According to a 2018 study, around 87% of shoppers will research products online before making a purchase. This means that your online presence is more important now than ever before.
Your business needs to make a positive impression in the digital world, and the way to do this is with a successful digital marketing strategy.
1 – Identify your target market
Targetting everyone would be an expensive task for any business. So the first task is to identify exactly who your target market is.
Are they Affluent Achievers or people of Modest Means? Women, men or both? Young or old? Once identified, you can develop campaigns that will appeal directly to these consumers.
TOP TIP: Documents such as the Acorn Demographics Definitions User Guide (PDF) may prove very useful.
Performing this task will help you plan campaign budgets and focus funds on areas with the greatest ROI.
When you know your target market, you should also map their customer journey. How did they become aware of your business and how do they make purchasing decisions?
These insights can help you identify ways to convert and retain customers.
2 – Set goals
Your digital marketing strategy needs to be goal orientated and realistic. Goals need to be achievable.
Larger, broad-reaching goals should be broken down into smaller steps.
Keep all your goals SMART:
Setting SMART goals will not only focus your efforts but enable you to measure the success of your actions.
3 – Create interesting, dynamic content
In 1996, Bill Gates coined the now infamous phrase ‘content is king’, and to this day those words still hold true.
Content (Text, images, video) needs to engage with your audience otherwise your efforts will likely be fruitless.
Your content should make readers feel that they haven’t wasted their time and have come away with something of value.
This means your content should entertain, contain unique insights, or help solve a problem.
You also need to look at how you distribute your content. Blogging can be a very beneficial marketing tool, but you should also make sure that blog posts are being shared across your social media channels.
4 – Use a multi-channel approach with social media
There’s no doubt that social media is great for marketing. If you already run a business, chances are you are using at least one social platform to promote your services and products. Just be careful not to focus your strategies on one channel over all others.
Use as many social media platforms as you feel are appropriate for your brand.
For example, if your brand has a focus on video content, you will want to set up a YouTube channel and perhaps have an account with Vimeo. You should also have a presence on social platforms that use video to engage viewers, such as Instagram and Facebook. However, if your target audience is predominantly older, you may decide not to use TikTok or Snapchat.
TOP TIP: Even if you don’t plan on using many social channels, it‘s worth registering for all of the biggest platforms. This helps you protect your brand.
Try to get the same username for all of your channels and use a service such as namechk.com to check availability before registering.
Make sure that your branding, logo, and tone of voice is consistent across all platforms. Keep your social media profiles updated regularly with fresh and relevant content.
You should also pay attention to new and emerging trends, including live streaming and augmented reality, as well as new platforms.
5 – User Experience
Once you have created great content and used it to drive visitors to your website, you must make sure that the UX (User Experience) of your site is up to scratch.
Factors such as page-load speed, ease of navigation, and readability have a huge impact on user experience, so make sure that your website is performing as well as possible.
The average user expects a webpage to load in 2-3 seconds and studies have found that user drop-off rates increase exponentially with each second of delay, so the economic impact of a slow website could be catastrophic.
Make sure all images – including logos, product photos and social icons – are optimized for quick loading. Also, make sure that any background video elements have a still-image fall-back for devices with a poor connection.
TOP TIP: Have your web agency check the items featured here to see if anything can be done to make your website load as quickly as possible.
6 – Do-It-Yourself or not
It’s understandable that many business owners wish to take care of their own digital marketing, but the key to the success of any strategy is being realistic about the resource available.
The question to ask yourself is ‘Do we have the time and people-power to dedicate to this task?’
If the answer is no, you may find that you miss post deadlines resulting in some important channels being neglected.
If you feel that this is a strong possibility, you may need help from a digital marketing agency to keep your strategy running successfully.
7 – Audit your marketing strategy regularly
Auditing your strategy on a regular basis is an absolute necessity.
Your digital marketing strategy shouldn’t be set in stone or restricted in any way. You should be able to assess which areas are working for you, which are not, and adapt the strategy where necessary.
If you regularly audit your strategy, you can tailor it to produce better results and performance.
In a post-Covid-19 world where many consumers are now forced to find products and services online, it is essential to have a digital marketing strategy for your business.
Many businesses are finding it hard to recoup lost money from high street sales and are relying on their website to attract new customers.
With this in mind, the time to review the effectiveness of your digital marketing and website is now.
Your process should be to:
- Understand your target market
- Set achievable goals
- Create content that is of value to potential customers
- Use a multi-channel approach with multiple social platforms
- Review and improve the UX of your website for visitors
- Employ the services of a marketing agency if you do not have the resources in-house to action your strategy.
- Audit your strategy regular
If you have the resource to handle most of the strategy yourselves, but would like assistance with your UX improvements, feel free to get in touch with us at ANCODE. We’re always happy to discuss new projects.