How to Create a 360-Degree Digital Marketing Strategy
October 10, 2017
A digital marketing strategy is important for your business
In today’s digital world, a digital marketing strategy is not only a necessity but a must for small businesses. As a small business owner, it has become so critical for the growth of your business to have a 360-degree view of your potential customer as any missed opportunity could mean a lost sale.
As a result, a digital marketing strategy needs to have a 360-degree view of the customer. You have to think about which digital channels your target audience is using, where they spend their time and what the customer journey is to your website, the central sales, and marketing hub of your digital marketing campaigns. A 360-degree view implies that you are leaving no gaps in your strategy for potential customers to fall into the cracks.
You could be emailing clients, sending them personalised content such as newsletters, scheduling social content and optimising your website’s SEO to rank organically on search engine results pages. All of these form part of the areas of focus for your digital marketing strategy. However, if one critical element is missed you could be losing out on potential quality leads.
In this blog post, we will break down the eight essential elements of a successful digital strategy, which includes:
- SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
- PPC (Pay Per Click advertising)
- Customer communications
- Outbound email campaigns
- Inbound lead nurturing
- Social posting
- Content and content marketing
- Website landing pages
All of the above elements are puzzle pieces to a successful 360-degree digital strategy. We have based this blog post on an infographic from Wheelhouse Advisors. This information was collated from a number of different sources including Search Engine Journal, Social Media Today, Aberdeen, Sales Force and New Voice Media among others.
1: SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
When you take this into consideration, not having a presence in organic search engine results, or not being on the first page of Google for a keyword or phrase, makes finding your business difficult for your potential customers. SEO helps you to gain both brand awareness and increase organic website traffic. Your competitors and big businesses have already invested a lot of budget into optimising their websites for the likes of Google, and are taking up top spots on SERPs. Your business also needs to be there.
SEO makes your website more visible in organic search engine results and naturally increases your website traffic. When you do audience research and know the keywords and phrases your target audience uses, and align this data to the services you offer, then you can start optimising your website content. But firstly, you have to conduct research and look at tools like Google Search Console to see what your focus keywords are and then from there, you can determine your rankings. Track these rankings to see how you steadily improve and move up the ranks on target terms that drive valuable web traffic to your business.
2: PPC (Pay Per Click Advertising)
Did you know that the top three paid advertising spots receive 41% of clicks in search engine results? Perhaps now is the time to get onboard with PPC and mobilise it to effectively market your small business.
With PPC, you essentially pay for every click your advert, display banner, or text ad receives on websites, social platforms and, of course, search engine results. The beauty of PPC is that it is you can easily and specifically target your audience and see results quickly.
It is a quick fix, in comparison to SEO which takes longer to see results, for small businesses to gain online traction and brand awareness for their products and services. Within a day, you will have adverts appearing in search engine results for the keywords you wish to attract potential customers with.
However, once you run out of budget your ads will stop running. That is the only true downside to PPC, but for small businesses, it is a great way to get your best foot forward in the digital marketing door.
3: Customer communications
The importance of after-sales service in any industry cannot be stressed enough. This also applies to small businesses such as your own. Maintaining customer communications should form part of your overall digital marketing strategy. Think about how you are going to continue delighting your customers and retaining them so they stay contracted to your products and services indefinitely.
Effective customer communications are where your business can stand out when compared to bigger companies and competitors. If you are still establishing your business presence, making sure that communication with customers does not end after their purchase can go a long way to differentiating you from the rest of the crowd.
So, make space in your digital strategy for dealing with customer communications and implementing effective customer service from end-to-end.
4: Outbound email campaigns
91% of consumers check their email on a daily basis according to recent research, which means that you should be including outbound email campaigns in your digital marketing strategy. Perhaps email marketing is not as fashionable as it once was, but your business needs to take advantage of all digital marketing avenues to gain the upper-hand on the competition.
Email campaigns are still an excellent way to communicate and talk to existing customers and more importantly, to gain the trust of and develop relationships with prospects. Email marketing can be your way of effectively nurturing leads with customised and personalised content that speaks to their pain points directly. This type of lead nurturing approach will help your small business to stand out from the rest of the crowd vying for the attention of your potential customers.
5: Inbound lead nurturing
One of the biggest concerns for your business should be effectively nurturing your leads across all digital channels. A 360-degree approach to digital marketing implies that you are going to cater to the needs and wants of your targets across digital marketing platforms indiscriminately.
Inbound lead nurturing involves providing a lead in your contacts database with relevant, consistent and quality content to lead them further down the sales funnel so that they eventually convert and become repeat customers. Do in-depth research on your audience and craft content (blog posts, eBooks, whitepapers, etc) that addresses customer issues at every stage of the sales funnel.
One of the easiest ways to mobilise your online presence as a small business is to take full advantage of the relevant social media platforms your target audience makes use of. By creating the relevant social media platforms, you will be able to distribute your highly-targeted content to your audience more easily and simply.
Social media platforms like LinkedIn are powerful for generating quality B2B leads and other business leads. But do not forget to invest time and money in other channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, all of which appeal to different target markets, age groups and users. Twitter and Facebook are great tools for promoting your business with a low-cost CPC, and Instagram is great for promoting lifestyle brands.
Record in your digital strategy how you plan to interact and engage existing and potential customers. Detail the language and tone you are going to utilise for different social platforms and record what works and what does not for your business in your particular industry.
7: Content and content marketing
Content is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal. Create content that speaks to the needs and pain points of your customer, as we mentioned before. Use different types of content, test and see what works for you. Infographics, videos, tutorials, social posts, how-to guides, blog posts and eBooks are all ways to test what your audience responds best to and leads to more lead generation opportunities. The key to this is producing relevant and quality content, which will always attract people to your website, products, and services.
But it is not only about creating content, you also need to mobilise and distribute your content effectively and this is where the unrivalled power of content marketing comes into play. Distribute your content on the digital platforms and social channels where your target audience is most active, and from there share your content across different places online (such as groups, forums, and listings).
Keep in mind that the final destination that all your digital marketing campaigns lead to is your website. No matter if it is a landing page or a services page with a web form, you need to provide the visitor with an excellent and seamless website user experience. Make sure that you effectively place calls-to-action across all your highly trafficked webpages and vital pages such as service pages, and even on blog posts in order to capture leads to add to your lead nurturing process.
Your website content needs to be optimised for SEO purposes so people can easily find you organically. Not only that, your website has to be mobile responsive in order to scale well and be easy to navigate on an array of mobile devices. A great website makes a good first impression with website visitors and always remember that usability trumps style when it comes to developing a website.
Once you follow through with all of the above recommendations, you can then start tying together the loose ends in your overall digital marketing strategy. If you need extra tips for improving your digital strategy, we also suggest reading this blog post or downloading our Digital Marketing 101 Whitepaper which is an excellent resource for all marketers.