Digital Marketing Strategy – do you have one?
Many of us use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and many other web 2.0 tools, but is it activity or is it strategy? Does it matter? Do we need a digital marketing strategy?
The difference to me is in the results. It is all very well being seen on the social media sphere, but does it add value to your business? Does it generate more income that you would have without the activity. re you putting the right effort effort into the right channels or platforms? This means having a marketing plan. To think things through and put the appropriate amount of effort into the right areas. having a plan or strategy for our digital channels.
What is a digital marketing strategy?
Interesting if you Google this term “what is a digital marketing strategy?” (in quotes) you get 3 results (before this articles publication) so not a lot has been written about it. A digital marketing strategy is a plan to use digital or on-line tools as a part of your overall marketing strategy. It need not be a separate strategy of its own, indeed it should be an integrated part of your marketing and business plan. However recognising that digital marketing channels exist and require a unique approach is valid.
What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing is simply drawing the worlds existing and potential customers attention to you, your products and the message you are promoting at the time. It is also a form of interaction with the public – sometimes customers, ex-customers and potential customers.
Digital Marketing is the promoting of brands, products or services, using all forms of digital advertising channels to reach consumers. This now includes Television, Radio, Internet, mobile, social media marketing and any other form of digital media.
Why a unique approach?
Unlike many other forms of marketing, digital is 2-way and should involve a lot more people than just the marketing team. Ideally you need almost everyone in the company involved at some level or another.
Digital Marketing Plan
Where many miss opportunities is not have a clear plan on what its is you do in a social or digital marketing medium, but even more important, and the factor most miss is what you wont do. Its easy to get sucked in to various tools and social networking platforms, but what ones are you interesetd in, and which ones are you going to avoid. Knowing this and communicating this to everyone in your organization is key.
Crowd Sourcing and Social Marketing
A factor overlooked or in the very least not fully harnessed is that of croud soursing, using numbers of people to promote your products, service s and brand. And guess what – the best crowd is allready on your payroll – your staff. With the right policy and influencing you can engage a significant percentage of your staff in the promotion of your messages. Even better – not always in work time. Using networks be it LinkedIn, facebook or others cabn help to share your message.
Train your people – Social Media Marketing
Not in the traditional sense, because by the very nature of social media and social networking , many already know how to use the platforms (although offering basic training to those that are not confident can only help) – but to encourage linking, promotions, SEO and other techniques that they can use in their tweets, blogs and profiles that both raise their profiles and your brands at the same time.
Types of Digital Marketing Tools
Any digital publishing or broadcasting technology or platform could be a digital marketing tool. The common ones are those already mentioned in this article. Types of digital marketing include:
- Forums/ chat rooms
Time – the unspoken factor
Unless you have an unlimited budget, time to show results will be a lot longer than expected. Sure many social media channels are “free to access2 but never underestimate the time taken to establish a protocol and your place as a recognised expert in your field. Using twitter for example, it may well take 6-9 months just to get established, and 1-2 years before any returns are generated – its a long term gain, but can result in quick results when established. Getting established on social media is no exchange for a good sales strategy – one needs to complement the other. It can take several people 2-3 years to be fully established and integrated with your client base and potential customers.
This is not about quick results today – it is about quick and sustainable results in the future.
MYTH – Social Media Marketing is free
NEVER think of any marketing activity as free. the challenge is to recognise where the cost will be. And in the case of most social media it is in time and people resources. For example you may well end up running some sort of social networking group, this can take hours of management every day. its not a “build it and they will come” situation – they MAY come – but to get them interacting in a way that enables your business rather than disables it is quite another matter.
Integrating it all up
This final step is where many organizations miss the point. Many users of social media tools use their mobile devices, so why have all of your links that are being promoted and published only visible on desktops? Ensure that your website and any promotional copy are mobile device friendly. It is in peoples “down time2 that they will try to look. If they find your site talikg minutes to load or is unreadable on their handset of choice you have lost them… for good!
One organizatioon I was working with said that in a recent re-design mobile friendly access was not important – less than 3% of people per months tried to access the site using mobile technology. When I pointed out that when a person finds a site inaccessible they dont go back, and that the 3% per months over a years is nearly 30% of people that will NEVER try again – the numbers start to stack up. Its a valuable part of the market.
The #1 rule of social media marketing
Make any content you publish easily and quickly readable – or simply don’t bother with a social media marketing strategy at all – it will never yeild the returns
So what is a digital marketing strategy? – a strategy for marketing using a diverse range of tools and channels that utilise electronics as part of the communication/ distribution process.