What is a digital marketing strategy? Many business owners don't know how a digital marketing strategy works or if it affects the engagement of customers.
There seems to be no shortage of opportunities for engagement and technology and social platforms have made it easy to do so. But is there a need for a structured plan to achieve better results? What about your business, are you in need of a digital marketing strategy?
How is a digital marketing plan structured?
A digital marketing strategy is a plan where you as a website owner or business develop a method to engage your customer base with a desired outcome. The strategy plan can take the form of a formalised document that is aimed at a specific targeted market segment. These strategies can be written into your business marketing plan that you're constantly referring to and refining.
The major sections of a digital marketing plan are:
- Which social networks does the company want to utilise?
- How often does your business want to communicate through the selected channels?
- Who is it the business is looking to talk to?
- What content will be needed to be produced?
- How to track the outcomes of your engagement.
The content is for your customers
A business needs to give a potential customer the information they need so they want to seek you out and engage your services or buy a product. Find out their concerns and writing about them. This is the best way for them to see you're going to help them in some way.
By providing what they want and lowering their anxiety this increases their ability to feel compatible with your brand thus increasing commitment.
Right now you're thinking 'If I give the information away, my customers won't want to pay for information', but is this true? This is a common misconception, to illustrate, knowing how an engine works and knowing how to fix it when it breaks down are two completely different things. The opposite effect actually happens, your brand will become an expert in the market segment and assist you with referrals.
Adding content that puts the customer first gives your business another advantage with search engines. Get smarter in how to understand your content, if you produce content that is helpful to your customers you will not only help them to notice you but also assist them with their needs. Another bonus is search engines will give you the authority you need to access your market segment.
Display your content on mobile, tablet and desktop
Your customers want to access information instantly, at least 30% of all traffic to a website is from mobile devices. This is definitely a big consideration when is comes to displaying content on your site. Making your site responsive will certainly help engage your customers. When someone has a few moments in their day you will be able to captivate them with information that is easy to navigate and read.
That, in turn will excite and move them to see more of your services and products that you are offering them. A positive experience encourages the customer to want to return again and again. This will create brand loyalty and hopefully a long term relationship. Yay!!!
Social Media is a referral channel
So, you have created great content, the website is visually pleasing on different devices, what's next? Now you engage people that are looking for a great brand like yours using social media. Below are some of the things you can do to help the brand to refer back to your website.
Firstly make sure you engage with others so there is some familiarity and:
- Send an email newsletter with great information.
- Tweet the URL and an image. (Its ok to ask for Retweets and Tweet more that once).
- Post on Google+ to different groups you follow.
- Add to Instagram with a reference to a link in your Bio.
- Facebook posts.
- Mention your content in comments on other websites when relevant.
- Share with LinkedIn groups.
- Talk to people in your industry and ask them to share it with others.
Lastly and most importantly, be consistent and give it some time. You are dealing with people here that have their own lives. If your content is positioned properly and you're consistent, your customer base will notice and will increase engagement. It does take time so patience is the key.
Online community sharing
Online sharing communities are great especially if they relate to specific subject matters. They usually are tight knit but if they trust you they will share your information if it is relevant and you are sharing content that will help them. It won't get you new customers but it will increase traffic and help search engines understand the context your website is trying to convey to the customer.
Find people that will endorse you
In the bloggers sphere, there are the rock stars of the market segment, these are people that can recommend something and a lot of people will act on what they say. Finding one or two of these people are gold but they are usually cautious and work hard on keeping their reputation.
How do you find these people? A lot of the time in your area of expertise you already know them. By introducing yourself and showing you are genuine you can get them to talk about you. There are a number of online tools that can help you as well we use tomoson.com and idb.buzzstream.com
Digital marketing test
Digital marketing strategies need to be tested. This can be done over time and the way to see if certain content is working is by looking at the analysis data from a website and question your current base. As time goes by you will notice certain content pieces will do better than others.
Find out why your customer base is favouring that piece of information and how you might be able to help them. This will help you increase your exposure and long-term engagement.
A digital marketing plan does not just include text it can be images and videos or anything that is relevant to expose your brand online. Digital marketing does take time but increasing your brand's exposure is of benefit to your customers and increases a brand's authority.