Digital marketing, often called online marketing, is the art and science of using information technology to create and promote value for the buyer, seller and marketer. The digital marketing space is vast and ever-changing. In order to stay relevant and competitive, marketers need to be aware of the different stages that every digital marketing campaign goes through. This awareness allows them to plan ahead and prepare for certain events before they become an issue.
More importantly, it helps them identify weak points in their plans so that they can improve on the areas where necessary changes are needed. In addition, knowing when a campaign has reached its end is invaluable because it will allow marketers to start another one. Hiring the right company to plan, implement and execute your digital marketing strategy is extremely important. A successful campaign means more traffic, more sales, and increased brand awareness.
Before we dive into how to create success, you should know what to expect, when to expect it, and how to confront problems that arise during each stage of a digital marketing campaign.
Digital Marketing: A Life-Cycle of Your Campaign
The First Stage: Launch and Gather Momentum
Preliminary research has found no evidence to prove that one specific way exists for how to launch an online campaign successfully every time. There are, however, certain tactics that have been shown to bring about success more often than not. One important tactic is to be clear about your goals from the very beginning. Once you have established your objectives clearly, this will give you direction and a benchmark for success.
Start your digital marketing campaign by launching a website with engaging content. It should give the visitor a reason to return but also show them how to engage or interact. Sometimes, this could be as simple as having an “about us” page or an FAQs page for visitors who want immediate answers rather than waiting until you reply to their questions.
In order to gather momentum, make sure your website is well-maintained and updated.
The Second Stage: Plateau
At the second stage of the digital marketing life cycle, your campaign may experience a decline in popularity and traffic. It’s vital to monitor the progress of your campaign at this stage and make sure that you haven’t neglected it or forgotten about it. No matter how much time passes without returning visitors or buyers, keep updating what needs to be updated.
Be mindful of where your target audience gathers online so you can engage them through social media. You should also consider paid advertising on social media sites to attract more people who might be interested in your products or services.
The Third Stage: Decline and Fall
If you have reached the third stage of your digital marketing campaign, it is likely that you have experienced a decline in your number of visitors and buyers. In order to make sure you do not lose any ground during this stage, focus on SEO and social media. Search Engine Optimization involves making changes to web pages as well as tracking keywords to see which ones result in more searches.
The Fourth Stage: The Fall
At this point, you are likely already aware that your campaign is declining in popularity. If you do not take action, chances are that within a couple of months you will see an even faster decline in visitors and buyers.
It might be too late to salvage an online campaign that has fallen into obscurity. At this point, your best bet would be to invest heavily in social media, SEO or PPC (Pay-Per-Click).
The Fifth Stage: End of Campaign
If you’re wondering what to do after a campaign has reached its end, the answer is simple – start another one. In fact, it’s best to think of digital marketing as an ongoing process rather than a set-it-and-forget-it kind of system. To stay competitive in your industry, make sure that everything you’re doing online is up to date and relevant.
Once you’ve established a successful campaign, there will always be room for improvement.
How to Create Success with Digital Marketing
Successful digital marketing is a moving target. Gone are the days when social media giveaways and viral videos alone will bring droves of traffic to your website. If you strike the perfect balance between timing and content, you might occasionally see that old-school viral boost. But more often than not, a solid digital marketing strategy that evolves with technology is going to be the golden ticket.
Just because the trends are changing quickly doesn’t mean that digital marketing is difficult. In fact, it is still one of the easiest and widest-reaching marketing activities to deploy. If you haven’t seen success in the digital world yet, don’t give up. Fine-tune your approach and develop a ground-up strategy that will find your customers where they spend the most time online and bring them back to your brand.
Does your current approach to digital marketing feel more like throwing darts with a blindfold on or like a well-oiled machine that works in harmony with your business and quickly adapts or even anticipates the needs of your customers?
Build a ground-up strategy that starts by identifying what you want your customers to do online. This is the weakest point of most digital marketing strategies. Many companies erroneously run digital ads with the goal of creating exposure or generating interest. You should never run a digital ad just for exposure.
Hands down, the most popular way to access the internet is on a mobile device. Consumers are constantly reaching for smartphones to look up products, read reviews, and get directions to local businesses. If your digital strategy is not optimized for mobile devices, you are essentially turning away two-thirds of the traffic that digital marketing could bring your way.
Two-thirds is not a small number. Not only should your website be optimized for mobile devices, but your strategy should include location-based ads, your content should be clear and concise, and the commitment option should be served upon an easy and interactive platter.
Modern consumers are pretty smart. Very few fall hook, line, and sinker for sales gimmicks anymore, and nearly all crave a more authentic connection with the brands that they purchase from. This means some sales copy and a ‘buy now’ button isn’t going to get you very far. Cultivating relationships by offering education, transparency, and excellent service are now the keys to the kingdom.
