Ten Digital Marketing Strategies for NZ Businesses (2023 Updated)

New Zealand, like the rest of the world, is undergoing a digital transformation, and marketing is at the tip of the technological spear.

The NZ Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) now reports that over half of all advertising spend is directed to digital-only channels – a figure that doesn’t even include digital TV, radio, newspapers and magazines, nor more general digital marketing spend like search engine optimisation and content creation.

The overwhelming majority of Kiwis looking for your product or service will begin their search online. This means that every New Zealand business, no matter its shape, size or industry, must make use of digital marketing strategies in order to succeed. But what exactly do these strategies look like?

In this article we’ll answer that exact question by offering up 10 of the most effective digital marketing strategies in 2023. Ready to up your digital marketing game? Read on to find out how.

1. Combine Google Ads with SEO

With a market share of well over 90%, Google is New Zealand’s go-to search engine. There are two ways to get to the top of the Google search engine results page (SERP): earn the spot through search engine optimisation (SEO), or pay for it through Google Ads. The most successful businesses use a combination of both strategies.

Google Ads are the handful of results marked [Ad] at the top of the SERP, and being pay-per-click (PPC) means you’ll only be charged if a user actually clicks on your ad. A fantastic short-term strategy that begins working instantly, Google Ads can see your business put up in lights for the most relevant searches.

SEO is a long-term strategy that sees you slowly earn trust from Google by making your website search engine friendly. This means making it easy to navigate for both bots and humans and offering up quality content to visitors. While it can take months for SEO to take effect, the result is a consistent stream of highly relevant traffic that you don’t have to pay Google a cent for.

2. Create and manage a Google Business Profile

While SEO and PPC ads are critical for any business hoping to get a steady flow of traffic from Google, there’s another way to ensure you are served up as a result to people looking for the things you sell: Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business).

Google Business Profile is a free tool that ensures your business is added to Google’s business directory, and that you come up as a result on Google Maps. By creating, verifying and carefully managing your profile you can get served up as a local result to Google users who are looking for exactly what you offer, right now.

Check our guide to Google Business Profile to learn how to manage yours effectively.

3. Encourage ratings and reviews

Where once you could dress an actor up as a doctor and have them sell cigarettes, people are becoming increasingly savvy about marketing methods. The modern public doesn’t trust brands to talk about themselves. But they do trust other people.

Ratings and reviews form a key feature of your Google Business Profile, your Facebook profile and more industry-specific platforms like TripAdvisor. They offer a potential customer a sense of your reputation in one quick glance… and you should ensure that impression is a positive one.

Form a strategy to encourage happy customers to leave reviews. It could be as simple as asking them for a review when they complete their purchase. You might consider incentivising reviews, offering a discount, deal or freebie to those who take the time.

See bad reviews as opportunities to show the real you. If the complaint is genuine, apologise and promise to learn and do better. If the complaint is unreasonable, maintain your composure and attempt to offer context or your side of the story.

4. Establish yourself as a thought leader

You have expertise in your field. By sharing that expertise you can establish yourself as a thought leader, and become the trusted, go-to name in your space.

Thought leadership is built around content – offering up information that your customers will find relevant, useful and interesting. What questions do customers regularly ask? These can form a great starting point for content development, whether in the form of a blog, a LinkedIn post or a how-to video.

When your target audience Googles these FAQs, they’ll continually see your brand offering up helpful information. This will initially bring brand awareness that eventually turns into brand trust. If done well, thought leadership will mean that your business will pop into the customer’s head when the time comes to buy.

5. Prioritise (the right) social media

Where do your customers hang out online? Rewind a decade and the answer was quite simple: Facebook. In 2023, however, the answer is more complex, and in some ways generational: older users continue to gravitate to Facebook, while younger crowds prefer Instagram and TikTok. B2B businesses, meanwhile, will find LinkedIn to be the most relevant social platform.

Identify the most important social platforms for your target audience, then work to build a solid presence on each – a minimum of 3 compelling posts per week.

This tends to be the point at which most businesses stumble. Creating content for social media never feels like a particularly pressing task, so it is inevitably pushed down the priority list. But it shouldn’t be, as social media success is built on long-term consistency. Set aside the appropriate time every week to create and schedule posts and engage with your online community.

6. Use remarketing to remind interested customers

77% of people would rather filter online ads than completely block them. Internet users don’t hate ads – they hate irrelevant ads. Remarketing ensures that your ads are served to the people who actually want to see them.

Remarketing is a marketing strategy in which targeted ads are presented to people who have previously visited your site. Only 2% of web traffic converts on the first visit to a site. Remarketing targets the other 98%, reminding them of their interest, building brand awareness and eventually leading them to make a purchase.

Check out our complete guide to remarketing here.

7. Leverage video

If a picture tells a thousand words, a video tells 25,000 every second. It’s little wonder that video has fast become the internet’s preferred form of content – no other medium can compare in terms of efficiency, information density and entertainment. And it’s time your business leveraged video too.

Often video doesn’t come particularly naturally. Many of us are either camera-shy or don’t feel we have the necessary shooting and editing skills.

The good news? Your followers aren’t looking for high-end production and Oscar-worthy performances – they’re looking for authenticity. The most effective video content is that which gives viewers a sense of the real people behind the brand. A simple glimpse behind the scenes or a snapshot of your day can be more engaging than you might think. You don’t even need to show your face if you don’t want to!

8. Cultivate an email database

Email is older than the World Wide Web. Nevertheless, this foundational technology remains one of the most effective forms of marketing, if not the most effective. Depending on your source, email marketing offers a scarcely believable ROI of $32$44 for every $1 spent.

How do you enjoy such an incredible return? You work to cultivate an email database which you can then market to. Emails can be captured during the purchase process, by loyalty programs, with competitions or, as we’ll see in a moment, through lead magnets.

Once you have built a database, you can then either do a general marketing mail-out, such as a monthly newsletter or segment your database and send more targeted marketing material to a more specific audience.

9. Create a lead magnet

Lead magnets are an ultra-effective way to not only capture emails, but to generate a steady stream of warm leads. A lead magnet is a free offering, such as a free trial or consultation, an ebook, a sample, a whitepaper or a downloadable tool, that is given away in return for contact details.

As is the case with content creation, when creating a lead magnet you need to think long and hard about what your ideal customer would find valuable. If you are to get people to hand over their contact details, you need a compelling enough offer.

Once you’ve created your lead magnet, you need to create a conversion path: the landing page, the contact form, the thank you page and the subsequent email sequence. While a lead magnet is a largely passive way to generate leads, you’ll need to update it every now and again to ensure it remains current and relevant.

10. Get help from the professionals

Digital marketing can be a laborious and rather overwhelming responsibility, particularly for those who aren’t familiar with the tools, tech and terms… which is why most Kiwi businesses hand the reins over to the professionals.

At Traction Marketing we live and breathe digital marketing. It’s our interest, our passion, and something we work on all day, every day. We know what works and what doesn’t, and we can streamline and enhance your marketing strategy to grow your business faster than it’s ever grown before.

No matter what your current marketing situation is or what your goals might be, we have the knowledge, expertise and passion to put your business up in lights on the World Wide Web. If you’re ready to capitalise on the endless opportunities that the internet offers, using all the above strategies, we’re ready to help.

Get in touch with our friendly team today.

About the Author: Jordana Clarke

An independent director and business owner who enjoys adding value to NZ boards and executive teams. She brings more than 20 years experience in export strategy and digital marketing from FTSE100 companies to tech start-ups. Collaborative, principled and intuitive in nature, Jordana embraces evidence-based decision making and will ask the questions that highlight all possible perspectives.

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