Podcast

Dave Chaffey on digital marketing best practices, how to market yourself on a shoestring budget, and the best marketing tools to help your business grow

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Introduction

Dave Chaffey is the co-founder of Smart Insights and author of multiple books that should be on everyone’s bookshelf! He’s got over 20 years’ experience as a digital marketing strategist, giving him a super well-rounded view of the digital marketing world. 

Dave developed the RACE planning framework, which has become well-known in digital marketing circles. He’s also been named one of 50 marketing gurus who have shaped the future of marketing! 

What You’ll Hear

  • [1:23] About Dave and his background
  • [4:05] How Dave became an entrepreneur
  • [6:54] Why Smart Insights has been so successful 
  • [10:16] Dave’s advice for making sales with your website 
  • [17:27] Dave’s marketing predictions for 2022 and beyond 
  • [27:26] Dave’s advice for businesses with small budgets 
  • [30:40] Dave’s faves – his recommended digital tools 
  • [34:46] What Dave would do differently if he had a time machine 
  • [36:42] Dave’s favorite place in the world 
  • [38:22] Final comments 

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About Dave and His Background 

Dave’s career began in geo-chemistry – nothing at all to do with the internet! He’s actually achieved a doctorate in his field, which is why his official title is Dr. Dave Chaffey. A little left-field from what he’s known for, but he gives it credit for instilling an unusual curiosity in him. He got into digital marketing in the 90s, and founded Smart Insights in 2010. 

How Dave Became an Entrepreneur 

Dave felt the calling to teach people, which led to a stint at a university before he sort of fell into entrepreneurship when he began writing books on all things digital marketing. 

From there, it made sense for him to create his own website sharing his knowledge. Smart Insights helped Dave to fulfil his passion for educating and helping others.  

Why Smart Insights Has Been So Successful 

The number one thing that skyrocketed Smart Insights was targeting the right keywords and meeting urgent universal needs. This allowed the website to become popular through organic search, rather than advertising. 

Dave also used partnerships to help boost the blog’s visits. By involving high-performance leaders and influencers in writing for the blog, he was able to tap into their own fan bases for organic reach. 

Also, their visitors are segmented according to what exactly they need. Their homepage offers a 3-way choice – Improve My Skills, Grow My Business, Upskill My Team – which helps immensely with proper targeting. 

Making Sales with Your Website 

E-commerce conversion rates is one of Smart Insights’ most popular topics. Dave suggests building a strong foundation on marketing fundamentals, finding your USP, and having a plan. 

Smart Insights’ RACE framework is the perfect way to get your ducks in a row and build on it from there. 

Reach – choose the right social media platform and target the right people. 

Act – engage with site visitors, create an active experience rather than passive. 

Convert – Gently lead them to the sale, nurturing and retargeting tactics should come into play here too. 

Engage – don’t ghost them once they’ve bought. Keep the relationship going. 

He also highlights branding and design. Creating a solid brand in terms of design, values, and action helps to build trust with your customers, leading to more sales. 

Dave’s Marketi Predictions for the Coming Years 

According to Dave, this is the most common question he gets. Sorry Dave, now we’ve jumped on the bandwagon! 

Dave says interactive content is likely to be big in the years to come. Video is still on the up-and-up, but engaging content like polls, comments, and chatbots are looking good. 

As he points out, conversational marketing is still doing well, rather than more traditional forms of content. Artificial intelligence, pay-to-play, and machine learning too. 

Keeping an eye on Google algorithm updates also helps you to stay ahead and know when and how to tweak your content to stay relevant and keep your traffic coming. 

Ultimately, Dave suggests being smarter and more creative with marketing avenues that you’re already using. This is the most likely way to get ahead! 

Dave’s Advice for Businesses with Small Budgets 

A boring answer, according to Dave, but organic traffic is the way to go when you have a bite-size budget. Do your keyword research, put out excellent, creative, SEO-friendly content, keep on top of Google updates, and you should see organic traffic come in. 

Dave also smartly suggests developing partnerships rather than using influencer marketing. Find similar but not-quite-the-same kind of companies that you can share content with, so it’s a win-win situation and you both benefit from your own and each other’s traffic. 

He calls it co-marketing. Sharing is caring! 

Dave’s Faves – His Recommended Digital Tools 

Dave loves digital marketing tools but cautions against analysis paralysis. It can be easy to get caught up in data and not take action! 

Check out Smart Insights’ digital marketing wheel, containing 150 free/low cost tools that they recommend. 

Dave’s number one tools are Google Search Console and Google Analytics, which give him the info he needs for keyword deep-dives. 

He also has good things to say about HootSuite as a SMM tool. Buffer and AgoraPulse get honorable mentions. 

GetResponse, Mailchimp, and ConvertKit are good choices for email automation, which Dave feels is highly important. Lastly, Trello or Google sheets for campaign planning. 

What Dave Would Do Differently If He Had a Time Machine 

Dave mentions how fortunate he’s been to have the success he’s had, and probably wouldn’t do much differently in a business sense, but more in a personal sense. 

Focusing on one thing at a time and worrying less about getting 100 things done would have served him better, Dave says. 

He would’ve hired a PA or outsourced some of the more time-consuming jobs so he could focus more directly on what he loves, teaching others. 

Nothing earth-shattering, as he says, but freeing up time and space can make a huge difference! 

The Most Interesting Place Dave Has Visited 

Dave and his wife did an “over-land experience”, through Europe by train, through the Baltic and Scandinavian countries, and to Mongolia on the Transsiberian. From there, they travelled through China. 

Of the many places they visited, Dave loved China, particularly the Xinjiang province. His wife learned to speak Chinese so they could communicate easily with locals, and he loved the desert landscape and the unique culture. 

Final Comments

Find people you work well with and can relate to. Going into business with people who aren’t on the same page as you will only lead to stress! Don’t restrict yourself, either – Smart Insights employs people in various countries. 

The right team can make all the difference. The wrong team can hold you back. Choose your people carefully! Connect with Dave on LinkedIn.

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