It’s the Digital Age, whether we like or not! But why shouldn’t we like it?
Things are so much easier and smoother in a technologically-enabled life?
Now, let’s talk about Business.
Decades ago, the business wasn’t as competitive as it is today. Naturally, the players were lesser and the market was less crowded.
Advertising and Promotions, on the other hand, were much more complicated. We had flyers, posters, leaflets, newspapers, magazines, trade journals, broadcast, radio, hoardings, the list goes on and on.
But today, it’s simplified. We have just one primary system. You guessed it! Its called THE INTERNET.
So now the focus has shifted to online marketing strategies, search engine optimization, digital planning, social media visibility and more.
The True Pitfalls on the Road to Success
Once the right product or service is created, audiences are known and distribution is in place, the only deciding factor left is marketing. And believe us, it’s a big one!
If you’re still not convinced about maximizing your marketing efforts, let the experts urge you.
Among the top 5 reasons for failure in business, Eric Wagner, a master entrepreneur, lists 3 that are linked directly to marketing:
a) Lack of dialogue with customers
b) Lack of a USP or communication about it
c) Lack of clear, concise and compelling communication
In today’s times, this situation can lead to hurdles in business, even if you are offering an impeccable product. Seems unfair? Maybe… But the solution is not as difficult as you may think.
Top Marketing Woes Faced By Business Owners
Before we dive into the solutions, here is a list of common issues among brands or businesses:
1. Ineffective Website
Your website is the single, most important tool in your online marketing plans. It depicts your brand, informs your customer, makes purchase possible and establishes long term relationships with a range of audiences.
However, just putting one up is not enough.
It needs to be attractive, secure, optimized, user-friendly, engaging and responsive.
2. Poor Search Engine Optimization
You have a website. It has content. But it’s far from optimized.
So, what is an optimized website?
It’s one that ranks high on the top search engines. Google leads this lot while Yahoo, Bing and others follow. To master SEO, one needs to understand the rules of the game. Google metrics and algorithms are no secret. But they are constantly evolving. Which means your website needs to change with the times.
How do you know if your website is failing?
Simple! It’s rarely visited. Even if it is, either the readers are irrelevant or don’t stay long enough. You hardly get any inquiries via your Contact Us page and the general feedback is nothing to write home about…
3. Lack of Business
This means your website is not getting orders. If you’re running an e-commerce business, your website really needs to sell as it is your only shop. You have no branches and your customers can’t buy your products from anywhere else.
Another aspect of this is a lack of leads or potential business. If you are not getting leads organically, you need to rethink your digital marketing roll-outs.
4. Lack of Creative and Evergreen content
A website is nothing without its content. Images and words both. If you really want to stand out and make those millions, pay attention to this vital aspect. Original, fresh, informative, engaging, relatable, emotional and amazingly creative content is what works. Also, flawless language really helps….
5. No Focus in Digital Marketing Plan
So, you have a website and you curate content regularly. You are active on at least 2 social media sites and there is some regular blogging happening. But you’re unable to attract customers.
This could be due to lack of synergy in your communication. What, when and how you’re saying whatever it is you’re saying! Is it the same via all channels? Are they right channels? Is there a long term plan or do you go with the flow?
All digital plans need to be in tune as the system is the same – ie: everything is on the Internet and in the same place.
6. Lack of Optimized Digital Advertising
Advertising campaigns are no longer just about creative storyboards and catchy tag lines. It all needs to be optimized.
This means following Google Analytics, including the call to action tools, maintaining digital timing, optimizing landing pages and such…
Overcoming Digital Marketing Hurdles
A) Digital Marketing Plan
A digital marketing plan outlines your aims, audiences, communication talk points, positioning, tools and timing. It also gives a road-map to achieve your short and long term goals and a phase-wise investment plan.
Marketing guru Philip Kotler defined a marketing plan years ago as being “ A document on how an organization’s strategic objectives are achieved through specific marketing strategies and tactics, with the customer as the starting point.”
This basic idea holds true even today, even in the digital age.
Speaking of which, this is a good time to check your company’s technical scenario. Is there a well planned, secure and attractive website? Is it user-friendly? Can be opened easily on a mobile phone? Is it fast?
Also, marketing goals are defined. These need to be focused, nothing vague. They, of course, should be attainable. Making unbelievable plans can only lead to disappointment. It helps to break these goals up into smaller ones and set timelines on each. Lastly, your goals need to be measurable. So, don’t be afraid to use financial benchmarks.
Read: The best digital marketing option for your business!
B) Inbound Marketing
This area covers all pull marketing strategies. Hence, the name inbound!
They include all search engine optimization, social media tools, email and lead generation tools, web landing pages and content creation.
Google Blogger and Google Docs are helpful for the content part.
Your inbound marketing also highlights your prowess in the areas of marketing automation and analytics.
C) Digital Advertising
Advertising on the internet follows the rules of AdWords and works in real-time. The variety available includes social media advertising, native advertising, pay per click ads, and video ads.
Here is a depiction of the effect of Digital Advertising on various marketing channels:
A good digital media plan includes a variety of ads types depending on the product or service and audiences.
Read: A comprehensive guide for Google ads!
Now is the time to test the fruits of your labour. Mainly, its about ROI and Key Performance Indicators.
So, create a strong measurement framework that tracks Google Analytics. Check your current set up.
The aim is to reduce your Customer Acquisition Costs and Boost Conversion Rates.
Conversion Rate and Return on Investment
Two accurate and fundamental ways to measure the effectiveness of online marketing efforts is by systematically working out the:
a) Conversion rate ie: how many leads resulting from a digital marketing plan actually went ahead to make purchases.
b) Return on Investment refers to profits gained as opposed to the investment made in online marketing.
Example: If a company spends $1 on marketing and makes $2, that’s a positive ROI!
Conversion can also apply to move a potential customer up the funnel from say a visitor position to a prospect. Hence, it’s about variables.
Another Key Performance Indicator is via Lead Acquisition Costs = (Expected fresh revenue – Margins in operations – Sales expenses – Targeted profit margins) / No. of leads needed.
Typically, a company such as handyman services, e-commerce website, investing between INR 20 to 100 per click, in a paid advertising campaign can expect as much as 1000 clicks per month.
Hence, the investment as compared to gains is minimal.
Summing up, here are a few last minute hacks that can lead to optimal conversion:
a) Landing pages on your website that have a good Quality Score.
This score is also a result of your ad quality (if any), keywords (which there should be) and of course, click through rate and user experience of your landing pages.
b) High-quality content, easy website navigation and optimization. No one appreciates spam-like marketing efforts or non-relevant content. Easy, smooth, effortless user experiences are most vital.
c) A focused content strategy that targets the right people and converts more easily. Apart from website content, enlightening articles, infographics, blogs and case studies are sure to hook audiences better than hardcore selling. Social media can really work to your advantage if you let it!
Hence, online marketing, as opposed to traditional marketing, is based on logical metrics and analytics. Results can be measured regularly, making digital marketing efforts more focused and on point.
To know more about the business success that awaits you, contact us today.