In 2018, for any business, digital marketing (online) is the most effective way to stay ahead of the competition. If you plan and execute your online marketing strategy well, you’ll improve your reputation, build your brand and, most importantly, increase your revenue! However, if you don’t, your business and online presence will fall behind.
Here are 6 tips that can help you plan a successful digital marketing strategy for 2018:
1. Identify Your Most Successful Strategies
It is essential that you constantly review and identify the most successful strategies for your business. Every year, you should look back at last years strategy and marketing campaigns and identify what worked and what didn’t! Now you can include and push these proven marketing strategies into your 2018 marketing plan.
But this doesn’t mean that you should drop strategies that didn’t work. You need to analyse these weak and failed strategies, why didn’t they work? how can we improve? how could we have done better?
2. Identify the Best Platforms for Your Industry
Regardless of your industry, there are some essential digital marketing strategies and platforms. Every online marketing plan must include SEO, paid ads and content marketing. Every business should also have a presence on the top social media platforms twitter and Facebook.
However, you must identify the best platforms for your industry. Some platforms and strategies work well for specific industries, find the right ones for your business and focus the bulk of your efforts and money on these. For example, LinkedIn is an great platform for a B2B company but Instagram is not, but Instagram would perfect for a fashion company.
3. Understand Your Sale Funnel
This is a common strategy used by UX designers, but it’s important that every online business understands the marketing funnel and you use effectively use it to improve your digital marketing campaigns.
The funnel is simple, you need to understand how your customers reach your website and what converts them. This information will help you improve the funnel and understand where you should use different marketing strategies.
I like to use the AIDA Sales Funnel, here’s a quick look at what a good sales funnel should look like:
Awareness – at this stage, the prospect discovers your business/product and visits your website for the first time (from an ad, Google search, a post shared on social media or another traffic source).
Interest – at this stage, the prospect is looking at you website content and the services/product you offer. This is when you can attract him with some great content and potentially collect contact info.
Decision – at this stage, the prospect is making the decision of what they want.
Action – at this stage, the prospect is becoming a customer by buying or choosing to use your service (signing the contract OR clicking the purchase button).
There might be many additional stages to YOUR sales funnel (prospect may become loyal customers or bring in more customers). It’s important to be aware of your own sales funnel and each stage, this way you can improve your sale funnel and turn prospects in to customers more effectively.
4. Profile Your Target Audience
One of the key factors for a successful digital marketing campaign is to first define your target audience. You may already have a good idea who you target audience is, but target audiences change, and their behaviour can change with passing trends. You must reassess your target audience because you might require new techniques to ensure your audience is engaged.
For example, a few years ago, audiances ages 30+ where not using mobile devices to browse the web. How times have changed.
5. Research the Latest Trends
Googles rules and algorithms are constantly changing, to plan an effective marketing strategy you need stay on top of those changes. If you don’t, you’ll fall behind. If you want to stay ahead of the competition, Always keep an eye on the latest developments in the online marketing industry.
So to plan a top-notch marketing strategy, make sure you’re up to date with the latest trends. For 2018, I recommend looking in to these big trends: predictive marketing, modern content marketing, marketing automation and artificial intelligence. These areas will completely revolutionise online marketing as we know it, with customer engagement being the major inspiration.
Mass marketing is dead, long live mass personalization! In 2018, personalisation will be one of the most effective ways improve any marketing campaign.
Collect customer behavior data, analyze it with artificial intelligence algorithms and then develop customized targeting strategies… sound complicated, that’s because it is! But thanks to Big Data technologies and the tremendous amount of data collected from social networks, online purchases, mobile apps downloads or CMS can now be parsed through different platforms.
Amazon uses the personalisation method frequently, and they actually make about 35 per cent of their total revenue from product recommendations. By offering “if you like that, then you’ll like this” product recommendations, Amazon encourage customers to continue shopping with them.
There are many ways both small and large businesses can incorporate personalisation into their digital marketing strategy. For example, Remarketing ads on Google AdWords can remind users of what they were looking at previously.
Hopefully these tips help you create a successful digital marketing campaign for 2018. If you have a question, or would just like to harshly criticise my tips, please leave a comment below.