Debbie Porter, a specialist in digital marketing, and business partner Sharon Stevens-Cash believe that to be an effective digital marketer we have to be a marketing all-rounder.
Sharon explains; “The world is changing and the boundaries are blurred between online and traditional techniques. To create an effective digital marketing campaign we need to have PR skills, marketing management experience and direct marketing tactics to give us the communication skills we need. Pulling all of this together results in content that we have to intelligently write and find appropriate platforms for.”
Debbie adds; “Digital marketing may not yet be widely understood, but it is something we all need to be working with and it can be very rewarding if co-ordinated and delivered in the right way.
“One of our clients has recently seen an increase in visitors to their website of 300% through a combination of SEO, ad-words, improving website content and social media engagement. That’s an exceptional return on investment and one that isn’t always apparent when we place adverts in magazines or get articles published in tabloids.”
To be effective we need to move beyond technophilia and into plain English, and concentrate on four marketing fundamentals.
1. Create gateways to your company
A recent survey shows that one-third of UK smartphone users buy at least once per month via their devices. More than double this regularly turn to their smartphones to compare prices and research products and brands. Customers read online reviews, compare features and prices on web-sites, and discuss options via social-media. This easy access to products and services empowers the customer and increases the importance of having good reviews and public relations online.
2. Increase visitors to your website
There are over 650 million active websites and increasing visitor numbers is one of the most widely covered business topics today. You can find every shade of opinion about the relevance or otherwise of keywords, tags, links, feeds, blogs and forums. But have your site’s hierarchy, platform and content been optimised correctly in the first place?
It is not enough to attract those tentative clicks, it’s what you do with visitors once you get that far. That’s where you start making a tangible difference to your pay-back. There are a number of tools available to help and at the very least make sure you have installed Google Analytics to your website. This can provide insightful data. For instance, it can show the number of visitors to your site, how long they spent there, which pages were viewed and how they found you – it’s a long set of statistics, with plenty more besides.
3. Inspire your customers
Most of the time, you have only one chance to inspire people. Actively engage them in your brand and you should build a whole new salesforce who could spread your messages for you, by sharing your information with their own online audiences. Inspire your customers to help you benefit more from your marketing investment.
Digital communication has to be immediate, impactful and embracing. Attract them, converse, understand and adjust to them. Used in a planned way and based on a practical grasp of these essentials, digital marketing can be handsomely cost-effective. Opportunities are boundless.
4. Generate value
Skilled analysers of web data have mastered the tools and processes to know what customers are seeing, what they are doing, then, what they are saying to others. By utilising this market intelligence they drive performance to generate value.
Digital marketing makes you think strategically. It pushes you into demanding more from your budgets. It makes you look ever more closely at how your marketing plans, offline as well as online, can improve the performance of your entire organisation. Every digital interaction can be a means of delivering value back to the business.
There will always be something different to encounter around the next bend, so don’t get left behind.
Image: digital marketing via Shutterstock