stop with the billboards, stop with the magazine ads, and stop with the radio advertisements. Social media is where your customer lives now, and you’d do well to keep this in mind when you’re allocating your ad dollars for the remainder of the year.

Make an offer

Are you doing all you can to entice your potential customer? Often, customers want to have some interaction with a brand before they actually buy. This is why it’s good marketing practice to have a few offers outside of your traditional goods and services. Perhaps you can offer a coupon, a tour of your space, a specific event invite or even a unique package deal for first-time customers. Consider coming up with 3 “hooks” to reel in your customer. While you may need to invest a bit of money into these offers, they may be just what your customer needs to put their trust in you, and that’s what marketing is all about.

Target your audience

It’s an exciting time for advertisers. While you’ve heard time and time again the dangers of third-party apps accessing your data, there’s definitely a silver lining if you’re a hopeful business looking to capitalize on digital ads. Platforms like Facebook have done the dirty work for you, meaning you can take advantage of highly-accurate, highly-effective ad data that puts your content in front of the people that truly matter, i.e. the people geographically close enough to actually buy. And it doesn’t stop at geography, either. Ad targeting has gotten so specific that marketers can target users based on their age, employment, buying habits, and more. With that type of data in hand, you’re likely to reach an entirely new group of customers you previously thought were unattainable. That’s the beauty (or detriment, depending on your POV) of Facebook advertising as we know it.

Tell your story

Telling your story is a great way to get eyes on your brand.

Who are you?

What do you do?

What do you believe in?

All of these can help buyers get to know you on a deeper level, which is a good marketing tactic in and of itself. You can tell your story in a variety of ways. Maybe it’s through blogging, clever social media graphics, or even a high-quality video. From “About Us” videos to vlog series that follow you on your journey, inviting people behind-the-scenes is a giant step toward marketing magic.

Split test your ad sets

Your current social media ad strategy may be working great…until it’s not. You’ll never know what really works until you try it, which is why it’s a good idea to really get to know the ins and outs of Facebook marketing, set up campaigns, and split-test them accordingly. By split-testing, and split-testing, and split-testing some more, you’ll gain a clear picture of what type of content your audience wants and you can tailor it specifically for them from then on out.

Create a memorable experience

Who doesn’t love a party?

If it’s within your means, consider hosting a special event for your customers/clients. Customer experience is second to none in the hierarchy of marketing tactics, therefore, hosting events that strategically target your ideal demographic can go a long way in strengthening your bond with your customers and demonstrating your value as a business. Not only will this show your customers that you care, but you can also leverage this for social marketing via check-ins, Instagram posts and Facebook posts.

Market your business at an event

As any successful entrepreneur can attest: the selling never stops. It’s important that you market yourself and your business as a whole. Be on the lookout for local events that welcome local businesses to participate. Whether a school event, a pop-up shop, a career fair or the like, you’ll find that interaction with the local market can help you form relationships and acquire more customers down the line.

Keep a tidy home

We’ll say it again for those in the back: customer experience is everything. Is your business making a good first impression? When a customer walks through the door, what will they see, smell, or feel? Is your receptionist warm and welcoming? Does your office smell like a meadow full of daisies? Is your business surrounded by nice things to look at? Never underestimate the power of perception when it comes to your place of business. You (and it) should always be ready for any visitors, i.e. potential customers that walk in.

Capture your events

You can never have too much content during the age of social media. Event videography is one of the many ways businesses today are connecting with audiences. Whether you’re hosting a charity event, a customer-appreciation event, or any other type of occasion that demonstrates your willingness to go above and beyond, consider high-quality video to document the experience and share it with your followers via social media, newsletter or other method.

Perfect the pixel

The modern day equivalent of a trail of breadcrumbs, the Facebook Pixel is one of the wide variety of tools available for mere mortals like us to maximize our online ad dollars. By installing a Facebook Pixel on your website, lead page, etc., you’ll be able to retarget users who visit, narrowing down your pool in the process. This is just one effective way to lead your audience down through the sales funnel.

