If you are a business owner or a marketing executive then you will most probably have attempted to take on the digital world in recent years; the world of blogs, social media and email marketing. It all sounds very exciting and innovative when you first jump into it but it can quickly become less impressive when you realise it’s not bringing in the results you wanted. You may have even tried using an agency in the hope that their experience would improve your chances only to be let down by unsuccessful strategies. Perhaps you dropped those strategies and moved onto something else offline.
But the truth is that digital marketing can be incredibly effective in adding value to a business - whether this is by increasing sales or brand loyalty. This post should give you an insight into why your past efforts weren’t effective with the intention of helping you to improve upon them.
The first reason why your digital strategy may not have been effective is that you may not have had an integrated strategy. Your social media strategy should be integrated with your content strategy and your content strategy should be integrated with your email strategy etc.
Each marketing strategy has different benefits and by having an integrated approach, you can take advantage of these benefits across a broad range of platforms. Content marketing can be great for achieving brand trust and credibility which can be sometimes missing from email marketing where consumers expect spam. So by using your high quality content in your emails, they immediately earn a higher level of trust.
An integrated digital marketing strategy is an approach we highly recommend to clients at Statement and it is a theme you will see across this guide. Many digital marketing efforts fail to bring in results because the impact of any digital strategy used in isolation will inevitably be limited.
Another major reason why digital marketing efforts cease to be effective is a lack of expertise. Trends in digital are known to move a lot more rapidly than in some other industries and so time should be invested in keeping up with best practice; otherwise, you can be left behind.
There are also some strategies that can be detrimental if you follow out-of-date practice, particularly those associated with SEO (search engine optimisation). Tactics such as ‘keyword stuffing’ were great at driving traffic to websites in a few years ago but now, if you try to use the same tactic, your website will be penalised in search rankings.
So it’s important that whoever is creating your digital strategies is up to date with their industry knowledge.
Investment is an important factor in any marketing strategy. It used to be that a number of marketing tools could be used free of charge - particularly social media platforms. However, with the changing landscape, some of these digital tools now require a sensible investment to reach your target audience.
We’re not talking thousands of pounds (although this would definitely go a long way to improving your success rate!). In some cases, as little as £10-£20 per week on social media ads can reach thousands of new customers. Because of new updated algorithms, Facebook (and Twitter could also go on this direction) shows a user only the posts that it thinks they will like. By investing a reasonable budget into Facebook’s boosted posts, your posts will be shown more prominently to your followers.
In addition this, PPC schemes such as Google AdWords can be considered to assist other marketing efforts such as social media and content marketing. By investing a small budget into search engine ads, you can reach far more people who are likely to be interested in your products or services.
Sometimes business owners don’t have the resource to fully commit to digital marketing in terms of employees, finance and time. Whilst it’s an understandable problem, this means that there is not always a focused strategy and that sometimes, progress against marketing goals is not adequately monitored.
These factors are crucial to a successful digital strategy and are where many plans fall down - there is not enough commitment or direction. Whether you use an in-house team or hire an agency, a firm commitment to your digital marketing strategy is necessary.
Due to changing digital tides and because different companies will need different strategies, digital marketing is always experimental to some degree and so close analysis is essential; yet analysis is an area that is often neglected.
Improvements should be suggested on a regular basis, whether there is experimentation or not, and this can only come as a result of confident analysis. It is important to regularly review what seems to be working and where your company is not seeing a return on investment.
Are your KPIs met? Do you even have KPIs for your digital strategy? It’s important to set targets so that your analysis can bring up anything that may be a concern and should be adapted. Digital marketing changes constantly and so a strategy without analysis is doomed to fail.
Just because your digital marketing hasn’t worked as you hoped before, doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t work again once you’ve had a look at what went wrong and make measured improvements. Was your strategy not integrated? Were you not keeping up with best practice? Did you invest enough?
Start your planning now with our free, comprehensive 2019 eCommerce Calendar.