Companies need a strong digital presence to be successful in 2020. As attention slowly turns to how to reopen the economy and what the short-term and mid-term “new normal” might look like, the importance of a cohesive digital marketing strategy becomes essential.
A cohesive digital marketing strategy considers every component of your digital presence as it relates to every other component; nothing is done in isolation. This is the strategy we recommend at Empower Ideas. This strategy could be the difference between thriving in this new economy and being left behind by your better-prepared competitors.
There are six critical components that make up a cohesive digital marketing strategy: web, mobile, organic search, paid search, content marketing, and email marketing. You don’t need every component to be successful, but you do need each component you do utilize to complement each other. Each component combined with another creates a result that’s more than the sum of any single part.
Let’s take a look at this strategy.
Your digital strategy is rooted in your primary company website. Your website is the brochure to your business, often the first glimpse into your products and services that a prospective customer may see. It’s important for your website to provide all the information that a prospective customer might be interested in, but that information needs to be delivered in the context of a larger marketing strategy. In other words, don’t just share information haphazardly across your website. We recommend considering the organization and navigation of your site carefully in order to craft a user journey that caters to each type of audience that might be visiting your site. We talked more about this in a recent article where we explored strategies from a simple landing page conversion funnel that you could apply to your site as a whole.
It’s no secret that mobile deserves its own section in your digital marketing strategy; more commerce is now facilitated on mobile devices than on desktop computers. A mobile site should no longer be an afterthought; a robust mobile web presence is a key requirement. As smartphone technology continues to advance, this gets easier. With large phones now the norm, there’s slightly more space to use for designing a mobile-friendly website. Mobile browsers support key technologies such as embedded video and notifications, as well as autofill that can make it easier to take information from your site visitors. Your website should have the same functionality and a similar experience on mobile as it does on desktop. In the past we’ve gone through “desktop-only design,” then “mobile-first design” trends. Today, we advocate for an “ambidextrous” strategy, which means that it shouldn’t matter what type of device is used to access your website or digital properties. Everything should seamlessly transition between all screen sizes.
- Organic Search
Organic search remains a key driver for new business and search visibility must continue to be a top priority for companies driving digital marketing. Search engines deliver targeted traffic. A search engine optimization (SEO) strategy can increase your site’s visibility and it’s easy to be pulled in by the alluring promise of SEO agencies. But if you’re not thinking holistically, you might not consider how SEO relates to your mobile and web strategy. In other words, what’s the point of driving traffic to your site if you’re not prepared for your visitors once they get there? One angle from which to consider your site’s organization and navigation is from a search-first perspective. Use your analytics to determine the keywords that people are using to find your site, as well as the keywords they’re using to find your competitor’s sites that are also relevant to you. Structure your navigation around these keywords, so that people find and land on the pages most relevant to these common searches, then continue clicking through your site on a path that educates them and eventually leads to conversion.
- Content Marketing
For years, we’ve recited the adage that “content is king” and it remains a powerful marketing tool. The goals of content marketing are to create more engaging content that visitors want to read, improve conversion of visitors who are reading, understand what type of content is most effective in your niche—and what isn’t, and find better ways to repurpose content. Content marketing goes hand-in-hand with organic search, since blogs are often one of the best-performing entry pages from search engine result pages. Therefore, it’s also important to think about how your blog or other content marketing space fits in to your web and mobile strategies. Once a visitor is on your site and reading your article, what is the next step? How are you working to convert a new visitor on your site from a blog reader or researcher into a buyer and a brand advocate?
- Paid Ads
Paid ads can help companies quickly increase brand presence and carry two powerful advantages: 1, Unlike other forms of offline paid media, you can determine your own budget, and you can directly monitor your return on ad spend investment. (Many agencies, including Empower Ideas, offer performance-based ad management to complement this strategy, meaning that you only pay for successful engagements with your ads.) 2, It’s easy to create specific targets such as “people who work as secretaries within 15 miles of Boise, ID, and are between the ages of 40 and 54 years old.” Your paid ads should direct to a conversion funnel—not to your website homepage. Your goal is to drive visitors down a specific pathway towards a specific goal, and you don’t want to allow them to get lost in all the information you likely have available on your website. Still, you can repurpose the most important content from your site for this conversion funnel strategy. Paid ads are particularly important for spreading awareness of your brand to potential buyers that otherwise might not have exposure to it or knowledge of it.
- Email Marketing
It is estimated that only 1-3% of first-time visitors to a website make a decision to buy based on that visit. You’re going to need to re-engage the other 97% to remind them of your company when their ready to buy. This is where email comes in. A well-planned and well-executed email campaign can result in improved conversion and engagement. But well-planned is the keyword here; the email strategy must work with the rest of your digital marketing strategy. If your emails don’t feel like they align to other points of contact that customers have with your brand, they may feel alienated rather than nurtured. Additionally, if your emails are explicit advertisements, your subscribers will feel spammed and will likely unsubscribe rather than buy from you. Your timing is also key. As we’ve discussed previously. If you can reach out with the perfect message at the perfect moment, you will crystallize your brand’s cohesion and increase likely conversions.
Although we didn’t have the space to go into depth on each strategic component, we hope that this article helps you to consider the importance of thinking about your brand holistically. No successful marketing strategy exists in a vacuum and few people make buying decisions off of a single initial touchpoint. As a result, a cohesive and ongoing strategy is necessary to engage your audience, build your brand, and increase your sales.
If you need help with any of these components, or with pulling them all together into your cohesive strategy, let’s talk!