How much digital marketing is enough?
Could you be wasting time, money and effort on too much digital marketing? Let’s look at how you can establish how much digital is enough for your idea, start-up or small business.
With your digital strategy you need to decide how much of your valuable time & resources you are willing to dedicate. In order to do this, there are a series of questions which you need to ask yourself; spend some time thinking about this because the digital world is full of smoke and mirrors. It is suggested that you undertake some basic background research with your current or potential customers. You’ll be surprised how much you can find out. Here are some questions that you can ask:
1. What proportion of your target audience are using different digital platforms? Within this chapter the you will explore the most popular types of websites and social media. The point here is that if your customers prefer to use Twitter then there is little point in focusing on Facebook. So find out what your customers are using, by asking them.
2. Which content and promotions are your audience interested in? Once you know the preferred digital and social media choices of your customers, then review what they’re looking at and try to find out which promotions most interested them. TripAdvisor is an example of this; find current clients and follow the reviews that he or she is placed. This will give you an overview of what they like and what they dislike; similarly look to see if they review car hire or transfers, or whether their comments say they have used particular promotions. What are they sharing on Facebook? Which websites are they talking about on Twitter? You can build quite a detailed image of your customers’ online behaviour, which will help you plan for it.
3. How are competitors using the platforms – benchmark what’s working for them? You may have to become a mystery shopper! It goes without saying that as a small business you will sign up to the digital communications offered by your close competitors. So, how many followers do they have on Facebook and Twitter? What online marketing are they doing using their websites? What seems to be working well for them? Then you can emulate their success, adapt it and then improve it. So a quick audit of your competition is important.
4. Reviewing your own analytics, sales and customer insights. Within this chapter we will discuss online analytics and marketing research; digital marketing leaves a rich trail of data which can be used to analyse and evaluate the success of your campaigns. You need a critical mass of traffic to do this. If your digital approach generates one visitor per day, digital marketing may not be the right route to your customers, and you may prefer to use more traditional promotional methods. However, if you can grow your traffic to 10, 50, 100 or 1000 visitors per day, then you have data which can be used for analysis.
Keep it simple. If you post some interesting content and your traffic increases, then you know you got it right. If you put effort into writing material and there is no noticeable increase in traffic, then you need to change something. You need to deal with this at a basic level. There is a lot of hot air spoken when it comes to digital marketing and you need to be prepared with some basic knowledge to help you overcome the pitfalls. Unless you can justify a huge expense on digital marketing, do not do it! Start small, simple and proficient and go from there.
5. Setting broad goals and vision/mission for the organisation. If digital marketing is central to your business offering, then the online experience needs to have some broad goals and a central vision. So what is your vision? What will your business look like in five years’ time? You can change your vision as time rolls out, but you need a central purpose for your online business. So, what will it be?• Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. (Facebook 2016)
• “Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.” (Investopedia 2016)
• Coca Cola’s mission is to refresh the world in mind, body and spirit, to inspire moments of optimism and happiness through our brands and actions, and to create value and make a difference. (Coca Cola 2016)
6. Get more specific with SMART objectives (specific/measurable/achievable/realistic/timed). Finally, you need to translate your vision and purpose into SMART the objectives. For example:
• To increase traffic to 10,000 visitors per day within three years.
• To have 30,000 registered e-mail addresses in your opt-in mailing list within 24 months.
• To sell 10 items per day through your online store within six months.
• To achieve 5000 Twitter followers in a single year.
Let’s make sure that you are not doing too much social. It’s important to get as many bangs for your online buck as possible.