There have been many times in my career where I have had to sit down with my team, and really analyse our digital marketing strategy because it is just not working like it should or like it did in the past.
Regardless of whether you are a small business owner, corporate or professional working in the marketing industry; there comes a time where you have to fix something that is broken in your marketing strategy.
In my opinion, it’s not as simple as just fixing one thing and the rest will fall in place. As soon as you change one thing, it needs to marry up with everything else so it’s important to take everything apart, and start over.
I am going to share with you the key elements of my Digital Marketing Strategy and top tips on fixing a broken strategy.
#1: Understanding My Target Audience
When you are trying to fix a broken digital marketing strategy, you need to go back to the beginning, and really understand your target audience.
You might be reading this thinking that you have the exact same target audience and that this isn’t the reason why your strategy is broken. Think again. You might be right when you think that your target audience is the same but the way they want to be communicated with, may be different.
As technology advances, and the needs of the customer evolves, your understanding of your target customer may become blurred and this will need some fine-tuning.
Reconnect with your audience and find out what their biggest pain point is and also understand the ways in which they are engaging with you as a business.
#2: Defining The Business (again)
How many times have you sat down as a business owner, or marketing professional and defined a business and it’s USP (unique selling proposition)? You are going to have to do this again.
If the way in which you are engaging with your target market is evolving, you need to keep them engaged and offer a consistent message online and that does mean defining your business.
There may be a disconnect between what your customer thinks your business does, and what it actually achieves. Your potential customer wants their pain solved, and you need to be defining your business to achieve that goal.
#3: Social Media Marketing
Did you know that only 57.6% of businesses use Social Media?
What is even more surprising is that 30% of consumers want to support brands online but cannot do so, if a business is not embracing social media.
When I work with business owners and CEOs I notice that there is a huge disconnect. The disconnect is based around connecting with customers online. Staff are often not aligned with the value proposition of a business.
Social Media is more than just posting content, and needs to be a huge part of your digital marketing strategy. To give you a clear understanding around why I use Social Media, and “how” I use it as part of my digital marketing strategy, here are five reasons why.
Customer Service Outlet
Did you know that 1 in 3 social media users prefer social media customer care services to telephone or email? When a potential customer of yours asks you a question on Social Media, you need to be answering this whilst being as personable and trustworthy as possible.
Top Tip: If a customer is complaining about your product/service on Social Media, respond on Social Media. Once you have done this, act rapidly to take the conversation offline from social media, and to either email or a phone conversation. Make it clear on social that you are solving this person’s problem and that it is not being ignored.
To Establish Myself As A Thought Leader
I have members of my audience who have been following everything I do for around 2- 3 years, and only NOW are they ready to spend their money with me. And that’s OK, because I know that trust has been built through being a thought leader, and they will become repeat customers.
To Be Where My Audience Loves To Hang Out
Social Media is being actively used by 3.03 billion people. Your audience ARE on Social Media, which means that you need to be as well. To actually understand where your audience loves to hang out, you need to look at the demographics for each social network, and marry this up with your ideal target customer.
To Build Trust and Credibility Through Consistency
It takes on average eight touch points for an individual to purchase from a business. This means that your potential customer has likely visited your website, your social media accounts and has searched you online. Social Media acts as a place for you to build trust and credibility by offering a consistent message that matches what your website is saying.
To Future Proof My Business
Social Media is not going anywhere, and this needs to be understood. Having an integrated digital marketing strategy with Social Media playing a huge part in the engagement aspect is what needs to happen now, so that the future of your business has a social footprint.
How are you using Social Media and more importantly, are you catering the content you share to your target market? Social Media is all about a two-way conversation and if you are not engaging, this may be a large part of why your digital marketing strategy needs fixing.
#4: Email Marketing
Email Marketing is going to play a huge part in whether your digital marketing strategy is working.
If you are going to use email marketing to engage with your audience, you need to do it the right way. Just sending out email blasts once a month to your whole database, talking about your products/services will not work.
Personalisation is key when it comes to email marketing.
Email marketing can be one of the most powerful tools but the biggest problem is that businesses do not understand how powerful it can be to personalise emails and without the touch of personalisation, you could be missing out on a lot of engagement and new, or repeat customers.
I have spent the last 8 years building an email database, which now has over 17,000 businesses and the one thing I have learnt is the importance of personalisation.
