What is digital marketing?
Just as its name suggests, digital marketing is a term that covers all marketing efforts that use an electronic device or the internet.
Digital marketing uses many different digital tactics and channels to connect with a business’s potential and current customers where they spend much of their time: online.
Digital marketing campaigns can use multiple channels including search engines, email marketing, social media, and more to connect with a business’s current and potential customers.
It can (and should) incorporate Content Marketing and Inbound Marketing as part of the overall mix of strategies.
And with more and more people going online “constantly”, it’s clear that your business needs to have a coherent, planned Digital Marketing strategy not just to grow, but even to be competitive.
With a good, workable digital marketing plan in place, you’ll be able to “smooth out the bumps” and enjoy more consistent, steady business growth. You’ll know exactly where you are going and how you are going to get there – confidently.
Having a digital marketing agency on your side to help with your strategy can be an excellent “force multiplier” for your business.
Planning a digital marketing strategy
Your business’s digital marketing strategy needs to tick quite a few boxes. You want to attract more of the right type of leads. You also want to retain the customers you have, and nurture their relationship with your business. Growing your business overall will be a key goal, of course. And you want to do it all profitably.
It’s a big ask. Yet when you break it down into manageable chunks – such as working to a quarterly plan – you’ll give yourself a great chance of seeing appreciable results.
One way to get started is to dig into the three primary turnover drivers of your business:
- How many customers you have
- How much they spend with you on average, and
- How often they spend with you (repeat business)
Once you have those figures, some possibilities should begin to emerge. In fact, achieving just a small gain (10%) in those three drivers can make a big overall difference – a 30% increase in your business’s turnover.
On the other hand, perhaps those particular drivers aren’t relevant to your business. If your business generates one-off, high value sales (for example a home builder), then repeat business will probably be low. If you are a funeral director, then repeat business will be very limited indeed.
In those cases, your focus might be on generating more referral business. Or perhaps on lead generation to bring more potential buyers into the top of your sales funnel for nurturing.
The key is to take the guiding principles mentioned above, make sure you understand them, and then use them to find the lowest hanging fruit for your business – those opportunities that are likely to give you big gains quickly.
What does a digital marketing agency do?
If you are operating in a competitive market (and what business isn’t?), you know how hard it is to gain an advantage. That’s because your competitors:
- All have a website
- All have a sales team
- All have a marketing strategy and budget
- All have a value story
- All have a customer base they try to nurture & retain
- Are all out to steal the bread off your table!
So how do you even get a toe-hold, let alone build a significant share of the market?
You could try to do it yourself in-house, perhaps by taking a desktop publishing course; writing your own copy; learning how to manage Google Ads; buying a cheap’n’nasty template website that you can update yourself; and regularly shooting video and images with your own devices. You could devote 3 or 4 hours of every day to creating and maintaining your
And chances are, you’d still fall behind the competition.
Perhaps a better alternative is to seek help from a specialist digital marketing agency. Instead of trying to do everything yourself, you’ll have experienced digital marketing specialists who use their complementary talents to achieve results.
A digital marketing agency team will include:
- Strategy Manager
- Web Designer
- Web Coder
- Digital Analyst
- SEO Strategist
- AdWords Specialist
- HubSpot Technologist
A final thought: when you’re choosing a digital marketing agency, it’s a good idea to investigate their reporting methods. You want to see what they’ve been up to, of course; but you also need to see the ‘big picture’ of where all that activity is taking your business.
Look for an agency that offers you both a blow-by-blow report on their monthly activity, and also a quarterly plan of where they’ll be focussing for you.
Digital vs Inbound marketing
What’s the difference between Inbound and Digital? That’s a big question; but to answer it simply:
Digital marketing refers to the way you market your business’s products or services using digital technology. That’s the Internet, smart phones, display advertising, and any other digital medium.
Inbound marketing talks about the strategies you can use to draw customers to your products and services via content marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimisation and branding.
As you can see there’s a fair bit of crossover between digital marketing and Inbound Marketing. Any good digital marketing agency should be able to make use of both techniques to create the best campaigns for your business.
Is your business suited to digital marketing?
As we’ve seen above, today there are so many people going online “constantly” to look for entertainment, information, and products & services that you simply can’t afford to ignore them.
That’s why yes, if you’re in business today, you need a customised digital marketing strategy. Your customers – and perhaps even more importantly, potential customers – go online to search for the answers to their problems and the solutions to their challenges. If you want to have a chance of eventually receiving their cash, you need to be there with high quality information when they need it.
Whether you’re a B2C or B2B business, having a cohesive digital marketing strategy lets you reach potential customers in the environment they choose to be in – not interrupting them when they’re trying to do something else (per traditional marketing).
It’s an essential element of your business’s success.
“Turn your ‘prospects’ into people and you’ll understand them much better”