15 Basic Components Of A Digital Marketing StrategyShahraz Khan
A digital marketing strategy can bring outstanding success if implemented correctly either locally or globally. Digital marketing is hot, you probably know that by now and it’s the reason you are reading this blog. Because digital marketing is so popular, companies are blindly throwing money into digital marketing channels without having a strategy to improve their online presence.
In order to create a successful and profitable strategy for your digital marketing, you must first understand what factors play a role in your digital presence and how those pieces play a role into creating returns on your marketing dollar.
We will discuss the following components:
- User Experience
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
- Search Advertising
- Display Advertising
- Social Media (SMM)
- Email Marketing
- Mobile Applications
- Lead Management
- Marketing Automation
- Digital Marketing Set Goals
- Sales Tools
- Competitor Analysis
Your website is a vital part of the digital marketing mix, and if designed correctly, can make all your marketing efforts more effective. It is crucial to build a website strategy that aligns with the brand platform of your company. Everything is done with purpose towards a specific goal, making it easy to communicate your value.
Today’s your website must be:
- Responsive and mobile friendly
- Communicate your company’s values up front
- Use relevant and up-to-date content
- Have product-specific landing pages that can generate leads
- Integrate with customer relationship management and marketing automation tools
There are many types of content around which to base your digital marketing plan. Some of the most important pieces include:
Blog Posts: Blogs have an important role to play in B2B companies. You can use your blog to get across your company POV. Easy to update and maintain, blogging can also drive your SEO strategy. If you want to build an individual within your company’s leadership into something of a thought leader in your field, your blog is the ideal platform for regular opinion pieces which can achieve this aim.
Case Studies: Case studies will lend some credibility to your product or service. By demonstrating the proven potential of your product, you are much more likely to win new business. The biggest fear of key decision-makers is introducing software that doesn’t deliver ROI. Case studies that showcase the success of your product can help to allay these fears. Ideally, you will want to create case studies for each industry you are targeting.
eBooks: eBooks provide a chance to go into more depth on a particular subject and educate potential buyers. By building up a reputation for thought leadership in a particular area, you can start to develop a degree of trust with prospects.
Newsletters: Low cost, with proven ROI, newsletters are becoming an increasingly popular component of a digital marketing plan. To get the best results from email marketing, you should segment your database to deliver targeted content to the right people.
Webinars: Not only will webinars help you to generate leads, they can also help to build a relationship with potential buyers. By providing high quality and engaging webinar content, you can start to realize these benefits at relatively low cost.
Infographcs: Infographics can be used to transform a complicated premise into an easy to consume piece of visual content. By providing an embed code alongside your infographic, you can also start to realize some SEO benefits. Remember, 90% of the information that comes to the human mind is visual in nature. Make the most of our love for visuals by making infographics an important component of your digital marketing plan.
Press Releases: Press releases can be picked up by other publications, bringing some welcome attention on your company. You can also help to build links which will help your SEO strategy. Take care as you put together press releases. They are not necessarily cheap and, because they are so common, it might be difficult to stand out. Research by Dan Zarrella has shown that press releases with embedded pictures and links to video content can increase engagement by 18% for pictures and 55% for videos.
Landing Pages: Much of your digital marketing plan will be based on driving website visitors to landing pages where they can fill out a form and download free content. Some tips to boost conversion rates include streamlining the form fields, creating powerful calls to actions (CTAs), and including customer testimonials on the page as social proof. You should A/B test each element of your landing pages to help uncover what works best.
A good content strategy involves the following:
- Create content that represents your brand’s values and vision
- Share relevant content across all social media channels to present your company to a wider audience
- Be original and offer a variety of content types
- Utilize your current and past successes to compile presentable case studies on your website. This type of content presents your company’s credibility and impact on the industry to all website visitors
- Ensure that all your content messaging is aligned with the overall brand platform
- Use the right content for your target audience
A website’s usability is a key factor of any digital marketing strategy.
Will your customers take a desirable action once they land on your site?
According to Jacob Nielsen (2013), people will leave your website if:
- A website is difficult to use.
- The homepage fails to clearly state a company’s offering & what users can do on the site.
- Users get lost on a website.
- Information is hard to read or doesn’t answer to user’s key questions.
Therefore, in order to avoid losing your potential customers you need to analyze and understand:
- Who your target audience is.
- How you can incentivize them to visit and stay on your site.
- What content would your target audience is searching for.
- How will users navigate through the site?
- What marketing outcomes should the site deliver?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Content Marketing
Following the best Search Engine Optimization practices will help to increase the visibility of your website on search engines such as Google or Bing.
Remember a SEO strategy is usually long-term and it takes time to see its results
If you are unsure if your business should engage in SEO, there are plenty of advantages compared to other digital marketing components as it:
- Helps reach new markets.
- Helps get insights on target market behavior.
- Provides lasting results.
If you decide to engage in SEO, you should consider content marketing as one of the key element of your SEO strategy.
Posting content that is relative to your target audience is more likely to be shared and linked to. Although, link earning is much more difficult than it looks, it is worth investing time and money on your site’s content.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
PPC can be split into search advertising and display advertising.
Paid search marketing allows businesses to bid for a place at the top of search engine result pages by bidding for keywords they want to rank for when users actively search for them.
It’s highly recommended that new websites that do not have authority on search engines engage in paid search as it starts to drive traffic instantly once campaigns are set up.
