Why Your Digital Strategy Isn’t Affecting Sales

You’ve hired a social media expert and an SEO expert. Your business exists in brick and mortar and you’re looking to make some money from this buzzword called digital marketing. Daily business continues, untouched.

The social media expert posts updates on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and you recently asked this millenial to check if you can invade Snapchat. Or maybe Reddit. Meanwhile, your SEO expert starts tracking keywords — from a list that took some research, adding meta info to your website’s pages. Soon, your website features on Google’s coveted Page One. It’s an excellent first month. Each report begins and ends with the words ‘visibility’ and ‘ranking.’ No one’s unhappy.

And then, suddenly, three months go by. Each meeting about online efforts begins with the expectation that some of these social media updates and a few of those first page rankings would have moved product. Sadly, nothing’s changed. Your updates echo in empty rooms. Your page one ranking slips as more competitors up their game and pass you by.

It is usually at this stage that companies become disillusioned with ‘online stuff.’ Several rounds of new talent later, things still fail to move. If this sounds like an experience you’ve had, then it’s time to make new tracks.

And these tracks begin at the very foundation of your business — in all its offline glory.

Technology is not exceptional to tangible, real life, benefits

We buy things, simply because we perceive them to be useful or appealing additions to our lives. Doing this through an online medium simply intensifies and varies the depth and reach of a product. Each time new strategy — traditional or digital — succeeds, it succeeds because of what its actions signify and then — trigger.

Here are the top three inhouse strategies for better digital success that you can immediately adopt today:

Consolidate all your online-offline marketing efforts: Stop piecemeal efforts

Cover the bases first — craft a unique selling point that sets you apart (whether in image or product — or both), and know who you’re targeting. Then, contain all marketing efforts within one team’s key role. This team can be entirely inhouse, or part inhouse and part agency/consultant/batman. Decide this team’s organisational structure. Treat this team as you would any other team in your organisation. Who’s accountable to whom?

Set SMARTER goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound, Evaluated and Re-evaluated

Don’t spend $20 per day and expect 50 clicks and 10 sign ups daily. Those are insane conversions that might not apply to your specific line of business — or for that matter anyone else’s. A novelty tea brand won’t have the same conversion rate as an apparel store selling reasonably priced summer dresses at the start of summer. If you get 5–6 weekly footfalls in your physical store, then game your online activities based on how much more business you want to generate and make educated estimations about related costs.

Stay current — SEO has changed, social media’s been swallowed and *good* content is where it’s at.

Distinguishing ‘SEO’ from organic search and overall performance will guarantee two separate reports, each claiming stunning online success — with little on-ground impact. It’s no longer a competition between who gets the most clicks. Content marketing strategy is about consolidating everything from paid online marketing to organic landing pages, social media activity, reviews, networks — all synchronised. Simply put, it’s about how you want to position and market your products. And for this, you need a team that speaks the same language.

So get those whiteboards and tablets out and lay out a plan that translates seamlessly between the virtual and real worlds. Introduce your offline marketers to your online strategists. Who knows, they might even get along.

Originally published at www.flotsamandjetsam.com.au on March 11, 2014.

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