Expert Tips to Improve Your Digital Marketing Strategy with Nadia Osman | UGA SBDC – Atlanta Small Business Network

Lead Marketing & Automation Services > Blog > Uncategorized > Expert Tips to Improve Your Digital Marketing Strategy with Nadia Osman | UGA SBDC – Atlanta Small Business Network

Digital marketing plays a pivotal role in driving customer engagement, retention, and ultimately revenue. On this week’s episode of The Playbook, host Mark Collier, business consultant for the UGA Small Business Development Center, sits down with Nadia Osman, business consultant at the UGA SBDC Savannah office.
Nadia is a certified digital marketing pro and has over a decade of experience designing and implementing marketing programs for public-private partnerships, startups, nonprofits, and government agencies. Today, Nadia discusses how businesses can develop a winning digital marketing and engagement strategy.
Transcription:
Mark Collier:
Welcome into the Playbook, Nadia.
Nadia Osman:
Thank you so much for having me Mark.
Mark Collier:
Absolutely. Well, listen, I know digital marketing is your area of expertise and it is cast to the forefront of how businesses need to be doing business today.
Nadia Osman:
Definitely.
Mark Collier:
So how did digital marketing become your area of expertise and give me a little bit of background about yourself?
Nadia Osman:
Of course. So I am a native of Georgia and I worked in community and economic development at the beginning of my career. So, everything from affordable housing, to job creation, to quality of life improvements.
Mark Collier:
I love it.
Nadia Osman:
All of that though, doesn’t work unless it’s marketed, it doesn’t matter if you create it and research and developed, and you’re trying to implement the best program, if no one takes part in it. So marketing became a critical piece that I needed to take care of, if I wanted these programs to succeed.
Mark Collier:
I love it. So what type of businesses do you work with down in the Savannah office? What are some of your best clients that you enjoy working with, I should say?
Nadia Osman:
I love and enjoy working with all of them, Mark, from startup to existing. Across the state, we have at the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center, consultants across the state and we can digitally co-consult. But some of the things that I really like to see are the creative industries, the tech industries, that are really transforming the lives of Georgia, and how we operate around the world.
Mark Collier:
Absolutely. So let’s talk about why digital marketing is so critically important for small businesses. Obviously big businesses, they have big budgets. Small businesses do not. So it is critically important. So, give me the why behind that.
Nadia Osman:
Of course. So the number one reason that businesses of all sizes need to be online and focused on digital marketing is credibility. That is where their potential customers are as well. And so not being online is a reason that potential customers could lose faith in that business, seeing that they haven’t invested time and energy into their digital marketing strategies.
Mark Collier:
Great point.
Nadia Osman:
The other big piece is the company’s brand and a brand isn’t a logo, it isn’t the colors or fonts they use. It is everything and what someone thinks about a company. And if people and their businesses do not define their brands online, other people will do it for them.
Mark Collier:
No, that you’re absolutely right. That brand awareness is much more, as you said, more than your colors, more than your logo. It’s what the essence of that company is, you define that perfectly. So how do you help companies with their digital marketing strategies? Kind of where do you start? If I’m a small business owner, I come to you, I say, “Nadia, I need help. I don’t know anything about this.” Where do you start and kind of talk to me about the path that you take them down.
Nadia Osman:
Of course. The first thing we do is take a review of every asset that they have online digitally. So I’m going to take a look at what’s going on, on their website, both from a technical and a non-technical perspective. There are things that you can do to improve your website by just adding keywords. You don’t have to go in and optimize anything. And then we’re also going to take a look at the other platforms that they’re utilizing, whether it is their Google Business profile or their social media platforms. We’re going to take into account everything that’s going on and I’ve got recommendations that I can make to improve all those pieces.
Mark Collier:
That’s phenomenal. You mentioned Google Analytics. I can’t tell you the number of clients that I talk to who are running robust companies, and they say, “What’s Google Analytics?”
Nadia Osman:
I think a lot of people get confused because of the amazing marketing that the website companies do to say, “Hey, just use our analytics. That’s all you need.” But the most powerful and free tool out there is Google Analytics. And that is another area of expertise that I and some other consultants within the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center, can help clients understand. Data can seem overwhelming. We make it seem a little easier and more palatable.
Mark Collier:
I love it. So, what are some of the top things that entrepreneurs get wrong when it comes to digital marketing? Because I know you’ve seen the good, the bad and ugly, right?
Nadia Osman:
Yes. I think one of the big things is not thinking that they need a website, especially for the younger generation, I sometimes hear, “Well, I have social media, that’s enough. Right?” Well, let’s go back to what we talked about in the beginning, Mark, that’s credibility. If a company doesn’t have a website, they don’t seem professional. They don’t seem trustworthy.
Mark Collier:
No, I agree.
Nadia Osman:
And the other thing is going in the complete opposite direction and spreading themselves too thin on social media platforms. I’ve had companies on nine different platforms. Mark, they weren’t posting consistently on any of them, they were just overwhelmed. So I recommend to my clients to match their social media platforms they use with their target market and where they’re at and then update them consistently, otherwise, it looks unprofessional again.
