What’s The Most Effective Digital Marketing Approach
The thing about digital marketing strategies is that almost every company has one, even if you’re not the one actively controlling it.
Even if you’ve never spent a minute on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any other Web property or it might be based on mentions of your company’s name by individual users — or by your obvious lack of participation.
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Because your presence on different digital marketing properties matters more than ever, it’s a good idea to take time out of your schedule to regularly evaluate how well your strategy is performing. Here’s how to do it:
Step #1: Evaluate your digital marketing goals.
The first step in any good digital marketing strategy evaluation is a thorough examination of the specific goals you’ve set for yourself in the past. (Obviously, if you haven’t yet created any goals, this is the first issue you’ll want to tackle!)
Digital marketing goals include items such as:
The number of social shares your blog posts receive
The size of your fan base on social networking websites
Mentions of your brand name on social media sites
The number of positive reviews left about your company on sites like Google Reviews and Yelp
Inbound website visitors from social networks
Total number of conversions resulting from social traffic
If you’ve previously set up goals, take the time to determine whether or not you’re hitting your target projections.
Also, look to see if the goals you set in the past still make sense for your company based on its current performance. If necessary, revise your goals to accommodate new objectives or to account for changes in product/service offerings.
Step #2: Reexamine your target customer profiles.
In addition, it’s important to remember that any good digital marketing plan is founded on a series of well-constructed customer profiles that outline the specific types of people you’d like to reach through your campaigns.
So while you shouldn’t launch a new marketing campaign until you have some idea of your target customer’s demographics, interests and Web activities, you’ll also want to continually develop this profile based on your newest data.
As an example, if you set out to target young men on Facebook but find out that the majority of your “Likes” come from middle-aged women, you may need to reevaluate all elements of your marketing campaigns to account for this new customer data.
Step #3: Take a look at your digital presence.
As you reexamine the types of customers you target, you’ll also want to periodically assess whether or not you’re actively participating on the right digital properties.
For example, suppose you’re in an industry that targets young women, ages 18-26. If you launched your digital marketing campaign before the advent of the social networking darling, Pinterest, you could be missing out on a potentially tremendous source of traffic if you never took the time to determine whether or not you’re active on the right sites!
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Online digital marketing is a continuously evolving process. The aim is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service sells itself. With the growing importance of E-Commerce, digital marketing has become crucial to master. Digital marketing is cost-effective, has a wider reach and does not limit itself geographically. If you run an online business, it is important for you to understand how imperative digital marketing has become for your survival and growth. Let’s take a look at how two leading brands found success with strategic digital marketing, and how you can learn from them to get better results for your own E-Commerce brand.
Gawker Media: The Woes
Gawker Media is a major online media company and blog network, with 8 online brands and an online audience of tens of millions. They seemed to be an Internet powerhouse with their large brand presence, but when they studied their visitor acquisition carefully, it was quite evident that their popularity was not reflected in the analytics reports of their website. They were unable to draw enough people to reach them through search engines, in spite of having a large advertising budget. They realized that they were losing a significant number of potential visitors and page-views due to a suboptimal SEO strategy.
Gawker Media took concrete measures to help them leverage their SEO to increase their traffic.
The Strategies they used:
- Gawker implemented on-page search engine optimization practices: Creating proper sitemaps according to SEO best practices, redesigning keywords for title tags and headings.
- They built internal links to create better flows of contents, identifying and rectifying their thousands of blog posts.
- They trained their writers and helped them to improve the quality of their content.
- They facilitated major improvements in site loading time for better SEO, including image optimization, better caching to decrease loading times, and removed inefficiencies by cleaning up the website’s HTML/CSS code.
Gawker Media saw an huge increase in the number of visitors coming from search engines. They got 5 million additional visitors within 3 months via organic search, 11% more pageviews than the previous month. A 24% growth in search traffic was a huge success for Gawker Media.
COCA COLA: Share Happiness
In the summer of 2013, Coca-Cola, the world’s largest beverage company, launched a brand-new marketing campaign called “Share a Coke” to better establish their brand with Australia’s online generation, by harnessing the power of viral marketing within social networks. This campaign came after both Coca-Cola and Pepsi had been spending millions on online advertising over the past few years, with mixed success. This social media campaign sparked a sharing frenzy across Australia and went on to become one of their most popular and successful campaigns, which they then replicated and launched in many other countries.
Coke replaced their usual celebrity-heavy campaigns with a multichannel media campaign that allowed customers to buy Coke bottles custom-printed with their names – having the choice the 150 most popular names in Australia. It was a multimedia effort, with TV adverts, billboards, and experiential marketing where participants could buy their own custom-made bottles. The campaign’s main success came through digital platforms, with each bottle carrying the hashtag #shareacoke, in order to persuade customers to share their unique bottles’ photos printed with their names onto social media.
Strategies used in their campaign:
- They launched a coordinated social media campaign across the most popular social networks, triggering a viral campaign that encouraged sharing Coca-Cola’s bottle images on these platforms.
- They encouraged customers to participate by creating and sharing online media content within their own social networks, bringing the branding message organically to their friends and families.
- Coca-Cola connected their brand with the consumers at a personal level, by using a simple but powerful call to action in their campaign, which was made to be viral and easy to share online.
The campaign showed that content personalization and promoting the sharing of the brand’s campaign on social networks can be highly engaging and effective in triggering viral marketing. This campaign resulted in a 7% increase in sales. It also earned a total of more than 998 million media impressions, thereby creating enormous brand recognition amongst its consumers. Traffic on the Coke Facebook site increased by 870%, with page ‘likes’ growing by 39%.