With all the talk in the digital world today about digital marketing and how it helps online marketers and business owners accelerate their business growth, one cannot ignore different ways to improve their digital marketing strategy.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that without digital marketing strategy, there is no such thing as digital and online marketing campaigns.
As 2015 presents exciting growth and opportunity in digital industry, digital marketers continue to shift their offline marketing spend to more measurable online channels.
ZenithOptimedia Australia is forecasting 1.6% revenue growth in 2015, versus a 2014 result which was virtually flat at +0.1%.
It’s clear that now is the time to learn how to dominate online channels together to create 2016 digital marketing strategy built to deliver optimal brand experience.
To help digital marketers discover new opportunities for driving ROI, I have identified 22 ways to improve your digital marketing strategy in 2016.
Using tips discussed in this blog post, you can prepare your digital marketing strategy for 2016.
This blog post is divided into several headings e.g. general improvements, social media marketing insights, B2B website design Improvements, e-commerce web design improvements, Online Marketing improvements, and focus on Email Marketing insights.
So let’s get started.
Digital Marketing strategy Improvements
1.Digital Marketing Success – Bring Your Data
Data plays an important role in analysing your digital marketing strategies and improvements you could make to your campaign.
One of the first improvements I would like to recommend is to start collecting data from your existing digital assets, researching your industry and researching your competitors.
You should focus on data about your customers and prospects, their likes and dislikes, preferences, channel behaviours, and purchase history.
Email marketing for example can drive huge ROI-but if you don’t take time to analyze your data and instead just blast mass email messages, your customers and prospects will start to unsubscribe in droves.
Likewise, when data drives your content marketing and social media efforts, you can ensure that you are delivering the right message, the right offers, and ultimately, driving more conversions.
2.Learning where you are today
Using a comprehensive digital audit process you should assess your overall digital presence gauged against industry best practices and competitor benchmarks.
You should measure the effectiveness of your current digital marketing initiatives, identifying possible gaps.
23 digital can work with you to identify your current situation and help you make better decisions in terms of what needs improvements and how the current digital assets could be improved.
3.Be Creative and don’t try to copy
Digital Marketing is by no means a one-size-fits-all concept.
What works for one company may turn out to be a complete flop for another.
The best way to realize your own digital marketing success is to tap into your company culture, identify what sets you apart and get creative about sharing that with your prospects.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and push the envelope. People appreciate originality-so give them what they want!
4.Understand your competition
Most businesses participate in some type of competitive comparison, but this typically doesn’t go much beyond checking out their products and services and keeping an eye on what they’re up to from afar.
If you really want to get a leg up, you have to delve deeper.
Tap into your existing customers and ask them what they perceive to be the real differences between what you and your competitors have to offer.
They’ll appreciate your concern and you’ll get real-time feedback on how you can improve on your own marketing efforts.
5.develop a written Digital Strategy
I strongly recommend that you work with digital agency to draft a well written digital strategy for your business.
It does not have to be 20 page documents. You can draft a clear digital strategy in three to four pages and make sure that it covers all essentials of digital strategy.
Your written digital strategy should guide your digital marketing implementation and management-it should include a detailed breakdown of all the tactical steps required to set up the digital marketing program and an operational schedule of activities required to implement the strategy.
Setting things up-After you establish which digital channels make the most sense for your organization, you should ask your digital agency to set up and optimize your digital assets including website, social accounts, PPC campaigns, SEO Strategy and email marketing campaigns.
If your website design still looks like an online brochure, you are missing out on the most effective lead generation tool that you have.
As a part of ways to improved you digital marketing strategy, I have highlighted few points that you should consider to make your website lead generation machine.
6.Use Clean but elegant design
No matter what type of business you are in, your online visitors want things to be easy to use and easy to find.
Beautiful typography, strategic use of colors and graphics, and obstruction-free aesthetics, devoid of visual clutter are a few of the characteristics shared among web design that are clean and simple.
An attention to detail is essential in producing a clean website design. Truly great, clean web design relies on pixel-perfect execution of many subtle design elements.
