by Heidi Schwende, Featured Contributor
There really is a massive opportunity in creating your digital blueprint, no kidding!
THIS IS PRETTY incredible; 97% of internet users are using a mobile device as a search tool yet 93%, yes ninety-three percent of websites still need to be redeveloped for those devices!
You need to approach digital marketing as overarching and highly strategic for your business. The biggest mistake a business can make is to think of the digital space as an add on or a tactic. That might have been true 10 years ago, but not anymore. The opportunities are enormous once you know just how to envision how the entire digital landscape can perform for you. Think of Digital Marketing as an overall business strategy with 4 distinct sub-categories that each will have their own tactics and will roll up to your top level strategic goals. The 4 key elements fall into 4 distinct pillars; site, search, social and mobile. And everything you do should hinge on your domain and your website. Your web presence is at the very heart of your strategy and is the place to have 100% market ready.
So what does it mean to be 100% market ready? Lay your foundation with these 4 pillars:
There are a ton of articles out there that tell you what you need to do with content and social marketing, or analytics or how to measure ROI. But I’ve yet to see a piece that will give you a high-level overview of the actual steps to take to make sure you’re 100% market ready.
#1 | The site pillar
This is absolutely your starting point. In the pillar we call “Site”, group up the elements of your landing page optimization, be it the landing pages you have on your website or landing pages you use in paid search. Wherever you drive traffic will have an effect on your quality score with Google. Content marketing also falls under this pillar as well as your marketing analytics.
#2 | The search pillar
This is a pillar of your digital strategy that is fraught with misconception and a ton of misguided advisors. Here you need to take your site and think hard on how to optimize it for search engines. As incredible as Google is, if you don’t have an optimized website, Google simply won’t be able to rank you at all. So whatever you’ve heard about SEO, it still is a critical factor in tne success of your website. But it can be extremely dangerous to your brand and your online presence if not done properly. There is on-page SEO to think about, off-page SEO and social media that will contribute to getting you found. There are standard SEO best practices and also Adaptive SEO standards that we now know absolutely do increase your rank over time. Combined with Paid Search Advertising, Display Advertising and Remarketing we can now guarantee that you will absolutely move that needle, no question.
#3 | The social pillar
Contrary to all the complexity you’ve been told is necessary in social media, it’s not really all that hard once you know exactly what you want to say about your business, where you want to engage, and who you believe will benefit from what you have to offer. Go back to your marketing 101; who, what, when, where and why. No kidding. Build your social presence with your strategy in mind and find out which social platforms will deliver best for what you want to achieve. Just start small and grow over time. Within the social pillar, try and get your marketing team and your sales team aligned. If you can, make sure they actually work in the same physical area. Get them talking about social media marketing, social selling, video marketing and email marketing tactics together. You may even want to get them talking about your own proprietary social community platform for your clients, partners and prospects.
# 4 | The mobile pillar
Be it in B2B or B2C, your clients and customers are moving around with computing power in the palm of their hand. We’re all online almost all the time. Think about your daily activity and how often as a business person and as a consumer you’re moving about. You travel to and from the office, attend off-site meetings, pop in the coffee shop on the way to work, have lunch meetings in area restaurants… that’s a lot of movement. And everybody’s doing it!
Your business must have a connected and consistent presence across multiple platforms and you need to be thinking of your entire digital strategy as being mobile ready. It’s a business imperative not just a nice to have anymore. In your mobile strategy, whether you use QR codes, SMS alerts, location based offers, it’s really critical that your marketing is as mobile as your audience is.
The best way for most businesses to become mobile ready, in my opinion at least, is to upgrade their web presence with a responsive design. A responsive design is much more than taking your existing website and squishing it into multiple device screens. And note, Google knows if you’re mobile ready or not. If you’re not, I can guarantee that your rank will be affected. Being mobile ready isn’t just about creating a mobile version of your site, more often than not, businesses need a different display for the mobile experience. Some very cool stuff can be done to make your site actually look and work just like an app without having to spend tons of money building one. Start with a user interaction analysis right away.
Before I close off this piece, I wanted to leave you with some ideas on how to use your digital presence to unlock business value and move that needle right away.
Ad spend by category will show you some of the low hanging fruit:
Let’s start with print; spend in print advertising is currently at 19% and market interest sits at only 5%. You may want to divert some of your spend away from this medium. Radio is still fair with ad spend at 12% and market interest at 10%. I would still divert some of my marketing dollars away from radio. Television isn’t what it used to be in terms of advertising ROI. Spend is at 45% with market interest dropping to a current 38%. And TV advertising can be really expensive. Reducing TV spend is adviseable. Internet spend is at an average of 22% with market interest being 25%. Some of your ad dollars could go here until you get mobile ready. By far the biggest opportunity right now is in Mobile advertising with spend currently at 4% and market interest at 20%.
What are the questions you should be asking?
- How soon can we implement an overarching digital strategy
- Have we claimed all our online properties and are we consistent across all those properties
- Did we weigh out the cost of getting mobile ready versus the alternative
- Can we create a roadmap for getting marketing and sales aligned
- What will our lead attribution model look like once we have
- Which lead generation activities will drive the most traffic to feed our funnel
- Do we have a seamless approach to the consumer experience through all available channels [omni-channel]
- Are we managing our reputation adequately
Then capitalize on the market’s lack of knowledge as soon as is humanly possible to gain a significant competitive advantage.
And remember this, as my founding partner said at a Google event just the other day; if you don’t start leveraging the digital space, you might as well nail your flyer to a tree in the middle of the forest. That’s about how useful your web presence will be if you don’t leverage it.