Count on copywriting

Are you offering your audience valuable content aside from your typical goods and services? From your social media content to your in-store promotional materials, copywriting is an important aspect of selling to your audience. Ensuring your content is accurate, readable and entertaining is no easy feat, but failing to do this can wreak havoc on your credibility. This is why it’s crucial that you put real effort into your business’s copywriting projects.

Don’t leave Linkedin to chance

The world is filled with two camps: those who love LinkedIn and those that view it as a necessary evil of conducting business in a digital world. Perhaps you sit somewhere in between, but regardless, you’re going to need to learn how to master LinkedIn if you’re hoping to form new business connections. There are a number of components that go into creating the ideal LinkedIn profile, and while it can be time-consuming to nail the formula, you might find this platform your new favorite for business news, networking, and new customers.

Take on TikTok

If you’re not familiar with the pop culture phenomenon that is TikTok, it’s time you do a little digging. This new social media platform is taking the world by storm, which means big potential for marketers hoping to hop on a new avenue for advertising. How can you incorporate TikTok into your current marketing strategy? Is this the type of platform your audience utilizes on a daily basis? These are all questions you should be asking if you’re looking to truly expand your marketing prospects in 2020. TikTok may very well be the future of advertising, so it’s best to jump on the train now.

Master messaging with bots

You know that “We’ll get back to you in 24–48 hours” message you receive once you’ve e-mailed a business? Well, we hate to break it to you…but that time window will no longer suffice for your customer in 2020. In the event of an issue or question, your customer wants answers and they want them now. Messenger Bots are some of the best tools you can utilize keep on top of your communication with customers is a priority. Given that the majority of us are on our smartphones, oh…all the time, it can be highly beneficial for you, as a business, to rely on prompt, easy communication by way of Messenger Bot. Not only will you find this streamlined method of communication more efficient, but you’ll also be able to build a database of interested customers, making ad retargeting much easier (and more accurate) down the line.

Incorporate Instagram marketing

The benefits of a Facebook Business page are well documented, but it’s possible that Instagram may be a better platform for your marketing needs. Depending on your industry and target audience, there may be a chance that Instagram carries more potential for reach than your typical Facebook strategy. Consider both an organic Instagram content strategy and one that relies on paid ads to generate traffic. A combination of the two will ensure a clear path toward your social media goals, and one you can easily track through the use of analytics.

Pal around with your audience through podcasts

Establishing yourself as an expert in your field can help your potential customers put their trust in you. One way to do this, aside from informative Facebook posts or blog posts, is through the use of podcasts. If your industry is one with lots of moving parts, trends and tips — think real estate, construction, and certain trades — a podcast may be just the right avenue for speaking to your audience on a more intimate level. Once you’ve established an industry-specific podcast, consider inviting guests or taking questions to help your audience get the most of their time with you.

Act with analytics

Analytics are your best friend if you’re running ads online. Why? Because they’ll help guide you toward the best use of your hard-earned money. You can’t possibly know if your ad budget is being used appropriately without the use of analytics to back it up. Whether Facebook, Instagram or Google, getting familiar with analytics and how they relate to your marketing strategy will help you make the most of your ad dollars over time.

Don’t pass on Pinterest

Pinterest often gets overlooked in the grand scheme of social media platforms, but this picture-driven app carries a world of potential in terms of content marketing. Depending on your industry, Pinterest may even be more effective than Facebook or Instagram. If you’re running a creative business, consider using Pinterest for your marketing efforts. You may just open yourself up to an entirely new audience that’s ready to buy.

Has the convoluted world of digital marketing got you down? Triggers Media can help! We specialize in advertising for the digital age, and we’re ready to help you grow. Give us a call at 956.884.4877 to learn more about our all-inclusive digital marketing strategies.