Successful Online Marketing Campaigns - The Essential Steps:
In our current digital world, it’s fairly obvious to many companies that running successful online marketing campaigns is an essential step towards growing your business and attracting new customers. However, running a digital marketing blitz is a daunting task requiring a fair amount of the limited attention and dedication that many SME businesses have to offer. But fear not, in this short guide we’ll be running through a few of the essential steps that you can take to ensure your marketing campaigns achieve consistent and impressive results - and unlock a wealth of new customers for your business.
Know Your Enemy
Or in this context, know your customers and your target market. It’s such an obvious insight that it could almost be the first chapter in marketing 101, but it’s absolutely crucial for online marketing and is therefore well worth repeating. There’s an inherent appeal to most business-people in trying to focus on the widest range of customers possible, but when it comes to marketing campaigns, pleasing everyone should not be your priority. Find a niche and focus on it first.
A great way to do this is to develop client personas. Think of these as almost short stories that will allow you to micro-target the people who are most likely to buy your product.
As an example, let’s say you are a company that makes outdoor fitness watches. One persona could read: This is Jack. He is a comfortably middle-class suburbanite who has a passion for the outdoors. He has money to spend on his hobby but is generally frugal. He is not over-concerned with style, but comfort, reliability, and function are important to him. He is passionate about his hobby and researches the best choices online before he makes a purchase. He is willing to pay a little extra for a product that he trusts to be reliable and long-lasting, and he likes the idea of a warranty for peace of mind.
Now, you probably won’t find this exact customer, but personas like this give you a good idea of who you should be focusing on in your marketing.
Have a Goal In Mind
Almost equally important is having a solid goal in mind for what you hope to accomplish with your digital marketing campaign. There are numerous metrics to consider: do you want to build brand awareness? Increase your social media presence? Become the leading Google search result? Different companies have different needs, and identifying your goal is vital.
Of these general considerations, brand awareness and social media engagement stand out as being generally important. A fascinating example of the power of brand awareness is the humble Bubble-Wrap. What many people don’t know is that Bubble-Wrap is actually a trademarked brand name for air-bubble packaging. Once your brand-name becomes a generic term like bubble-wrap is, you’ve really made it, and although this is difficult, this story should show the importance of having this as a goal.
Improving social media engagement is likewise tricky. Many small companies start out with word-of-mouth campaigns among friends and family, and this is a good start, but a marketing campaign can really supercharge your results. For example, targeted follower ads on Facebook can increase your amount of likes and reposts, and small promotions (discounts in exchange for likes, exclusive content for followers) can very quickly increase the number of likes and followers, and therefore your engagement with customers.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and PPC (Google Ads) are key steps in any digital marketing strategy and should not be ignored. A lot of this process revolves around understanding keywords. For example, if you’re a small cake shop selling fresh-baked and organic cakes, many people won’t be searching for your shop by name. What they will be searching for is phrases like ‘cake shop near me’, ‘organic cakes’ or even ‘tasty cakes that I can have delivered in less than 30 minutes’ (Okay, this last one was me whilst writing this blog). SEO works by changing things like your website’s meta-data and tags to align more closely with your important keywords, and PPC uses these keywords to ensure that your company’s ads are visible to users who are looking for your products. Both act to make sure you have exposure near the top of search results, which is vital – I mean, how often do you go to the second page of search results?
It is possible to do SEO and PPC by yourself, but given the importance of these tools, it can really be worth your while to partner with an experienced agency that can give you bang for your buck. We offer SEO and PPC services right here at Alan Digital, and we create custom campaigns for each customer to maximise the return on investment. You can find more information by contacting us here.
So let’s say you’ve identified your target audience, set a goal, invested in SEO and PPC, and you’re now actively running your marketing campaign. Job done? Well, not quite. A key to long-term success with digital marketing is to maintain your internet reputation, and this requires work. After all, all those new customers aren’t going to stick around long if your service is shoddy or your sign-up coupons give confusing error messages rather than sweet discounts.
The trick to this is to engage in reputation management. Read customer’s comments and respond to them. If you get a bad review, don’t despair. Reach out, contact the customer and correct the issue, or offer a coupon or discount for their displeasure. Above all, be sure to interact with your clients – a business that is active and responsive to their customers on all channels, both to positive and negative feedback, is a business that can be trusted and a business that is likely to reap the most rewards from a savvy digital marketing campaign.
Setting up a digital marketing campaign can seem intimidating and difficult at first, but by keeping these essential points in mind, you’re already going to be in a better place than many first-time advertisers, and well on your way to developing a revolutionary new ad campaign of your very own. Who knows, maybe the next Bubble-Wrap will be your company?