More than ever before, the internet and technology are changing the way we work and do business. Over the last several years we have seen digital marketing gain considerable momentum as brands adopt new platforms, discover new ways of reaching their audience and new ways of staying relevant.
Digital marketing trends have evolved significantly during this time, now providing small and medium sized businesses the opportunity to finally compete with the big guns in their industry. In today’s landscape it is common to see SME’s embrace a multifaceted digital strategy, combining an array of different channels including SEM, SEO, email marketing, video marketing, social media, content marketing, web development and more. However, in order to fully harness the power of these channels it is vital that brands have an aligned strategy; without one, you risk producing a campaign that does not resonate with your consumers and subsequently, does not achieve your desired business goals and growth.
Action without purpose in the digital space is more often than not a waste of resources and time.
Regardless of the industry you are in, having a digital marketing strategy has never been more important if you are looking to remain competitive, reach your target audience and grow your business. Still need convincing? Keep reading to uncover the 6 key reasons your business needs to devise a digital marketing strategy for 2019.
6 reasons you need a powerful digital marketing strategy
Beyond the few points made above, there are countless reasons your business should be moving with the times and adopt a well thought out digital strategy for the new year. These include:
1 Establishing a clear focus and direction for the year ahead
At the beginning of every year, if you are anything like me, it’s likely that your business has set new goals to achieve over the next 12 months. Your team has come together to think hard about where you want your business to be in the future and consequently established specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based (SMART) goals.
To achieve these goals your organisation needs a clear strategy in place that will act as your guiding light, providing you with focus and direction. For us at Thirst, we decided to put our focus on 4 key areas:
- Winning new clients
- Engaging with existing clients
- Building our talent brand to attract more great people to work in our team
- Internal comms, creating great initiatives for our team to enjoy>
The biggest lesson I have learnt in my 10+ years of self employment is that if you write it down it is more likely to actually happen!
Learn how to set SMART Goals.
2 Planning and allocating your budget more efficiently
Having the right mix of resources and budget is the balancing act that as business owners and marketing managers, we need to manage. Not many people are given an open marketing budget.
By establishing a plan, working out your priorities for the year ahead (aligned to your goals) and selecting the channels that are most likely to connect you with your target audience, you and your team will set yourselves up to plan and allocate your budget in more considered manner. Ultimately, what this means is less chance of budget blow out and more efficiency when it comes to making sure your budget generates an optimal return on investment (ROI).
Remember to set your goals because, as they say, you can’t improve what you can’t measure.
3 Getting to know your customers
Setting and implementing a powerful digital marketing strategy opens up many unique opportunities for businesses that have not always been possible with traditional marketing. One of these opportunities is the chance to get to know your customers better. Use data to tell the story.
Today, many digital marketing channels actually allow you to ask for your audience’s opinion using surveys and polls. This feedback can be invaluable to your business and ultimately help you tailor your offering to ensure a more engaging experience or impressive product for your customers.
Moreover… we now live in the 21st century! Although we might be stating the obvious, most of your customers and prospects are now online. Age isn’t even a barrier anymore as many consumers in older generations are also adopting the internet and discovering the wonders of smartphones. According to Deloitte, as of 2017 over 78% of 65-75 year olds now own a smartphone – a nine point increase from the year prior.
The reality is that 88% of consumers do most of their search online before making a purchase decision. This opens up the perfect opportunity for your business to intercept their decision making process, enter their consideration set and land yourself a sale. Again, conducting consumer research and devising a strategic digital marketing plan will help you determine your customer’s pain points, the journey they take and how you can make that a more seamless experience for them. This information is vital in building a seamless customer journey.
Feel out of your depth? Digital marketing strategies can be complicated, but our team of industry specialised strategists can assist you to set an informed and actionable digital marketing strategy.
Get in touch now!
4 Monitoring your progress
The measurability of digital marketing has greatly evolved the way marketers monitor and respond to campaign progress. With the insight of digital marketing tools, marketers can generate measurable and reliable results and watch consumer behaviour as it unfolds in real time.
Digital Marketing makes it easier than ever to tap into the strengths and pain-points of a live campaign and make changes that rectify unpredicted results or behaviours. No strategy is perfect, so there should always be room within your campaign for optimisation and allowances to further your progress. Having a digital strategy allows you to be conscious of and pinpoint the exact moment your campaign becomes ineffective, ultimately providing the opportunity to learn from and correct misjudgements in behaviour quickly and efficiently
Google Analytics and Facebook Business Manager are two of our essential reporting tool recommendations that allow us to track, monitor and change our campaign material according to informed data and insights. Check them out and start optimising your campaigns now!
Access Google Analytics free courses and learn how to achieve marketing success in their Google Academy.
5 Achieving a greater return on investment (ROI)
It has been proven time and time again that a large budget is not the defining success factor of a number of powerful marketing campaigns, specifically those implemented online.
The true secret to digital marketing success is ROI.
The purpose of marketing at its core is to generate campaign results that exceed the value of resources used to implement the campaign, and achieving this is virtually impossible without a guiding strategy.
A digital strategy will allow you to fully harness the power of your marketing activities through creating an informed plan that utilises the right channels, the right consumers and sets specific goals and pathways to achieve the desired result for your sales funnel (which you can read more about in our 2018 digital strategy blog).
When used correctly digital marketing can be one of the most effective mediums for reaching your consumers in a meaningful way. Implementing digital marketing without an overarching strategy is a huge missed opportunity for ROI success.
6 Surviving the competition!
Let’s be honest, the digital marketing world is a highly competitive space.
It is simply not enough to upload a couple of branded images to social media and hope that viewers will convert. The digital savvy consumer is sophisticated, and they’ve seen it all. SEM, SEO, email marketing, video marketing, social media, content marketing, web development – if you can name it, you best believe it’s been done before.
This threat to your campaign however, is actually a huge opportunity.
One of the biggest perks about digital marketing is that the strategies and techniques of your competitors are out there in the world for you to view, experience and be inspired by. Allow your digital marketing strategy to be inspired by the strengths of your competitors. If you’re not ready to lead, follow!
A digital marketing strategy will allow you to curate a set of channels and activities that will help your brand stand-up to the big guns, and hopefully gain a few loyal consumers along the way.
Ready for action?
Need help creating a digital marketing strategy for 2019? At Thirst Creative we have a team of highly experienced and industry specialised strategists who can assist you to set an informed, actionable and powerful digital marketing strategy. Contact our friendly team today.