6 WAYS DIGITAL MARKETING CAN HELP YOUR BUSINESS
We addressed: WHAT IS DIGITAL MARKETING?
But why should you use it in the first place?
Ben & Jerry’s. Red Bull. Nike. LEGO. GoPro. Airbnb.
These brand names alone conjure vivid images of who they are and what they stand for. What’s more, is that each of them have incredibly passionate audiences, built through digital marketing storytelling. They know themselves, and through consistent, affable messages – so to, do their audience.
A brand’s strategy across digital marketing conveys the purpose and values of a business in a narrative that resonates with consumers and makes audiences feel emotionally connected.
Digital Marketing should thus be the mouthpiece for your brand story to reach the right people, at the right time.
By connecting to your customer through the same channels that they use – including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google & YouTube – your message will resonate and eventually build trust.
Stories are a powerful tool of human communication. To read, hear, or see a story is to feel an experience and synchronise our minds with the subject of the story (Neil Patel).
And so, the net effect of comprehension, understanding, anticipation and receptivity – all the components of an actively engaged listener and enthused customer – is the trust they put in your brand.
So how does digital marketing do this for your business exactly?
1. DIGITAL MARKETING CAN SHAPE YOUR BUSINESS STRATEGY MOVING FORWARD
At the time of writing, we had this point positioned last on the list – but upon reflection we realised that information collected from previous campaigns is in fact imperative to building your sales (right?).
The way people interact with businesses has changed dramatically over the past few years with the rise of online media. In other words, your audience is spending a lot of time online, so you need to market to them there.
Because of these shifts in consumer behaviour, digital marketing is now a crucial part of any successful company’s overall strategy. But navigating what needs to go into it is no easy task.
In order for your campaigns to have a big impact, you need to monitor several key factors. Below are the most relevant metrics you need to measure your performance:
How strong are the components of your website, such as SEO, mobile optimisation, and page load time? You can check how strong your website is with the free Website Grader tool.
Overall, how many people are coming to your website? Look into what channel drove the most and least visits. Take that knowledge, make iterations and launch campaigns that will increase visits.
How much of this traffic are you converting into leads and potential customers? This number should be constantly growing to ensure a steady flow of revenue.
You should always be mapping your campaigns and channels to customer acquisition. How many sales did you close this month? How does that compare to last month’s performance? The ability to make this comparison is invaluable to any marketing organisation. Not to mention how happy these return on investment (ROI) numbers are going to make your boss
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
How much are you investing to draw in each new customer? If you rely primarily on outbound marketing methods, like trade shows and direct mail, your cost per customer is probably pretty high. If you are following the steps outlined in this guide and focus on inbound marketing, you are saving your company a lot of money.
New vs. Repeat Visitors
Of your overall traffic, how many visitors are returning to your site, and how many new people are finding you? Both types of visitors are good. Attracting new visitors means new people are finding you through various channels. Attracting repeat visitors means you’ve given people good reason to come back to your site.
Effectiveness by Channel
What promotion channels or referring sources are sending you the most traffic? Focus on long-term results, not short-term traffic spurts you might get from news coverage or press releases.
2. DIGITAL MARKETING HELPS GIVE YOUR BRAND STORY A PERSONALITY
Brand stories are not marketing materials. They are not ads and they are not sales pitches. Your story is inspired by the presence of people who participate, create, connect and develop your saga of growth and success.
This means that before you and your team put together your message – you must come to a conclusion on what material, creative and copy you will use for the lifetime of your campaign. Then how this campaign ties in with your overall strategy.
The brainstorming you do around ads, for mediums such as social media, will shape your brand personality. Forcing you to reflect creatively on your point of difference with each new set of ads. This thinking of purposeful creative that makes your brand unique, is the evolution of what your customers see online.
When all of this content appears on social media, YouTube or your blog, you are digitally conveying what you stand for.
In order to create an authentic brand personality, a company needs to take a clear stand on a particular problem it intends to solve, define its positioning, create alignment between positioning and operations. It also needs to ensure it is 100% transparent throughout its development.
A story that is far more effectively told online, because of the multiple opportunities customers have to interact with this content. These are known as customer touchpoints, and the more you have, the more people identify with your story. So, by being online you are creating far more touchpoints to supplement your brand narrative.
Think of these touchpoints as soundbites of your overall narrative. They are easily digested by the audience, and form a solid and identifiable message when put together.
3. DIGITAL MARKETING CAN KEEP YOUR BUSINESS SIMPLE AND UNDERSTANDABLE
Keeping your brand simple for customers:
As a business owner, you know exactly what your company does, how you do it, and why it can help your customer. But unless you communicate in a way that your customer understands, using the language that they speak, it is impossible for them to see the value you bring to the table.
What separates brands that customers buy from, is the ability to articulate their natural message progression through the three-part model:
Beginning: explain the problem that you set out to solve.
Middle: Solution. Describe how you solved it.
End: Success. Get excited about the success produced. (The end should suggest the beginning of success and continuation).
Clarity of identity throughout these three points – is something that brands, however great or small, have to be consistent with. It’s not just about how great your website looks or how good the deal is, but the experience you offer to your clients. From the first time your client interacts with you, it is vital to make sure they can immediately understand what you offer and the benefit they would gain from doing business with you.
With so many businesses now competing at similar price points and with similar services, competition is skyrocketing – meaning your chance to make that first impression last is much smaller. In a world engulfed by micro-moments (a term coined by Google to describe moments of intent when you search for answers using search engines) capturing people’s fleeting attention boils down to the copy and creative you use across digital marketing mediums.
