We’ve all heard of the expression you can’t see the forest for the trees. The same applies to digital marketing. Digital marketing can be confusing and not generate the results you need, if you don’t have a big picture view before you get into the detailed plan.
In the above video, Karen Hall, founder of Reputation by Design interviews Annette Welsford, founder of Commonsense Marketing on the Digital Marketing Eco System. Here’s an overview of their discussion.
Digital marketing is not just doing social media posts or launching a website or doing SEO. You need to think about a complete system because one thing on its own just won’t work.
Digital marketing is an ecosystem. And like any functioning ecosystem, each part is dependent on the other parts. If you apply this to your business and your digital marketing, then you have a network of interconnecting and interacting parts.
So, what are the seven essential components of your digital marketing ecosystem?
So, before we dive in, let’s have a quick look at these seven interconnecting parts.
1. A strategy plan is essential
As exciting as it is to jump straight into that lush green forest, you first NEED to be able to answer these questions
- Who are your ideal clients? It really isn’t anyone with a wallet.
- What is your brand positioning and key message that you want to be known for?
- What real benefits do you provide to your customers?
- What are your short and long term goals, what are your KPIS, and how will you track and measure achievement?
2. A great website represents you online 24/7
There is a perception that if you don't have a website, you don't exist! So, relying on social pages alone isn’t enough. The website is where you build trust and reduce risk. It’s there to prove that you do exist, to tell your story, to prove you can help and to entice people to contact you or buy from you.
3. Email marketing ensures you’re not forgotten
Don’t hope people will come back to your website or social media pages or ring you. Replace the “hope strategy” by building a relationship and keeping the conversation going through email.
4. A well planned and executed SEO campaign improves your online ‘findability’
Did you know only 0.63% of people go past the first page of results when they do a searching in Google for something. And 25% of people click on the first organic result. You want to get found on the first page of Google for leads and sales because that's where 97% of people stop. Optimising every page and post on your website for search engines, complying with Google’s many rules, and using advanced SEO strategies will make a huge difference to your online footprint and “findability”. This is a long-term strategy, but well worth it if it’s done properly.
5. PPC Advertising can generate leads and sales quickly
To boost awareness and generate leads and sales quickly, pay-per-click advertising through Google Ads or social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn can work very well when they’re planned and executed professionally. The success lies in targeting the right audiences, creating enticing offers and ads, building a journey, implementing remarketing to stay top of mind, and continuously testing to improve results. It can be expensive, so measuring Return on Investment is essential.
6. A well-executed social media campaign will help you reach more people
Where are your clients hanging out online? If they're over 40, it might be Facebook. If they're under 40, it might be Instagram or TikTok. And then there’s Youtube, Twitter, Threads, and Pinterest to consider, depending on your audience along with Linkedin for anyone that provides B2B products or services. The secret to being successful on social media is to pick the right channel, develop a calendar that contains content pillars, be regular and consistent, and track and measure the results.
7. The key to ongoing marketing success and growth is measurement
Alas, all your brilliant efforts are wasted without tracking, monitoring, and measuring everything, and then using the valuable insights to test and refine. You’ll soon know what to stop, and what to increase, based on what’s delivering on your KPIs and providing the best ROI. We provide all our clients with tracking, analytical and reporting tools, along with indepth training, to ensure that everyone knows has the information they need to assess viability and ROI, and make informed decisions.
Which of the eco system components is the most important?
Good question! They each play an important role in creating touch points right along the customer journey, from attracting their attention right through to securing a customer for life. There’s many steps in between, and your marketing must cater for all the steps in an inspiring, helpful and consistent way.
But, if I had to pick the two components which I consider to be the top priorities, I would say a website and measurement.
What’s the secret to a great website?
“Web developers will say functionality is the most important factor; graphic designers will argue it’s the design and the layout, as a marketing agency, we think it's the content.” ANNETTE WELSFORD
It's actually all three, but I can’t stress this enough - the content is VERY important because in the end, website visitors look to see if you can help them, and determines very quickly (within 5 seconds) whether they stay and look around, or hit the back button and visit a competitor’s site.
What makes good content?
- The tone and language should mirror your ideal customer’s voice.
- It should appeal to their emotions, which is why people buy.
- It needs to show the benefits that you offer, so stop focusing on features alone.
- Ideally the format needs to be varied as we all learn in different ways: make your content visual, not too long or too short, use eye catching images and videos, and keep to the point.
- If you use attention grabbing headlines, you will arrest the thumb scroll and people will stop and read more.
- The content should provide value, without being long winded.
- The content is your opportunity to showcase your experience, expertise and authority so that you build trust (EEAT). You do this with FAQs, blog posts, education and social proof.
What are the eight essential ingredients for website design and functionality?
Your website design is very important; including the layout, the background, the fonts, the colours, and how you use white space. Don’t clutter up a website with everything and anything you do. White space is very important as graphic designers will tell you.
- Headings and subheadings to break up the copy. Most people look at pictures first and read the headlines next, and if you’ve captured their attention, they’ll read the content.
- Bullet lists are good for key points or providing instructions or a list of things
- Font choice, size and colour will affect readability, which is the “typesetting” element. Fonts must also be scalable for responsiveness on smaller devices.
- Menu design, structure and placement is important for easy for navigation
- Calls to action need to be on every page, so that you make it easy for people to do what it is you want them to do. However, there should not be too many, and the wording and style needs testing to see if you can improve conversions.
- Responsive functionality refers to how well your website displays on all the different sizes of tablets and mobile devices
- Loading functionality refers to how quickly your site loads and displays on all devices. Google will punish you in search engine rankings if your site is slow to load (over 3 seconds) and displays annoying popups on mobile devices.
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