Whilst traditional marketing methods such as direct mail and print advertising are seeing a decline, digital marketing is taking on the baton with as many as 70% of consumers searching online to find their products and services. Is your digital strategy up to scratch? And how should you be measuring it to make sure you get the return you need to make it profitable?
Take a look at our top 11 tips to boost your digital strategy. If you are already using this medium to market your brand are you covering all the bases to reach your sector?
The key to a successful email marketing campaign is to segment your data and target each sector with a specific message. Be relevant to your reader and your responses will improve. Be creative with your subject lines and offer the reader something to think about rather than just flooding them with offers and incentives. Tracking is vital in email marketing, make sure you are using a mailing system that offers full analytics such as open rates and click-throughs. This is the key to making ongoing improvements for the next campaign and contacting potential clients who you know have opened your email.
It is essential to deliver a highly targeted message within this market as it is a highly personal device. Keep your offerings short and informative, SMS marketing is best used in the form of reminders such as servicing and renewal dates. If you flood your clients with meaningless offers rather than important messages that require a response you will get negative feedback rather than the response you need. Remember to track your responses.
3. Portal Advertising
Does your brand need to be on a portal site? These sites have the benefit of national advertising to get the traffic they need but will your products and services be lost among the masses and get listed against your competitors? Depending on your market it may make sense to try a portal for a few months and measure how many enquiries turn into actual traded business. By tracking telephone calls and web activity you could effectively monitor this channel and decide whether or not your focus should be third party online advertising, or standalone advertising with a strong search marketing strategy.
4. Search engine marketing
The key to this activity is to make it relevant. If your business is local, remember this when optimising your website and think about using local search phrases. Consumers looking for servicing or hairdressers are more likely to type in “hairdressers Croydon” than just hairdressers. Focus your keywords as much as you can to get a better result. Fill your website with relevant content and keep it regularly updated. Try to get good quality high page rank websites to link to your site and remember that quality is better than quantity. Don’t be tempted by link campaigns that may get you penalised and do more harm to your search position than good. Use an analytics package to track your visitors and don’t forget to track your phone calls.
5. Social networking
Whether you are tweeting, developing a facebook business page or blogging, make it relevant to your market and give your followers something to read. The main objective from this activity is to drive traffic to your website, so offer articles, insights and offers that will appeal to the market you are targeting. Try using news sites to get important information that your sector will want to know about. Social networking is all about sharing information so make sure this is at the heart of your strategy. Talk to us on Twitter.
6. Pay per click
Analyse your keywords, your competition and your advert copy. If you get this form of advertising right it is a sure fire way to almost guarantee a steady stream of enquiries. The great thing about pay per click is that you can make changes instantly and switch it off when you need to. Split-test your campaigns before allocating large amounts of budget. Run two different landing pages and advert copy and assess which one brought about the most conversions. Once this has been decided you can allocate a larger chunk of your budget to this activity. Don’t forget to use phone tracking and analytics to monitor your activity.
7. Landing pages
Think about where visitors will end up when they click on a paid for or organic search engine listing. If they have searched for “used Audi A3” and the page they go through to is your home page with no sign of a used Audi A3, they will exit the page and search for it on someone else’s site. If, however you lead them to a page on used car offers that includes the Audi A3 or at least the ability to search for it, you will get a better response. Include a bold call to action with the opportunity for the visitor to contact you using a simple form or trackable telephone number.
8. Your website
Driving traffic to your site is the main objective of a sound digital strategy, however if your website is not up to scratch with all the latest offers and information your new clients are after, you won’t see a return for your efforts. Make sure you update your website regularly with promotions, a strong call to action and information that will drive new clients into making an enquiry. Most importantly use tracking in the form of analytics to monitor the traffic and watch for increases in activity and bounce rates to keep your website fresh and ready for incoming traffic. Don’t just monitor online enquiries; your clients may prefer to call you so measure the response to your digital strategy using telephone tracking and dynamic numbers.
Sign up to Google Analytics to keep an eye on how your digital strategy is affecting your traffic and conversions. This is where you will be able to see the fine detail of what’s really happening with your website and how well it is being received. Firstly the number of visitors, conversions and exit or bounce rates will be your main concern and this is where you will learn if your pages are up to scratch and appealing to your visitors. Be ready to make changes to your call to action and ask outside opinion on how it reads, it’s difficult to remain objective when you are so close to a project.
10. Traditional methods
Direct mail still has a place in your digital marketing strategy. Use it to drive traffic to your website by encouraging new clients to sign up to your latest offer or promotion on the website. People are less willing to telephone from a letter or mailing campaign without first looking on a website to find out a bit more about whom is contacting them. Use this process as a call to action and drive your targets to contact you through your website. You will still get telephone calls too so use a memorable trackable telephone number so you can measure your responses.
Ensure you have a response strategy in place to deal with both on and offline enquiries resulting from your digital marketing strategy. How long does it take to respond to an online enquiry that arrives via email? When the telephone rings are your team ready to handle a new client that has done their research online and is ready to trade? Make sure these methods are in place or you could lose those enquiries you worked so hard to generate in the first place. Make simple improvements to the way your team handle new business enquiries by listening to the calls and highlighting areas that may need improvement.