Heading into 2022 without an effective digital marketing strategy is akin to setting sail on a cross-sea voyage without sails or a rudder.
You may or may not be making progress, but even if you are, you have little to no control over where you are going, or at what speed you’ll get there.
As we head further into the digital age, you might not realise it, but you’re either directionless or not headed exactly where you need to be going. In an era when everyone is online, it doesn't matter how niche your product is, or how niche your target audience is, effective digital marketing allows you to reach your desired audience, to acquire, and importantly, to retain your customers, to enable company growth.
The Ingredients of a Digital Marketing Strategy
There are seven main ingredients that go into a digital marketing plan: brand strategy, search marketing, social media marketing, digital advertising, digital PR, digital partnerships, and digital messaging. Each of these categories can then be broken down into brand, paid media, owned media, and earned media.
Finding the right balance between the seven channels and four categories is crucial, and no two businesses will need the same mix. In order to really optimise your online marketing strategy, it should also be integrated with more traditional marketing channels as and when applicable. Each avenue that you pursue MUST bring value to your business.
The need for an effective digital marketing strategy has been compounded by the knock-on effects of the pandemic, businesses now more than ever need to see a return on their investments, and yet many will have seen their marketing budgets trimmed somewhat.
This highlights the need for a cost-effective solution and makes reaping the rewards of your digital marketing strategy imperative. Everything needs to work. There's no room for dead weight in digital marketing.
In our view, in order to be truly effective, a digital marketing strategy should comprise of two marketing strategies. Brand marketing, which defines a company’s reputation, values and offerings, while enhancing credibility and trustworthiness. The goal is to prompt an emotional response from the consumers, increasing loyalty and motivating customers to buy. And then performance marketing, which deals in the realms of concrete data, analysing what works and importantly, what doesn't based on certain, granular metrics, such as lead generation and conversion rates.
The right blend of both performance and brand marketing in your online marketing strategy will shorten the ‘awareness to spend’ path for the end consumer, and in order to do this, you will need to boost your brand awareness, to enable the low-cost lead acquisition, before clinically converting, retaining, and reactivating your customers, which will lead to incrementally growing lifetime customer value. Which in turn, will lead to business growth.
Despite what you may think, there are no digital marketing dark arts, no hidden secrets that agencies won’t tell you. The key to an effective online marketing strategy is simple. Know your online audience, be aware of your market share, optimise using analytical data, operate using the correct, and all relevant platforms and be aware of, and where possible, stay ahead of competitors.
This is all done using good old fashioned hard work. A little online elbow grease if you will. It takes time to formulate a proper plan, you must analyse what is currently working and what is not, and why. Find out what your competitors are doing, what is working, and why. Use data, the more the better, data does not lie, and when read correctly, can help to identify trends, areas that are working, and areas that are not.
Don’t be directionless. Don’t head up the creek without a paddle. And don't head into the remainder of 2022 without a proper digital marketing strategy in place.
About WilsonCooke: WilsonCooke is a performance marketing agency based in Manchester, UK and independent since 1990. WilsonCooke is the brave agency for brave brands... brands that are ready to be challenged, reimagined & reinvigorated. We believe in transparent, flexible and results-focused objectives. If you want your brand to be bolder, bigger and stronger - let’s start an adventure together.