3 areas of Marketing you should focus on

Tuesday 26th, April 2016

We live in a world where a consumer has several options to turn to when he or she is looking for something. They will have their favourite website that they might check out – or maybe it is a mobile app. Or it could be most likely, a search engine.

So what does this mean to a business?

It means that their audiences are fragmented and scattered over many devices or media. What it also means is that a business needs to have a presence on several touchpoints to be able to engage with all its customers. Because they are all not in one place at the same time. Ever!

So in order to engage with customers – all of them – meaningfully, there is a huge list of things that a business ought to do.

Here are three important ones –

Have a great Marketing Strategy in place

Marketing, needs goals and a strategy – and these ought to be measurable and trackable. Otherwise you don’t know what your ROI is or what the benefit of a campaign is on your marketing efforts, for example. It will help you make the right decisions to make a business’s presence online, successful.  It should involve something that tracks all the various touchpoints of your business and customer experience.

But the sad truth remains that not all businesses have a plan when it comes to digital marketing. There has been a rush for everyone to get on the digital space and a plan has very often been overlooked. And there are so many platforms and tools like the various jars of candy in a candy store – you just run in the direction of what is appealing to you.

This doesn’t work well at all – as anyone can see. It is absolutely vital that you first set goals – goals that are realistic and far-reaching. And you need a clear strategy to work towards meeting those goals within a fixed time frame.

So how do you do this?

Set your goals first.

You goal should be very clear –  you need to clearly put down, in no uncertain terms, what you hope to achieve through these marketing efforts. This will help in decision making, will help improve work efficiency and provide overall clarity in terms of what you hope to get done through digital marketing.

Your goals need to achievable – goals might push you beyond what you can normally do, make you stretch, but that doesn’t mean you put down goals that are simply impossible to achieve. If you do that, you set yourself up for failure and that destroys the mood of the whole team.  You need to know the kind of resources you have – the budget. The people. The time.  And then set your goals based on this. Push the limits – but be realistic.

Good goals are goals that can be tracked and measured. It is not a good idea to be vague about goals – in which case, they can’t be tracked to see if they achieve what they set out to do. Then you can measure the quality of each campaign, and tweak it into something that performs better.

And then you need a detailed plan to make these goals and strategy work. It is not enough to just have specific goals that are relevant and measurable. It is important to have a detailed plan of action that lists out just how you plan to achieve those goals.

Keeping up with the Joneses is not a good thing in general. More so when it comes to businesses and digital marketing. Don’t go down a route just because everyone else is doing it. Look at your business’s goals, and then set realistic targets for your digital marketing – and then have a detailed blue-print to achieve all these goals.

Mobile Focus

Customers use mobiles to search for, locate, study and buy products now, more than ever before. Mobile has overtaken any other media with regard to the time an individual spends on it. Mobile and mobile searches have long gone past desktop searches and a digital marketer today, ignores the mobile at his own peril. In order to succeed in this scenario, it is absolutely important to adapt and optimize for the mobile.

Some interesting facts about just how big mobile is right now –

  • Most people take their smartphones to the bathroom! They browse social media or check email or just play games.
  • People search for information about a product before buying it and this kind of research most often happens on a mobile – sometimes while customers are actually in the store checking it out!
  • Mobile users are mobile shoppers. Need I say more?
  • Mobile searches usually end in action – they are on the go and are most likely looking for something with an intent to buy.

There are two aspects to this –

The first is to make sure that whatever content you have out there, is mobile-optimized. If you have a website it needs to be the kind that can be viewed comfortably on a small 6 inch display. Think adaptive and responsive designs. The same goes for any communication that is sent to customers that they can open and view on mobile devices. This content ranks better on mobile search listings

According to a study by Litmus, the email analytics providers, of 250 million emails, as much as 53% of email opens happen on mobile devices – cell phones and tablets. At the same time, the biggest complaint of customers is that mail does not render well on all devices. Designing emails and websites in general that are optimized for all kinds of devices is no longer just an option – it is now essential. A necessity.

Studies show that when mail does not display properly, most people delete them.

Native Mobile Marketing Content

This involves all the various kinds of marketing that is aimed at being consumed only on mobile devices. Mobile devices, thanks to their character and nature, have opened up new ways for marketers to engage with their customers.

Most of these involve location-based services – which basically pick up on where the customer is at that time, and send him marketing messages about relevant businesses in that area. This could mean augmented reality mobile campaigns that are screen captures or overlays that basically send information about local businesses or products.

Content Marketing

Content Marketing is a very important driver of a digital marketing strategy. It could be through a great website or great content on your blog. Content Marketing basically is about creating and sharing content – content that is consistent, relevant and valuable – in order to attract prospects who can be converted into customers. The way to do this is to produce great content that is relevant both to the business as well as to its customers – content that the customers will find interesting.

There is a school of thinking that you need to produce huge volumes of content – but if that content is not great on quality, it is not such a good idea. The whole point of this exercise is to establish you as a thought leader and an expert in this field. Which means, the quality of the content that you put out there, should be great. And don’t just stop with creating great content, promote it.

The kind of content you produce should be about something related to your company’s offerings but definitely about subjects your audience would be interested in. Something that would answer a question they had or solved a problem they might be facing. Not blatantly about your products or services. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and think about what would concern them – their questions, doubts. And address this.

Don’t just focus on one type of content – mix it up. Let it not just be white papers or case studies – throw in some video or podcasts. Keep it interesting. Create content that is shareable. The whole idea of content marketing is to create content that your audience can consume and share with their circles, if they like it. So your job is to produce content that they can pass around – on various social media platforms, for instance, so your reach and circle widens.

Make sure that your content is optimized for search engines to pick up. Keyword-stuffing is a thing of the past. Makes the content artificial and algorithms these days are smart enough to ignore such content. Build interesting content around words that you think your audience would use to find someone like you. That’s the best kind – the kind that works.

Content Marketing does not make the magic happen overnight. It takes time and effort. But when done right, it is a great digital marketing tool.

These three aspects are not enough – there is a whole lot more. But these are as important as any – and a good marketer pays attention to all of the aspects in order to engage with his customers meaningfully.

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