Digital Marketing Strategy: Myth or Necessity?
In our previous Blog Post we explained the concept of the Marketing Funnel which, as part of a Digital Marketing Strategy, in short relates to the journey your customer or client undertakes to engage your services or to make a purchase from your online shop for the first time. Understanding this process (or what one calls the “Marketing Funnel”) can help you make critical sales and marketing decisions that will take your Company forward. With knowledge of both your Buyer Persona and of the Marketing Funnel you can make a decision of what kind of Digital Marketing Strategy you are going to apply. Before we get to that point however, we should take a look at what exactly does Digital Marketing mean.
What is Digital Marketing/ On-line Marketing?
According to HubSpot, “digital marketing is an umbrella term for all of your online marketing efforts. Businesses leverage digital channels such as Google search, social media, email, and their websites to connect with their current and prospective customers.”
Let us have a look at some of the various digital marketing channels available which you can utilise in the Marketing Strategy of your Company or On-line Shop.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Moz defines SEO as follows: “SEO is a marketing discipline focused on growing visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results. SEO encompasses both the technical and creative elements required to improve rankings, drive traffic, and increase awareness in search engines.”
The focus here is on unpaid and organic search results. It’s like Ariadne (Greek Mythological Princess of Minos) magical ball of golden thread which lead Theseus out of the Labyrinth of the dreaded Minotaur. SEO is the magical ball of golden thread that can lead your website from the Labyrinth of Google’s Search Results. I got this great quote from Huffington Post which eloquently describes the situation of your website being on any Page, but Page One of Google: “The Best Place to Hide a Dead Body is Page Two of Google”.
Wikipedia describes the process of SEO: “As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work, the algorithms which dictate search engine behaviour, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines, and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience. Optimizing a website may involve editing its content, HTML, and associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines. Promoting a site to increase the number of backlinks, or inbound links, is another SEO tactic.”
That brings us to the next important component in Digital Marketing which is Website Design and Development.
Website Design and Development
Website Design and Development should actually be the first aspect of Digital Marketing which you address in compiling your on-line marketing strategy. How is your business or shop going to feature on Google at all, if you don’t have a website in the first place? In order to understand the importance of a Website one however must understand Google or any of the major search engines (like Bing, Yandex or Yahoo!) and how search engine behaviour works and that’s why I discussed SEO before coming to Website Design and Development.
Web design is the process of creating websites. It encompasses several different aspects, including webpage layout, content production, and graphic design. Web development refers to building, creating, and maintaining websites. Web development includes many types of web content creation. Some examples are content management systems like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla.
Forbes makes a simple but true statement: “Beginning with your website, it’s vital to position yourself online with a strong, professional destination that gives customers the impression you mean business and the motivation to want to engage more with your business”.
Social Media Optimisation (SMO)
I don’t think this aspect of on-line marketing needs much introduction. All of us know about the reach of social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter. How can these networks however benefit your Business or On-line Shop?
As a digital strategy, social media optimization can be used to increase awareness of new products and services, connect with customers, and ameliorate potential damaging news.
Having a Company Page or a Shop on Facebook connecting to your website, can increase your reach to customers or clients significantly. Instagram and Pinterest can also lead to increased sales specifically in relation to the sale of products. I have experienced Twitter and LinkedIn as important B2B marketing tools and Google+ assisted with instant Indexing and further reach of our Blog Posts.
Vishal Deshpande succinctly described SMO on LinkedIn: “With SMO, you can ensure a strong web presence for the business and establish the internet authority of the brand. It not only introduces people to the business but also helps in branding, improving brand visibility and recall.”
My favourite e-mail marketing automation tool is Mail Chimp and they emphasize the importance of e-mail marketing automation very well: “It’s like a second brain that helps millions of customers—from small e-commerce shops to big online retailers—find their audience, engage their customers, and build their brand.”
Once again, I turn to Forbes to describe why it is so important to build an e-mail list and include e-mail marketing in your Digital Marketing Campaign: “People do business with people they know, like, and trust. Email gives you the ability to build credibility with your audience by sharing helpful and informative content.”
There are many other important Digital Marketing Options which you can include in the Digital Marketing Strategy for your Business or On-line Shop. The above are only what I regard as some of the most important aspects to address and include in your Marketing Strategy.
As stated in the previous instalment, if you want to grow your Business, you can only do that with an effective Digital Marketing Strategy. You have now created your Ideal Customer (Buyer Persona). You also understand what journey (the Marketing Funnel) they will normally undertake to achieve their goals.
Now you also know what Digital Marketing is and which aspects you can include in your Digital Marketing Strategy. Watch out for the next instalment where we will cover the finalisation of your Digital Marketing Strategy.
Through this process you will be able reach your customers online and effectively engage them. Properly engaged Customers are happy customers and a happy customer grows the reputation of your business and brings in that all important new business.
Contact Us for more Information and for our assistance to grow your own Customer Base.