Why Businesses Should Treat Their Online Properties as a Digital Ecosystem
Now that we’re approaching the end of 2017, it’s time to reflect on how your digital marketing strategy has been working out.
Noticed any dips in year-over-year traffic? Conversion rates not quite where you’d like them to be? If you’re seeing indications that your portal is underperforming, now’s the time to act.
B2B businesses, consumer-facing small businesses, service providers, even mid-sized to large corporations must all remember to constantly evaluate and adjust their online marketing strategies to stay ahead in the digital market.
But adjustments aren’t usually effective when they come piecemeal. It’s not going to be a simple as concepting a new ad and throwing it out into the world. Your marketing performance isn’t single-variable dependent. It’s a multi-step equation.
True digital marketing is holistic.
Although it’s easy to write off “holistic marketing” as just another buzz phrase, it’s overused for a reason: today, the success of your online marketing depends on how you maintain an entire ecosystem of digital properties.
Your website, your social media channels, blog, banner ads and more — these all play into determining your marketing results. It’s all about total visibility. So, each channel must be considered and addressed when tweaking your strategy.
It’s time to rethink your strategy.
You’re walking down the street. Suddenly, someone honks a car horn. What do you do?
Most of us would probably stop in our tracks and look. If the horn were long, loud and urgent-sounding enough, we might even wander over in its direction to see what the commotion’s all about.
But what if that horn keeps honking? What if it honks, repeatedly, for the next 10 minutes? And what do we do if many horns all honk, repeatedly and unceasingly, throughout the day?
We stop looking. We assume everything is as it should be. We become desensitized to them. Truth be told, most of us would probably get sick of the noise and long for silence fairly quickly.
Well, there you go. There’s a lot of popular digital marketing tactics in a nutshell.
Eye-catching, always-in-your-face marketing may certainly cause a consumer to look — usually for the close tab or ad blocker. Even if they’re not actively blocking your marketing, consumers have learned to pay it no mind.
Intrusive Web banners, pop-ups, and side rails — they’re all over the place, but are they really doing anything to improve sales? For most people, not really.
While there’s nothing wrong with the idea of banner ads — you need to get your name out there somehow — the failure for most comes in delivery.
Effective marketing takes good content and smart delivery.
Content marketing yields unparalleled success.
For a consumer to engage with a brand’s marketing, they must perceive value in paying attention to the ad.
Often, that value comes in the form of entertainment. Give a customer a mystery to solve, or make a customer laugh, and you command his attention. But consumers also see value in learning new information or skills. Teach a customer how to, or why, or show her to what degree, and you’ll command her attention, too.
That’s what content marketing is. It’s advertisement, couched within easily-consumed pieces from which people derive some value that is complementary to the good or service offered.
“Easily-consumed” is the operative phrase there. Because, according to Demand Metric, 20% of folks’ time online is spent consuming content.
None of us are on here working all the time. Don’t fib — you know you aren’t, either.
We’re taking a quick break to read an article between e-mails. We’re checking in with our friends around the new, digital watercooler after our cruddy mid-morning meeting. We’re pulling up funny clips on YouTube to lift our spirits. We’re heading over to Twitter to gawk at the latest headlines.
When some smart advertising slips in there, we’re engaging with it.
That’s why content marketing yields 3 times as many leads as standard outbound marketing. It’s all about the value.
We want to know how our computers are made, so we click. We want to see a fast food company roast trolls and competitors, so we click. We want to see a handsome fireman save a cute little furball, so we click.
We listen to pitches and to value props. We develop brand loyalty. The brand made this, and I like this, so I must like the brand. This brand is like me. We’re on the same team! #TeamBrand
So, heavy lifting accomplished, the next step is to bring it home. Effective content marketing must then steer us to the portal.
You can’t have content marketing success without the proper digital real estate.
Now we come to the crux. Digital content primes consumers, piquing their interest and guiding them in. If your portal was underperforming in 2017, it probably wasn’t your portal’s fault.
Unless it was.
Are your conversion rates down because your buy page is slow to load? Are wonky scripts keeping your site from displaying properly on mobile? Does your site look lackluster or dated? Is it difficult to navigate?
Are your engagement efforts out of kilter? Are you reaching out to customers and delivering your content on the right social media channels? Your brand needs to be living where the majority of your consumers’ digital lives are taking place.
Once a consumer has demonstrated interest, intent, or means, you need to follow up with a content campaign — emails, social messages, ads — that keeps you top of minds and convinces them you’re the solution to one of their problems. Are you enticing them with timely offers, too good to pass up?
If you’re not seeing the results you want, it’s not as simple as tweaking one channel here or an ad image there. Your digital marketing will only be as effective as the health of your entire digital marketing ecosystem.