For nearly a decade, marketing is increasingly going digital. Companies all around the globe are leveraging the power of the Internet in order to reach out to very wide audiences across different continents. Furthermore, they take advantage of internet channels in order to increase the visibility of their marketing campaigns and to maximize the value of their advertising budgets. A viral post on Facebook or LinkedIn can easily lead to millions of views i.e.to an overall visibility that is simply not possible through conventional advertising channels. In this context, enterprises are seeking the most effective and productive ways to boost their digital marketing strategies and to get the most out of their internet advertising budgets. To this end, they had better follow best practices and lessons from the leaders.
1. Mobile-First and Up-to-Date Web Sites
Chances are that a company’s web site is not up to date. This can be a serious set-back to the implementation of effective digital marketing campaigns, as the corporate web site is one of the primary channels of an enterprise’s web presence. Therefore, companies must ensure that they have up-to-date and user friendly web sites, which feature a clean and modern design. During the last couple of years, it’ also important for web sites to be developed based on mobile-first principles, as most visitors access web sites via their smartphones rather than their desktop or laptop computers. As a result, a large number of legacy web sites need to be redesigned and rebranded with mobile users (i.e. the biggest audience) in mind.
2. Search Engine Optimization
As a web site needs to be easily discoverable by internet users, companies should consider investing in SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This includes allocating budget for paid advertisement (e.g., Google AdSense), while at the same time optimizing the web site in order to rank as high as possible in organic searches. Web site optimization hinges on the engagement of experienced and knowledgeable SEO consultants with deep understanding of the rules that drive the ranking of search results. In several cases, SEO will end-up requiring extra budget for listing or linking your web site to other high traffic sites as this can typical improve search rankings.
3. Develop a Social Media Strategy
Social networks are nowadays giant platforms with billions of members, which provide the most exciting marketing opportunities. Thus, a successful marketing strategy should strive to exploit their power as much as possible. To this end, companies need to develop a coherent social media strategy. This should select and prioritize the channels and sites that are fit for purpose for the company’s marketing strategy. Accordingly, it should define when and in what frequency content should be posted. Likewise, the strategy shall specify who should post content and who in the company will be in charge of sharing it to relevant audiences such as partners and prospective customers. In specifying the above elements of a social media strategy, a company needs to understand their customers and their stance against the mainstream social media platforms.
4. Write High Quality, Relevant and Actionable Content
The effectiveness of a digital marketing campaign is directly related to the quality of the posted content, especially in cases of content-based marketing campaigns. High quality content means paying attention to every detail, from spelling, grammar and language, to writing style and uniqueness of the content. Moreover, it’s important to produce relevant content i.e. content that falls within the interest of your target audiences. Relevant content is much more likely to capture attention, while helping companies gaining more followers. In some cases, successful companies consider hiring professional content writers that help them produce high quality content.
5. Content Repurposing and Reuse for Omnichannel Marketing
The implementation of a digital marketing strategy is likely to need large amounts of content that will be consumed through different channels. To this end, companies should avoid writing and promoting content items (e.g., articles and blog posts) only once. Rather they should try to enhance, revise and repurpose content items towards getting maximum benefits from them. In this direction, a content item may be enhanced with images, quotes and questions as a means of posting them in different channels and times. Likewise, it can be used along with relevant multimedia content like videos, podcasts and infographics. This leads subsequently to the generation of more views, likes and shares. Overall, the repurposing and reuse of content items can serve as a basis for the implementation of omni-channel marketing, where multiple channels are used to reach out to target audiences.
6. Leverage A/B Testing
There are many cases where companies must compare alternative on-line choices such as the front end of a web site or the “motto” to be used for a series of posts. In such cases, enterprises should test the alternative hypothesis in order to compare them based on factual data rather than subjective measures. In this direction A/B Testing can be exploited. As part of this process, potential end-users are presented with the alternative options and they are left to vote for the one they consider best. In this way, enterprises can make optimal choices for their on-line presence.
7. Implement a Continuous Improvement Cycle
A digital marketing strategy is a marathon rather than a one hundred meters race. Therefore, successful companies are the ones that are able to continually improve themselves. To this end, an improvement cycle should be implemented. As a first step, some realistic goals should be set and a mix of activities for accomplishing them should be defined. Accordingly, the achieved results will be audited against the set goals. In cases of deviations remedial actions must be instigated, such as allocation of the available marketing budget to a different mix of activities. The latter mix shall prioritize the channels and activities that have the highest effectiveness based on tangible indicators such as the interest and leads that they generate.
Digital marketing is nowadays an integral element of the sales and marketing strategies of modern organizations. However, creating and implementing an effective strategy is still a challenging task, given the plethora of marketing options, channels and activities currently offered to companies. Enterprises should therefore pay attention in allocating their digital marketing budgets to the most effective activities. We hope that our tips can provide an essential boost in this direction.