Winning customers online is not just about having a website that looks great; if it’s to be considered a success, your online presence must deliver a steady flow of new leads or sales.
To achieve this you need to harness the power of digital marketing. We want to give you an overview of a simple digital marketing framework that combines the two key elements of any successful digital marketing initiative – strategy and implementation. Read on to find out how to grab hold of the opportunities available to your business online and successfully turn them into paying customers.
Digital Marketing Strategy
Strategy is the thinking part. It’s the piece that needs input from the very top of your organisation and it’s about making sure that the ladder is up against the right wall before you start the climb.
You’ll need to take time to look at who your ideal ‘sweet spot’ customers are, why you are a good fit for them, what it is that makes them decide to buy from you, and what your online business goals are.
When developing your digital marketing strategy you need to ask yourself three key questions. Why should customers buy from you (your value proposition)? Who is your ‘sweet spot’ customer? What business goals do you want to achieve online?
Online Value Proposition
You want to increase your sales, and you understand that to do that you need to improve your online marketing. But before we dive into ‘doing’ marketing, you need to take a step back and think about why customers buy from you. What is it about your offering that makes the customer choose you over your competitors?
It might be your experience and understanding in serving a particular sector; it might be your ability to demonstrate superior quality, world-class design, or lightning fast delivery?
By thinking about why customers buy from you, we can start to tease out what your Value Proposition is in the market, and this value proposition should be at the heart of all your online marketing communications, whether that is website content, email marketing, social media posts, or product videos.
‘Sweet Spot’ Customer
Once you have defined your value proposition, it’s time to start thinking about who your ‘sweet spot’ customer is.
While it is obvious that you want more customers, it is so important to recognise from the outset that not all customers are created equal. Challenge yourself to think about what type of customers you want more of. The better you can define this ideal customer, the more chance you have of turning your marketing efforts (and your overall operation) into a success.
Online Business Goals
The final step in developing your strategy is to define your online business goals. Of course, you should start with the most important transactions that lead to revenue and profit. That’s sales, or if you don’t sell online, the leads that your online marketing will deliver which will convert through to sales.
Your website and other digital channels like social media are also a natural place for customers to go to get their questions answered. Paying attention to the quality of service you offer is key to support the success of your digital marketing capability.
Remember, your overall digital footprint impacts the success of your digital marketing as a whole. You may want to set goals that relate to building that footprint, such as gaining more subscribers to your email list, or followers on social media channels, or simply more qualified traffic to your website overall.
Whatever your online business goals might be, make sure they are SMART:
So if you want to increase the number of people visiting your website each month, a SMART goal for this would be ‘Increase website visitors by 2,000 per month by 30 Dec, 2020’.
Likewise, a SMART goal related to generating online leads would be ‘Generate 30 lead submissions from our website per month by 30 Dec, 2020’.
Keeping your goals SMART will enable you to properly measure your success.
Once you have defined who you are targeting, why they want to buy from you, and what online goals you want to achieve, you have begun building a digital marketing strategy designed to win new customers that allows you to make informed choices during implementation.
Digital Marketing Implementation
Implementation is the hard yards. Only after you have clarity on who your sweet spot customer is, and what problems you are going to solve for them, do you then start looking at the ‘how’.
Whether it be Search Engine Optimisation, Pay-Per-Click advertising, Email marketing or social media, you’ll need to create and deliver on a plan to help you get more of the customers that you need to grow your business.
There are 4 steps across the implementation portion of the framework’s life-cycle. Digital marketing poses the challenge of reaching out to an audience, meaningfully engaging with prospects, creating those all important sales and leads, and tracking your outcomes so that you can keep making improvements.
The first step of implementation is to achieve reach. To do this you need to grow your online audience by establishing yourself on digital channels and using them professionally and effectively.
On social media this means gaining followers or making connections. For email you must build your database of subscribers. In the case of both organic SEO and PPC you need to be at (or near) the top spot on Page 1 of Google for the right keywords.
You also want to do all of this with the goal of as many of those in that audience being within your ‘sweet spot’ customer demographic.
We know it can seem like a challenge to know how to choose the best digital channels to get your message across. The best advice we can give you is to focus on those that are going to deliver you the greatest return-on-investment.
A 2020 study of marketing channels and ROI from SmartInsights has shown that the highest ROI was for SEO, followed closely in second place by content marketing. Email marketing (including marketing automation) also saw notable ROI. Until you have your own ROI success data, we would recommend that these channels form the cornerstones of your initial digital reach strategy.
Regardless of what digital channels you use to reach out to your audience, you must have engaging content and messaging to push out on those channels.
In this Interact phase of our framework your goal is to encourage brand engagement and lead generation by creating compelling content and transmitting effective brand messaging that attracts your ‘sweet spot’ customer.
This content marketing should educate, convince, inspire and entertain your audience so as to persuade them to take the next step in the customer journey and ultimately convert to a paying customer or qualified lead.
This can be in the form of videos, graphics, or written content like blog articles. It is about communicating with your customers without using the hard sell. Instead of just pushing your products or services, you are delivering useful content that makes your customers feel more informed.
Ultimately, content marketing is a valuable way to establish your business as a leader in your industry. The more valuable content that you are able to provide to customers and your chosen audience, the stronger relationship you will build with them and this should place you in a great position to be rewarded with their customer loyalty.
It’s great to have high volumes of traffic to your website and lots of interaction on your social media. However, if this isn’t converting to paying customers then you’re missing a trick.
To this end, your website needs to be geared toward ensuring that all your reaching, interacting and engaging is paying off. It needs to be designed to make it easy for customers to complete the business goals you have set. If it isn’t you’ll lose customers that would have converted if there were less obstacles in the way.
This is where Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) comes in. CRO is about continuously testing and optimising the structure, design and content of your website to maximise the percentage of visitors who complete your goals.
Getting this step wrong will seriously undermine all your other efforts.
The beauty of digital marketing lies in the fact that nearly everything can be tracked in real-time. This allows you to almost instantly understand what implementation tactics are and aren’t working.
Google Analytics makes this tracking – and more importantly measuring success – free and easy.
You can set up goal and/or e-commerce tracking that relates back to the online business goals you defined in your strategy. See how often and how well your site is delivering on these goals, to what value, and determine what channel was the source of those conversions.
With data like this to hand you’ll be able to define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that let you know what your ROI per channel is, how much each lead costs you, your conversion rate per channel, and many more metrics that are invaluable and enable you to tweak your digital marketing efforts to ensure you’re getting the absolute most out of your budget.
What we’ve outlined here is an ‘easy to apply’ digital marketing framework that’s designed to help you take full advantage of the business opportunities available to you on the web.
If you would like to chat with us to find out how we can help your company achieve it’s digital marketing goals, Contact Us to discuss how we can help you, on Dungannon 028 3754 9025 or Belfast 028 9002 5050.