Before I start, there are way more than 3 reasons why you need a digital marketing strategy but today we’ll be looking at the top 3 reasons that your business needs to implement a digital marketing strategy.
In this post we’ll be taking a look at a digital marketing strategy through the eyes of a shop – note, the reasons given in this post will be the same for other sectors including services and not for profits.
1. You will have the ability to reach a greater pool of potential customers.
This is the one that we hear most often from our clients. Many people have a website and social media sites but there doesn’t seem to be any conversion. They’ve already realised that the internet is full of untapped potential but they need a little help in reaching it. This is where the digital marketing strategy comes into play.
Back in 2018, the Telegraph did an article on the impact that the internet was having on the high street. This has continued into 2019 with the fall of some of our most well known shop fronts such as Thomas Cook, Karen Millen, Patisserie Valerie and Debenhams*. Some of these being closed down totally and others seeing major job losses. Each of these companies had a different journey that has eventually ended in their downfall but it’s likely that the change in buyer behaviour has had a significant impact on their ability to compete and ultimately be profitable.
Details from the ONS show us that internet sales have steadily been rising since 2006, with a peak of 21% of all retail sales being done online just prior to the Christmas period in 2018. Current numbers are steady at 18%.
This means that if you own a retail business 20% of your customers have moved to buying online and a larger percentage are most likely doing their research online beforehand. It also means the competition that you’re now facing has expanded massively to include businesses across the world.
The point I’m trying to make in this section is that there are great opportunities out there for your small business, having a digital marketing strategy will enable you to tap into that market and ensure that you aren’t left behind.
2. Without one your business might well be lost in the sea that is the internet.
Carrying on from point number one – you’ve decided that you want a business presence online but you’ve now entered a world with overwhelming choice and a million options for similar products and services. It’s difficult for you to break through the noise and in turn it’s just as difficult for your potential customers to find you.
Thought moment: have you ever stood in a packed supermarket, in the chocolate isle, umming and ahhing over what you want – there are so many options that it becomes difficult to choose. In this case you probably fall back on your trusty Kit Kat or Kinder Bueno and ignore all the new options in front of you.
(I always go straight for the Toffee Crisp, who am I kidding.)
This is what it’s like for customers looking for products online, the options are so broad that they go with the option that they know well and ignore all of the other options. With the internet you have to fight against the algorithms, rankings and ads to really be seen.
This is the point where most people find themselves in a huge pickle. In order to make a name for yourself on the web you have to invest time, effort and often money. Brick and mortar shops have to pay rent, utilities, employee wages etc, as an online business your website is your shop front and your digital marketing strategy is one of those outgoing payments that you’ll often have to make to really be seen unless you want to put hours into learning how to do it yourself.
At Avidmode we do social media workshops and digital audits which often come with a lengthy to-do list for the client. It’s common to hear shocked reactions when they realise that the work in front of them isn’t just a quick fix or a simple switch to flick. It’s about being consistent, making sure that you’re constantly engaged as a business and as agile as you can possibly be.
3. Setting up a digital marketing strategy can help with your overall business strategy.
It’s very rare that you’ll come across a business that just seems to be running itself without any strategy, goal or planning behind it. You’ll already know that it’s important to have a business strategy set out to give you some direction for your small business but having a digital marketing strategy can also help with this.
A digital marketing strategy sets out the strategy for your web presence and marketing goals. You’ll often have a digital audit done first which will give you an idea of where you are currently positioned and what you’ve got to work with. If you’re starting from scratch these details obviously won’t be in place to work with but that’s not necessarily a bad thing!
Once the audit is complete we’re able to get a start on creating the strategy, this includes a breakdown of the research and recommendation. A strategy is simply a set of goals that you want to reach for the business. By doing some research into your online options you might find that it opens up new avenues or opportunities that you hadn’t considered before. You might find niches related to the internet or communities on the internet that might spark some of those product ideas and the like.
What would a digital marketing strategy audit look like for your small business?
Now you’ve considered some of the reasons for getting a digital marketing strategy, here is what it should entail;
- Competitor Research.
- Keyword Research.
- Target Market Research.
- Website audit – includes checking on the UX, Google Analytics, backlinks, bounce rates, responsivity, mobile usability, SEO etc.
- Blog audit and editorial calendar creation.
- Social Media Audit
As you can see, when you have someone else do your digital audit for you it includes three main sections. It starts out with relevant research that you need to be building upon, this will identify where you currently stand in the market, what keywords you should be focusing on and who your target market it. Once you’ve got this in the bag, you’ll be able to take a look at your current online offering with your research in mind. At that point, recommendations can be made on the next steps (this is where the list as long as the Nile is situated – there shouldn’t be any crocodiles included!)
The final part is implementation of the recommendations, this can range from website updates and reworks, social media schedules, boosting engagement levels, writing blog posts and influencer outreach.
If you think you might be in need of a digital marketing strategy and an audit then feel free to reach out to us for a chat on 01628 421661 or firstname.lastname@example.org
*Retail Research. (2019, 15 October). Who’s Gone Bust in Retailing 2010-19. Retrieved from: https://www.retailresearch.org/whosegonebust.php