Today’s tech environment created the urgency of designing and using a solid digital marketing strategy. The only question most business owners have is how to build this 'solid' marketing strategy to attract new customers and get more profit. Yet, before getting to the answer, it’s essential to differentiate between marketing strategy and marketing plan.
Unfortunately, even the tech-savvy business owners frequently don’t understand the difference between the terms marketing strategy and marketing plan (there are literally more than 200,000 Google search results relevant to this web search query). Here is the easiest explanation of 'who is who'.
- Marketing Strategy is a mere explanation of your goals. At all times should it be based on your business goals.
- Marketing Plan is the way and means that you will need to achieve the set marketing goals. This is a detailed step-by-step roadmap that will provide particular steps on the way to success.
Why explain the basics? Well, the easiest answer is because you save. By rushing into chaotic actions that you may call a 'marketing plan', you risk wasting lots of time and money for nothing. So think first, do next. Here is a simple illustration of the right course of actions:
Business goal: I want to reach broader market adoption.
Marketing Strategy: I plan to introduce my product/service/company into new segments of the market.
Marketing Plan: I need to develop a marketing campaign that will reach out, identify that specific segment and that will focus only on this segment.
And keep in mind the following formula not to mix up the two concepts again:
Business Goal -> Marketing Strategy -> Marketing Plan -> Implementation => Achievement of the business goal
Now as all the basics of digital marketing are in front of you it’s time to talk about its essential elements.
6 must-haves for any digital marketing strategy in 2018
If you see online advertising as a part of your digital marketing strategy in 2018, then forget this idea. The days of this kind of advertising are numbered. It became boring and ineffective. A study proved that people at the age of 18-34 tend to ignore online banners completely. Partially this happens because they simply don’t trust this advertising. Partially, because online advertising is truly annoying. Keep in mind also that there are such tools as AdBlocker, for instance, that will cover online banners from your perspective audience and, again, you will only waste your money. But, enough with explanations, let’s cut to the chase. Here is the list of six tips that will help you build a great marketing strategy for 2018.
1. A customer is always a priority number one
When you decide to build a strong and reliable digital marketing strategy, your team might forget what they are working for. They will work on your online presence and organic search rankings but will forget the customer - the one you’re doing this all for.
One of the traditional instinctive steps that most businesses do is buying ads and getting lots of traffic to drive revenues in the harshest way possible. Your lesson here is as follows: it is always much better to improve your email capture, conversion rates, and retarget a little in order to receive dividends in the long run. According to Tony Delmercado (co-founder and COO of Hawke Media - an outsourced CMO company), such small steps will help you retain customers for a long time and at the same time spend money efficiently and in portions.
2. Follow your SEO and update it frequently
You know your product/service well; yet, if your digital marketing strategy doesn’t reach your target audience, then your knowledge and basically product/service are useless. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can help you reach your audience much faster and easier.
The trick here is in Google. This is the main search engine worldwide, so it advances its technology just as you do. Remember that Google alters and improves its algorithm more than 500 times a year. This means that you can’t design one SEO strategy for the whole year and expect that it will work. Statistics say that updating your strategy every quarter is enough to significantly improve its efficiency and get from the ground.
3. Blogging is the lead generation tool
Business-relevant content does provide great traffic for your website - this is another SEO trick. This means that via offering your audience valuable content on your website you keep them interested and at the same time increase your ranking in search engines. Statistics say that a marketing strategy that includes a blog is 13 times more likely to expect a positive return on investment, and a company with a successful business blog such as HireRush generates 67% more leads than those who don't.
How does this work?
Relevant content posted on your business blog is another indexed page; this page increases the possibility of relevant customers to find you when googling related content. Regular postings also signify to the search engines that your website is active; such strategy also helps surface your content closer to the top of the organic search.
4. Host webinars and streams
Even if you’re a beginner in the business world, there is already some experience you can share. Owing to the variety of marketing resources available today, you can engage with the audience via podcasts, webinars, and even online live events. To make your hosted events smooth and streamline, at least in the beginning, use the help of the third parties. For instance, you can opt for Eventbrite, a technology platform that helps brands create and market events and promote ticket sales. By cooperating with the third parties, who will take care of the technical aspect of your events, you will be able to focus on the big picture and overall goals.
5. Don't register everywhere
You know that social media has been an indispensable part of any digital marketing campaign for a long time already. As a result, business owners rush into registering their brand on all available platforms to 'connect with the audience'. While the general idea is correct, its implementation is absolutely wrong.
If you’re a newbie in digital marketing, then managing all social media profiles at once will be an overreach for you. The trick is to research first, do next. You need to understand what social media platform is used most often by your target audience. For example, if your audience is 50 and above, then they are likely not to use Instagram and investing in this social media platform will be a waste of resources. Furthermore, don’t just provide content, don’t make the communication one-way only. Ensure that your customers can give you feedback on the content and service or product, and then ensure that you give them responses to such communicates.
6. Make your marketing mobile
There are two main ideas hidden hereunder.
1. Your website and all online content should be user-friendly regardless of the device your potential customer is using. Make sure that you adapt your web pages to computers, laptops, tablets, and phones. Customers hate websites that don’t adapt to their devices. The longer you wait for adaptation, the more potential audience you will draw away.
2. Make an app for your product or service. Besides the fact that apps look much better on all tech devices, apps can also be of a great use for you. Via apps you can learn about the geographical location of your potential customers, for example; it can tell you the time of day that people usually use the app so you can adjust your content or blog accordingly.
The final word. Once you have the idea to start a new digital marketing campaign, always go step-by-step to reach the set goals. Don’t spread yourself too thin over thousands of insights. Go slowly and steady on the way to a perfect website or app; this is the only way to eventually reach the goals eventually and not spend all profit on the way.