Christie McDougall

Christie McDougall

8 ways to build an integrated Digital Marketing Strategy

It used to be said that if you didn’t have a website, you may as well not exist. While that has never been truer, just having a website is no longer cutting the mustard. Having an integrated digital marketing strategy is paramount for success.

Customer expectations have changed. Almost all Australians have regular access to the Internet. Most of us, when we hear of a business for the first time immediately look for a website or social media profile where we can learn more. We don’t stop in for a visit. We don’t look you up in a phone book. We don’t consult a Rolodex.

People expect you to have a website, and if you don’t, they may doubt your legitimacy or disregard you as a potential option altogether. There’s a “bare minimum” standard that consumers expect to see from businesses online, so it’s imperative for businesses to at least achieve that. This is where a well-thought-out digital marketing strategy comes in.

Does having a digital marketing strategy matter?

The quick answer is yes! Now let’s explore why this is the case.

With more people using mobile internet, the integration between more traditional forms of advertising and digital advertising is even more important than before. For example, your business could have a traditional poster at a bus stop telling people about your product or service. Yet, unless you happen to have your shop right next to the bus stop, getting them to make that leap from awareness to purchase, isn’t going to happen quickly (if at all). However, if you list your website, they could type it into their phone (or computer when they get home) and purchase the product then, or at the least find a store that stocks your product. And if you were really thinking ahead, you could add a QR code to your poster so all they need to do is scan it, and it takes them directly to that product on your website. By using an integrated digital strategy, you have gone from awareness to purchase within minutes!

Sadly, a lot of businesses still think of marketing and digital (or online) marketing as two separate strategies or efforts. Both avenues are complimentary and your return on investment will be much greater if they are combined into a cohesive digital marketing strategy.

1 – Align your digital marketing strategy with your bigger business goals

What are your most critical business goals, and how can digital marketing help you reach them? Whether you’re focused on acquiring new customers, taking your products or services into new markets, or building brand awareness, a digital marketing strategy provides the roadmap you’ll need. Your goals determine which tactics, channels, messages, and partners you need to focus on to generate real and measurable results.

2 – Be fluid and able to adapt to what’s working

One of the great things about digital marketing is the real-time data it provides.

You can see what messages or ads people are responding to within days rather than waiting weeks or even months to get tangible results from more traditional forms of marketing. This means that, for example, if you’ve created 3-5 great ads on Facebook and you can clearly see that one is outperforming the others, then you can push your budget towards that one or create similar ones.

This is the beauty of working with a digital marketing strategy. You can adapt easily.

3 Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that all your customers are offline

There are lots of businesses that find their customers through existing partnerships and networking. Whilst there is nothing wrong with this, and it is an effective way to do business, it’s a biased way of working. If you’re only marketing offline, you’ll only attract customers offline.

There are over 5 billion Google searches every day and over 1 billion active Facebook users; surely at least some of those users might be interested in your business. If so, how much business could you be missing? A cohesive digital marketing strategy will combine both forms of marketing, and problem sorted!

4 – Think of it as a long-term investment

Technology is evolving all the time and the rate of change in platforms, usability, accessibility, and reliance all of which influences consumer behaviour is incredible. Big breakthroughs in technology, such as high-speed Internet and mobile devices, make us more dependent on the Internet and less dependent on physical structures every day. This means online marketing is becoming more important on a consistent scale as time passes.

So, if you don’t think online marketing is important for your business today, there’s a chance you may be right, but what about next year? Even if you start out small by building an online presence, your efforts will not be in vain. The right digital marketing strategy will provide long-term benefits!

5 – Don’t give up if it doesn’t work the first time

If you’ve tried marketing before and have seen little to no success, that doesn’t mean the marketing is inherently flawed—it means there was a flaw in its design or execution. This happens, even to the industry’s best, but rather than throw in the towel, make improvements by finding new partners, pursuing new channels, and increasing the quality of the data you work with and most of all learning from your mistakes and what didn’t work.

At TheOnlineCo. we have an expert team who can help you tailor a digital marketing strategy suited to your needs and preferences. We can work with you to take your business to the next level.

6 – Focus on building a better customer experience

Because digital marketing efforts produce real time data and allow us to see what our customers are responding to (or not responding to) it allows us to develop more personalised strategies for a better customer experience. As Forrester Research notes, a digital marketing strategy lets companies take “a user-centred approach to understanding the needs and behaviours of their omni-channel customers and filling in the experience gaps in a disciplined manner.

This means you can take the data you have collected across multiple digital platforms to build a comprehensive picture of who your ideal customer is and what they want, and then use this information to make sure you have steps in place to catch them at every available opportunity.

7 – Experiment with new approaches

The digital marketing toolkit is constantly evolving and changing. New technologies and expanding social media platforms are constantly being introduced meaning that brands need to be aware of and stay on top of trends and proactively experiment with different formats, channels, and approaches to see what resonates with their audience.

An integrated digital marketing strategy helps brands effectively determine what’s working and what isn’t, and by knowing your online customer you can have a better idea of what new channels they may or may not respond to. Therefore, working with a knowledgeable team is crucial. At TheOnlineCo. we ensure our clients benefit from years of experience with the most up-to-date approaches.

Consistently Optimise

Be aware that what worked last year, or sometimes even last month or week may not work again this week. To stay in the game, and ideally stay ahead, you need to constantly improve your efforts. If you’ve created a great Facebook ad for example that is bringing in good leads, you can’t just set and forget. Eventually, the ad will run stagnant and start to underperform. If, however, you are consistently making little changes and tweaks or trialing new images, then you will be able to keep it purring along like a kitten. The same goes for landing pages, GDN ads, Google Ads, and so on.

What does a digital marketing strategy entail?

Email marketing campaigns
Marketing automation
And more!

All these strategies will build your brand credibility and increase conversion rates. A cohesive digital marketing strategy focuses on customer journey and how your customer can get from A to B while fostering brand loyalty. If you want to build an online presence, you’ll want to invest in the right toolkit to benefit your business.

Digital marketing strategy is not just a buzzword or catch phrase. By unifying all channels, you can create an experience for your customers. When you have a story to tell across all your channels, your customers can easily engage and convert. A clear story with the right digital marketing strategy will mean better quality leads too.

So, hopefully, we have convinced you of the importance of having a digital marketing strategy. If you’re a little unsure of how to actually implement one, then give us a call. We can help you not only create one, but also get the rubber to hit the road.

Christie McDougall
Christie McDougall

Christie is our Digital Strategy manager and looks after our playbook process. Although she is most skilled in Social Media and PPC and helped TheOnlineCo. achieved Facebook Marketing Partner status, she has a comprehensive and thorough knowledge of marketing in a digital world. She uses her talents in strategy and planning to help clients understand exactly how to grow their business online and have all their marketing efforts pulling together in a collaborative effort, thereby achieving scale and cost efficiencies.

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