Digital Marketing Strategy Implementation and Practise
If you are not sure how to start with your digital marketing strategy implementation and practise, why not to benchmark your competitors? Learn from competition while assess your company is likely the most successful way to get started. Here are some considerations:
– Number of marketers in your company
– Staff’s competence levels
– Marketing budget
– The Company’s tools and processes
– Management support and expectations
It is too easy to start filling in an online marketing template without assessing the reality first. This assessment shouldn’t be overly complicated but a rather quick reality check. If you have a dozen people in your team, who all know the basics of online marketing, and your budget allows you to subcontract some external work, you may want to put in place a fully blown plan with all bells and whistles. If you are a start-up with two people looking after marketing, you may want to focus on the core essentials.
If you are serious about updating your marketing to digital era, drop us a note. We can fast track your progress. If you insist to do it on your own, read on to get some inspiration.
Online Marketing – Own media
Website and Mobile Site
Most people today search information first from the Internet. The first and most sensible place to start is your own website. If you are not tech savy, you can still make a good looking site with minimal effort. There are many service providers and platforms out there that can make your site creation a breeze. Just think carefully how to structure your site, so it serves your customers and visitors. Keep your content crisp, short and informative. Also use images, videos and downloads as they enrich the site experience. Avoid multi-layered navigation structures if you can. With more advanced staff, extend your website planning to SEO tactics and integration with your social media accounts.
Newsletters and feeds
If you have collected emails from your visitors/clients, email newsletters are another easy and affordable way to stay in touch. You can use newsletter plugins or open source platforms to manage your newsletter templates and for sending information to your subscribers. If you find a newsletter too challenging, at least allow visitors to subscribe to your blog feeds.
Many companies have customer care or support people. Consider them as important company representatives, who get to engage with your clients. By informing these representatives about the latest offers, product launches or promotional campaigns you can serve your customers better. Of course, let them first solve the customer issue and then inform the customer about the latest news and offers.
Online Marketing – Earned Media
Life has become digital and digital has become social. So the natural second step, after fixing your own media, is to become social. There are four different steps to do this:
Listen what people write about your brand and your products
Start replying and commenting on the articles (follow the social media ethics)
Start to initiate discussions and engage people on your social media presences
Run fully blown social influencer networks
There are many tools for you to listen to what people write about you. Technorati, Google Trends and all the social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Slideshare) are a good place to start. The idea is to understand what perception people have about your brand. Listening doesn’t require any major efforts and you can respond to them on your own media. This way you don’t expose yourself until you have a solid understanding, resources and competencies to take the next step.
When you have become familiar with the networks, the ethics and how people interact – you can start to resource your company for a more active role. A good way is to start by replying to the comments and articles. You should give kudos to positive comments and you should accept criticisms while trying to ease them. Make sure people know you are representing a company. Replying requires more resources but it is still relatively easy to do with a few trained people.
When you have a solid understanding of the entire social media landscape, you can establish your own presence in that space. Be aware that, entering social media is a commitment. Once you are there, people expect you to stay there. Even more so, you are expected to provide fun, engaging and meaningful content. It’s also important to understand that you cannot enter social media and start a monologue. Your posts can spark a conversation where people comment them. You must return to your old posts, monitor the comments and continue the discussions. In real life, you cannot start a conversation and leave the room when people respond. Social media is no different.
When you master the first three steps, it’s time to dig deeper. By analysing your social media activities and the key influencers in your industry, you can take the next step. You can start to harness the power of individuals to break news about your company, protect your brand against lies and mud slinging, evangelise your products and crowdsource parts of your customer care. This takes years of collaboration with the influencers but it is possible. You should of course engage with all the people interested about your brand, but the influencer network is more – It’s the nirvana of social media marketers
Online Marketing – Bought Media
When your own and earned media is under control, you can see what resources are left. Online advertising requires more than just a pile of money and a media agency. Plan your objectives, buy model, advertising medium and how you want to track the performance (weekly if not daily). Always run a small pilot campaign with A-B-C testing to see the cost of click, acquisition or sale. With that knowledge, go back to your objectives. Will advertising meet your objectives with the money you have? If yes, then do it. If not, then maybe you can spend that money in own and earned media.
Search Engine Marketing is most often the safest bet. It allows you to pay when you actually get a visitor to your website or store. Also, it is always linked to context (the keyword) so the quality of the traffic is also quite high. This often outperforms banner campaigns.
If you sell digital content, a mobile campaign may be an important tool for your marketing. Promoting Apps directly on the device makes much more sense than trying to persuade a person at the bus stop to read the entire ad, pick up their device, unlock it, open the browser, key the URL and download your app. Mobile banner campaigns with a direct link to download just works. Even better, the targeting for different devices and demographics makes this a highly effective activity.
Banners are everywhere. Agencies love banners too. Banners offer a creative platform to communicate something visually beautiful. Unfortunately, getting the banner campaign right is difficult. You must select the right network, buy model, frequency, display times, formats, analytics, creatives and much more…and still you rarely see great results. If you really want to do this, please pilot it first. This may save you lots of money.
Online Marketing Plan Summary
Defining your digital marketing plan demands focus. Temptation to simply fill in a template doesn’t work; even if are able to find one. The problem is that there isn’t a one size fits all solution. Your plan can only be a result of your company’s resources, tools and knowledge. If you want to spend a bit more time to make it right for your company, please feel free to contact us.