The world of digital marketing has changed drastically, but no matter what precipitates the shift and how huge the impact is, your business should always be ready to adapt. May it be a shift in the economy, buyer behavior, or trends -- as a digital marketer, what you always have to do is stay on top of things and be prepared to adjust your strategy.
1. Review and Redefine Digital Marketing Goals and Objectives
It’s important to check your goals and objectives frequently. These are the most important factors to determine whether your company is achieving the success it’s aiming for or not and what influenced such results. An in-depth report of how your business performed the previous months should give you an overview of how your activities affected your business. This will allow you to take the proper steps in planning your digital marketing strategy.
These reports give you data that plays an important role in presenting the performance of your previous digital marketing efforts. With data, you can:
- Accurately measure the completion of your quantitative goals.
- Pinpoint which digital marketing campaigns or channels work for you and which ones you need to eliminate.
- See how each channel or campaign are contributing to reaching your goals and objectives.
- Make the proper adjustments or changes as you see fit.
Reviewing your digital marketing strategy will let you properly implement changes that work best with the current environment, situation or trend.
As a team, ask yourselves these questions:
- Where are the resources like manpower, time and budget properly allocated? Are they showing expected results?
- How can you improve the allocation of resources to improve the bottom line?
- On a monthly basis, how much did your sales improve? ROI? Conversions?
- Based on your past performance, should you continue your campaigns or focus your resources elsewhere?
- Are your metrics and KPI’s accurate? Do they directly impact the objectives and goals you set?
2. Evaluate your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
KPIs are key to a successful digital marketing strategy. It’s the gear that stirs a campaign and lets you know you’re going in the right direction. Numbers don’t lie. They prove that your digital marketing efforts are tangible and factual, therefore, can be changed and adjusted according to the results. Like your digital marketing objectives, KPIs can also shift according to the situation of the business environment.
Example, if you decide to add social media to your digital marketing activities, then KPIs designed to track your social media efforts should be implemented.
Make sure that your KPIs align with your objectives and these objectives have direct effects on your goals. Why is this important? It’s because it’s not just about setting numbers, but determining the right numbers to track that is more helpful for the team to succeed.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What are your goals?
Clear goals that are immediately defined at the beginning will make it easier to strategise and plan your move. What do you want to achieve and how are you going to achieve it?
- What are the goals of the digital marketing strategy and the goals you want a particular platform to achieve?
Every platform, may it be Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Instagram or Tiktok, have different effects on people. You have to do your research first and make sure that whatever element you include in your strategy has a direct impact on your main goals.
- What are the KPIs related to your goal?
Here are some metrics to keep in mind:
- For Email Marketing: No. of emails delivered, no. of emails opened, click-through-rate (CTR), unsubscribed, conversion rate.
- For Website: Organic traffic, CTR, Impressions volume, average time on page, bounce rate, conversation rate.
- For Social Media: Active followers, clicks, likes, shares, comments, profile visits.
Different goals have different KPIs, the same thing applies if you choose to use multiple platforms. The most important thing is to keep every single member of your team aware of all the KPIs that need to be tracked.
3. Update your buyer’s persona and buyer’s journey
Your buyer’s persona can change following the change in the environment, this includes trends, shift in the demand curve and more. Updating them is necessary so that you don’t fall behind the competition.
Buyer personas represent your actual customers, or at least they are the closest embodiment of your clients. Having a clear buyer persona allows you to segment your content in a way that it speaks to the different personas your brand targets.
- Put yourself in their shoes. In updating your buyer persona you have to walk in their shoes and think why a buyer would look for your brand and website. How are they going to access it? Is it through desktop or via their mobile devices? Are they tech savvy?
Tip: A/B testing is a great way in finding out what your actual clients behave and perform.
- Review their psychographics. Knowing the age, gender, ethnicity, employment status is one thing, that’s the demographics part, you have to dive deeper and aim to reach a broader audience. Now is the time to look at the psychological angle and see how your audience behaves.
Ask these questions:
- What are their pain points?
- What makes them respond? What are their priorities at the moment?
- If they are already your client, why did they convert in the first place?
In the process of updating the buyer’s persona, you have most likely gone through the buyer’s journey. This is the process that your target audience go through to reach the point of decision which is to purchase.
In determining the buyer personas that you have decided to target, you have gained information on how they become ‘aware’ of the need for your product or service. Which leads them to ‘considering’ different methods and solutions available for them to solve the current problem. The last part of the journey is the ‘decision’ where the client or buyer have already chosen the solution that suits them.
