How does your digital marketing compare with your competition? In a complex market, how do you a make sure your business is in the game?
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking your business is competing for customers in the digital world. You may have a website. You may have profiles on Facebook, Linked In, Instagram and more. You may have a database and CRM. You may even spend money on dedicated resources or advertising in the digital realm. As a result, when you look at your business you think your digital presence is everywhere. Sadly, this is the biggest mistake in digital marketing. Effective digital marketing has less to with the appearance on your side and more to do with how it engages an audience on the other side.
The beauty of digital marketing is there is really no excuse for not knowing if, or how your target audience is receiving your digital message. As far as marketing goes there has never been a medium more powerful for metrics. So how do you turn on all the digital tools you have in your business? There are four tips I encourage:
1. The Process is Human
Our featured image in this blog is a scribbled digital marketing mind map. The choice is very deliberate. The point we are making is that it takes people to successfully implement a digital marketing plan. I think Steve Jobs expresses this beautifully…
A human approach to Digital Marketing
The trick to keeping your digital marketing human is to remember that every digital tool you have is talking to people. Your challenge today is that people will receive your message on many different platforms. However, it’s still the human behaviour that answers the questions of which technology to use. For example, if you’re trying to sell a new game to a young male audience, you need to determine what platforms they’re on and make sure your message reaches them there. Finding the platforms is very important but it does not diminish the importance of the message. What are the words, images, delivery techniques for making sure the young men you’re wanting to engage, actually get the message?
In essence, the approach to messaging hasn’t really changed. It’s just that you have more options now. Testimonials or word of mouth type messages are just as powerful delivered digitally. Ambassadors, jingles, imagery, subliminal messaging. All of these approaches should always be considered in your planning.
2. Content gives you the Edge
I’m sure you will have heard the expression ‘content is king’. Whilst a little overused, there is a lot of truth in the statement. For me, I had to get to the heart of what that statement really meant. The truth is we live in the information age. It’s never been easier to qualify or research claims. It’s never been easier for a prospective customer to check you out. Given this, content in your marketing changes. The sales methodology behind the communications is important. Often the decision to buy your product or service will be made well before they ever speak to a human on your side of the technology divide.
So designing a digital marketing plan requires a lot more focus on content than just advertising creative. One strategy we employ is to help a prospective client without the expectation of a sale. My rationale is this. The access to information has made us all feel we can look up how to do things to hopefully save time and money. Many of our prospects will adopt this philosophy. If they have a go and decide it’s too much for them, they’ll often send us an email or give us a call to discuss the challenges they’ve experienced. From this, I can ascertain that the prospective customer has confidence in my business and what better platform to start a sales proposition?
This is just one example of how using content through these new and wonderful mediums help you reach a customer. Having a broader content spectrum gives you the opportunity to engage with customers in ways you were never able to do before the digital age.
When putting digital plans in place, think people, content and technology in that order. You’ll be infinitely more successful.
Content in digital marketing – Don’t take my word for it!
3. Dig Deep Into the Metrics
As marketers, we all know human behaviour is not a constant. With digital marketing, however, we’ve never been able to better measure the variables in behaviour, as it relates to your business. So use it! The image in this segment shows a good and easy to understand diagram of all the metrics you need to consider.
Let’s start with consumption metrics. I like this metric because it’s the metric that gets you looking away from what you have in-house. Rather, it has you focused on how people are consuming your digital presence. Google analytics provides a wealth of information on how customers are tracking through your website. Watching traffic and open rates in conjunction with all other consumption analytics will have you driving your digital message out more efficiently and cost effectively.
In digital marketing, sharing, likes or retweets are as powerful as traditional word of mouth marketing. It’s also infinitely more measurable. You monitor this for things that garner a reaction. This helps you to tighten your content strategies for maximum engagement. Finally digital morphs into traditional in that you measure the leads your efforts are generating. Then, of course, you study your conversion rates. How many sales did you make? If your digital marketing isn’t about generating sales, what are you doing it for?
By now, if you’re familiar with my work you will know that my mantra for marketing is ‘Integration’. This is as true in a digital world as it ever was in the traditional world of marketing. Remember, it’s very rare that one silver bullet will solve all your problems. The secret to great marketing is to maximise the mix of places you are and the variety of content you share. This should be linked to a budget you can afford and the results you are seeking. From this, you can define the optimal marketing mix for your business. Don’t exclude traditional marketing, there are still many traditional marketing tools that are very effective and affordable. However, as the diagram in this segment demonstrates, integration across digital is also important.
I like this diagram because it shows how broad digital marketing is when it comes to integration. The diagram is by no means comprehensive either. The one point I will stress here is; if you ‘re not sure of your digital marketing and you’re not competent in it, speak to experts. There are many out there.
In wrapping things up, let me just reiterate a couple of things.
When you think of digital marketing don’t measure it by all the tools and apps you’ve acquired. Measure it by how you’re customers are consuming your digital presence. Digital marketing is everywhere and you can bet your competition is building their presence in the digital world. There are four keys to making sure your business is in the game. Manage these well and your business is well and truly in the game.