Here are three of my top tips to help you with your email marketing.
Personalise Emails Based On A Scoring System
Email automation in particular, should run itself. This however cannot happen unless you have a lead scoring system in place that defines certain behaviours or demographics. You can “score” your leads however you like, but to be descriptive, use terms like “prospect”, “warm”, “hot”, “buying customer”.
Mapping this will allow you to have control over what each user will receive from you in terms of your email marketing. Base your model on the above, and the demographics (interests, gender, age, location) and their behaviour (attended a webinar, attended a talk).
A merge tag is an algorithm that takes a piece of personal data from a user inside of your email marketing tool, giving you a nice way to personalise an email you send. For example; I will use the first name merge tag in the subject line of an email I send. It will look something like “Come and meet me at [TRADESHOW], Name!”. Inserting the merge tag will take the first name of your contact, and slot it into whenever you use that piece of code.
For a merge tag to work, you are going to have to collect the personal data when doing lead generation. I will always ask for a first name, and email address on any sign up forms I use as I know this is what I need for my merge tag, and to personalise my email communication.
Integrate Your Email Tool With Your Lead Generation Tool
This is really important for me, as I have a lot of lead generation content. I offer different downloads, strategies, courses and other types of content as a free download, in exchange for a name and email address. To make this run smoothly, I integrate my email marketing tool with my lead generation landing pages so that as soon as someone downloads a resource, they then go into the automation funnel which is already set up, and they receive the series of emails relating to what they signed up for.
#5: SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
Search Engine Optimisation is about making your online presence visible to those who are most likely to need your product or service. Understanding your business, target market and product/service is the foundation for a successful SEO strategy (all of which I have covered above).
The way we now need to do our SEO has changed, and this could be a huge factor as to why your digital marketing strategy is not working. The way you create your SEO needs to be done through talking to your customers, and thinking about how THEY search for the type of product/service your business is offering.
There are two types of SEO; Onsite, and Offsite.
SEO Onsite: optimisation within your website and includes domain name, meta description, web content, internal links, title tags and keywords, rich media links, permalinks, outbound links, bounce rate and loading speed, to name a few.
SEO Offsite: link building. Search engines will quantify a website’s influence online based on what other online sources say about the site, which is where link building comes in.
Because of all the latest updates from Google, the way you define your keywords has changed, and the two main differences are around using long-tail keywords (rather than just one word keywords) and understanding the way your customers think.
If you want targeted and niche traffic, this is the best route to go. Whilst you may see some of your traffic drop when changing your keyword structure this will be because you are getting more targeted, and those who do visit your website are actually interested in your product/service.
Do your research, and find out what long-tail keywords your target audience are using to find businesses that sell products/services like yours, and tailor your SEO strategy to accommodate this.
#6: PPC (Google & Social)
If you decide that you want to spend money on native advertising, you can do so through PPC, which means you will pay for every designated click you receive to your website.
Paid advertisement can be done both through Google, and through Social Media. With the most recent changes around Facebook in particular, the only way to generate real engagement as a business, is to use their advertising platform.
I won’t go into too much detail around paid advertisement, as I have written content about this already. If you would like to see my guide to Facebook niche advertising, click here. I talk about LinkedIn paid advertisement here, and give my in-depth Google Advertising strategy in the second edition of my book Think #Digital First.
Top Tip: Don’t forget to implement a remarketing strategy. Remarketing is where you create an ad that in essence, follows someone around the internet wherever they go. The more a potential customer becomes familiar with your business, the more likely they are to purchase from you. I always say that remarketing is “champagne marketing on a beer budget”.
#7: Customer Retention Strategy
The final element I want to talk about when it comes to a digital marketing strategy is customer retention.
The above 6 key areas may be working perfectly for you and you are getting sales, but you are finding that they are one-time sales, and not turning into repeat business. If this is the case, it’s because your customer retention strategy is not performing effectively.
For me, a customer retention strategy is all about relationship marketing. Relationship marketing focuses on customer retention, satisfaction and valuing customers. The sole purpose of this is to actually engage with, and nurture your current customers rather than acquiring new customers.
If you want to find out why relationship marketing is so important, read my latest blog here.
I hope that the above content will help you fix a broken digital marketing strategy so that your business can thrive online.
If you have gone through what I like to call a “digital audit” what have you found to be the most difficult adjustments, and changes you’ve had to make around your business?