Marketing in today’s world is confusing. There are traditional offline marketing mediums like print, TV, radio, outdoor advertisements and there are online options such as search engines, blogs and social media. Ideally, your marketing mix should have both offline and online mediums. In this article, let’s focus on the online bit and break it down into smaller chunks. Before we get down to the details, you still need to answer following questions:
Why do you want to do this digital marketing exercise? Branding? Is for any or all of the following: lead generation; sales conversion; repeat customers; new service offering or clearing stock? What are you really trying to achieve? Is that goal long term or short term? What’s the big picture look like? Be clear in about your reasoning. Some say, ‘to make more money’, well, that’s the overall result, not a clear purpose.
Who is your ideal customer? It’s a simple yet difficult question get right. Learn as much about your ideal customers as possible. Be clear about who you want to do business with.
If you have answered the first two questions clearly, this will be an easy one. There are many marketing options available in the digital world. What you choose really comes down to where your ideal audience hangout for the objective you want to achieve. For example, if they are trying to find you via search engines, then you want to focus on Google SEO and SEM, if they are B2B customers, you should focus on LinkedIn or other B2B channels. You can choose a combination of channels to push your message to the right audience.
Once you have decided on the channels, come-up with a series of campaigns reach your goals and allocate how much you want to spend on each one of these campaigns, how long will they go for and how will they communicate your message. You can use a combination of campaigns to complement each other. For example, if you are running a Facebook ad to promote a new product, you can use Google AdWords and online PR campaign for maximum impact. Each campaign should be designed to achieve certain objectives. More importantly, KPI’s for each campaign should be clearly defined.
Once you start a campaign, make sure you track it regularly so that you can make any necessary changes if it’s not working. Sometimes you will have to give it some time to really know the effectiveness of it. Other times, you may be able to spot the difference between various campaigns and allocate more budget to the one that’s performing better.
Just like the offline marketing, you need to try different things to see what works best for your business. Keep trying, keep experimenting, keep fine-tuning. Marketing (any kind) is one of the core functions of any growth focused organization. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Just focus on the ROI.