The Starting Point -Online Digital Strategy
Online marketing can transform the profitability of a business, but many marketing directors are so confused by the massive range of marketing techniques and technologies they’re unable to get started. So let's take a step back, the starting point of what you want to do online needs to be a plan based on what you want to achieve. Do you want to build Brand awareness? Are you trying to generate leads? Or is it to find out what consumers are thinking about your product that is being launched?
Firstly consider your purpose for wanting to be online;
Careful consideration should be taken in selecting the correct platform and tools for your specific campaign or strategy. With over 20 digital marketing platforms that can be used to communicate your message, it is vital that your strategy is both effective and at the end of the day achieves the results that you want.
Secondly find out where your consumers hang out;
This is crucial to the success of a campaign. The list is endless as to where your audience may spend their time. It is important to understand this not only to maintain credibility with your consumers but also to make sure that you reach them. In other words take your message to your audience: don’t ask people to click to visit your own website – if there’s a brand building message then take it to them by engaging with them on the sites they already visit.
Thirdly, what is your current online presence?
You should be monitoring your brand on an ongoing basis; this includes determining what the perceptions are about your brand online and what they are saying as well as how well it appears in the search engines. Your reputation online is as important as the one you have been carefully building offline.
By monitoring the conversations, you are given insightful understanding into the minds of your target market and this will guide you as to how you should tweak your strategy and next campaign.
Lastly, decide beforehand what results you would like to achieve;
The one aspect that makes digital stand out from the rest is the fact that it’s a totally measurable medium. Therefore it is important to determine upfront the budget and targets you would like to achieve.
In the digital age there are almost no limitations on what kinds of indicators within a digital campaign that can be reported on. From the time an average person has spent on your website to the amount of people who mention your company name on blogs, all these factors are measurable. For example you can track what keywords an Internet Explorer user based in Timbuktu is using to land on your site and how long he is viewing each page for.
Online marketing isn’t new and isn’t a risk. It’s not something for ‘other’ companies to do, or to leave to ‘next year’. It should be fundamental to the marketing mix for every company and for the company that gets it right, there’s immediate competitive advantage. In a tough economic climate, digital marketing techniques are at the heart of the marketing strategy.