We recently sat down with Valentina Vurchio, Digital Marketing Manager at Reckon, to get a better handle on exactly what digital marketing is.

We also unpacked some of the most recent trends you should be looking out for, and a few easy ways to improve your own digital marketing as a small business owner.

As a digital marketer, can you give us a brief idea of what digital marketing entails?

“Digital marketing is essentially any marketing activity that requires a digital platform. Think of your social media, and of course, your company website.

You’ll actually find that many of the marketing platforms and processes that used to be more traditional, or analogue, have now been transferred to the digital space.

Take Spotify for example. It’s the same music you used to have on disc, but now delivered in a new way on a digital platform. Even ads, traditionally found in magazines or physical spaces, are now predominantly found online.

In this way, a very large percentage of modern marketing is now digital.”

What is it that do you do here at Reckon?

“Here at Reckon I have a lot to do with managing the digital agencies that we work with. On top of that I’m responsible for all the reporting and our media performance. I also take care of our marketing automation and SEO.

Balancing both short-term sales objectives and long-term brand-building is key to my day job and I’m also constantly surveying the market – which is currently impacted by inflation and rising interest rates.

While business-to-customer marketing focuses on sales, the optimal split in B2B marketing is to focus 54% of your efforts on sales, and 46% on brand building. I consider theories with Reckon in mind when making recommendations.”

In your own words, could you please break down the concept of Share of Voice, and why is it so important as a marketer?

“Share of voice is basically how much of the advertising space you own compared to your competitors.

While some say it’s how much of the market you have, I like to think of it as the amount of advertising space you have. With so much clutter in the advertising world, you want to be top of mind when consumers make their purchase.

Interestingly, for most B2B marketers, only 5% of your potential customers are in the market to buy right now—this means more than 95% of your potential market won’t be looking at your wares for months or even years. But future buyers should never be ignored in your marketing efforts. In fact, marketers should be aiming to increase the probability of your brand coming to mind when they eventually join the market.

And building your brand presence will increase your chances of capturing the attention of those not yet in the market!”

In August, Valentina attended an event hosted by LinkedIn called ‘B2B Next: Leading the future of marketing growth’. Featuring a line-up of field experts who presented on the latest B2B digital marketing trends, her favourite session was the CMO lounge – which sparked a discussion about the latest digital marketing trends.

“A big new trend business owners can get on board with is DIY videos. The trend for self-recorded video content (that doesn’t look perfect) is obviously down to the boom of TikTok.

But what’s interesting is that bigger brands have started to create DIY videos with a very unpolished look as well. This trend is great news for small businesses looking to get into video and social media marketing on a small budget.

Another big trend is more people are using ‘attribution tools’ as they really want to be able to track their marketing efforts with higher precision so they can make better decisions. This stems from the fact that the tools are more common, user-friendly and accessible now.

Today, there’s also a much higher reliance on data. With the modern ability to collect so much data and document user behaviour, the insights gleaned are now used to make much better marketing decisions and adjustments to your marketing campaigns.

If you have the bandwidth in your small business, take a closer look at what your data can do for your decision making, such as doubling down on certain successful ads or social posts and ditching underperforming ones.”

If you were a small business owner with limited time, what would be the most valuable things to focus on improving?

“Well, if I had a physical store, I’d be sure to have my entire Google My Business profile complete. This is really important because these days, more and more people search Google Maps for physical stores near them, instead of regular Google searches.

On top of that probably make sure you always collect customer information, so you can retarget and retain your loyal customers.

If you have an online ad budget, I’d also concentrate on localisation. It’s much easier these days, with say, social media ads, to really target them to the right audience and make the most of your ad budget.”

Do you have any tips to easily increase the search engine ranking and performance of a small business website?

“Yes, keep your website updated with new content! In the sense that, even if you don’t have new products, or you’re not savvy with websites, you can still keep your website content flowing by writing blog posts.

Writing regular blog posts about anything new in your business is seen very favourably by the search engines as each time you publish an article, it’s essentially viewed as a website refresh. Google ranks fresh websites much higher, so even if using SEO-focused keywords isn’t your strongpoint – just write regular blog posts to rank higher on Google.

Also make absolutely sure that your website is mobile friendly. Just do a quick test and see if your users can reach you on mobile and that your site displays well. Mobile first is an extremely important concept, as this is now how the majority of people now search the web.”

Valentina Vurchio, Digital Marketing Manager at Reckon