Now more than ever, brands know that a digital marketing strategy has to feature in their overall business plan to guarantee success. But some clients are clueless about what digital marketing strategy means where to start from and the actions they ought to take for them to work.
Digital marketing is no longer exclusive to large multinationals with blank cheques ready to invest heavily on marketing their products and services. It has grown to accommodate every entity as long as you want to tap into the channels that help dominate the market.
This does not imply that a brand can apply every available strategy to their campaign. Brands still have to choose specific ones unique to their businesses and research on how each one will work to profit the brand. The business you operate and the potential customers you are targeting will determine the channels to use.
For a business to leverage the Internet and current business trends well, it has to maintain a consistent online presence. It has to to be competitive enough to penetrate core audiences and reign in more business. We have found customers are relying on digital marketing channels online to know about brands.
Digital marketing allows brands to get creative and experiment on the strategies available, starting with smaller campaigns. The metrics from digital marketing tools such as Google Analytics then assess whether the campaigns were successful. Marketers or business owners pick tools that work best for their business goals. Then, depending on the goals, they can support more extensive campaigns either through free or paid channels.
Why should all this matter?
Choosing these channels directly impacts your business visibility because this is where your business and target audience will appear. The wrong audiences do not generate relevant leads. If an audience does not find what they can relate with from a website, they leave immediately.
Read on how to keep customers on your website for a longer time here.
In this blog, we’ll learn how to pick the right digital channels for businesses and brands.
1. Familiarize yourself with the digital marketing channels.
Take this scenario, for instance.
A content writer for a company generates blog content from an ebook the business recently published.
Their social media marketer promotes those articles through organic or paid posts on their social media accounts.
The email marketer creates an email campaign that offers free downloads with more information about the company.
This shows that you can apply different channels in your strategy at different times as long as they serve the purpose you aim for. As a business owner, you should know the various online marketing channels that may work for your business. This keeps scammers in the industry away from your business. Nobody should promise you instant results when starting.
2. Define your goals and objectives.
For every business plan, you must set out clear actionable and measurable goals and objectives. Each digital channel should have its own purpose.
Remember our scenario? The blog content generated leads while the emails directed traffic to the company’s website.
Decide on the goals you want to achieve with a particular activity or channel. This helps in choosing the right channel, which one to start with, and how to set a relevant plan of action for each.
Let’s look at some goals and the channels.
Goal: Building a reputable brand image.
- Search Engine Optimization
- Social Channels such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest
- Promotional campaigns with coupons
- Joint online venture projects with other businesses
- Online ads such as Pay Per Click (Facebook Paid Ads, Google Ads, Twitter Ad Campaigns)
Goal: Expert positioning within a niche.
- Publishing free eBooks, white paper etc
- Social media channels
Goal: Lead generation.
- Online ads such as PPC
- Social Media channels
- Content-based lead funnel
- Display ads
- Blog posts
- Mobile Ads
Goal: Sales Generation (for eCommerce)
- Facebook storefront
- Google search network
- Affiliate marketing networks
- Google Shopping feeds
- Amazon resellers
3. Research on the cost of each channel available.
This helps in managing your expenses well and to budget for the different aspects of marketing. Prepare to invest in online marketing.
Free services exist, but they don’t guarantee active and consistent growth for your business online. Instead, they will take up much of your time and effort, trying just to establish an online presence alone.
Also, make sure the channels you choose are working for you. If you are using an agency, know the estimated cost beforehand.
4. Determine your marketing budget allocation.
After researching the cost of the various activities or strategies, choose the channels within your allocated budget.
Don’t expect unrealistic results if your budget is low. In digital marketing, you get what you have paid for, but don’t go for what you can’t afford for now. You can start with budget-friendly campaigns for your business, and as you slowly peak, invest in more significant budget strategies.
The budget allocation may be for freelancer fees, content creation service fees, paid ad budget or expenses for the marketing team.
Therefore, identify talent within your team in terms of skills and knowledge that you will require running these channels. If the resources are limited, then budget for outsourcing.
Be patient; it will take some time before you see the impact of your campaigns.
5. Know your audience well.
Before you start your campaigns, know who your audience is. Research further to know more relevant information about your ideal customer.
What kind of content do they like? Which activities do they take part in online? What are their hobbies and personal interests? Where do they mostly hang out online – websites, forums, blogs, social media platforms?
There are competitor market research tools that provide such data. Identify the competition in your niche, and research on their kind of marketing. This is where you will get your audience base data. Leverage this for a proper marketing campaign.
As demonstrated, investing in SEO, content marketing, or social media marketing does not guarantee success. Be intentional with your goals and be strategic about it.
Research on the favourable channels for your tactics, where your audience will see your content and act on it. The aim is to convert. So make the process interesting and useful. Do not waste your time, effort and resources on marketing channels and tactics that don’t work for you.
Regularly audit your current channels using available data to determine what works and what doesn’t. Then improve on your strategy.
What marketing channels are working for you so far?