Given that 82% of consumers use websites and examine online reviews in their search for products and services, and 25% use social media and blogs for product discovery, services and brands, it’s no surprise that if your business doesn’t have a solid digital strategy in place, it needs to strongly consider doing so.
The current shift towards a digital landscape and a convergence of digital technologies is our reality. Many companies have traditional forms of marketing in place as well as smatterings of the digital variety in the form of a social media presence, for instance. This is not enough. To stand out from your competitors in an increasingly crowded online space, you’ll need a well-considered and executed strategy to achieve your goals.
What are the benefits of digital marketing?
“Fine”, you may find yourself thinking, “but surely digital marketing is going to cost an arm and a leg when my business has been doing fine using purely traditional marketing?” The truth is that although you may have initial costs to bear, digital marketing is generally more cost effective than traditional marketing.
Firstly, you get more bang for your buck through digital. When you put up a billboard advertising your services, for instance, you’re paying to reach the eyes of every consumer who drives past. Not all those eyes, however, belong to your intended target audience. Thanks to the sophisticated methods through which we can target consumers online, you can ensure that you pay only for your ads or content to reach your ideal consumer.
Secondly, consider the cost of producing that billboard or running a print ad. Design costs are merely one portion of the total cost, before we get to publishing, printing and distribution. With digital, once the design is done, it’s predominantly a matter of uploading the content to the relevant channels and then targeting the right audience.
Research is requisite
How do digital marketers know where the ideal customer for a specific brand will be? This is where strategic decision-making comes into play. A digital marketing strategy begins with in-depth research into a host of areas, such as where your target audience spends time online (Instagram, Google or Twitter, for example), what forms of communication they like to receive (email, SMS, or WhatsApp), and the manner in which they like to be communicated to (types of imagery, tone of voice, look and feel).
Sometimes digital strategists still have further research to do as they implement campaigns. One of the most critical benefits of the digital space is that it allows us to understand exactly the type of action that consumers have taken on our ads. How many people clicked through to the website? How many viewers stayed tuned for more than 5 seconds of your Facebook video? At what point in the consumer journey did the customer quit making their online purchase? Since digital gives us this exact information, we can identify consumer pain points in order to rectify them.
If we are unsure which artwork or copy our Instagram audience will respond to best, we can put out two versions of an ad, and thanks to A/B split testing, we can see which version performed best. Similarly, if we are not sure which of our target audiences will be most likely to make an online purchase, we can test different audiences and find out.
Crafting customer-centric user journeys
Digital research doesn’t just help us sell products or create awareness; it improves the customer’s experience of the brand. A well-conceived digital strategy takes a customer-centric approach at every stage of the consumer journey. As discussed earlier, online data generated by tools such as Google Analytics shows digital strategists where customers are falling off in their online journey. A winning digital strategy takes these insights into account to ensure that there is value for the customer at every step. This value can be informing the customer about a service that may help them, exciting them about a product that will benefit them, or engaging them with your brand proposition.
With the online space being so quantifiable, digital strategy involves measuring the success of a campaign against a host of metrics. Industry benchmarks indicate how well your brand is performing and where there is room for improvement. Digital strategy involves conducting a detailed competitor analysis to help determine the goals that are set for your company. Each tactic of the digital strategy can then be measured in terms of its success relative to the ROI.
Rallying around a vision of success
A digital strategy can play a key role in aligning stakeholders around a core vision. The strategy outlines an image of success that employees can rally around as they play their part in working toward that vision. Being able to refer back to this blueprint results in a consistent brand message and image, which in turn builds consumer trust.
Overwhelmed by digital?
The world of digital evolves so fast, that it can often seem overwhelming with a plethora of opinions and voices vying for your attention.
Cut through the noise with V5 Digital.
As one of the leading digital marketing agencies in Windhoek, we specialise in crafting fine-tuned, clear, agile digital marketing strategies to help your business succeed. Don’t hesitate to contact V5 Digital for a free assessment or to help you decide whether investing in a digital marketing strategy is the right next step.