Digital marketing is an extremely intricate marketing technique. In this day and age you cannot simply create a website and send out the occasional tweet, and call that digital marketing. In order to successfully market in the online arena, you must have a strategy. Executed properly it can be highly effective in positioning your business correctly and reaching the audience you’re targeting directly.
Equally, it allows your customers to interact directly with you, creating a dialogue between a business and the end user. With the masses spending ever more time on social media waiting for their brands to engage with them, this has created both an opportunity and a threat to a brand’s reputation. Being known as a company that responds promptly and courteously to customers who take the time to engage with you is invaluable for your brand, while one ill-conceived tweet can ruin your business and create massive, lasting damage.
The speed of gathering or trading information has also increased over recent years, and customers’ patience has proportionately decreased. Previously they were content to wait a few days for a response, but now they expect it within a few hours, or they’ll move to your competitor.
In order to successfully ride the waves of digital marketing you have to be flexible and agile. Five or ten-year long strategies are no longer feasible or executable and any business that tries this approach will be left in the dust of those companies that embrace the need for fluidity in their approach. Nowadays a two-year strategy is considered long and needs to be broken down into milestones of a month or less. The way companies manage digital marketing has also evolved. Digital marketing and IT have, for the most part, merged and the majority of companies make use of a chief marketing officer to drive this part of their business.
A successful digital marketing strategy must be embraced throughout the organisation, from management down rather than being driven from the bottom up which typically leads to the entire campaign floundering and at worst damaging the brand.
Chances are your competitors are embracing the digital space for their marketing, both locally and globally, and maintaining and growing your market share needs an effective digital marketing strategy. A brand is no longer merely a logo or a CI. A company’s brand is defined these days by how it engages with, interacts and listens to its customers and stakeholders, and by the intrinsic value customers get from a company, or the value they perceive to get.
A fundamental feature of successful digital marketing is the content, namely quality rather than quantity. There is a barrage of information clamouring for the customer’s attention every hour of every day. To cut through that clutter and stand out in the crowd, companies need to be disruptive. Content is still king, but quality now outweighs quantity.
Content marketing specifically focuses on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent material to attract and retain a clearly defined audience. It’s about engaging your audience, not about the likes. You need to talk to your consumers the way they want to be talked to and where they are – on the right platforms. As the customers’ preferences change, so too must the digital marketing strategies.
If you study your competitors’ digital marketing strategies and immerse yourself in the message you want to convey to your customers, you can develop a highly effective strategy that will make you stand out in the market.