Keeping these two pivotal assets on brand and concise will mean anything that could be a point of customer contact (i.e. website, ads, press releases) fits into a overarching homogenous suite of your brand identity.People want to know how you can help them, but don’t want to have to spend time figuring out what you are trying to tell them.
To gain traction in these seconds of attention, ask yourself:
1. What does your company do?
2. What problem does it solve for your customers?
3. Why are you different from your competitors?
Keeping your brand simple for Internal processes by reducing friction:
Digital marketing reduces friction in your business because Inbound Marketing is at its epicentre.
Hubspot, the original practitioners of the Inbound Marketing Model, claim that because digital marketing forces you to attract customers into your pipeline, you must kill any friction that could stop this inquiry (some one who is showing intent to buy) becoming a sale. This friction includes internal processes and workload handovers between different departments, processes and channels.
To boost simplicity within your business, Inbound requires the smoothing out of common friction points, like your conversion rates between different phases, how many customers become successful, and how many churn. Largely isolated from one another, these are easy to spot.
The overall structure of your company, however, might be harder to spot – but might be contributing to drag and friction nonetheless. To fix this will require you to approach the thornier source of friction at your company: Your organisational chart. Siloed work and poor handoff between teams are some of the biggest areas of friction in most funnels.
You can break this down into four steps:
1. Where are your points of friction?
2. What can be automated?
3. What can be addressed through shared goals?
4. What can be addressed through team reorganization?
A detailed breakdown of each of these 4 steps is included here.
4. DIGITAL MARKETING CAN HELP YOUR BUSINESS REACH THE RIGHT PEOPLE, IN THE RIGHT PLACE, AT THE RIGHT TIME
You can’t hope to gain leads, conversions or sales without first knowing your audience.
Digital marketing helps you to engage in two way communication with your prospects. This means that while you may start the conversation, their response can inform your messages, campaigns and strategies moving forward. By first identifying your audience and establishing their pain points and their interests, your brand is primed to target individual demographics with personalised messages and offers.
The internet is your gateway to people who might one day become your customers. With an online presence, you can reach far more of the right people than you can by marketing your company solely offline. And if you do it the right way, you can get in front of the people who are likely to become your customers at the right moment in their buyer’s journey.
By doing this, you will build rapport, because not only have you addressed their initial need, but you have approached them with something of value. Once you’ve captured your initial audience, and established who’s interested in your content, you can start to build campaigns that target only audiences you know are interested in your product. By doing this you are pulling those that have shown interest down through your funnel into the remarketing phase.
After identifying this segmented audience, look at the creative messaging you have done in the past to find what resonates best with your audience. How are consumers engaging with your brand? Did certain creative messaging lead to an uptick in website visits, did people click/convert, are more people searching for you, etc.? This insight helps guide interactions with customers and forge stronger relationships. It also helps you construct a personas around those that purchase your products or services.
5. DIGITAL MARKETING CAN HELP YOUR BUSINESS NARROW ITS EXPERTISE
Once you know your brand personality and your audience – you’ll find the intersection of what’s unique and weird about you, and what your audience responds well to. This is where the strongest brands are formed. Once that’s established, use it to create your key messaging constantly.
To generate digital marketing content that sticks, you must first focus on the narrowest definition of expertise. While you can generate content, ads or videos related to your industry and go out to the audience with a hard sell – it won’t get you anywhere.
Instead focus on answering a single point for which you are the experts. To identify this, refer to the three aforementioned questions:
1. What does your company do?
2. What problem does it solve for your customers?
3. Why are you different from your competitors?
The answer to the point you’ve created will establish your business’ reason for existence. Once you have that integrated into all of your processes, your strategy and your marketing – your clarity of voice has a higher chance of resounding with the target audience you are trying to reach.
As a result, your brand will become an authoritative point of reference on that given subject, and search engines will better understand your site’s relevance. This in turn will help with your site’s rankings and your relevancy score across social media.
6. DIGITAL MARKETING CAN HELP MEASURE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF YOUR ADS
Customers should buy a part of the story, not just the product. We’ve established that this sense of purpose is what the customer buys into. By reflecting this purpose across each of your customer touch-points (there can be many with digital marketing), you will have built trust – because people associate stories with emotion and not rational purchases. When your perceived value outweighs your cost, the customer will buy – but this perceived value can be increased if there is a personal connection with the brand.
Once the customer has made their purchase, it is crucial to find out which part of the story the customer bought into and why. The information gleaned from their response must be included in the construction of that customer’s associated buyer persona.
However, your feedback must extend past qualitative feedback and also focus on quantitative analytics. You need to review the performance of your various marketing activities, identify the winning ones, and eliminate or drastically modify the ineffective campaigns. In this section, metrics must be used to refine your internet marketing strategy.
Where digital marketing truely takes the cake against more traditional methods of advertising is in analytic feedback. Tools that supply this information measure everything from unique page views, through to time on site and conversion rates across all advertising mediums (Facebook, Google etc.).
Below are some of the ways you can use this information to improve your company’s bottom line.
When you review your marketing activities, figure out what you want to improve. Do you want more people coming to your blog? Do you want to convert more of the visitors on your home page into leads? Get into the mindset of constantly looking for new opportunities.
Set a Metric for Success
In almost all cases, your metric should be quantifiable and involve a set time frame. For example, “increase website leads by X% over the next X days.”
Refine Your Strategy
Analyse how your programs performed. Make changes with the intention of achieving your marketing goals by doing less of what doesn’t work and more what works (and by modifying what doesn’t work so that it works better).
Determine if you’ve met your success metric. If so, stick with your change. If you haven’t met it, see what you could have done differently. In either case, continue to monitor the metric to make sure the improvement has a long-term effect.