The UK’s online advertising market has grown very strongly over the past years and is expected to grow even further in the coming years. A 2019 report commissioned by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport shows that companies are allocating a bigger chunk of their advertising budget to their online presence. Online ad spend has, in fact, overtaken all other traditional marketing forms (including press, radio, RV, cinema, and outdoor) combined to reach 52% of the total expenditure dedicated for this purpose.
It doesn’t really matter whether your business is headquartered in London or in Bromley; online marketing is seeing a surge that the country hasn’t experienced before and it is only bound to get even bigger. Around 50% of online advertising in the UK is accounted for by paid search, while mobile ad expenditure takes up 45% of this number. In terms of display ads, the video has the largest share of the budget, followed by banners. Social media ads, particularly on YouTube and Facebook, are also rising.
Given the push towards digital, it is necessary for companies of all sizes to keep up. If you’re a startup business or you have been operating for years and still do not know where to start with your online marketing strategy, here are some tips to get you on the right foot:
1. Set up a website
You can’t succeed online if nobody can find you. This is what having a professional website means. Sure, there are plenty of free sites with set templates that you can use, but if you want your business to be taken seriously and your potential clients to see you as legitimate, you will need a professional-looking website. Your site should contain high-resolution photos of your products and services, your contact details and information on how to reach you, a summary of past, current and future projects, and an About Us page so that your market will get to know your team on a personal level. Others also find that placing reviews and testimonials of your past clients helps in bringing new ones in.
2. Have an active social media presence
Almost everybody has a social media account these days and UK residents are no exception. In fact, some have two or three accounts across different channels. Because people are more likely to be glued to the screens during their free time, particularly social media, you will need to get your target market to know that you exist by setting up an official page.
This not only helps people get in touch with you; having a presence in a rather informal space makes your brand relatable and clients will less likely hesitate to reach out because you “like” or “follow” each other or are “friends.”
3. Publish quality content
No marketing campaign, whether traditional or digital, will survive without a powerful copy. People will visit your website out of curiosity, but what will make them stay and return is your engaging and relatable content. This can refer to articles, videos, music, graphics and more. You can start by making your site easy on the eyes and designed cleanly and professionally, and then follow it up with directions that are simple to navigate and pages that load fast. The type and frequency of new content also matter a lot.
4. Practice organic SEO techniques
Many people have this misconception that adding SEO to your strategy will make a huge dent on your advertising budget. Paid search can be so, but there are other ways to help your business rank higher on the search results. To begin, have your site assessed in terms of how much SEO is already being done and what else needs to be applied or re-applied. Google constantly changes is algorithm but generally leans toward long tail keywords and long-form text.
5. Local search marketing
Part of your SEO strategy is location-based targeting, which helps you reach out to potential clients who live in your vicinity and might benefit more from what you are offering. Use the Google Maps feature to your advantage and mark your business on the map, along with an address and contact information.
Online marketing strategies are typically outsourced to companies that are dedicated to helping businesses get noticed and reach the right market. Because there are several layers to an effective digital campaign, companies will find that it is more cost-efficient to delegate this part of their operations to a professional team, so that they can focus on building products and supporting their growth. Unless you have the time or can hire a dedicated in-house team, it would be better to leave things to the experts.