Mark Collier:
No, you raised a good point. If I’m marketing, if I have a company and I’m doing senior citizen products, why am I on Instagram, which are for 20 somethings, so that’s a very good point. So they’ve got to kind of fine tune and adjust their digital marketing efforts to the target market that is their target customer, more or less.
Nadia Osman:
Exactly. Yes.
Mark Collier:
All right. So can you share some of your best digital marketing strategies that you wish more companies would put into practice?
Nadia Osman:
Yes. So, thinking about optimizing everything is really what I like to focus on with my clients, if they have their digital marketing strategies in place and they want to update things. If it’s a startup, it might be a little different conversation. So ways that you can optimize your website are by focusing on keywords. Oftentimes, people throw up a website, they have a logo, they have a phone number. They think that’s it. They need to be focusing on, what do I want to show up in the search results for? What are those keywords and add them to the website. You can optimize social media profiles and your Google Business profile. And the biggest thing there is to be consistent and update those. And then another thing that I like to teach is automatization and utilizing technology. You can sit down on a Sunday night with your beverage of choice and schedule your social media posts for the week. You don’t need to be on there every day at 8:00 PM, trying to get your social media post out, there’s tools, let them help you.
Mark Collier:
That’s a great point. That’s one of the objections I hear from many of my clients, “I don’t have time to do social media. I don’t have time to sit there every day. I’ve got a business to run.” So your point about scheduling posts, taking advantage of the technology that allows them to do that, is going to free up time that they can focus on their, “things that are driving the revenue for the company.”
Nadia Osman:
Exactly. And I, as one of their followers would have no idea whether they’re posting live or they scheduled on a Sunday night with their beverage of choice.
Mark Collier:
Choice. Great point. So what steps should small business take to develop a winning digital marketing strategy? Because we know there’s pedestrian digital marketing strategies and there’s ones that are going to drive that revenue. So give me some of your best tips for driving a winning digital marketing strategy.
Nadia Osman:
So we talked earlier about branding and while it does encompass almost everything about your business relating to how a customer potential or existing, sees it, you have to outline some type of style guide. So you do have to understand and make sure to reinforce throughout the company, the logo, colors and fonts consistently that you use-
Mark Collier:
Brand consistency.
Nadia Osman:
… along with tone of voice and adjectives that you want to be associated with your company. So let’s set that framework first. And let’s of course, make sure we have our website, our correct social media platforms, our Google Business profile and then let’s schedule and automate. There are platforms that allow you to update all of those pieces right in one place. So, I think setting that framework, planning, scheduling, utilizing technology, 1, 2, 3, 4, you got it.
Mark Collier:
Okay. All right. So let’s talk about, there are a variety of social media platforms that are out there, currently. So what are some of the best social media platforms for businesses to market their products or services? I know that your first answer may, well that depends. So let’s hear it.
Nadia Osman:
Yeah. The top social media platforms used by Americans are Facebook and Instagram. So I typically recommend for most of my clients to be on both those places. It serves two purposes. One of them is actually it creates what is called a backlink. It is great for search engine optimization for your website. Who knew? So you’ve got that piece. And then also being on the most widely used platforms, its only going to be beneficial for you to reach your potential customers, and most likely your target market is on one of those two platforms.
Mark Collier:
Makes perfect sense.
Nadia Osman:
I advise all my clients to start out typically with those two, make sure they are able post consistently and then add a few more, just maybe one at a time, as it relates to their target market. For our business to business clients, we want them to be utilizing LinkedIn. And we also have been seeing a lot of growth on TikTok. It’s one of the fastest growing social media platforms. A lot of my clients get a little overwhelmed by it, but the easiest thing to do is just to set up their camera and show how they make their product or service. Just educating people is a great video, and that can be some great new traffic.
Mark Collier:
No, you’re right. And what a lot of businesses miss is that video content can be put on their website, which will help enhance their Google rankings. I know Google puts a high premium on video content. So business owners, a huge missed opportunity for business owners who are not utilizing and maximizing video content on their websites.
Nadia Osman:
Yes. Because of the rise of TikTok, a lot of social media platforms are scrambling to make sure that videos are number one in their algorithm and they’re encouraging it as well. I know that some people can get overwhelmed. How do I take the best video? Most cameras, if you have the latest up to date mobile device, are good enough to post on social media. And like I said, people want to connect with people. Having a behind the scenes video of a day in the life, is really a great place to start for your social media strategy with videos.
Mark Collier:
All right. I love it. So business owners are ready to connect with you for some high level consulting and digital marketing. How can they reach you?
Nadia Osman:
Yes. So they can visit our website, which is Georgia, all spelled out, and then SBDC.org. They want a phone number, I’ve got that too. 912-651-3200. Just ask for Nadia.
Mark Collier:
All right. Nadia Osman, business consultant at the UGS BDC in Savannah. Thanks for taking time out of your busy day to come and just impart some great words of wisdom and advice for how businesses can optimize their digital marketing presence. I know if they reach out to you for consulting and take your advice, they’re going to be very impressed with the results that they get.
Nadia Osman:
Thank you, Mark. I’m a big fan of the show. Thanks for having me.
Mark Collier:
Thank you.
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