Digital marketing strategies have never been so important. We live in unprecedented times, and some businesses may choose to slash their digital marketing budget or even cut it completely. In reality, this could harm your business or organisation further down the track. The steps you take to protect and promote your business will heavily influence how your business is perceived in terms of brand visibility and brand awareness. Ensuring your business or organisation has a strong digital strategy that is both flexible and practical is vital in this uncertain economic climate.
But where do you even begin to plan a digital marketing strategy? This is just one of many questions asked by businesses and organisations every day. The concept of digital marketing may seem ominous and confusing, but once you nail down your strategy the benefits far outweigh the hassle.
What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing is the concept of achieving marketing and advertising objectives using digital technologies and media. It covers a wide range of digital strategies and methods, including search engine optimisation, content creation, pay-per-click advertising and social media.
With e-commerce becoming increasingly popular in recent years, digital marketing is hugely important in ensuring you’re reaching your target audience. If your business or organisation isn’t online, then you will most definitely be missing out on a large portion of the market. There will always be a need for physical stores, and brick and mortar sites certainly aren’t going anywhere, but in order to keep up with your competitors, you should be investing in a bespoke digital marketing strategy. This includes a distinctly unique website that is both mobile and search engine optimised with plenty of concise, relevant content.
The challenges of digital marketing
Digital marketing often poses a challenge for many businesses who, despite knowing how vital online strategies are for acquiring and retaining customers, don’t have an integrated strategy that both supports company growth and engages digitally with their audiences online. Challenges including nailing down your target audience, standing out from your competition and finding a sense of direction that centres around the wants and needs of your organisation.
Your target audience will form a core part of your digital marketing strategy. You should know this group of people through and through, from general demographic statistics like age and gender to their habits and behaviours – and no, your target audience is not ‘everyone’. Even Google and Amazon had a target audience in mind when they started out. Neglecting to research into who you should be marketing to will only result in a vague, untargeted marketing strategy with little brand consistency or awareness.
When you’ve researched into your target audience and know them through and through, plot your strategy to centre strictly around your customer. Write a series of strict brand guidelines and stick to them without mercy. This customer-centric form of marketing will assist you in seeing your brand from your customer’s perspective and nailing down their wants and needs.
If you own a chain of brick and mortar sites, it’s also an especially perfect time to listen to your onsite sales team. They’re on the frontline speaking to your customers and hearing their concerns first-hand. With this information you should be able to gather a clearer picture of the needs and wants of your target audience and plot your digital marketing strategy accordingly. You should also ensure your onsite employees are working and communicating cohesively with your marketing team.
A sense of direction
Without a digital marketing strategy in place, your business may lack brand awareness, visibility and consistency. It’s like sailing through a vast ocean without a rudder – without the clear and concise direction or strict brand guidelines that come with a bespoke digital marketing strategy, you’re going to struggle to find your way. You could always do your best to follow the tides, but you risk getting lost in all the noise. For a clear sense of direction and visibility, you’re going to need a digital marketing strategy that outlines where you’re going and what your goals are.
Think of your strategy as your compass. There are five key goals when planning a digital marketing strategy; resolve, resilience, return, reimagination and reform. These five goals should form the basis of your strategy and of course your brand guidelines, which outlines the visual and digital goals of your product and/or service.
Get to know your competitors and find your niche
When researching for your digital marketing strategy it’s important to identify your top competitors and investigate their strategies. While we’re in no way suggesting you copy or impersonate what other businesses and organisations are doing, it’s important to work out where your own product or service stands in the market.
Find your niche and build your brand around it – what is unique about what you’re offering? Why should customers come to you and not your competitors? What are your competitors doing to stand out? Drawing in your target audience is more than simply offering something you think people will like. A bespoke digital marketing strategy should outline strict brand guidelines, your unique niche or offering and of course who your target audience is. If your target audience is going to your competitor for a similar product or service, delve into that competitor’s digital marketing strategy and find out what makes them tick.
How do I find a digital marketing agency?
Of course, you could always outsource the management of your digital marketing to a professional digital marketing agency. Most digital marketing agencies boast a knowledgeable and expert team with a wealth of experience building bespoke strategies. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it may be best to pass the management of your digital assets to the professionals.
Finding a digital marketing agency is easy but finding the right agency for the needs of your business or organisation can prove a little trickier. Start with a simple search in your favourite engine, such as Bing or Google. Find an agency that is near to you by typing ‘Digital Marketing’ with your location, such as ‘Digital Marketing Devon’ or ‘Digital Marketing Glasgow’. From there is should be easy enough to reach out to a few different agencies and narrow down your selection. The same method applies to finding other digital services such as web designers or even IT support engineers.
Investing in digital marketing in 2021
While digital marketing may come across as a hassle, implementing a bespoke digital marketing strategy that actually works will see one-time visitors turning into regular customers and a higher conversion rate for your business or organisation.
In the uncertain economic climate we live in, businesses may consider slashing their digital marketing budgets or cutting their strategies completely. The reality is not implementing a digital marketing strategy causes more long-term harm than good. Digital marketing is vital in ensuring brand visibility and brand awareness. In the digital-driven world we live in, implementing online strategies has never been so important.