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Business Owners Say ‘Yes’ to Digital in 2015

Posted on 2.17.2015

:: By Erik Harbison, AWeber ::

A glimpse into the life of the business owners confirmed some of what we already know. According to recently surveyed entrepreneurs, they are time strapped, working with minimal resources and wearing a plethora of hats to operate and grow their companies. With such competing priorities, it’s no wonder they’re focusing on digital marketing plans and strategies to help catapult their businesses in the new year.

It’s about having the time, money and know-how

For the owner who never has enough hours in the day, doesn’t have the resources of a large organization and is a wearer of many hats, digital marketing is relatively fast, cheap and easy to implement. 

Almost 13 percent of our survey’s respondents say they consider themselves to be digital marketing pros while 65 percent say they’re better at using certain channels more than others. When asked to describe the importance of digital to the future growth of their business, nearly all (90 percent) feel it’s very important.

As entrepreneurs prepare to take on the new year and decide where to focus their marketing efforts, we found that digital content is where they’re spending most of their time. Specifically topping the list are email (that’s right, business owners still love email), social and blogging. 

If you’re a business owner ready to boost your digital marketing efforts, here are some steps to consider and ensure success this year.

Create ridiculously awesome content

Content is the cornerstone of any digital marketing plan. Crank out ridiculously awesome content and watch your digital marketing soar. Consistently appealing, and relevant content will help build your brand and push online traffic your company’s way. Great content (whether it’s email, social, website or blog) is timely, highly personalized, easily shareable and adds instant value to those who consume it.

But remember, there’s more to digital than just content

Survey takers told us the most popular area of focus for marketing this year is email. So, creating good content isn’t enough. Digital marketing, specifically email marketing, requires work and maintenance. Since a solid list is the foundation of any email marketing strategy, start the year off with a reactivation campaign. Reactivate inactive subscribers with these five easy steps: identify your inactive subscribers, segment your list based on activity, reach out to inactive subscribers, send a “last chance” email to your inactive audience, then remove the inactive subs to ensure a healthy email list. 

Deleting subscribers may sound counterintuitive, but remember a healthy list means greater success. Plus, there’s always room to grow. Your awesome content, matched with valuable incentives to subscribe, mobile-friendly subscriber sign-ups, and sign-up forms that are accessible both on and offline, ensures that your email list will grow in no time.

Optimize, Optimize, Optimize

Digital content--even great digital content--can always be optimized for greater effectiveness. Giving yourself the goal of executing at least three tests per month will quickly get you into a habit for success.  

With email, set up an A/B split test to see which subject lines resonate with your audience. On social, give your followers a sneak peek of new blog and email content whenever you post something new. Make your blog content work for you by teasing it with your email list and on your social channels. Maximize your chance for success in search engines by reviewing your website content keywords and phrases. The point is to give your digital content the consistent love it needs to yield continued results for your business.

Erik Harbison is the Chief Marketing Officer at AWeber - Email Marketing where he guides strategic direction and daily operations for the company's public relations, sales, content and brand marketing initiatives.

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