In a world where everything is moving from print to online, you can’t avoid it.
Five years ago, this was still an embryonic conversation. But now with handheld devices being a customer’s prime platform for researching, buying and communicating, companies must engage more through digital content than ever before.
This is not necessarily a stress, and there are many upsides to developing your online marketing strategy…
You don’t have to rely on target customers randomly coming across your product.
Using digital media, you are no longer hoping that people will come across your promotion in the street, in a paper or on the tube. Print marketing is static, and you’re hoping that people who are interested will see it. But if they do see it, what options are there to go to the next step? They can’t click on a magazine advert to find out more, or engage. It’s fast becoming redundant, and print media revenues are falling off a cliff.
Instead, with digital marketing, you can choose the people you want to target. Researching tastes, trends, needs and questions has never been easier. It does not take long to find out where your people are online already – what sites they go to all the time, what they share, what they talk about. And once you’ve reached them, they can act instantly on impulse.
There are of course multiple channels to work with. By far the dominant digital channel today is Facebook. With millions of users, and countless groups and forums, it holds the greatest potential for a company to reach a great amount of people with a targeted campaign. You can keep it organic, or there is scope for effective advertising targeted to demographic and region using Facebook ads. And we can save the topic of Facebook ads for another post.
But don’t discount the others. Instagram, YouTube and Twitter are each favoured by different sectors of the market for different reasons. Each have their own unique ways to share material. And then there are more niche social sites for reaching specific markets – LinkedIn for business, Medium for opinions and bloggers, Pinterest for ‘curators’.
But we all know this. I’m talking to the converted, the cognoscenti, the people who deal with this every day. Without a digital marketing plan, your company simply does not have a marketing plan. Here’s something else we all know…
Digital marketing enables you to grow your fanbase or customer awareness fast.
If your campaign surprises people or breaks new ground, then your audience is more likely to share your material, and more people will become interested. If you managed to strike a massive nerve with a pickaxe, or tapped directly into the zeitgeist somehow, then it might go viral.
But once you’ve got people hooked, you need to keep your potential customers well-fed and loyal. Online attention span is a fickle and short-lived animal. Regular doses of quality content are needed to sustain interest and build trust with your brand.
Don’t forget – great content also converts. With so much attention now paid to Google ranking, CTRs, backlinks, keywords, bounce rates, etc, it’s easy to lose sight of simple good copywriting. If the words are not enticing, persuading or impelling the reader to take action, then all the ranking tactics will amount to nothing.
The crux of the matter…
The beauty of digital marketing is that results are more easy to measure. You can see the increase in page visits, click-through rates and of course online purchases, and also where they came from. Customer feedback online is commonplace, instant and often razor-sharp. More data for you to learn how to improve your service/product, and to use in your next campaign.
Without a digital marketing strategy in 2017, companies will simply not reach people and will lose business. Get on it now – because your competitors already have.
Yup, there they are now, look. Getting on with planning that digital marketing thing.