Without a digital marketing strategy in place, you will be missing out on a vast array of opportunities to the extent that you’ll likely find it impossible to keep up with the competition in the longer term. Whether you’re a startup or an established business, digital marketing allows you to tap into a dynamic world of new marketing techniques and a global audience using many different media channels.
Why Digital Marketing?
Simply creating a website for your business and leaving it at that is going to do little to nothing to increase sales and help you take advantage of new opportunities. What you really need is a fully fledged and sustainable digital marketing strategy.
According to a survey by Smart Insights, around half of marketers either had a separate digital marketing strategy or one that was integrated with their greater marketing strategy. However, it doesn’t matter what sort of business you’re in; your only real chance to grow and reach out to new customers further afield is to establish and maintain a strong online presence, and this is something that cannot be done without a clearly defined strategy. Following are some other key benefits:
- The Internet is where most of your potential customers are, whether you’re a small local business or a much larger operation. Joining the digital revolution means that you’ll no longer be restricted by geography, time zones or any other such constraints that limit traditional methods of marketing.
- Creating a set of goals and objectives for your brand, alongside a mission statement and digital marketing strategy, will help your company get the best return on the time and money invested. Without strategic direction, digital marketing will fail to keep potentially profitable relationships.
- Digital marketing allows you to spread the word about your brand while also building up and maintaining your reputation. Your customers will likely already be talking about you online but, if you’re not there as well, you’ll have no influence over what people are saying about you.
- Most online marketing platforms are extremely cost-effective, and there are a lot of methods that cost nothing but time. In the case of paid online advertising platforms, such as pay-per-click advertising, you’ll still have complete control over your budget.
- With a strategy in place, you’ll be better equipped to make optimal use of your financial and human resources. You’ll be able to set budgets and allocate a team that will deliver long-lasting and ongoing results. At the same time, everyone will be on board working together at the same pace.
- The digital world generates a vast wealth of data that simply doesn’t exist when it comes to most traditional advertising methods. This data provides measurable insights into the performance of your online marketing strategy, giving you the opportunity to adapt and improve it constantly.
The digital world is an extremely diverse and flexible one. As such, brands of all sizes and types can find a place on the Web and start tapping into audiences far and wide. With a proper strategy in place, your brand will be much better equipped to succeed in what is often a highly competitive environment. By contrast, without a strategy, your brand’s voice will likely end up getting lost in the noise.
The Three Pillars of a Digital Marketing Strategy
One of the most common issues concerning businesses and their attempts at digital marketing is the lack of a cohesive strategy. For example, what a brand does on Facebook or Twitter might have little or no connection to what happens on its website. However, in order for digital marketing to be successful, you need to take an integrated approach and have everything working in harmony together. Every area of your strategy should work in synchronisation. Building a sustainable framework for your strategy requires paying attention to the three core elements of the digital marketing funnel:
Audience Engagement and Attraction
The first step of the digital marketing funnel involves actually getting your audience’s attention in the first place. Although it varies depending on the industry and target audience concerned, most people first come across a new brand after carrying out a search in Google or another major search engine. Others will find you through popular social platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram. As such, you need to maintain a presence on all of the platforms that are useful to your business so that you can attract and engage with the right people.
Lead Capturing and Nurturing
Attracting people in the first place means nothing if your website’s bounce rate is going to skyrocket or your mailing list starts shrinking due to people unsubscribing. You also need to be able to capture and nurture your target audience by way of relevant and value-adding content. In other words, you need to satisfy their needs and desires and use content to leverage your visitors. At this stage, your goal should be to change your unknown social media follower or website visitor into a known lead. This process might be as simple as an email newsletter signup or download.
Conversion and Measurement
The final step of the digital marketing funnel concerns the conversion of a lead into a paying customer. At this point, your content needs to answer their final questions and help lay to rest any concerns they might still have. You should also encourage paying customers to leave reviews, since this kind of user-generated content and feedback is extremely important in what has become a far more consumer-driven market than ever before. Also, once you’re about to convert a lead, you’ll need to make sure there are no distractions that might hold them back. Finally, you’ll need to measure success by tracking metrics such as comments, reviews and ratings.
At Huxley Digital, we love the chance to work on digital strategy for startups and established businesses alike, so whether you’re just starting out or you’re in need of a new direction, then we’d love to hear from you. Remember to keep up-to-speed with more advice by following us on Twitter: @HuxleyDigitalUk