Mapping out all stages of the buyer's journey is crucial in determining how your customers or potential clients get from point A to point B. Just like a journey that people take in real life, uncertain situations can arise that can lead people to take different routes or just not push through with the journey at all. You have to be on top of these factors in order to adjust and develop a strategy that will close a sale.
4. Optimise your website
Your website will always be the main factor in your digital marketing campaigns. No matter what campaign you’re currently driving, a website will always give your brand the credibility that users will be looking for to finalise their purchase decision. Essentially, a website has the ability to land you the conversion you need.
Your website is like a store, it needs to be visible and people need to know about it in order to sell.
- Align it with your brand persona and values. Now that you have finalised your brand persona and brand voice, it’s important that your website also aligns with them. One example would be choosing images and wording your content so that they align with your brand voice and values.
Simply put, be consistent with your branding and it will gain you familiarity, trust and loyalty.
- Search Engine Optimisation. SEO is no longer optional, it’s now a must if you want your website to rank higher and gain more web traffic. The more optimised your content for search engines, the more Google will prioritise and recommend it. Applying SEO best practices will ensure that your target audience will easily find your website. This includes narrowed keywords, optimising title-tags and meta-descriptions, putting alt-text in all images and making sure that you practice internal linking.
- Blog Frequently. Following the best practices in SEO, producing and updating your content regularly will make sure that your website will always be relevant and more people will be targeted for every new content released.
- Optimise for Mobile and Desktop. Making sure that your website is working perfectly on a website and mobile devices is an absolute must these days. With the growing number of mobile users, more and more people can view your website anywhere and at any time. This rings true for making purchases too.
So there’s really one way to go about this if you want to stay ahead of the competition. Optimise your website so that it performs smoothly on both desktop and mobile.
If you’re not too familiar with choosing the right website builder or building websites on your own, you can always outsource web design tasks to a reputable web design company. This is more advisable considering web design is more or less a one-time service.
- Share it on social media. Social media is always a great way to share new content. Make sure that your blog page has social sharing buttons embedded in it or your business’ own social media accounts are promoting the blog. Social media, in simple terms, gives your content more exposure.
5. Make Local SEO work for you
Local SEO is a crucial element for your store if you want to generate leads and convert them. Visibility has always been the first step in gaining leads and eventually closing a sale. It’s on top of the priority list, that’s whether you’re a Shopify store or you have a physical bricks-and-mortar in a certain location.
Now that everyone is finding things on Google more than the directory, you should capitalise on this as a local business owner. Think of it this way, a quick search will put major brands and establishments carrying these brands in your potential customer’s line of sight, but you can compete when you optimise your local presence. What does it mean? It means with Local SEO, you can compete against large corporations operating in the same location you’re targeting, and have your business more visible to local consumers.
6. Know when to apply PPC and Social Media Ads
The strategy for most businesses, especially at the beginning is to spend money on paid advertising to generate some traffic. This is initially correct, but won’t be sustainable if there is no long term marketing strategy and proper SEO. Paid advertising or pay-per-clicks are ads that appear on top of the SERPs and it will keep doing so as long as you pay for it.
This will give you leads but will not ensure they are quality leads or those who are looking for the services you are specifically offering.
Unlike organic traffic where the people who tend to land on your website intentionally searched for you, PPC is a strategy that works well if used in a timely manner. Like mentioned above, it’s a good strategy to use if you have a new business you want to promote. It’s also a great strategy for retargeting customers, this way, they promote products or services based on a customers’ browsing history.
7. Look into prioritizing earned media
Earned media can come from positive online reviews, user testimonials found in social media, mentions, and tags, blog posts and reviews. Why is earned media important?
Unlike paid advertising, earned media is coming from a personal perspective of real people. Today, our buying decisions are greatly influenced by people close to us or what we read online, more specifically, stories about people’s experiences about products we’re interested in. A research done by hubspot revealed that fifty seven percent of people in the US trust their families and friends the most and what they have to say about a new product or service and about one third of buyers prefer what they find from Google.
With changes in the environment, economy, technology and trends constantly happening, the impact these factors have on the digital marketing industry will always push for modification in goals and priorities. Be open to change and learn to adapt. No matter the change though, the customer should always be the front and center of your priorities. It’s not just to sound cliche.
The first step in planning any marketing campaign is always about knowing your customer. This includes where they are, and how they will get to your product or services. Have that as the framework of your strategy then implement the advice stated above, and you’ll find yourself converting leads in no time.