When a brand says they need help with their digital marketing, what are they talking about? Is it social media? A website? Something else? Digital marketing is marketing that makes use of electronic devices such as personal computers, smartphones, cellphones, tablets and game consoles to engage with stakeholders as per Wikipedia so let’s figure out what that really means to you and your brand.
Websites: We all know what a website is, but how do you take a new look at your site and reconfigure it as a digital marketing tool? In other words, how do you use your website to acquire new customers? Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- Are you clearly explaining your services?
- Are you doing so in a unique way with video or other unique tools in order to help share your story in an interesting, educational or entertaining format?
- Are you updating your content often via a blog or other areas of your website so you give a reason for the customer to come back while increasing your SEO (search engine optimization) rankings?
- Have you provided a forum on your website for customers to share their thoughts and/or questions with you and other customers?
- Do you have a way to capture visitors on your website so you can get back to them with a ‘thank you for visiting?’
- Does your website look great on a computer, smartphone and tablet? FYI, no compromising here, this should no longer be on the wishlist…it’s a must do!
Social Media: Social media is a very effective (and these days necessary) way to digitally market to your customers. There are many elements to consider, as I have written about previously, like your available time and budget. Additionally you have to then dig deep to figure out a successful content strategy coupled with the goal of increasing community engagement on the many social networks available so pick wisely, take one step at a time but make it happen because this is a part of marketing that every sized business needs to invest in.
Email: There are so many opinions out there on the effectiveness of email, it’s hard to know if this is a wise investment in digital dollars, but here is what I personally know: like everything else you might do to promote your brand, if you target your buyer(s) properly, provide high quality imagery and content, and give the customer a reason to continue to open the email (discounts, giveaways…), then you will have a high conversion rate, period.
Online Advertising: I personally am not a fan of the online banner ad but I do love the option of native adverting which is more interactive than the old time banners and is most likely supported by the trusted website the customer just visited which gives your advertising an extra edge. Video ads also offer an interesting option so do investigate your choices from the websites that feature your advertising to the formats that represent your brand so you can get the biggest bang for your buck!
Mobile: Mobile is really the next evolution for digital marketers and brands. Between opt-in SMS, mobile sites and of course apps, there are so many ways to reach out and touch your customer, engage them and lead them to buy. And with Apple Pay, SnapCash and many other mobile payment options, mobile effects our online and offline lives so the faster your brand can figure out how to make use of some or all of the mobile options, the faster you will discover the way to increased sales!
Games: Depending on who you want to reach from young men to the growing number of women playing online, games can be of huge value to any brand or marketer. We have a client who has the simplest of games on Facebook. Each month the player with the highest score from a branded matching game wins a prize. They love it and hundreds play it each month. You don’t need to invest in millions to gain brand exposure as product placement could also be an option for you vs. creating a whole new game in order to interact with your present and potential customers. As always, be creative and strategic in order to get a return on your investment.
Check out 6 Predictions About The State of Digital Marketing in 2015 by Forbes contributor Sujan Patel. ‘Content Will Be More Important Than Ever,’ ‘Marketing Will Be Even More Connected,’ and ‘Mobile Will Take Over’ are my favorites from this list and all are part of the digital marketing mix so get creative, be strategic and take a chance ….it’s the only way to build a strong future for your brand!
Valorie Luther, Founder Creative Concepts, @CreativeConsult