05 Nov How to set up your Digital Marketing strategy for 2018 to guarantee you the best ROI
Digital marketing is the gift for your business that keeps on giving.
As your business grows, develops, and becomes more sophisticated; digital marketing practices progress in line with this giving you a constant stream of new and unique options available to get your product or service in front of the right people.
As each year passes, digital marketing tactics become more cutting-edge in line with a combination of developments in technology and innovative thinking of industry leaders which gives you more opportunity to gain online market share.
Digital marketing is the only way to stay ahead of the competition in the modern business world. If you plan and execute your strategy well, you’ll get more traffic and revenue. However, if you don’t, you’ll lag behind and send your prospects straight over to your competitor.
The best bit about any digital marketing strategy is that there are no limits to the number of prospects you can reach. If, that is, you get savvy about your approach.
Regardless of the extent of your digital marketing knowledge and skillset, it’s in the interests of your business that you stay up-to-date with the ever-evolving techniques and you need to start planning for 2018 NOW to make sure your brand and product stays ahead of the competition.
The holiday season is upon us, and as soon as it’s over, you need to be ready to deploy your digital marketing strategy for 2018. Trust me, as we go into the New Year, you’ll need something more than the holiday spirit to keep your prospects engaged!
Here are some tips that can help you plan a successful digital marketing strategy for 2018 that will have your prospects signing up for your product or service in their droves.
1. Identify the Most Successful Strategies
If you were paying attention to us last year and you’re already an established business, you’ll know that it’s essential that you continue to identify the most successful strategies for your business. Whatever the year, this is never going to change.
Every year, you should look at your previous and current campaigns to identify what’s working well for you. Even if something didn’t provide you with the best results, that doesn’t mean you should let it go. By analysing the strengths and weaknesses, you may be able to make tweaks to create a campaign that will reach its highest potential. Determine the factors that worked well, those which didn’t, and come up with ways to improve and optimise any that could work better.
2. Identify the Best Platforms for Your Industry
Some digital marketing strategies and platforms are essential regardless of your industry. These include things like SEO, paid ads, social media marketing and content marketing. You should also have a presence on the top social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. However, some platforms and strategies work particularly well for specific industries and the golden rule for 2018 is not to spread yourself too thin.
There’s a lot of content out there, the amount of which is growing by the second, and you may have already noticed that the platform owners are getting smarter about who they’re showing yours to. If you try and get yourself seen everywhere by producing too much slap-dash, average-at-best content, you risk getting overshadowed by your competitors who are providing content that’s of a much higher quality than yours.
Spend time creating strategic content and display it where your market is. Focus the bulk of your efforts and money on these areas to get the best results. For example, LinkedIn is an excellent platform for a B2B company whereas Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube are recommended for the fashion, food and beauty industries.
3. Conduct a Full Analysis of Your Previous Campaigns
Again, a thorough analysis of your previous marketing campaigns is something that should occur at least annually and will help you understand any mistakes you made in the past.
You should identify where you have room for improvement and what aspects of your campaign you can optimise significantly. Sometimes businesses invest money in campaigns that don’t work for them and continue to do so because they don’t realise that their strategy is ineffective. You can avoid such mistakes if you conduct regular analysis of your data to make sure you’re achieving your goals. Tools such as Google Analytics are extremely valuable and will help you evaluate your metrics and provide insight into your market. A knowledge of how to use analytic tools is essential moving into 2018.
4. Understand the Funnel
The funnel. There’s no way you haven’t heard people talk about the funnel. In fact, you’ll have heard me talk about the funnel if you were paying attention last year. If you’re not sure what to do with it, 2018 is your time to understand how you can use and apply the marketing funnel in your digital marketing campaign to your best advantage.
It’s important to understand how your customers reach your website and what converts them. A sales and marketing funnel will give you the best understanding of the customer’s journey to you and, also, help you understand where you should use different marketing strategies. Here’s a brief look at what a functional sales funnel should look like:
Top – The top of the funnel represents the time when your customers first came into contact with your brand and began their journey towards a purchase. At this stage, you need to stand apart from the competition and grab the customer’s attention as quickly as you can. You can achieve this through SEO and paid ads.
Middle – The middle of the funnel is your sales portion. This is where you have to convince your customers that your product is worthwhile, and that they should make a purchase. Ways to satisfy your customers include great content, attractive offers, a good website design, and a watertight sales pitch. This is the part where you’re likely to lose the most number of customers if you don’t meet their needs efficiently.
Bottom – The bottom portion of the sales funnel has the least amount of people with the most amount of value as most of them are converting traffic. Your goal at this stage is to retain their attention and provide a strategy that makes sure they complete the transaction. You can do this by making the sales process easier by optimising the cart experience and offering good payment and shipping options. If customers abandon the cart, you can use a retargeting approach and reach out to them once again and remind them of their interest.
5. Establish a Profile of Your Target Audience
Your target audience can change over time, and their behaviour can change with passing trends, and that’s nothing new for 2018. What is new is that you must, now more than ever, continue to reassess your target audience and stay on top of current trends. Your target audience profile for 2018, as it is every year, might be different and might require new techniques to ensure your audience is engaged.
6. Research the Latest Tools, Techniques, and Changes
Search engine rules and algorithms are constantly changing and evolving and, in 2018, it’s up to you to stay on top of those changes as they will have a significant impact on your digital marketing campaign.
If you don’t keep your eyes open or if you fail to react quickly, you’ll lose the rankings you’ve worked so hard for in 2017 and see all your hard work go down the drain. You should always keep your ear to the ground and study the latest developments in the marketing industry if you want to stay ahead of the competition.
7. Personalisation must become an essential part of your strategy.
Personalisation enhances the user’s journey, and if you’re not personalising at every opportunity, you’re missing out on valuable chances to build engagement and initiate sales.
The golden rule with personalisation is that it must be appropriate, and it must be correct. OK, so that’s two golden rules, but the point remains, and I can’t stress them enough.
There’s nothing worse than receiving a Dear Mr Tom. Or a hello Mrs Robinson. If you’re going to personalise, you must make sure you have systems in place to guarantee that you capture the customer’s details accurately.
Personalisation, when implemented correctly, will work. What you need to take the time to establish in 2018 is how it will work most efficiently for your audience. Is this in your email communications, website personalisation, or do your audience prefer the target marketing which implies you’ve been taking note of their search history?
We’re fortunate that in 2018 we have easy access to a lot of customer data, so, where possible, I recommend that you use it in your digital marketing strategy. The best way to find out the kind of personalisation that your audience respond well to is to carry out thorough testing.
Trust me when I say that in 2018, personalisation will be the most cost-effective way to increase the capacity of any marketing campaign.
If you follow these golden rules, you’ll have no problem establishing a successful digital marketing campaign for your business that gives you a high return on your investment. To find out how Media Shark can help you in 2018, contact us today.