Currently, marketing professionals are facing one of two scenarios. The first is that they are intimidated by the digital scenario and fear not having enough knowledge to develop a successful high-tech online strategy.
The second is to be tempted to take a full leap into the complicated, though glamorous, world of technological marketing tools, such as a CRM (Customer Relationship Management system).
The ideal thing would be to find a middle point. A good digital marketing plan should be based on the use of basic tools. Before trying to expand the reach of your digital marketing strategy, be sure to analyze the following aspects well:
Identification of the brand and coherence
What is the story you want to tell your customers? The understanding of what your brand represents is the compass that should guide all your activities on the web.
Knowing your brand well and having a clear history will help you decide what words, phrases and concepts you want, you can and should use in search engine optimization (SEO). The design and digital content must be consistent.
It should be possible to clearly identify the brand and the load behind it on all channels, including the website, mobile applications, social networks and email.
Search engine marketing (SEM)
Currently, most purchases start with an internet search. According to a recent Fleishman-Hillard report, about 89% of consumers use a search engine to find information about products or services before making a purchase.
Search engine marketing (SEM), like the one done through AdWords in the Google search engine, or YouTube, is the most accessible and comfortable type of digital marketing.
The return on investment is very clear: you only pay when someone clicks on the link that takes them to your website. And since your website is in some way your product or the showcase of the products and services you offer, the creation of original, informative and useful content for your potential customers is an important part of any digital marketing plan.
This is the panacea for digital marketing. If a website does not have valuable and original content, it will not work well. The interested party in making a sale or offering a service must make sure that your website has the information that the potential client seeks: name, products, address, means of contact.
Also, the site must be optimized to work correctly with different browsers and mobile devices.
Currently mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) have had a brutal growth as a means of accessing websites. In other words, more and more people search on their cell phones every day.
If your site is not ready to offer a mobile version (which implies less use of data for the potential client), it will receive fewer visits. And if that was not enough, Search engines punish sites that are not constantly updated or that are not mobile ready.
The simplest solution to the matter of having fresh content is to create a blog-like section where new information is constantly added to the site.
In addition, this will maintain constant communication with your potential customers through comments on the blog and the content you share on social networks or through a newsletter.
Scope of social networks
Social networks help create a conversation between you and your customers. The key to this is the interaction that naturally occurs in this medium.
It is desirable to create and maintain a discussion about your products and services. Social networks can also play an important role in getting faster email marketing (email marketing).
This is because it allows you to directly invite your followers to sign up for a newsletter where they can receive updates or information on promotions, discounts or new products and services.
But, do you have to create a profile and make use of all the social networks? It is best to choose two or three and concentrate on mastering them.
Clearly Facebook is one of the most popular, but before creating your profile, determine if the network serves your purpose. For example, Pinterest may work better if your business is based on the visual or creative.
For companies whose focus is to offer information at the moment (magazines and newspapers), Twitter can be a good option. Your restaurant can benefit from location-based services such as Swarm or Yelp.
Do not discard networks that in your opinion are not so relevant. Google+, for example, has grown rapidly and is today the second most used platform in the world.
Find your potential consumers and generate conversions
All digital marketing efforts should be geared towards capturing information from potential consumers. You will usually need to reach them by more than one channel, or on more than one occasion, to achieve an action on your part.
Having the potential customer visit your site is a good start, but it will not help you much in the long term. That is why Inviting your new visitors to subscribe to your newsletter or become fans on Facebook is so important.
Thus, through various means, a database of potential customers is built, which you can convert into sales, and above all, into long-term business relationships through loyalty campaigns.
Tools like Google Analytics give you access to a new world of demographic, geographic and affinity segmentation. Google Analytics allows you to see exactly where your visitors came from or what search terms they used to reach you.
Google Analytics is the clear example of a tool that you should master. It is free, easy to learn and offers very useful information both for designing strategies and for measuring the results of a campaign.
Once you have these basic fundamentals well mastered you can move to other more complex technologies, such as social listening, big data analysis, or the management of your databases of potential customers through a CRM, etc.
Although it sounds counter-intuitive, a digital marketing plan can not be based solely on technology. Technology only helps to optimize and automate some processes, however, you have the final say in terms of the strategy to follow and the proper way to use these tools.
Always keep in mind that digital media does not sell products automatically. But they are a means of constant communication with your potential consumers, which allows you to obtain valuable information to give better service and attract new customers.