Seemingly minor details such as borders, highlights, shadows, textures and many others all need to be carefully considered.
7.Use Quality Images
As we often say, picture describes thousand words and it helps grab a user’s attention.
Be sure that your images and your brand message are aligned together. I come across quite a few stock images which are very generic and do not represent what the page would like to talk about.
Usually general or stock images which are not selected carefully do not encourage users to take next steps.
Use images and icons to connect people with your brand and services.
8.Improve Page Style and Marketing Messages
Well-structured page and its font guideline are very important to effectively communicate your message to your audience.
Today, many people use content management systems to manage content. But if your web developer is not as design focused, you may be missing some important tools.
Create consistent styles on your pages so your website doesn’t look like a cluttered and make sure that you represent your important marketing messages and information your visitor needs to connect with.
9.Have at least one call-to-action on every page.
A call-to-action is what you want your customer to do.
For example, do you want them to register for a newsletter, download a white paper or sign up for a webinar?
Make sure that you know what you want your audience to do and then make sure that it’s easy for them to take that action.
If you want them to call, make sure that phone numbers are big and easy to find. If you want them to download something, make the button big and bold and have it say something like, “DOWNLOAD NOW.”
10.Reduce the number of clicks
Don’t make your customers work to get to the good stuff.
The only thing you really need from your website visitors is a first name, phone and an e-mail address-this is just enough to start building a relationship.
Give them the good stuff to prove your value, then start building a relationship with them and educating them on your product or service.
11.Create an irresistible offer.
Your customer has landed on your website because they hope that you will have a solution to their problem.
Create an offer that’s focused on what’s important to them when they are buying what you’re selling.
For example: for digital agency like us could use “Download this FREE Report to Learn How to Generate More Leads.”
Online Marketing Improvements
I am assuming that you are all aware of how SEO, paid search, display ad and content marketing works.
Without going into detail about these services, we will mainly highlight things that would rather help you understand, how you should improve on your tactics.
12.Lead generation without lead management and nurturing is useless.
During the emergence of the SEO and Web marketing, everyone’s focus was on lead generation which is not a bad idea at all. However, as the focus is shifting sharply to inbound content marketing strategy, digital marketer must establish the way to improve lead management and lead nurturing program.
With modern marketing and sales tools like customer relationship managers (CRM) and marketing automation, lead generation tactics must evolve to the practice of lead management, which extends marketing’s role from the top of the funnel on down.
To be effective, lead management requires the right people, framework, process, systems, and a company cultural to have one integrated marketing and sales process.
I recommend, you closely analyse what you have in place to effectively generate leads and manage it efficiently so it converts.
13.Align both SEO and Paid Search Efforts
I have seen many companies who just focus on SEO and don’t do paid search adverting and vice versa.
In a recent online marketing industry report, one of the finding was that search marketing represents a key channel for digital marketers. According to Nielsen report, 64% of user interaction in search engines is on organic search listing compared to 34% paid interaction.
This highlights that there is a significant potential ROI opportunity in aligning SEO with cross functional marketing strategies, especially between SEO and paid search.
I would also recommend doing the remarketing, if you are investing in paid search marketing to help generate lead from lost click and increase your company’s branding efforts.
14.Provide Solutions to Your Web Visitor’s Needs to Improve Conversion
Not all website problems can be solved with A-B split testing.
Sometimes you have to reconsider the whole site experience from a visitor-centred perspective.
Conversion Rate Optimisation is about truly understanding the existing needs and real-world context of your intended audience.
Only by aligning the web experience with those needs can a business maximize financial value.
15.Expand Your SEO Plan for Longevity
Now, more than ever, how users interact with your brand online impact how important your brand is viewed by the major search engines like Google.
If you want more natural traffic from search engines, it is vital to be strong with your PR plan, social media plan, site usability, content relevance and most of all user engagement.
Search engines continue to utilise more and more factors to prioritize which websites are displayed when an Internet user does a search.
