We’ve often received questions from small businesses on various aspects of the implementation of digital marketing. Here’s a small collection of frequently asked questions.

Question: I’m not sure whether my target audience is even active on social media, so do I really need to invest the time and energy into social selling? 
Answer: This is a question many small businesses and even large companies struggle with. But whether you’re a blue-collar plumber or a B2B software company, you can benefit from a social media presence. You do, however, have to take the time to understand the concepts and ideas behind social selling; it’s certainly not as simple as setting up a Facebook page, uploading a cover photo and hoping for the leads to pour in. 

In the case of a bigger company, there are almost always going to be opportunities to network and socialize on the big social platforms. You just have to put in the work to find your audience, join the group and start highlighting your knowledge and value. For smaller companies, it might take more digging or even finding a small, niche social network. But the reward for a social presence is often larger for these local businesses, mainly because less of the competition is active in social spaces. In today’s fiercely competitive business world, you need to seize any competitive edge you can find – and social selling can be that edge, regardless of your industry. 
Question: Creating customer personas seems like a time consuming task in an already timing consuming process – is it really necessary?

Answer: Since failing to create customer personas and targeting content are two of the most critical content marketing mistakes businesses are making, the answer is absolutely yes.  

Ultimately, it comes down to another question: do you want to do exceptional marketing? With great marketing comes great responsibility, the first of which is getting to know your customers like they’re old friends. In reality, creating customer personas is the shortcut to learning about your customers and it’s an exercise that every business can learn from. If you aren’t keen on doing market research and building your products and services around the customers who will buy them, chances are you’re going to have problems selling – content or no content.
Content marketing isn’t quick or easy but it’s certainly one of the most worthwhile digital marketing strategies you can invest in. If you can’t find the time or energy, you should never be afraid to outsource and delegate to experts (hint, hint, nudge, nudge…that’s where we come in!)
For more information about a developing a killer content marketing strategy for your business get in touch with us. 
Question: If creating and sharing content that goes viral is so rare, is there really a point in doing it at all?
Answer: Yes, of course there’s a point to social and content marketing. We know we said not to be results oriented with what goes viral and what doesn’t, but please don’t let that deter you from doing anything at all. It’s just better to think of “going viral” as a bonus rather than the one and only goal of all your efforts.

The number one priorities of your content and social marketing should still be engagement and awareness. It’s about getting in front of your customers and making meaningful connections that ensure your brand brings value to its audience.
The point of talking about all of this in the context of viral marketing is to highlight the components and tendencies of the most popular content on the Internet. Once you know what goes viral and why, you can mimic that in your own stuff and hope to increase your content’s overall effectiveness and shareability.
For more information about developing a seamless content and social media mix for your business get in touch with us.
 Question: What would the process look like if I were to use a social relationship management tool with my team or an outsourced collaborator?

Answer: Good question, because this is something that’s difficult to imagine but very easy in practice
To simplify things, try to think about ‘social relationship management’ as nothing more than a coordinated approach to using social media. Social relationship management tools allow you (or somebody on your behalf) to manage your various social media accounts from one central place. If you’re a marketing manager, a social relationship client enables you to oversee and assign responsibilities to your team members, and assess the quality of their work (from the same tool they are using). If you’re a small business owner outsourcing social media work, a social relationship tool is a great collaboration method. You have the ability to approve and edit social media activity before it goes live or even post a few messages on your own if you have the time. 

Overall, social relationship management exists to make your life easier by centralizing social media for you and your team. 

For more information about immersing your team in social relationship management, get in touch with us. 
Question: I think a fully integrated digital marketing strategy would be a beautiful thing, but as a small business owner, I just don’t have the time or budget. If I can only focus on one area of digital marketing in 2015, what do you recommend?
Answer: You almost answered your own question. It’s impossible to recommend one digital marketing tactic over another since it totally depends on your business, your target audience, and your strengths as a marketer. 
Short of hiring an expert, the key is something you said yourself: stay focused on one tactic. As we said above, commit and don’t quit. If you only have time to write (or the budget to outsource) one blog post a week, stick to that plan for a full year. It’s the only way to generate enough real data to measure your results. 
Whether it’s gaining a following on social media, attracting a YouTube audience, or revamping your website so it’s mobile-friendly and responsive, the tactic or strategy you choose matters less than completing the task. Being great at one digital marketing tactic is much more beneficial than being mediocre at five. For more information on digital marketing in 2015, get in touch with us. 
Question: In the past, I’ve been sold a ‘trendy’ digital marketing campaign that didn’t deliver on its promise. How do I know that these 2015 digital marketing predictions will come true when they are just that – predictions?
Answer: To be clear, the most important message of this article is that the digital marketing space is always changing. You should be wary of digital marketing companies that make guarantees or tell you they can get you “ranked #1 on Google” in a month.
At WSI, we like to prepare our clients for the future, which means using studies, industry data, and the opinions of esteemed thought-leaders to paint a portrait of what’s to come. Most of the time, these portraits are accurate, and even when they’re slightly off, we always leave room to shift and pivot as necessary. The most important part of any digital marketing strategy is having a defined goal and an idea of how much time, effort and resources are required to get there. In the end, every business has its own unique digital marketing strategy, but the most successful ones have something in common: they’ve always got an eye on the future. 
For more information about immersing your team in social relationship management, get in touch with us. 
Question: If a customer visits my site and then realizes that I am tracking them around the Internet, won’t they get annoyed and be less likely to purchase from me?
Answer: Good question. And the answer is: if remarketing is done right, hopefully not. 
Don’t forget, you’re targeting people who have shown interest in your products or services. For the visitor, the process is not intrusive. A pixel or a small snippet of code is placed on your website, and then it monitors the behaviour of your visitors. This information is then used to serve relevant ads to users as they browse their favourite sites across the web. Remarketing campaigns also allow you to set various parameters. For example, you wouldn’t serve ads to a visitor who stayed on your site for 3 seconds before “bouncing.” And you definitely wouldn’t want to show an ad to a customer who has already converted – that would be annoying.

Again, the main audience of remarketing campaigns is a group of people who have met certain requirements that show they are interested in your brand. The ads you serve are intended to nudge them back in your direction, which gives you one more chance to convince them to buy from you. 

For more information about display advertising and remarketing, get in touch with us.