What Is The Point Of A Digital Marketing Strategy?
Your Digital Marketing Strategy: A road map to success or a waste of money?
What is someone in the world doing every 1.2 seconds?
Our friends at Google tell us that over the past 12 months over 673 000 searches have been done for the word “marketing”.
That’s a lot of traffic.
Every 1.2 seconds someone in the world wants to know more about how to promote a business.
However – and here’s the fascinating part – only 110 000 people searched for the term “digital marketing strategy”.
Hmm… Why do you think that is?
Well – and we’re just guessing here – we reckon it’s because people generally don’t know that they need a digital marketing strategy.
In this series we’ll be unpacking marketing strategies and we’ll find out what they are, why we need them, and how they work.
If you were to get in your car and drive to a little town called Alice, what would you do first? My money is on you grabbing a map or programming a GPS of some sort.
Because if you don’t have a map then you don’t know how to get to where you are going.
And that right there is why you need a digital marketing strategy.
A good digital marketing strategy sweeps away all the debris and clarifies the critical information that you need to make your marketing efforts work. It’s a plan of action that will get you to where you want to be.
So what does it look like?
While different businesses will need different things, the basics remain the same.
Can you answer the following questions?
• Who is my target audience? What does a good sales lead look like?
• Where can I find them?
• What questions are they asking? What are their pain points?
• What content do I need to create to speak effectively to them?
• How can I best get this information in front of them?
As much as I hate to admit it, there are no shortcuts.
If you don’t do your homework on the basics – certainly the first three points – then your GPS will be broken. You will create content and send it out to people who don’t give a hoot. Alternatively, you may have your target firmly in your sights but never loose your arrow. They never get to see what you have created because it hasn’t been delivered to them.
So for those small business owners who have been active on social media, blogging until midnight by the light of a flickering candle or have spent their son’s university fees on “SEO best practices” – and who still don’t see results, now you know why.
A strong and clear digital marketing strategy means inbound leads – people who are coming to you to buy what you sell.
Yes, this is a lot of work, and this article is a little like telling a terminal patient to “feel better” and walking away.
But keep reading, we’ll teach you exactly how to strategize like a ninja and get those leads flooding into your inbox.
Identify Your Best Customer
If you live in South Africa then, at some point, you will have had a stranger knock on your window at the traffic lights and offer you a flyer.
If you’re anything like me, you say a polite “no thank you” and leave it at that. (Or you take the carefully designed flyer and glance at it – briefly – and bin it when you get home.) Monkey wrangling, a special offer on shoes, intimate massage, roof cleaning…you name it.
We can’t give you the stats on the success rate of handing flyers out at traffic lights, mainly because there are none. But the point here is that the chances are good that you aren’t interested in this promotion.
Perhaps you aren’t the best customer for this marketing campaign?
This spray-and-pray approach to advertising and marketing is common, but it doesn’t mean that it works.
So how do you find the best customer for your digital marketing strategy?
What does your best customer look like?
Ask yourself – who is my ideal audience? Write down everything you know about your best customers. Gender, age group, location, interests, industry… whatever you know to be true about your target audience.
For example, if you have a retail outlet and sell discounted clothing for babies, then you are likely looking for females between the ages of 20-30, living in a 10km radius of your shop. They will be interested in babies, clothing, children and parenting.
Where do your best customers live?
Once you have identified the people who are most likely to buy from you, you need to find out where they live. By that we mean, where are they online? The best place to start is with social media sites, blogs, and forums. Make as big a list as you can – you will be surprised at how useful it will turn out to be, and how many options it gives you.
On FaceBook search for groups and pages that speak to these people. FaceBook is great for B2C businesses like our baby clothing retailer. If your company sells to other businesses, then you may want to consider LinkedIn as an option.
What is the point of targeting your audience in such detail?
You will find that when you clearly identify the person most likely to buy from you – your best customer – you will start to see your business through their eyes. What language do they use to communicate? What are their pain points? What are their buying habits? This will allow you to create a digital marketing strategy that intercepts them, and show you what content or process will be most effective to gain their attention.
It’s a fascinating process, and yes, it takes time.
But it is only the beginning. What do you do with all of this information?
Enter Content Marketing
According to Seth Godin, “Content Marketing is all the marketing that’s left”.
This is great news!
SME businesses in South Africa don’t have big corporate budgets to spend on their digital marketing strategies. They don’t have a suited marketing team with letters behind their name and unpronounceable titles.
What they do have is a genuine desire to succeed and the ability to tell their own story. They have the power to engage their customers, to connect with real people in an authentic way. To help. To make a difference.
Your content marketing strategy needs to get people talking about you. It needs to make people feel special, to teach them.
As interruptive advertising with its preposterous price tag lies twitching in the corner, story-telling is exploding onto our desktops, mobile phones, and tablets.
Begin today – tell your story.