Now more than ever, consumers are searching for new products and services online, turning to social media platforms for information and skimming through websites to learn more about a brand to gauge their interest. According to Mashable, Google receives more than one billion searches a month.
With all of that “noise” online, how can your business increase website exposure, capture new leads and ultimately grow through digital marketing?
Establish your Unique Selling Proposition
The first step every company should take to develop an effective digital marketing strategy is to determine its unique selling proposition (USP). What differentiates your products or services from your competitors? Does it have a special feature unlike any other product? Are the costs lower than your competitors’ costs? Thoroughly analyze what your consumers want and ultimately what motivates them to buy a product. Once your USP is established, decide how you will clearly and concisely communicate it to set your company apart from similar brands.
Define your Target Audience and Develop Customer Personas
Before you dive into the strategy and tactics of your digital marketing campaign, it is crucial that you define your target audience and develop customer personas early on—it’s the foundation of any successful campaign. It will be the driving force on how you market to your target audience, how you will communicate with them and where to best reach them.
There are several methods to fine tune your desired customers, including demographic and psychographic segmentation. At a basic level, you can learn more about your current customers based on their demographics—age, race, religion, gender, family size, ethnicity, income and education. To take it a step further and truly determine your customers’ interests and characteristics you can divide your market based on their physiographic segmentation—personality traits, values, attitudes, interests and lifestyles.
Developing customer personas will also help you pinpoint your ideal target audience and inbound marketing strategy. You can understand not only what your ideal customer likes but also what they think and feel. Creating “fictional” customers through market research, interviews and surveys will help you better understand your customers, indicate precisely who you would like to market to and how to lead your strategy. There are several online templates that companies can use to guide the customer persona process.
Optimize your Website Conversion and Quality User Experience
The only opinion that truly matters is your customers’. Website visitors will quickly judge your site based on factors like its appearance, usability, mobile compatibility and much more. Your website should elicit a feeling of trust and credibility with your potential customer base. To generate leads, distinguish which pages are performing the best and optimize them. You can leverage your top pages by adding contact forms to gather new customers’ information and add them to your email database.
To increase visibility in Google’s organic search results, features like internal linking, quality content development and technical metadata optimization are crucial. Any savvy marketer or PR professional knows the importance of creative, engaging content. Content creation should not be overlooked – it is a key factor that drives visitors to your website. Crafting helpful blog posts that your target audience can use as resources is just one effective tool that will increase website traffic.
Establish Measurable Month-Over-Month, Quarterly, and Annual Marketing Goals
A fundamental component to any digital marketing strategy is to set measurable goals. Start with a baseline to compare your results at the beginning of your campaign to the end of your campaign. Short-term and long-term goals are equally as important in the process. Without set goals, you can’t evaluate what went well during the campaign and what further changes can be made to your upcoming strategy to improve its success. Whether you want to increase sales or build brand awareness, goals should be specific, attainable and timely.
Leverage Competitor Analysis Insights to Better Understand Market Opportunity
Knowing your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses can offer valuable insights into different aspects of their marketing efforts. Simply looking through their social media pages, website and search rankings can make a substantial difference on how your company draws new customers in. What is working for them and what isn’t? Once you gather information about the key players in the industry you can go back and modify your own strategy to garner the best results.
The “noise” online is here to stay, but there are many ways marketers and PR pros can make sure their clients and companies are heard. Starting with a solid marketing foundation will ensure your brand will get the awareness it deserves. From establishing your USP to analyzing your top competitors, each step is vital to optimize your business goals and communicate your offerings. An integrated approach including search engine optimization, search engine marketing, social media and content marketing will put your brand front and center of your desired audience.