According to a recent Managing Digital Marketing Research Report by Smart Insights, 45% of current businesses do not have a set digital marketing strategy. Despite the fact that digital marketing has proven to be one of the best and most cost-efficient ways to establish brand credibility and improve sales/conversions, not every business owner considers it worth their time or effort.
There could be a number of reasons behind this, but one of the main ones that most people list is plain fear of failure. They’ve either been burned before, subscribing to a digital marketing strategy that just didn’t do what it promised, or they’ve never tried it, too overwhelmed by the alien terms and complicated tech to even consider giving it a shot.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the five (5) best digital marketing strategies you can do to help push your odds closer to success.
1. Start Segmenting Your Customers
Something most businesses don’t bother doing nowadays is segmenting their customers.
What usually happens is that brands only use two general categories: prospective consumers and current consumers. Leads (whether they’re highly convertible or not) go into the “prospective consumers” category. The moment they make a purchase, they’re ferried over into the “current consumer” base.
And that’s it.
If you want to improve your digital marketing strategy, you need to customize it to better suit your target audience. And even if you have a very specific target audience or buyer persona, not everyone is exactly alike. Even with a 10,000-word description of who your consumers are, you’re bound to find some ranges or “and/or” statements that warrant their own separate category.
Say you’re selling skincare products for males and females in the US and UK, aged 16 to 40. These products cost a little more than drugstore prices, so the males and females buying these products would probably have a middle-class or upper income. You also offer the occasional premium products/packages at a higher price point.
With that one paragraph alone, you could divide your current consumer base and target market into five categories:
- Younger males/females with acne as their primary concern (16 to 28)
- Older males/females with wrinkles/anti-aging as their primary concern (29 to 40)
- Males/females who can afford the premium products
We haven’t even started segmenting customers by their location.
See why is segmenting important? If you only market your anti-acne products to your entire audience, the older customers will think you don’t have anything else for them, and they’ll run on over to your nearest competitor. But if you only market your anti-aging creams? The teenagers and young adults will assume you’re an “old” brand, and will start looking for alternatives.
You stand to lose an important demographic simply because you failed to segment. Remember; even if you sell highly specialized items to a very specific market, one size still does not fit all.
2. Never Neglect Your Metrics & KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
Measurability is just one of the many, many reasons people love digital marketing. Unlike traditional marketing where you could maybe track the success of a campaign using the number of flyers you handed out measured against the number of sales for that month, digital marketing has dozens of quantifiable metrics to gauge a strategy’s effectiveness.
Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs, can give you incredibly informative insights regarding your consumer base, target market, and current digital marketing strategy. Given the digital nature of your marketing campaign, these KPIs can tell you—with measurable, quantifiable results—whether or not your marketing efforts are achieving what you want them to.
KPIs can be related to your business objectives or your marketing objectives. But any digital marketing company will suggest that, for the sake of accuracy, you focus on the ones directly related to your marketing. For example:
- # of email subscribers
- # of Instagram/Twitter followers
- # of likes/shares on Facebook posts
- SERP ranking
- # of referrals
- # of 5-star reviews
- # of 1-star reviews
These are just some examples of measurable indicators you can use to quantify your marketing efforts and tell whether or not your current digital marketing strategy is working.
Related Content: How to Choose the Marketing KPI’s That Matter to Your Business
3. Consistent Tracking to Yield Better Data
Now that we’ve established how important KPIs are, we also need to emphasize how crucial it is that you track them regularly and consistently.
There are a hundred different factors that can affect the data you gather: time, date, location, platform, media, etc. Believe it or not, something as simple as posting an hour later than your normal posting schedule can greatly affect the amount and quality of engagement you receive on a post. Sending out an email on Friday morning versus sending one out on Thursday night can affect the click-through rate, the open rate, and the number of responses you receive.
If you want consistent results, you need to adjust your strategy according to consistent data. And if you want consistent data, you need to be tracking your metrics and KPIs consistently. If you decide to manually check how many replies you’ve gotten on an email every hour on a Monday, you can’t just suddenly decide to check the total number of replies at the end of the day on Wednesday or Thursday. Those are two different approaches that will yield two completely different sets of data.