However, without thorough planning of keywords and landing pages it may be very costly. Which can only become more expensive if not regularly monitored and optimized.
Paid search advertising may provide insight for your SEO strategy. As it provides data on keyword performance, indicating which keywords would be worthwhile targeting organically.
Display marketing is not just limited to text ads, you can use a combination if imagery and videos to get your message across to your audience.
It is normally used to target users who are interested in your services/ are aware of your brand and are passively searching for them.
Some case studies have shown that display advertising is not as effective as native advertising, if done correctly it will benefit to your site.
The display advertising advantages include:
- Helping to complete the branding cycle
- Helping to get conversions
- Increasing brand awareness
- Easy to track results
Social Media Marketing
Social media helps maintain your relationship with customers as well as generating brand exposure.
Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook provide social media paid advertising options allowing promoting your business by reaching new users as well as reconnecting with older ones.
Social media allows you to reach the masses for a very low cost:
Facebook – A must-have for any business, still the most important social network.
Youtube – A great way to share video and show authority on a topic.
Twitter – Reach a larger and broader audience with quick, relevant 140 character messages.
Instagram – Quickly emerging as the go-to platform for millennials, Instagram is a picture sharing site that creates high engagement.
Linkedin – A business networking platform that can help you find leads and prospects.
Snapchat, Vine, Pinterest, Periscope – Emerging social platforms to keep an eye on.
Other benefits of social media marketing include:
- Responding to industry developments as they happen and become recognized in your field
- It may become cheaper than traditional advertising and promotional activities.
- Social content can indirectly boost the number of links to your website content by appearing in search results.
- Increasing loyalty and advocacy for customers you’ve connected with.
- Delivering improved customer service as well as responding to feedback.
Without planning posts and objectives in advance you may find you will be spending a lot of time creating posts that may not be up to the same standards as the content on your website.
Email marketing is still an important for implementing successful digital marketing strategy.
Email marketing will help you to maintain ongoing relationships with existing customers and prospects that have ‘opted in’ to receive information.
If you aren’t already these are the reasons you and your business should engage in email marketing:
- To help get you repeat sales/conversions
- To support your other campaigns
- It allows you to measure results objectively
You may find that your customers need a mobile app in order to engage with your business. Often times churches, tourist attractions, restaurants and other business have regular, repeat brand loyalists who want to stay engaged with your message on a regular basis. An app is the best way to do this. Apps can also help you to solve a problem in your business or improve efficiencies and can be a huge boost to your digital marketing strategy.
By implementing video in your digital marketing strategy, you create engaging content that consumers can easily view and share. Based on recent research, “76% of website visitors are more likely to buy a product after watching a video”. Therefore, every company should take advantage of this video marketing trend and create original video campaigns that present the company’s values, product features, and the lucrative benefits to the consumer.
The overall objective of all your digital marketing efforts is to generate leads. It is your responsibility to be able to effectively manage these leads, nurture them with the appropriate content, and eventually turn them into customers. “70% of marketing leads never convert into sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause of this poor performance” . Do you have a lead nurturing strategy in place? Are you sending marketing qualified leads to your sales teams?
“85% of marketing automation users saw their number of leads increase, and 70% saw the number of conversions increase”. Generating leads has no value if your company is not following up on them and nurturing them properly. One of the key advantages of utilizing a marketing automation system is the fact that it is customizable based on your various targets, sales cycles, promotions, or any other strategic plan. This process makes it much easier to monitor leads as they move through the sales cycle. Therefore, you can maximize the potential of every active lead that enters that cycle.
One of the most valuable elements of having a digital marketing strategy is the fact that you can continually monitor the outcomes and be able to optimize your strategy with each campaign iteration. There are several digital analytics tools like HubSpot, Marketo, and Eloqua also provide analytics around conversion rates and email open rates, that will assist you in tracking the progress of your marketing efforts in order to be able to analyze and adapt over time. This availability of data is key to maximizing your return on investment.
Digital Marketing Set Goals
Setting some goals around your digital marketing plan will help you understand what constitutes a success. Setting goals around the number of leads generated is all well and good, but ultimately you will be judged on revenue generated. Use the industry average for marketing contribution to revenue to gauge the success of your digital marketing plan.
Every company, especially one in the medical device industry, requires an active sales force. However, this sales force is ineffective without the right set of sales tools. Your salespeople are your army and you must be able to provide them with the proper ammunition in order to increase your chances of winning in this competitive landscape. As part of your digital marketing strategy, it is essential to invest in a robust set of sales tools, such as brochures, sales presentations, mobile sales app, and a sales deck, in order to empower your sales force and increase the success rate of your campaigns.
You might think, why do I need to worry about what other people are doing? But in business, if you’re not monitoring your competitors you’re missing a big opportunity. Your competitors may suck, but they might just be doing one thing that could be useful for you. The things your competitors are doing wrong can also give good insight into your digital marketing strategy.
We are now living in the digital age. Traditional marketing alone won’t result in the profits you’re looking for. Marketing in digital channels is a requirement. There is no way around it. Just like you devoted a lot of your time and energy into developing your product, it is essential to invest in a comprehensive digital strategy to introduce your product to your targeted markets and continually manage your brand presence.
A strong and vigorous, total digital presence is the best way to get noticed online. Keeping these components fresh, engaging and moving will create an active arena for your business to grow.