We asked digital marketing gurus Amanda Churchill, Director of Digital Strategy at MLCworks, and Taylor Toledo, Director of Marketing at Kerrie Kelly Companies, for their best advice and tips for tackling the digital stratosphere. Here’s what they said.
Lighting & Decor: What are the three most important things to do to improve a website’s SEO?
Amanda Churchill: High-quality content, claiming your listings (you can do this for free on Google, Bing and other search engines), and a fast, easy and secure website.
Taylor Toledo: Headers, keyword-rich text (especially in your “About” and “Services” section), and a meta description for long-form content.
L&D: How do you prioritize where to spend your digital marketing budget?
AC: To prioritize spending, we first and foremost make sure we understand the goals we’re trying to achieve, while also defining metrics to make sure we’re meeting those goals. Once we do that, we research to find out what digital marketing channels our audience is using and also to give us an idea of what our budget needs to be to achieve our goals and have an ROI. Some channels like social and email are very effective and don’t require as much budget, whereas depending on the industry, SEM, SEO, display, video and website management can all be costly but be very rewarding when done right.
TT: This is different for each client. Interior designers may want to focus on targeted ads, specifically geographically focused, like sponsored Facebook posts explaining their services. National brands like manufacturers or vendors will want to focus their dollars on AdWords or heftier SEO development where designers could be scouring the internet for new products. In the end, it’s all about reach: Where is your ideal client, and where are they most likely to find you?
L&D: Name your favorite digital marketing resource or tool.
AC: There are so many amazing resources available (I get dozens of emails daily from them!), but my favorites for beginners that cover topics for all of marketing would have to be ClickZ and HubSpot.
TT: That’s a tough one. My personal favorite is Asana, our project management software. It’s easy to use and intuitive. It’s also super satisfying to check off a task once I’ve completed it!
L&D: What types of social media posts work best for your company and why?
AC: For the most part, we have two different goals for all of our social media accounts, and there are posts that work best for those goals. If your goal is to drive website traffic, then relevant and visually pleasing images and click-worthy calls-to-action work best. If your goal is to encourage engagement, then behind-the-scenes giveaways and customer photo posts are ideal.
TT: Instagram is the most popular platform for each of my clients because all of them are visually driven. I would say Twitter and Facebook hold their own for certain types of posts, like blogs and breaking news, and Pinterest is great for design clients who want to house their portfolio somewhere other than their website.
L&D: What digital trends should retailers and designers be watching and why?
AC: There are three trends that I personally am interested in as they will help retailers and designers win loyalty from potential customers: experimental digital marketing, augmented and virtual reality and personal assistants.
TT: As the digital streams start to become more crowded, influencer marketing is going to be more important than ever. Chances are, your clients associate you with an image, personality or even colors.