Many startup, small and medium business have limited capitalization and other resources particularly in terms of budget allocation for marketing. That is why it is vital for business owners to focus only on cost-effective marketing channels that make a positive impact on the bottom line. Digital marketing is one such channel that deliver results and according to surveys, up to 40% have already achieved considerable savings from promotion and generating business leads.
Digital marketing is also proven to deliver higher conversion rates resulting in up to 2.8 times better revenue growth for businesses using digital marketing strategies. With this much growth expectancies, small and medium enterprises now have up to 3.3 times better opportunities for expanding their business and increasing their workforce. With doors opening like this, no wonder 28% of business owners are shifting their budgets from traditional to digital marketing strategies – and so should you starting with these 8 steps.
1. Review and Revamp Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Many business owners and digital marketers fall into the erroneous pattern of rolling over their marketing strategies year after year. This would be good in a sense if the results show improving growth and revenue percentages each year. But if your business is just getting the same results over and over again without any improvement, then you need to review and revamp your strategies and get better results. The digital world is constantly evolving and what worked last year may not produce the same results now or the periods to come.
Getting good results is not a simple “post and let go” strategy style as this will simply lead you to nowhere. You should be familiar with “Rule of Seven” concept in marketing which practically states that you need to make contact or have targeted exposure for at least seven times before getting any favorable response from a prospective client. So fall back and get a fresh perspective on your digital marketing strategy, checking out what you need to enhance, improve or replace – and get the marketing results you want.
2. Form Your Team or Hire a 3rd Party Digital Marketing Company
Revamping your digital marketing strategy may also mean setting up your own digital marketing team (if you are able to) or hire a 3rd party digital marketing company (for folks who have a limited budget) to execute your new strategies. The old marketing structures simply will not work or deliver the same results in an Internet-driven world, so business owners need to adapt and prepare their business with the changing times. Some of the new key roles that you should have in your in-house or 3rd party digital marketing team are the following:
- Storyteller – A vital key to digital marketing success is content, and with all types of content, compelling, high-quality and original content that tell stories deliver the best results. Your brand story should be consistently and continuously communicated to your targeted audiences and your chief storyteller will be responsible for formulating and telling your stories.
- Curator – While the bulk of your content should be original, it would also do your digital marketing efforts some good if you take advantage of curated content from the best of what the Internet has to offer that is related to your brand or niche. There are however basic but very important rules in content curation that is why your team needs a curator who will manage and add value to your content.
- Data Manager – Analytics from your website, sales pages, social media pages and other digital marketing channels are important pockets of information that can give you valuable insights and boost your results. Your team should have someone collecting and managing all these data and extract important pieces of information that will give you and your team great insights towards success.
- Social Media Manager – Social media is an important digital marketing channel and should be treated as a separate marketing category on its own, working in close conjunction with other members of your digital marketing team, and efficiently managed by a social media specialist. Your manager will ensure that all your social media marketing efforts are cycling according to schedule (for timing is crucial in social media) using the right kind of content and other tools.
- Customer Service Liaison – Customer service and engagement is important if you want your business to sustain itself for the long run. Your customer service marketing liaison will be responsible for all communications and interactions with targeted audiences, ensure that comments and inquiries are properly responded, and should always be on the lookout for negative entries or even attacks to your online reputation – so your team could act accordingly.
3. Go Social, Mobile and Local on Your Digital Marketing Strategies
You should boost and maximize your social, mobile and local digital marketing efforts for it is through these channels where you can get the best results. With 90% of adults in the United States owning a mobile, 63% use smartphones to access the Internet, and among these,40% are looking for products or services from local providers. Your website should be optimized for mobile users and you should also beef up your local SEO strategies.
Social adoption is also going mainstream, now that search algorithms are going semantic and social, changing the way people use search engines. Social adoption goes beyond having profiles on major social networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+, but should include maintaining an active social media presence that generates engagement and social signals from targeted audiences.
Aside from the top social networks, it pays to take a closer and more detailed look at upcoming social channels like Instagram, Vine, and the newest of them all, Ello. These sites can deliver great social sharing advantage as applicable depending on the nature of your business.
4. Implement a Multi-Channel Digital Marketing Campaign
To maximize results, your business should learn how to implement a multi-channel digital marketing strategy to have a more effective and results driven campaign for reaching out and generating favorable responses from targeted audiences – whatever channel they may be. Connecting and engaging with targeted audiences is crucial for the success and survival of your business so it is vital that you begin with a multi-channel campaign now.
Consumer trends do imply that the multi-channel route is the way to go as studies show that consumers go through at least six channels before making the final decision to purchase a product or service. Studies show that consumers connected with through a multi-channel approach will spend four times more than other customers.
Now, more and more brands are ramping up their multi-channel digital marketing strategies by up to 137%, integrating display, mobile, social and video marketing into their digital marketing mix, with up to 500% increase in brands advertising in all four channels.
5. Diversify Your Digital Marketing Strategies
While embarking on a multi-channel digital marketing strategy will deliver good results for your business, focusing on diverse channels will deliver even better results. Focusing only on multiple social media channels or utilizing only free search engine optimization tools may not deliver the results you want as some channels may not be the ideal contact point to use for particular sets of targeted customers. Note that website traffic comes from a diverse array of digital channels so focusing only on one will make you lose out opportunities from the other.
With the wide variety of information channels available practically at their fingertips, consumers today are more empowered and have greater freedom to choose their purchasing options. Up to 80% of these consumers will do some research on their own first using all available online channels. Successfully generating targeted customer contact or engagement through the online channels your audiences use will give your business better chances of generating the results you want.
6. Develop an Epic Content Creation Strategy
An epic content strategy should be at the core of your digital marketing campaign. With the vast array of competitors out there, simply putting up ordinary types of content will not deliver the results you need. You should focus on epic content that your targeted audiences will definitely read or view and then liked, shared and spread throughout the virtual marketing landscape.
Up to 73% of B2B marketers are ramping up on their content marketing strategies, but as mentioned earlier business owners should go for epic content, for doing so will get them some or all of the following benefits:
- Deeper engagement and higher conversions
- 83% more traffic
- Twice as much readers in a matter of 2 weeks
- Attracts up to 200k page views in 7 months
- Generate hundreds of shares and thousands of visitors
7. Enhance Your Content with Videos, Images and Links
The future of digital marketing is visual and the basic act of integrating video, images and graphical elements in your content can generate up to 94% increase in viewership. This applies to any type of text-based content including press releases that can generate 14% more views by adding photos, and 48% more views by adding both photos and videos.
Content with visual elements will generate not only views but will also churn out up to 180% more engagement from targeted audiences. The greater the number, higher relevance and more compelling included photos and videos are, the higher rankings your pages will be included in according to the SEO Ranking Factors and Rank Correlations 2014 from Searchmetrics.
8. Adopt a Continuous Improvement Mindset
Lastly, you should have a continuous improvement mindset with regards to your digital marketing strategies. Don’t be satisfied with the status quo and constantly do tests, run ROI scenarios, get insights from analytics, formulate improvement actions, and implement those actions. Don’t be like the 54% of unsuccessful marketers who say that doing such tests are not their priority. That’s the reason why they are unsuccessful in the first place – so why should you?
Doing business in this highly digital world is very competitive and challenging. However, there are digital marketing channels available that you can readily adapt for your business and apply to generate the kind of favorable business results you want. The 8 steps just concluded will point you in the right direction towards getting better results but the most important factor is that you start implementing what you learn – right here and right now.