When should you use social media? How does a content strategy fit into the big picture? Am I getting the most from the visitors to my website? Sound familiar?
Digital marketing is constantly growing and changing, and it is difficult to understand when to use any of the digital marketing tools and tactics, and how and when they all fit into your marketing strategy. So we thought we’d help you out with a breakdown of digital marketing strategy into ‘micro-strategies’ based on where a consumer/client is in the purchasing journey.
To start, you have to think about your customer/client’s journey down the sales/marketing funnel. This journey down the online marketing sales/conversion funnel can be broken down into 4 steps:
- Raising Awareness
- Information Gathering
Each of these steps needs to be addressed when looking at your digital marketing strategy. Realistically, each of the steps requires its own strategy, or ‘mini-strategies’, and this will be different for each business. These ‘mini-strategies’ will have some overlap when it comes to the use of marketing tools, for example, social media marketing would be used to both Raise Awareness, and enable Sharing.
So without further ado, here is a breakdown of tactics to use for each stage in the digital marketing process:
Raising Awareness Strategy
Regardless of your product or service, if your target market is not aware of you, then it is impossible for them to be a customer. The awareness step of the conversion process is where you ensure that your target customer is aware that there is a solution to a need that they have, and that your product or service solves that need. Some of the digital marketing tools that can be used to raise awareness include:
- Search Engine Optimization – Focused on being featured for exploratory searches
- Social Media – Broad branding and product campaigns
- Content Partnerships – Featured listings in industry sites
- Paid Display Advertising – Broad branding and product campaigns
- Paid Search Advertising – Targeting known brands and exploratory searches
- Analytics – Gaining a base-level understanding of traffic as well as market potential. The main metrics include new visits to the site, the amount of organic non-branded traffic and traffic from referring sources.
Information Gathering Strategy
Once individuals are aware of the need that they have, and that there are solutions available, they will seek out more information to educate their decision. The information they seek differs on what type of product or service that you provide. More information is needed if the purchase is complex, expensive or requires multiple decision-makers. Some of the digital marketing tools that can be used to help aid Information Gathering include:
- Email Marketing – Follow up with past visitors with relevant content or promotions
- Remarketing – Follow up with past visitors with relevant content or promotions
- Content Strategy – Speaking to questions and comparisons that educate the process
- Rating, Testimonial and Review Strategy – Ensuring all ratings and reviews are optimized
- Social Media – Speaking to unique qualities of the product or service
- Layout optimization – Ensuring that the main information needed is easily accessible
- Analytics – Tracking repeat visitors, time spent on site, bounce rate, subscription list size, fans/followers, and others that are catered to your specific product or service.
Once an individual is aware of the need that they have, the information they need to make the decision, the next step is to convert them. Online conversions are the most valuable thing you can do for your business online, period. If this is filling in a form, or making an online purchase, it does not matter, as long as it is the most valuable step a customer can make online. Some digital marketing tools that can be used to help convert customers include:
- Remarketing – Reengage with a captive audience, and drive the sale. These actions need to answer questions and needs that will push the prospect over the line.
- Conversion Rate Optimization – Experiment with additional content, layouts, offers, and calls to action to truly understand what works. This should be an ongoing and iterative process.
- Analytics – The main metrics that you would look for would be high level, including the number of leads, number of phone calls from digital or number of sales. Other conversion points can be tracked depending on what your key performance indicator is.
When a customer is happy with the product and service that they have purchased, you need to enable and ensure that they know the best way to share information on the product or service. Some tools that are used to optimize sharing include:
- Email marketing – You have a customer’s email address, so how are you going to reengatge after the purchase?
- Social Media – Have you ensured that your customer interacts and engages with your brand on social media?
- Rating, Testimonial and Review Strategy – Find the best way to harness reviews, and the best platforms to have the published.
- Analytics – The metrics that would be monitored would include the number of mentions on social channels, the number of mentions on 3rd party sites, the number of affiliates sending traffic, and many more.
Once you have addressed these four key steps and created ‘mini-strategies’, you can be sure to see the results start to ramp up. Are there any other services and tactics that you use along the Digital Marketing conversion funnel?
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