Did you know that 45% of companies in the UK don’t have a digital marketing strategy and 53% admit that not enough time is invested in monitoring the results?
Many companies we speak to are in the same boat, they are overwhelmed about where to start with their digital marketing, worried that they will make an investment and see no return and anxious that they don’t know which technology to use.
If you don’t fall into this category – congratulations, there is no need to read on. If however you do, we have put this blog together to at least get you started and clear some of the fog.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing, also known as ‘data-driven marketing’ is an umbrella term for the marketing of products or services using digital technologies, mainly on the internet, but also including mobile devices, digital display advertising and any other digital medium. With a web page, almost any business can reach a very large market, directly, fast and economically, no matter its size or location.
The two things that have recently marked its evolution and changed the way people use the internet are:
Mobile technology – increasing the number of internet users everywhere by making it more accessible and from different devices, with 47.9 million users in the UK, accessing the internet via their desktop, smartphone or tablet devices.
Social web – a new way of communicating, with the likes of Facebook, which since its creation in 2004 has grown worldwide and now accounts for 20% of the time spent online with Google sites at 15%. Facebook is predicting that it will have 2 billion monthly active users by the end of 2017. Instagram is also expected to grow from 32% to 47% by 2020 with Pinterest and Twitter 33% by 2020 (eMarketer).
Why use digital marketing?
- It’s a rapidly growing force
- It gives more control over your marketing budget
- It’s easy to measure success and review
- It will increase your market reach
- Its customer focus (see the marketing funnel below)
- It will support your sales activity, as 90% of customers start their purchasing journey with a search engine
When we purchase something we all go through the stages shown above. If we apply the AIDA model we can explain the journey in a clearer way as shown below:
A = Awareness. We all start our buying journeys by researching the product we would like to buy. At this stage your website visitor will not know who you are, they may not even realise they need you.
I = Interest. They now know which product or service they need and you are now on their radar they need to know if you can provide the solution to their problem. This stage and the next stage, Desire, work hand in hand.
D = Desire. As mentioned above your prospective customer is trying to work out if you are the right solution for their problem. At these two stages it is about displaying your credibility.
A = Action. They are now ready to take action maybe arrange a meeting or buy your product. At this stage you need to demonstrate your social proof and capability.
What are the different digital marketing channels?
- Email marketing
- Social media
- SEO (search engine optimisation)
- PPC (pay per click)
- Mobile devices
- Display advertising
It is important that all the channels you choose to use are cohesive and work together to produce the best possible return on investment. It is therefore important to know what your objective is for your digital marketing and set your goals accordingly. At a high level your objective will be either brand awareness, raising your company profile or lead generation, qualified leads for your sales team or if you have an ecommerce site increase purchases.
What is an example of digital marketing?
There are several types of media you can use to promote yourself across the channels listed above. Using them as part of your digital marketing strategy will ensure you meet your company objectives (as discussed above):
- the internet (website, ebooks, whitepapers, videos, webinars)
- social media (promoting content using LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram etc)
- email campaigns and newsletters
- internet advertising, PPC (pay per click), Google Adwords, Bing Adwords, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc
What your digital marketing assets may look like:
- Website – it must be mobile friendly and responsive.
- Blog posts – promote your business and increase traffic, strong search engine optimisation (SEO) & keywords
- Ebooks and whitepaper – download and share
- Infographics – download and share
- Interactive tools – online chat, videos, mobile apps, webinars to keep visitors engaged and relay information
- Videos (YouTube, Vimeo etc) – viewed and shared, Google sites attract 31.6 million viewers and Facebook 20.6 million
- Social media – such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ etc
- Earned online coverage – PR, social media, reviews, case studies and testimonials.
- Online brochures
As with all marketing you should be consistent across all platforms, your branding is really important it is how people will know who you are at a glance and therefore should be consistent across all the digital platforms you choose to use. Along with your logo also consider fonts, voice, reputation management and your “Call to Action” (CTA).
Knowing about the marketing funnel and the journey your prospective customer will take is great but now you need to be talking to them.
Do you know who you are reaching out to?
Digital marketing is all about reaching the right people at the right time and place whilst demonstrating your expertise and capability so they are confident you can help solve their problem.
41% of younger Millennials (21-25) use social media to connect with vendors, compared to 18% of older Millennials (25-34).
B2B top social media sites: 94% use LinkedIn but only 66% find it effective, 87% use Twitter and 55% find it effective, 84% use Facebook but only 30% find it effective, 74% use YouTube and 51% find it effective
B2C top social media sites: 94% use Facebook but 66% find it effective, 82% use Twitter, 77% use YouTube and 53% find it effective, 76% use LinkedIn.
It can work for any business in any industry (B2B and B2C), so regardless of what your company sells, digital marketing still involves creating buyer personas to;
- identify what your audience needs, think about age, gender, industry, range, likes, dislikes, interests/ hobbies
- what will they find of value? What do they need to help them through their buying journey.
According to research carried out by Smart Insights, over 45% of companies do not have a marketing strategy and over 53% admit that not enough time is invested in measuring, monitoring and optimising their digital marketing activities in order to maximise their ROI (return on investment).
Hopefully as you have seen from the previous paragraphs starting your marketing journey without your strategy in place and a plan of how you will get there will lead to marketing in a scatter gun approach which will result in at best a few weak successes and at worst an investment made with little or no return.
And hopefully some of the fog has been cleared for you, if however you are wondering where to start or need some advice why not book one of our complimentary strategy sessions? They are completely confidential, a one hour telephone conversation where we discuss your marketing goals and your digital options – schedule yours here.