There’s no getting away from it. It’s part of our daily lives, and we are consuming it at an alarming rate via our smart phones, computers, laptops and tablets… welcome to the digital world.
With access to information anytime and anywhere, apparently people spend more time on social media than they do eating and drinking, and at least 80% of consumers use the internet to search for products and information. So it’s no wonder that Google processes over 10 billion searches every month (that’s around 40,000 searches every second!). And for businesses, being tech-savvy when it comes to their own marketing is essential. Beth Nash explains why.
KM: What is Smart Monkey?
BN: We are a digital marketing agency growing small and medium sized businesses in Sussex, Surrey and Kent.
KM: Why did you start Smart Monkey?
BN: In 2005 I became a Chartered Marketer having completed a three year Post Graduate Diploma, which I studied for at evening school, followed by two years professional development. Having worked in a few marketing roles, firstly in the automotive industry, moving to an agency and then for a telecoms company, I knew that I could go it alone and develop a business on my own terms. So in 2006, I went for it.
KM: Where did the name Smart Monkey come from?
BN: I always wanted an animal in my company name as animals are memorable words. My brother runs a software company called Red Monkey, so I thought I’d keep it in the family. And ‘Smart’ relates to setting smart marketing objectives.
KM: Can you briefly describe your services?
BN: We have a track record of delivering results for businesses through SEO, PPC, content marketing and social advertising. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) involves optimising a website so that it appears for the keywords your prospects are searching for online. SEO is a longer-term strategy as it takes time to move up the search rankings, however, once your website is there, the clicks through to your site are free. SEO links very closely with content marketing as Google likes to rank useful, information rich websites. We thoroughly research our clients’ markets to ensure we create sought-after web content. PPC (Pay Per Click) is great for generating new business quickly as people are actively searching for your service or product, whilst advertising on social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram is more about brand building.
KM: Why do you think digital marketing is so important?
BN: Because of the number of people who use their phone and computer to find something. If you’re not online, people won’t find you! One of the most critical things for success online is the initial research. When we start working with a client, we carry out in-depth research to understand their business, market, competitors, target audiences, etc. Our aim is to get under the skin of their business and find out what makes it tick. Armed with this information, we develop a robust strategy with the confidence it will deliver.
KM: What are your top five tips to get started in the digital world?
BN: Make sure you have set up a Google My Business account, especially if you are a local business, so that people can find you on the map listings. Set up a website with well written content that’s of value to your target audience - think quality over quantity.
Increase your Domain Authority (a score that predicts how well a website will rank on search engines) by building relevant, good quality incoming links from other websites.
Start with a paid search campaign (PPC) to quickly assess the opportunity online before you invest in organic SEO. Last of all, if a business is very ambitious and has solid growth plans, working with an agency like us would be a great start!
KM: What are your dos and don’ts?
• Do make sure you only use ‘White Hat’ SEO techniques, meaning that your SEO follows Google’s guidelines.
• Do your research to understand your target audiences.
• Do make sure you have a social media policy for your staff, if your staff are posting.
• Do share interesting sought-after content through your social channels.
• You don’t have to cover every single social media platform - choose what’s right for your target audience.
KM: What’s your business ethos?
BN: We provide a proactive and transparent service for our clients so that they know exactly what we are doing, when, and ultimately, how it will meet their objectives. We also have strong ethics and an unwavering commitment to keep our promises.
KM: Where do you see the future of digital marketing?
BN: The ‘way’ people search is changing… voice activated searches are increasing. Looking further into the future, I will be keeping an eye on personalisation of websites for individual visitors as well as Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things.