Because search engines like Google are using more factors, a strong search engine optimisation (SEO) plan will influence more factors and do so in a way that’s more balanced than ever before.
16.Integrate your search, social and content strategy
In 2016, Digital marketers will be the ones merging the powers of social media, public relations and SEO and packaging an effective content strategy.
The brands that optimize, socialize, visualize and publicize fresh content are the ones that will see the best ROI and monetize.
Digital content that is fresh, visual, mobile and social will win the newsfeed race.
Social Media Marketing improvements
At this point in the game, digital marketers have established some sort of social presence-they are sharing content, having conversations, and perhaps responding to customer service requests.
But you need to know WHO you are talking to and what they are seeking to really engage followers and encourage them to become brand advocates.
It is important to communicate your brand message effectively.
I have highlighted few points that will improve your social media marketing.
17.Create a written social strategy and stick to it.
If you don’t have any social content and execution strategy, your content is likely going to gall through the cracks.
Social media has exploded and there are multiple ways to connect and engage with customers.
You must identify your key channels.
Sometimes focusing on the few channel help you communicate effectively then targeting everything just because your competitors are doing it. Focus your efforts on those channel which will help you generate conversation and brand engagement.
If you don’t have an editorial calendar, get it created. Plan out what content, how often and who is going to contribute to those topics etc.
Be precise and do lot of research and plan now.
18.Don’t always focus on conversation
The biggest myth in social media marketing right now is that EVERY effort has to involve a conversation.
If a customer is trying to book a flight, for example, they probably don’t want a conversation.
They want to get something done. The best thing many social media teams can do is to evaluate when their customers really want to “engage” and when the best possible thing they can do is to just make it easier to get things done.
19.Give your audience an incentive to participate.
I have seen many Facebook posts asking their fans to share something without any incentives do so.
If your objective is to obtain email addresses, for example, consider offering exclusive content in exchange for registration. Similarly, if you’re looking to boost sales (but still need user content to populate the experience), maybe offer a coupon in exchange for participation.
Contests, rewards, and even notoriety can also be great motivators. Whatever you’re asking your users to do, just make sure that A) it’s easy and B) the user has something to gain from it.
20.Promote your social channels.
Promotion about your business on social channels can make or break an initiative, so use every social channel at your disposal to tell your audience where you want them to go.
This is especially true if you’re driving users somewhere that didn’t exist before-like a newly-launched app, a microsite, or a new section of your website-because without promotion, they won’t even know it’s there!
So use your email list and your blog, pay for promoted posts on your social networks, and add CTAs to relevant media campaigns.
Email Campaign Improvements
Many companies think about email marketing strategy as a collection of tactics.
While it’s true that tactics are at the forefront of any strategy, the only way to build a scalable and repeatable growth channel is with a commitment to process.
Prioritizing and delivering your email marketing strategy is how you can truly build an engine for growth.
21.Getting more Subscribers.
I have seen many businesses do have a subscribe to our newsletter on their website and it stops there.
Don’t place a section on your website, if you are not going to be serious about it. One of the building blocks of creating an effective email marketing strategy is the ability to build an email list by implementing strategies to get potential customers interested for opt-in.
Implementing a sliding blog call to action is an experiment you can run to improve your blogs’ conversion rate.
When a visitor reaches the end of a piece of content they are more likely to continue their investigation into the topic.
A sliding CTA with relevant downloadable content can help convert that unknown web visitor into a potential customer.
22.Design your email for Mobile
The number of people accessing emails on desktops verses mobile devices is already on parity.
Email content is also highly likely to be viewed on a smartphone first. Consider the time of day you send your emails and what your readers are likely to be doing.
Ensure both the email and the full article content is responsive to and readable on different mobile devices.
How 23 Digital can help
At 23 Digital, we have a dedicated and knowledgeable team who has assisted many businesses develop a written digital strategy and implemented it successfully.
If you think that you might need an expert opinion to make sure that you develop a professionally written digital strategy, we would be more than happy to assist your team in creating a successful digital strategy. Please contact us to request a digital strategy for your business.