The downside is that it takes a lot more effort to build relationships with all of these expectations. If you put up a blog, you have to add fresh, high-quality content on a frequent basis. If you send out a newsletter, it has to be packed with useful information or the open rate will plummet. And, if you allow customers to interact with chat features or online reviews, you have to put the manpower behind responding to customers’ needs in real-time.
Building a community is a big effort, but it is also one of the most rewarding ways to develop repeat customers. Through high-quality, consistent effort, your brand can build the desired reputation that speaks for itself. A reputation that your customers will be happy to share for you.
One of the most important aspects of digital marketing is to keep it relevant. The digital world changes at a rapid pace. The abilities of technology and the demands of users are constantly shaping and evolving how users interact with brands in the digital world.
The only successful digital marketing plan relies on a continuous cycle of feedback and adaptation. Be mindful to measure the correct metrics, not just engagement. If your goal is to book 30% more consultations, hundreds of likes, shares and comments are meaningless if you don’t book a single consult.
Continuously monitor metrics and use that data to tweak your strategy. Also, keep an ear to the ground and prepare for new trends and coming changes. Mobile-friendly and location-based advertising are hot trends. But everyday advancements are made in virtual reality and predictive content marketing that will shape how consumers use technology in the next one, five and ten years.
In the world of technology, almost nothing is more important than the visual experience. What will your website, graphics, and ad campaigns look like in 4K? If you didn’t just say spectacular then listen up! There is no room in your digital marketing strategy for anything less than amazing design aesthetics and professional images.
Don’t be afraid to spend money on a reputable professional web designer. They can do more in a fraction of the time than you will ever be able to do yourself. Put aside your copy of a beginner’s guide to web design. Hire an SEO web design team that will deliver a strategic, SEO optimized, mobile-friendly, and visually appealing website.
Maintaining a consistent message across all platforms is a little trickier than you might think. Digital marketing uses a variety of avenues to reach potential customers and direct them back to your business. And, many of these are on third-party platforms. Whether consumers encounter your brand on a social media channel, your own website, or a third-party blog; the message should be consistent and recognizable.
Just because you hire a web designer or digital marketing expert, doesn’t mean that you are absolved from keeping up with the trends. The success of your digital marketing strategy is a team effort. Stay educated so that you can make informed decisions when you need to. Keep learning so that you can recognize when your team members are strong and when they are weak. And, so you can identify your competitor’s weaknesses and meet those needs to find new customers.
When it comes to the digital world, AI marketing is one of the fastest-growing components of digital marketing. Search engines like Google are far more sophisticated than they were in the early 2000s. They are so advanced now that it might seem like it is impossible to figure out how to get on the first page of Google. A good search engine optimization company can help.
The algorithms of major search engines change continuously, but the foundation of good search results is high-quality optimized content. A well-optimized site, however, must go beyond just the keywords and frequency of use on your web pages. It means checking all of the boxes to make sure your website is fast and responsive, mobile-friendly and visually optimized.
Sales funnels have been around for a long time in the marketing game. They are uniquely well-suited to digital marketing. so it is hard to have a conversation about digital marketing that does not dive into building sales funnels.
The idea is that a sales funnel will begin by appealing to a large audience and then narrow the field down as it gets closer to the goal.
A good sales funnel casts a wide net and start with awareness, to put your brand name in front of a large group of consumers who are likely to be interested. An intelligent campaign will generate interest in your brand from those who see it. The funnel will sort the difference between the potentially interested and not interested. Ultimately, the next step becomes a pitch only to an interested audience.
As consumers move through your marketing activities, they are likely to continue to find value in your offers to keep them moving forward. Here is where it is really important to be authentic and offer real value. If you offer a free webinar, make it valuable. Consumers are too smart to be duped by your marketing gimmick webinar. If you waste their time with a sales pitch instead of something valuable, you will actively drive away potentially interested customers.
A good sales funnel will capture the eye of potentially interested consumers and take them on a guided journey of your brand, product or service.
Breath of Fresh Air
The digital world moves fast. This is anything but a ‘set it and forget’ marketing activity. In order to be successful, digital marketing requires constant effort. All activities should be tied to identified goals as outlined in a digital marketing strategy. All relevant metrics should be tracked and that data should be used to continuously adjust the strategy to meet the goals.
In the world of digital marketing, there never seems to be enough. Digital consumers have an insatiable appetite for content and your most interested customers will consume it faster than it can be created. Avoid the urge to fill the need with low-quality content because it is cheaper or easier to produce. Choose a schedule, commit to quality content and stick to it without fail.
The Takeaway on Digital Marketing
Success in digital marketing is not only possible, it is happening every day. It is all about building an effective strategy and then using that strategy to stay on top of your game. Figure out what your consumers want and keep delivering it. If it is authentic interaction, offer it. Get rid of the chatbots and put live people behind the screens. If it is authority and quality content, deliver it. It is time to put the sales gimmicks away and focus on providing real value to real people in the fastest, most technology-abled way possible.
This content was originally published here.