Case in point:
- checking email replies every hour = discovered that you get an average of 3.5 replies every hour, with the most number of replies coming in between 10am and 11am, and then 3pm and 4pm.
- checking total number of replies at the EOD = discovered that you got 18 total new replies on a Wednesday and 14 total new replies on a Thursday
Making sure your tracking system—whether it be via software, dedicated in-house team, or outsourced to another digital marketing company—is set up properly before you even launch your campaign is key to getting solid, measurable, and uncompromised data that you can use to guide your current and future marketing endeavors.
4. Manage Your Resources Effectively
If you want to create a digital marketing strategy that gives you incredible return on investment (ROI), then you need to be aware of said investment. Marketing campaigns that yield favorable results still cannot be considered “successful” if they cost more than you earned on them. To make this really, really simple, let’s say you earned $5,000 in new sales thanks to your latest two-week marketing campaign. Let’s say that $5,000 came from 200 new customers. Not bad for a two-week run, right?
But if that two-week campaign cost you $15,000, then you experienced a loss of $10,000 despite the 200 new sales.
If you want your digital marketing strategy to pay off—literally—then you need to be careful about the funds you allocate for it. Proper resource management is key to creating a campaign that manages to fulfill all your marketing objectives without compromising your budget.
A professional digital marketing company or digital marketer should be able to draw up a viable marketing plan that achieves your ideal outcomes while still keeping your allocated funds in mind. This means finding low-cost options and plan alternatives that don’t sacrifice quality. It also means double-checking every single piece of the marketing plan that you’re investing in to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.
Below are some sneaky digital marketing pieces that could potentially be a waste of your resources:
- Overpriced marketing tools. SEO tools, SEM tools, and website analytics tools (hint: Google Analytics, Yoast, Smylelytics, HubSpot CRM, and Hootsuite are just some examples of free digital marketing tools that are factually proven to deliver top-tier results)
- Paying for software duplicates. If you have G Suite (which includes Google Drive), then you don’t really need to pay for a premium Dropbox account. Or if you have TweetDeck set up for your Twitter, why do you still need to pay for a Buffer subscription?
- Multiple A/B tests when the campaign is live. There are tools and platforms that can help you perform multiple A/B mock tests for free—or for very little cost. Do not run actual live tests (i.e., PPC ads, social media ads, premium software features) when you’re not a hundred percent sure that you’re going to push through with it—doesn’t matter if it’s just $10 or $15 a day; that’s still your money that you’re
Budget bloopers like these can be avoided simply by taking the time to research all your options and piece together the ones that best fit your strategy. Using uninspiring, irrelevant, or overpriced tools to reach potential customers that are barely engaged can be a horrible waste of resources.
5. Check Your Content: Is it Relevant?
Content marketing is a digital marketing strategy that is arguably one of the best ways to establish your brand’s authority and encourage brand-consumer interaction. Whether it’s a blog, a podcast, a video, or a social media post, it’s simply been proven that people love content.
However, not all content is created equal. Thanks to how saturated the market is, competition can be pretty stiff (read: almost impossible). You’re fighting to put your content out in front of your target market while your competitors are doing the exact same thing. And if both your content is pretty much the same thing, then chances of your audience consuming your content are 50/50.
They drop lower with each competitor putting out similar content pieces, and, really—who wants odds lower than 50%?
One of the best ways to ensure your pieces get picked over your competitors is to release content that is relevant. Look at social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram—platforms that thrive off of content creation. YouTubers with millions of followers get hundreds of thousands of views every time they upload a video because they know what their audience wants to see. They know what their followers consider “relevant.”
Likewise, use the information you gather from your website analytics, your metrics, and your KPIs to determine what your audience might find interesting, engaging, and worthwhile. Content creation is an art that is tricky to master, even if you have a specific audience in mind. However, once you get the hang of it? It’s a skill that pays well in the long run.
Related Content: UPDATED: An Ultimate Guide to Conducting a Content Audit [FAQ]
Any digital marketing company will tell you that digital marketing takes time. You can certainly speed up your results and push the odds in your favor by investing in top-tier tools or working with experienced industry professionals. However, you still won’t see drastic results overnight. Don’t let this discourage you. Any digital marketing strategy that’s worth doing is worth doing well, and any digital marketing strategy done well is almost guaranteed to deliver quality results.