Creating an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy

Change has long been the only constant in a world filled with technological innovations and adaptations but the speed of change in the area of communication, enabled by the Internet has been extraordinary, especially since the late 90’s. With the constant growth of the web, and more people getting connected every day, digital marketing has become a necessity for many organizations. Its not only about posting your product or services on Facebook or twitter, it is the process of building and maintaining customer relationships through various online activities to facilitate the exchange of ideas, products, and services. Being able to understand the needs of individual clients online and generating sales and/or capturing leads from those who are searching on the Internet for answers are the core principles of a digital marketeer.

Objectives of Digital Marketing Strategies and Campaigns

i) Reaching the right audience.

ii) To engage with your audience.

iii) To motivate your audience to take action.

iv) Efficient spending on your campaign.

v) Return on investment (ROI).

It is needless to mention these objectives are set in such a way that it serves SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound) purpose. Answer below mentioned questions to yourself to check whether your objectives are SMART.

Specific — What exactly are we going to do for whom?

Measurable — Is it quantifiable and can WE measure it?

Achievable- Can you get it done in the proposed time frame with the
resources and support we have available?

Relevant- Will this objective have an effect on the desired goal or strategy?

Time bound- When will this objective be accomplished?

Around 89% of consumers of the world use a search engine to find information on products or services before buying, according to a recent report from Fleishman-Hillard, and 70% of purchase decisions begin with a search. Consumers also continue to engage with brands online after a purchase to share experiences with one another. Much of this consumer journey is beyond the direct control of companies, and marketing organizations are sprinting merely to keep pace. So a poor Digital Marketing strategy can mean missing out on potential customers online. These Five things mentioned below cannot be missed or I will say “mandatory” to keep in mind before going for an Effecting Marketing outreach.

1) Organic and Paid Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

It is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” listings on search engines such as Yahoo, Google and Bing. Search Engines narrow the search item according to the keywords used in the particular website. Sites with growing number of quality links and engaging contents rank well in search results. If your business website ranks first in Google on the right phrase more people will view it- simple. This is called Organic Search.

Paid search marketing means you advertise within the sponsored listings of a search engine or a partner site by paying each time your ad is clicked (pay-per-click — PPC). For Both kinds of SEO you need to do an extensive research on the keywords, demography and location because the main purpose of SEO is to get your website visible to right kind of audiences.

2) Social Media Outreach.

Like I said Social Media is not just about posting your product information/catalogue on Facebook ortwitter.The interactive nature of Social Media Platforms make them an essential tool for digital marketing. For the businesses based on visual products and services Pinterest, Instagram andFlickr works better. For those based on information, Twitter may be a good choice. Location-based entities may benefit from FourSquare or Yelp.

Social Media Websites have got the ability to go viral. So creating a flashy YouTube or Vimeo video for your business works really well to attract visitors to your product but with the increasing Trolls online, you need to be prepared for any kind of negative feedback on your product as well.

3) Analytics and Insights

Analytics software such as Google analytics, Netvibes, eyso, Sproutsocial, Topsy, Hootsuite, Buffer,Moz, engagor,Tracx,datasift LocalResponse, Spreadfast, Sprinklr, Hearsay Social, Sysomos and uberVU has opened up a whole new world of demographic targeting based on useful data.

Analytics and Insights are the most important among all, without an insight on what is happening when you post anything on any of the social media sites you cant determine whether your plan is working or your execution is right. Even world’s most popular Social Media platform Facebook gives you some insights on your activities. Google analytics users can see exactly where their visitors are coming from geographically, what sites are referring traffic to them, and what search terms are resulting in traffic. sales or conversions. It is also essential to justify a company’s digital marketing budget and investment planning.

4) Quality contents and Content Optimisation.

Content should always be the focus of the site, at first. If there is no content worth reading or seeing on the site, then people won’t visit . Frequent updating of relevant content and using keywords as tagline on your website makes it rank well on SERP and apparently attracts more and more viewers. For example Red Bull reportedly made record sales when it sent a man into the stratosphere only to jump and parachute back to earth. The strategy was not to create a content but to create right content for their customers.

Marketeers also have to keep in my mind that not all content performs well on all platforms.With increasing mobile usage of urban users many companies are going for responsive design of websites with instant call to action buttons, which is a great idea to attract potential buyers on the go.

5) Sales, Leads and Conversion

Finding methods to get more leads and sales is an important part of the Digital marketing procedure. Many of you experienced especially on twitter whenever you retweet or favourite a tweet, you are followed by that particular person or agency who initially twitted, that can be considered as the first phase of lead generation. A strong blog with clear calls to action will attract your key audience and improve your chances of converting readers into leads. We tend to be lazy consumers, so it is also important to make the sales procedure super easy for potential buyers to buy.

Constant changing nature of the Digital Marketing field makes it fun to work for but at the same time it does create challenges for Marketeers everyday to keep up to new innovations, softwares and tools. Experts predict that 2014 will be an year of increased personalization and customization of messages, Geo-Targeting, Narrowcasting, Rich Media Messaging service, micro-content and Gamification of ads, which I will discuss in a future post.

Can you tell me more about your experience on Digital Marketing Strategies? As a SME owner or a Digital Marketeer how do you plan your strategies and what are the difficulties you face while implementing your strategies? Would love to hear from you.

Can you please comment below and let me know how you liked my approach to Digital Marketing Strategy? Connect me via twitter @abhijitdasUK

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